Effective assessment through a multi-disciplinary approach to RE
Age related expectations to support pupils in becoming the theologians, philosophers and human/social scientists of the future
Rationale for these age-related expectations
Effective curriculum design and assessment depends upon teachers having a clear understanding of what they are expecting pupils to achieve. There are three disciplinary fields which underpin RE:
We have called this thinking through believing. It is about asking questions that believers would ask. It requires pupils to think like theologians, or to look through a theological lens at concepts.
We have called this thinking through thinking. It is about asking questions that thinkers would ask. It requires pupils to think like philosophers, or to look through a philosophical lens at concepts.
We have called this thinking through living. It is about asking questions that people who study lived reality or phenomena would ask. It requires pupils to think like human and social scientists, or to look through a human/social science lens at concepts.
For a summary of this approach see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NTW2bsFTLY
In broad terms the following principles have been applied to each discipline in terms of what it means to become more religiously literate:
- Extending knowledge and understanding from the concrete and familiar to the abstract and complex
- Moving from simple ideas and beliefs/concepts to making connections between them and placing these within a bigger picture or meta-narrative
- Demonstrating increasing layers of interpretation of religion, religions, beliefs and worldviews through engagement with a broadening and increasingly complex range of information
- Showing an increasing ability to critically question and form coherent, logical arguments, including increasing recognition of divergences of opinion about and the controversial nature of religion and belief
- Expressing a broadening understanding of diversity in terms of the nature of religion, religions and worldviews
How these age-related expectations were developed
Teachers trialed a draft form of the age-related expectations for 6-9 months in 2018. During this time teachers used the expectations to plan as well as assess pupils progress. In March and June 2018, a group of teachers shared their work with one another in order to exemplify standards and make minor changes to the expectations. In addition, a survey was sent to all 30 trial schools and academies to gage initial feedback on using the new assessment process. The age-related expectations have been used by all Diocese of Norwich schools and academies from September 2018.
Examples for each disciplinary field
Here is an example strand of expectations for theology:
Here is an example strand for philosophy:
Here is an example strand for human/social science:
There are 10 age related expectations for each Year Group KS1-3.
How to use the age-related expectations
The age-related expectations are designed to underpin planning as well as assessment. Further details about this are explained in the professional development resource which you will receive when you register. It is worth noting that using these expectations can have an impact on how you design your curriculum through a multi-disciplinary approach.
How to register to use these age-related expectations
We are a Diocese of Norwich VA or VC school: Please contact the Diocese (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a password to be able to access the resources. If you use pupil asset (www.pupilasset.com) you also have access to the age-related expectations using this system.
We are a DNEAT or St Benets Academy: Please contact the Diocese (email@example.com) for a password to be able to access the resources. You automatically have access to the age-related expectations through pupil asset.
We are a Norfolk community school or non-Diocese of Norwich Academy located in the County of Norfolk: Please contact the Diocese (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be required to declare that at least one person in your school will complete the online training which will be released to you once you have registered. This training takes about one hour to complete. A password to access the training and resources will be sent to you.
We are a School or Academy outside the County of Norfolk: Please visit our online shop here and complete payment of £50 per school to gain access to the resources. As part of the registration process you are a required to declare that at least one person in your school will complete the online training which will be released to you once you have registered. This training takes about one hour to complete. A password to access the training and resources will be sent to you automatically upon purchase within the online shop.
If you are a SACRE, Diocese or Multi Academy Trust who would like all your schools/academies to have access to our age-related expectations please contact email@example.com.
About the development team
Kathryn Wright, former Diocese of Norwich schools and academies RE adviser, led the development of these expectations. After teaching in London for a number of years, she became an adviser to the London Borough of Newham before becoming an independent consultant. Kathryn now works for Culham St Gabriel’s Trust. She is a co-opted member of the NATRE executive and a RE Council board member. She is a SIAMS inspector and assessor for the RE Quality Mark. She has recently completed her PhD researching pedagogy in Church of England schools.
Kathryn was supported by a team of teachers working in DNEAT academies. They piloted and trialed materials over 18 months, and provided robust critique of the wording of the age related expectations ensuring they are appropriate and workable across all key stages.