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Teaching a new GCSE specification from this year - advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by NQT45, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Our students start their full course GCSE in Year 9, so the first examined cohort will be the Year 9s that we are teaching from next week.

    Is anyone else teaching a new GCSE specification from this September?

    Obviously, there has been a big shift to emphasise the teaching of religious beliefs, teachings and practices. However, I imagine the way the students learn and prepare for this paper will probably look very different to the way we have previously approached the philosophy and ethics type topics.

    We are due to start AQA Route A (choice of two religions from 7 for the B/T/P paper, then choice of 4 philosophical/ethical issues from 6 for the second paper) this term, but I wondered how other people have structured their courses if they teach it over 3 years?

    Any suggestions would be welcome and greatly appreciated (whether you start yours this September or next!)

    TIA and enjoy any holiday you have left

    (No longer an) NQT45
  2. RCMJ

    RCMJ New commenter

    You are not alone!

    We get 2 x 40 min lessons / week in Yr 9, and 3 x 40 mins / week in Yrs 10 & 11. We've decided that the bread-and-butter elements of the beliefs, teachings & practices piece won't change a lot when the draft specs are approved, so we are spending the whole of the 1st year doing the Christianity element of paper 1 (We've gone for OCR, but there's not a lot between them).

    They'll then use the first term of Yr 10 to do the 2nd religion, and then terms 2 & 3 of Yr 10 and terms 1 & 2 of Yr 11 to do Paper 2. This should leave the whole of term 3 in Yr 11 for revision.

    This should mean that in the short term we can teach accurately to the spec without having to wait for it to be approved / clarified, and in the longer term that the pupils get the foundations in place before they go on to apply them in specific circumstances and ethical/philosophical debates.

    Hope this helps, and hasn't provoked outrage at our good fortune in significantly lifting our 2 lessons per week for 3 years!

    Good luck.

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