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Assessing RE Knowledge

Best practice suggests we need to assess all forms of knowledge in RE. The Diocese of Norwich Age Related Expectations support the assessment of the methodologies taught in RE lessons to learn substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

This Assessment Suite is to be used alongside the Diocese of Norwich Knowledge Organiser Plans to support staff in assessing Substantive and Disciplinary Knowledge.  This will focus on a range of retrieval practice approaches that either retrieve knowledge and test retention of Substantive Knowledge OR apply knowledge and assess Disciplinary Knowledge.

Below defines the two forms of knowledge for assessment purposes: 

Substantive Knowledge is defined for assessment purposes as:

The key facts or concepts associated to the big enquiry question.  These will be linked to the religion or non-religious worldview being studied.

Disciplinary Knowledge is defined for assessment purposes as:

These are the use of substantive knowledge applied through a disciplinary lens of Theology, Philosophy or Human Social Sciences. Disciplinary knowledge may also cross more than one religion or non-religious worldview.

How to use the Assessment Suite?

  • The three-question approach – choose three questions to ask at the start of each RE lesson, one substantive knowledge about the current enquiry, one disciplinary question from the current enquiry and one random / bonus question of your choice for pupils to answer.
  • At the end of the enquiry process in the EVALUATE stage provide a quiz for children to complete using the substantive knowledge questions.
  • At the end of the enquiry process in the EXPRESS stage use the disciplinary questions to explore a deeper focus for assessing disciplinary knowledge – this could be used to form the basis of an assessment activity e.g. a debate of how moral laws support Muslims in the modern world vs leading them to be different and radical.

When to use the Assessment Suite?

The frequency and timing of assessing Substantive Knowledge and Disciplinary Knowledge will be dependent on the age and aptitude of the pupils in your class.  This also may develop over the year they are with you as they gain in knowledge and understanding through the RE Curriculum delivered.  Each suggested approach to retrieval practice can be used on a weekly basis or it can be chunked to meet interleaving or split into smaller check points that happen every two weeks through the RE learning enquiry being taught.  It also allows you to build in opportunities to retrieve previous learning from other questions covered in year and earlier.

Assessment Suite – Guidance for using the Assessment Suite