Thursday, 12 February 2015

New A-Level RE & The #REconsult [Part 2]

Image courtesy of Croesyceiliog School

I began with looking at the new GCSE documentation and now attempt to offer something on the A-Level reform too! Read Part 1 <here>.

Again a significant number of responses came from the BHA with similar concerns regarding the inclusion of Humanism.

There was substantial concern regarding religious content vs philosophy and ethics and this echoed much of the discussion via #REconsult on Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc. However the numbers were still not significant as a representation of the whole RE world. Only 51 respondents argued for separate philosophy of religion and ethics. However despite this seemingly small number, there has been a very significant change to the new A Level:

  • "Philosophical, Ethical and Social Scientific Studies of Religion" has been split into two separate areas: "Philosophy of Religion" and "Religion and Ethics".
  • Students will now pick 3 out of 4 areas rather than 2 out of 3, effectively meaning that 66% can be philosophy and ethics instead of 50%.
  • This does not mean that the areas will equate to papers... again we need to wait for the specifications!
Charlotte Vardy's alternative proposal gained the support of 97 people. 

Some people were concerned with overlap and this has been addressed by removing certain topics. These include prayer, festival and celebrations in the systematic study. This can only be a good thing in the pursuit of academic rigour suitable for A Level study.

Just 65 people responded saying that there would be a drop in numbers as a result of changes.

Ofqual will be releasing assessment information in March, see <here>.

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