GCSE Religious Studies
GCSE full course Religious Studies is an option subject that is studied in Years 10 and 11. Students have 5 hours of lessons spread over 2 weeks with two final exams taking place at the end of Year 11. The final mark is based 100% on exam results. There is no coursework.
GCSE Religious Studies cohort gained 67% A*- C grades in the summer of 2015 with 21% gaining an A*-A grade.
Students currently use the Edexcel specification and study Unit 1, Religion and Life, and Unit 8, Religion and Society.
Issues around believing in God, Christian and Muslim attitudes to Marriage and Family Life and Matters of Life and Death such as the afterlife. Finally the changing nature of Religion within a community.
This unit looks at Religious responses to Peace and Conflict, Crime and Punishment, Rights and Responsibilities and finally Environmental and Medical Issues.
Controlled assessments take place on average once a half term and are supplemented by full paper mocks. These take place once in Y10 and twice in Y11.
At Key Stage 4 homework is focused towards building knowledge through extra reading and tasks as well as preparation for assessments. Homework may involve a practice exam question, research on an upcoming topic or use of a revision document in preparation for an assessment. Homework will be geared primarily to aid in the end of unit assessment which takes place on average once a half term.
At the core of our approach to marking at JRCS is task marking.
In non-practical subjects one substantial piece of work will be task marked at least once every eight hours of teaching. Students will respond to the tasks and they will be checked by staff. In between that time students’ work may be peer or self-assessed or briefly checked by staff.
It is likely the same piece of work will be assessed for literacy. Staff will mark work using the literacy marking code:
|P||punctuation mark missing or incorrectly used|
|Voc||incorrect use of vocabulary|
|^||word missed out of sentence|
|~||unclear meaning or grammar within a sentence|
|//||new paragraph required|
|CL||capital letter error|
Levelling and Assessment
To develop a growth mindset and reflect ‘life after levels’ work in KS3 books will not usually be levelled; assessment will be formative and highlight how students can improve. Students will record areas of strength and development on their ‘reflection sheets’ which will be at the front or back of the book. At the end of each term a level is reported for students in each subject, which reflects all their work over that term. These are found on students’ pale yellow progress cards, which are stuck into their planners. These cards show students whether they are in line to meet their end of key stage target. With the move away from National Curriculum levels, the school is trialling a new ‘skills thermometer’ and 1 to 9 levelling in English. Other KS3 subjects will be using NC levels for the remainder of this year.
KS4 practice exam questions and mock exams are likely to be graded. This work might not be in student books. Students will record grades and areas of strength and development in their ‘reflection sheets’ which will be at the front or back of the book. All students receive an attainment and predicted grade at the end of each term. These are found on their pale yellow progress cards, which are stuck into their planners. These cards show students whether they are in line to meet their end of key stage target.
At KS5 students take a series of VIMAs (Sixth Form Milestone Assessments) during their course. Students receive developmental comments to help them improve their work. Each VIMA result includes four parts: the grade for that assessment, a comparison of the grade with their expected progress grade (EPG), a Learning Capability mark and a prediction of their end of year grade (PEG). The outcomes of these assessments and other graded work will be in student folders. They are also sent home to parents. A summary of VIMA marks and the students’ expected progress grade is also recorded in their planner.