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Any RS teachers out there with knowledge of new GCSE please?

(14 Posts)
Oinkyoinky Wed 09-Mar-16 10:43:29

My dd is in year 9 at a local comprehensive.
Although it is a non-religious school, RS GCSE is compulsory.

In past years, the full RS GCSE has always been taught in just 1 lesson a week and results have not been any different to History and Geography which are taught in 3 lessons a week.

The school is still planning to teach the new RS GCSE in just 1 lesson a week.

Should I be concerned?!

ohtobeanonymous Wed 09-Mar-16 13:27:34

Seems strange, but perhaps they think it is a good way to gain all their students an extra GCSE without having to fiddle with the options streams and maybe looks good on league tables to have an extra high level of GCSE subject uptake

I'm sure the school will be happy to explain their reasoning and you're likely to get a more accurate answer than the speculation from those on mumsnet... From what I can tell the RS curriculum focusses quite significantly on Philosophical/thinking skills.

Oinkyoinky Wed 09-Mar-16 14:06:00

Ohtobea - Yes I agree - School is definitely up for improving results as with 1 lesson a week students got an extra gcse! Will contact them and see what they say...

Oinkyoinky Wed 09-Mar-16 19:15:47

Bump anyone?!

Bolognese Wed 09-Mar-16 19:31:27

Well I don't agree with it being 'compulsory' but that's not the point here. At my DC's school come September RE time is being increased to the same as history and geography, we were told this is to cope with the new GCSE curriculum which will be more challenging. I really cant see how it will be possible to do it in 1 lesson a week.

FYI you can take you child out of RE and you can opt out of the exam, whilst the school might say its compulsory. IT IS NOT, do you really want a clever Dc being saddled with one bad grade because school doesn't take it seriously?

BackforGood Wed 09-Mar-16 19:32:03

Not an RE teacher, but been having serious convs with my dd's school (also Yr 9, and cross she can't do RE as it clashes with something else she wants to do)
RE teacher said the new curriculum has a lot more content than previously and can no longer be taught properly in just one extra lesson (above the core RE) as they have done in previous years.
Don't know if that helps ?

Oinkyoinky Wed 09-Mar-16 19:39:13

Thanks Bolognese - I agree it shouldn't be compulsory, especially in a non-religious school. But the school says it is - though I am sure if I made a fuss she would not have to take it, but I don't really want to single her out.

Backforgood - Interesting that your dd's school thinks extra content of new GCSE can not be taught in just one extra lesson above core RS - my dd's school is planning on just doing the 1 core RS lesson and no extra at all!!

boredofusername Thu 10-Mar-16 08:23:46

Oink are you me? My son's school also does this.

They've not said that they are increasing the number of lessons a week for the new GCSE but my son is only in Y8 so we've not got that far yet.

Oinkyoinky Thu 10-Mar-16 09:27:34

Boredofusername - seems quite a common practice to bag an extra GCSE for minimal effort and timetabling. At least you will have some extra time to see how things go...

Csauna92 Thu 07-Apr-16 23:16:55

I am an RE teacher, the new gcse does have more content than in previous years but if the subject has been taught properly in ks3 then a lot of the content is already there. I've taught it in 2 lessons a week before and had tonnes of time before the exam period left over. I have decided to put the whole year group through in 1 lesson a week however (and this is common practice) if in year 11 I've got a handful who I don't think will benefit from sitting the exam I simply won't enter them -unless they really still want me to. It's worth teaching the content in core RE time because for some students it's a good way to ensure if another subject goes wrong they have an extra to use for thier progress 8 score. I've had students in the past who have only got.into college because of doing the RE gcse as an extra. Even the new gcse if all homework and lesson time is planned properly it is still doable. Hope this helped!

Csauna92 Thu 07-Apr-16 23:18:07


Oinkyoinky Wed 13-Apr-16 18:02:45

Thanks for your input Csauna. So you feel pretty confident that for the new GCSE 1 lesson per week in years 10 & 11 (for a current year 9 student) is OK, despite their being more course content?
My dc's school has managed to get OK results with 1 lesson per week in the past, but not so sure if they can achieve well with the new gcse. My gripe is that it's compulsory - and that exam boards are recommending 120 hours of teaching - 1 lesson a week will perhaps amount to 50 - 60 hours of teaching?

Csauna92 Wed 13-Apr-16 19:11:57

I would say it makes more sense to start the gcse in year 9 lessons and over 3 years but the content itself can be done in 2 years with 1 lesson a week, the exam technique (how to answer questions) differs between exam board, I'm going with aqa as it is the easiest looking and accessible by most students so shouldn't take extra time to learn. I've looked at how you would plan it over 50-60 hours and it is doable if you account for homework and revising at home instead of in class.
Unfortunately because of RE not being included in the ebacc subjects but being a compulsory subject in England for a lot of schools they put the gcse through for everyone because others wise (and I have experienced this) it is impossible to teach ks4 students non gcse RE for 2 years because of the lack of incentive I face 5 ks4 non gcse everyweek with dread because they knew they weren't getting a qualification and so saw it as a doss no matter what I pulled out of the bag in my lessons. If it is going to be a gcse separate from their 8 for 'progress 8' I would say it can only be a good thing it might be a better grade than another subject but if it does end up drastically worse than other subjects no one will ask about it in the future because everyone is focusing on the best 8 subjects including maths and English. X

Oinkyoinky Wed 13-Apr-16 19:51:09

Thanks Csauna - your post has made me feel a bit better about it all!

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