Former RE HMI Alan Brine writes...
Just in case you haven’t seen them the consultation documents are here:https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/gcse-and-a-level-reform-religious-studies
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.
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