Feedback from the conference 2019

'It is always helpful and reassuring to receive constructive feedback from someone from the exam board. To gain a summary of where pupils went wrong in the summer exams, and to be given pointers on what to focus on to ensure the next cohort can do better is valuable information for any teacher. There is also the opportunity to ask questions if there are still any areas on the course that you are unsure of. I myself have often taken the handouts given from these sessions and used them with my department as well as with students. The other great thing is that it's very concise and covered in the space of around 40 minutes, and the speakers leave you with their contact details should you wish to follow up on on anything later.'  Savvas Costi

 

'Professor Michael Reiss (Professor of Science Education at UCL Institute of Education) together with Andrew Copson (Chief Executive, Humanists UK) engaged in a dialogue on the subjects of Shared Values, Meaning, Abortion and Euthanasia.  The dialogue considered pluralist, religious and humanist approaches to such ethical dilemmas and common approaches to ethical decision making.' – Adam Lawrence

 

'Adam Lawrence (Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School) and Louisa Jones (Bancroft’s School) delivered a plenary session on how to promote Religious Studies in secondary schools.  Through shared reflections on how to deliver engaging schemes of work, non-exam courses and to encourage intellectual curiosity, delegates shared experiences and best practice for the benefit of the development of the subject.'

 

'Mr Ewan Brady presented a very clear account of the OCR GCSE religious studies examination and highlighted some of the assessment adjustments which had been made recently. These changes have been published by OCR on their website but it was good to be able to discuss the specification and gain greater clarity as to what candidates are expected to be able to achieve. '– Michael Wilcockson

 

 

'Dr James Carlton-Paget set out the present situation of GCSE/A Level religious studies and its relationship to higher education courses in theology and religious studies. He explained that although the GCSE/A Level numbers taking religious studies had declined over the past few years, there was a disproportionate reduction in applications for theology at university. There were several reasons why this might be so, but it could be that in the mind of many sixth formers theology is still perceived to be narrowly biblical. The good news is that at Cambridge good quality applications for theology have improved over the past few years. In part of his seminar Dr Carlton-Paget sketched out the Cambridge admissions process and offered some very useful practical advice about writing personal statements and preparing for interviews.' – Michael Wilcockson

 

 

'In the final seminar for junior schools of the day Mrs Rebecca Pickering offered a range of fun teaching strategies to enhance pupils’ enjoyment of TPR and aid its promotion in school. Michael Wilcockson brought delegates up to date with the most recent ISEB developments and quashed the rumour propagated in the press during the summer that Common Entrance was being closed down. The reality is that CE was being given a major overhaul (although TPR was already ahead of the game) and the new proposals would offer flexibility in the ways CE could be used in junior schools.' – Michael Wilcockson

 

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