Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Think Piece – Those GCSE proposals: a lament for Lucy Jo! – Alan Brine

Former RE HMI Alan Brine writes...

Spare a thought this week for Lucy Jo Olorenshaw. Having read the DfE’s GCSE proposals, she posted: “I give up! The decision to leave teaching and open a vintage tea room in Cornwall is becoming ever closer”. Do you need a pastry chef, Lucy? I regularly watch Bake off! Don’t give up quite yet!

Just in case you haven’t seen them the consultation documents are here:

Here I want to focus on GCSE – but there are further issues around A level which are concerning.

Ofsted, of course, is to blame! Who else? Yes, the last Ofsted report called for a thorough review of GCSE; for more ‘religion’ in religious studies; for more challenge; it did question the way the dominance of philosophical, ethical and social issues was distorting learning in RE.

What we needed was a careful look at the idea of religious literacy. And, to repeat my favourite quotes from Tim Oates, … doing fewer things in more depth so students really master fundamental concepts in subject; securing deep learning in the central concepts and ideas in the subject.

So the good news in the proposals: two religions – good but no humanism; determination to raise challenge – good but no more RS timetabling on the cheap; more ‘religion’ – good but it needs to be ‘done right’; still some Phil and Ethics – good but not properly integrated into the whole.

Read the rest of the article <here>

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