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Help Please- Year 13: Eduqas Religious Studies

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by mooncheek, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. mooncheek

    mooncheek New commenter

    I am a Primary School Teacher with a child in Year 13 currently studying Eduqas Religious Studies.

    Last year, her teacher, who has now left the school, gave her essays A's, telling students that their analysis and evaluative essay (Part B questions) do not need a specifc structure, but rather just 'for' and 'against' paragraphs and a conclusion. This year, a new teacher, who previously taught from OCR, insists that students must structure their answers in PEACH (Point, Evidence, Analysis, Counterargument and How- meaning how this counters the previous point), students must also explain their points with knowledge and she does not give any marks if an answer does not follow this structure of PEACH.

    There is no standard exemplary essay that we can find due to the change in the curriculum, and this teacher does not reinforce the previous teacher's method of essay writing, including the use of examples. In the textbooks, there are examples, but they are not exemplary. However, even these do not appear to be structured in such a way.

    Would really appreciate any ideas or information about how an answer should be structured, and if knowledge is important in an evaluative essay or not.

    Thank you.
  2. mooncheek

    mooncheek New commenter

    Any help welcomed, please.
  3. jerseyperson

    jerseyperson New commenter

    HI, I don't teach Eduqas but the PEACH method sounds more like the old style way rather than the way the reformed A levels work and the former method would have been far too simplistic, I'm certain of it. The students should definitely be using examples though. I would say the reformed A level essays are all similar in style which is actually to put forward a position and then argue the case for that position (more like a lawyer). So your daughter would need to explain her view, defend it against attacks (i.e. say what the attacks are and why her view stands up to scrutiny), drawing from the examples and relevant subject knowledge she has covered. So, the PEACH strategy is closest.

    I just had a quick look at Eduqas new assessment materials on their website. They say that for the top band, students should do the following:
    -Confident critical analysis and perceptive evaluation of the issue.
     A response that successfully identifies and thoroughly addresses the issues raised by the question set.
     Thorough, sustained and clear views are given, supported by extensive, detailed reasoning and/or evidence.
     The views of scholars/schools of thought are used extensively, appropriately and in context.
     Confident and perceptive analysis of the nature of connections between the various elements of the approaches studied.
     Thorough and accurate use of specialist language and vocabulary in context.

    Hope this helps? I think it shows that subject knowledge is crucial but only insofar as it supports and informs the evaluation.
  4. Tormide

    Tormide New commenter


    I teach the new Eduqas currently (although I am moving to OCR for next year for a whole raft of reasons). With regard to AO2 essays, I have a very able group so largely don't insist on a particular structure, but a general rule of thumb I give for less confident students is as follows, based on the Eduqas CPD I attended:
    - Adopt a primary three pronged line of argument, where possible. This is harder to do in the Christianity unit, where often you end up with a standard two side comparison.
    - The amount of knowledge needed (AO1) in a 30 marker will vary depending on the topic, and how closely the statement relates to the AO1 question. You will need to ensure that any evaluation point is clearly contextualised and introduced with AO1 however. For instance (a very basic example):
    "Virtue ethics is not a valid ethical theory"
    AO1 - Virtue ethics looks at the individual's character, rather than the particular actions themselves
    AO2 - This therefore means that it is not directly assessing ethical decisions, and so is not an ethical theory in the traditional sense
    - PEREL is what I tend to use, which is for main body essays Point (introduce the idea), Evidence (views of a scholar and/or scriptural basis), Response (a counter-point or development), Evaluate (which view is best), Link (link back to the statement and/or your general line of argument). Three PEREL sections is normally sufficient.
    - Examples (ethics and Christianity), scholars (all of theme) and scriptural references (Christianity mostly) are crucial

    Hope that helps, and I wish her luck!
  5. mooncheek

    mooncheek New commenter

    Thank you both. Tormide, if possible please could you answer a couple of questions. Does the student need to come down a side in the introduction (if one is required), for example, in a thesis statement? Secondly, when applying the PEREL method in answering a question, how is this set out with regards to paragraphing? For example, if three PEREL sections are acceptable, does this mean three paragraphs, or should the for, against and evaluation be in separate paragraphs?

    Very grateful for your help.

    MTPMFL New commenter

    Hi mooncheek,

    My partner is an RS subject leader and also an examiner for Eduqas RS. This is the advice he gives which has come from exam board representatives:

    AO1 (part a) answers - need to write around 600 words or 2 sides. Start with an introduction and then simply answer the question. Probably spend around 25 mins on it.

    AO2 (part b) answers - need to write around 1,000 words or 2.5-3 sides. Plan at the start and good idea to leave evidence of planning for the examiner. Probably spend around 35 mins.
    Start with introduction. This should contain the "thesis" or what you are going to argue about in the answer; this needs to answer the question (use the wording of the question). Good idea to include a quote or a reference in the intro.
    The main body needs to follow a "ping-pong" argument structure. So have one paragraph which argues a point for the question and at the end of the paragraph evaluate whether this is important / it works or not etc. Then your next paragraph should be a point against this specific point. So you could probably have 6 of these in total. Make sure to evaluate at the end of each paragraph in the essay as this is what the AO2 marks are for. Use linking phrases e.g. "moreover", "in contrast", "on the other hand" etc.
    Conclusion - make a judgement. Doesn't have to be too long. Make sure what you say in here flows on from what you have already written.

    Hopefully this helps. If you PM me I can send you a copy of an example essay which he gave 50 marks out of 50 so you can get an idea of how this works in practice.
  7. mooncheek

    mooncheek New commenter

    MTPMFL, thank you for taking the time to give me such a full and helpful answer. I would really appreciate seeing the example answer, so will PM you. Thanks.
  8. mooncheek

    mooncheek New commenter

    Hi, I'm not sure I have sent you a PM correctly, I have started a 'conversation' with you privately by clicking on your profile to ask for the example essay, please let me know if this has worked or not. Thank you.

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