Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Haters Gonna Hate (New RS Specs)

Here are some lists. What have I missed?

Some reasons people don't like the new GCSE RS specs:
  • Perceived 'dullness'
  • Too much religion
  • Not philosophy and ethics focussed
  • Too hard
  • Not relevant to my students
  • Just don't like it 
  • Painful
  • "It's killing RE"

Some reasons why people were never going to be happy regardless:
  • People don't like change (and teachers especially don't like change)
  • Old lessons need to be binned and replanned from scratch - costing time (something no one has in abundance)
  • Experts in exam questions and mark schemes are no longer experts
  • The vast array of resources available via TES, YouTube etc are no longer relevant

Some reasons teachers need to get on with it:
  • They are not going to change, probably for around 10 years
  • It is a primary responsibility of the teacher to make content interesting, engaging and relevant 
  • We are not alone - other subjects are not happy either - but every teacher will have a different view and there is probably little consensus anyway
  • Resources will come
  • Familiarity with the spec, questions and mark schemes will also come
  • If it is an option choice, your potential future cohorts depend on it 
  • Students are not stupid, they pick up on a teacher's attitude to a topic. It's even worse when teachers vocalise it... 

Reasons the old specs had to go:
  • Not enough actual content of religion and belief
  • Too much value placed on unjustified opinion
  • Agendas such Community Cohesion given too higher priority
  • It could be taught in half the time of other GCSEs

Reasons previous exam reforms didn't have as much negativity:
  • No social media

Some things I really like:
  • 12 mark evaluation questions
  • A body of 'core knowledge' for KS4 (DfE Annexe)
  • More indepth theology
  • Greater use of scholars and text

Somethings that could have been better:
  • More time at every stage of the process

Some things we as an RE community could do:
  • Stay positive - if we don't fight our corner who else will
  • Share and collaborate - add to Google Drive, upload to TES, write for publishers, host planning meetings...

Image courtesy of Pixabay

1 comment:

  1. Reasons teachers need to get on with it: your curriculum does not need to be the same as the spec. Teach what your kids need, which will often include a gcse.