Change the GCSE syllabus? Bring it on!

This week I taught a lesson that made me crave the new GCSE. Yes, you heard me right, I want the new GCSE. You might even say that I am excited about it. I know that there is a huge debate about whether the GCSE is actually more academically rigorous or if it simply has more content contained within it but either way it excites me. I also know that my excitement does reflect the fortunate state of RE in my school as an option only subject with 5 hours a fortnight for 3 years. The lesson was looking at … Continue reading Change the GCSE syllabus? Bring it on!

WJEC/Eduqas Preparing to teach Religious Studies GCE course.

Today I attended the course provided (free of charge) by eduqas about their new A Level specification. Firstly I am aware that this is still not accredited and therefore everything I say is quite possibly open to change. Secondly I have not been able to go on any of the other courses so have nothing to compare this do. Thirdly, as with anything within Religious Studies my thoughts are subjective and biased towards the needs of my school. Obviously you will need to consider your school and what would be the right option for you and your students. I have … Continue reading WJEC/Eduqas Preparing to teach Religious Studies GCE course.

RE in 2020? If we get change right.

There is a great feeling for change within RE. Many want to look at systems put in place in 1944, including legal provision for RE, and want to do things differently. Some suggest that time is now. How do we get it right? This blog was written in response to Andy Lewis’ blog: RE in 2020? Why we MUST get change right and all the text in bold is direct from his blog. You should note that, as all RE teachers, I have a biased viewpoint and therefore I am aware that my hopes for the future of RE do not reflect … Continue reading RE in 2020? If we get change right.

Religious Education- time for change; Our identity crisis

Originally posted on missdcoxblog:
This started as one blog post. It became too long so I’ve divided it. In these linked posts I’m going to identify the key reasons why Religious Education needs reform. Whether it be in classroom level, local or national, we need some serious changes to our systems and practices to ensure we’re not always the ‘other’ in the eyes of the Government, school leaders, parents and children. We need to stop being ‘special’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23191048 ? Name games There are people who remember RI (religious instruction) which was confessional religion, in particular Christianity and usually focussed on… Continue reading Religious Education- time for change; Our identity crisis

Intelligence Squared debate: Don’t end the tyranny of the test

Originally posted on The Wing to Heaven:
On Thursday I spoke at an Intelligence Squared debate called ‘Let’s end the tyranny of the test: relentless school testing demeans education’. Together with Toby Young, I spoke against the motion; Tony Little and Tristram Hunt spoke for it. There were a number of important points of agreement between the two sides. Tony Little told the story of Tom, a brilliant history student who got a U in his History A-level because his argument was essentially too sophisticated for the narrow exam rubric. I’ve known Toms in my time teaching, and I’ve also… Continue reading Intelligence Squared debate: Don’t end the tyranny of the test

Knowledge Organisers

Originally posted on Pragmatic Education:
Specify subject knowledge in meticulous detail What’s the difference between a knowledge curriculum and other curricula? A knowledge curriculum specifies, in meticulous detail, the exact facts, dates, events, characters, concepts and precise definitions that all pupils are expected to master in long-term memory. Many teachers underestimate the value of specifying (and sequencing) such detail. It is rare to find an English, Science or even History scheme of work that sets this out. The most powerful tool in the arsenal of the curriculum designer is the knowledge organiser. These organise all the most vital, useful and… Continue reading Knowledge Organisers

5 reasons school communities are the best

Over the last 6 months I have had a bit of tough ride and it’s been a struggle at times to keep my head above the water. I just wanted to share five moments that kept me afloat and continually remind me that school communities are the best. I could list a hundred more but these are my top five. Number 1: there was a boy in year 9 who is a little loud and can be troublesome. His form room was opposite mine and every morning and afternoon he pops his head in to say hello and ask how … Continue reading 5 reasons school communities are the best

Now close your eyes and focus on your breathing: An argument for Experiential Learning but not Experiential RE.

On Saturday I sat and ‘meditated’ with a group of RE teachers learning about the use of experiential RE. Whilst I struggle to sit still normally and am normally twiddling a ring or clicking a pen, with my mind going at a hundred miles a minute, I managed a full five minutes being still and quiet. As soon as it was over I was back to Twitter and twiddling. What did I learn? I’m not entirely sure. Was it beneficial as an exercise? As someone who rarely stops it was nice to have a moment to breath (one of the … Continue reading Now close your eyes and focus on your breathing: An argument for Experiential Learning but not Experiential RE.