The first stand is the God strand which you will teach from weeks 2-5 or maybe into week 6. Assessment will need to be up by the end of week 6.
Week 3 - I will catch up with you individually to find out what you plan to do for your assessment and I'm very happy to work it out together if that is useful. Whatever your assessment task is, it should give the children a good opportunity to show their knowledge. They need a rubric or exemplars which show them what's expected (see below).
Week 5-6 - share with me the children's assessment work and your anecdotal notes which add up to an OTJ and moderate together. By all means moderate with each other too if you wish.
Both these catchups may only be a 10 minute get together before or after school or in a lunchtime and the purpose is to ensure you're on the right track. We are attempting to assess in a really difficult and expert way in RE and we really are reaching for the stars with it. Assessment is not a tick box add on - we've moved away from that. Good assessment improves learning.
You need to consider the following carefully and give yourself time to have a thorough look as you prepare for your God strand teaching for the first half of term:
Have a good look at the teaching guide on the RE blog
Read the information for parents on the RE blog. This is information for adults and relevant to teachers too, the thinking is where we are leading children to. Plus it will give you some background for the "tricky" questions that come up higher up the school.
Have conversations about this stuff.
In your plan emphasise some key content you will cover. Remember powerful learning intentions are driven by verbs - so rather than e.g. “We are learning (WAL) what God is like,” have “We are learning to (WALT) describe God” - the verb makes a direct connection between the child and the learning and makes the child the subject rather than the object of learning.
Although we are looking for deeper thinking, multistructural is important and RE is a content curriculum - we must cover the content and ensure the children know it and can show it. When we encourage them into relational thinking it is only on the basis that they have some content to do this with. By the end of year 8 a child who has been at a Catholic school for 8 years should be able to explain the whole of the Catholic catechism - they have been taught it. So we need to be aiming for them to have a good level of academic knowledge of Scripture and Church teaching.
Also on the parents page are some examples of specific parables the children need to know in order to be able to explain what God is like - make sure your children know these - even if it ends up in literacy time. You can add more. Or read them a couple of times a week in prayers - being explicit e.g. "WALT describe God and the parable of the Prodigal Son shows us how."
Promote the parent page to your parents through your weekly emails.
Specifically use SOLO verbs and scaffolds so the children can learn what to do with information. They need this for their whole curriculum. All staff have access to SOLO resources.
Design an assessment task which will cover the content and expect the children to make comparisons, or explain cause and effect. (see below)
Year 7 & 8 need to do an essay for assessment and this should start with an explanation of Scriptural and Church teaching on the subject - explain how we know what we know, then relate it to themselves and then relate it to the world beyond, or explain how this changes things in the bigger picture, or why this is counter-cultural. They don't have to do relational or beyond but they need multistructural. They do an essay to help them understand that one of the purposes of writing is to share academic knowledge. You could also use a more holistic assessment task, or your ongoing notes to make an OTJ.
When you design your assessment task relate it to a SOLO rubric so its clear to the children what they need to do.
Assessment Question - How do we know what God is like?
God is kind. = tells us nothing about Scripture, RE teaching etc, just popular mythology.
Retelling the Prodigal Son parable - that's only one thing.
Jesus told a parable about how a father forgave his son who went away and was wasteful and unloving. The son didn't come home until he'd lost everything and had nowhere else to go. Even then the father was happy to have him back. Jesus told this so we would understand God loves us even when we get things wrong.
For a year 6+ we would expect more content information than this e.g. reference to a few parables, to how we know God is creator, descriptions fo God in the Bible, God revealing himself in Creation, in Jesus etc.
1. Jesus taught in parables.
2. Jesus used parables to show us what God is like.
3. This parable shows God is forgiving and kind.
4. Knows the story.
As above +
Because of the parable I know that God will always forgive me and there's nothing I can do that would make God turn away from me. When I turn myself back to Him, He will be waiting.
Extended Abstract Answer
As above +
If everyone believed this we would all forgive each other much more quickly. We wouldn't hold grudges. People who have made bad choices and end up in bad places wouldn't feel like they had to stay there. The world would favour restorative over punitive systems. We would be going out to each other and trying to bring each other to a better place.
This on its own is lovely thinking and the type of affective response we would hope to have from our children but it is not extended abstract unless it has the multistructural underneath it.
God is infinite, omnipotent and omnipresent. We can't define or describe God. Any attempt makes God finite. God becomes this, but not that. Jesus taught us that we can understand God through allegory, through showing us what God is like.
This would be a very advanced answer.
Ways of Doing Assessment
Look at what our DRS blog says about pedagogy in RE, particularly the "Cone of Learning" - what makes learning stick and try to introduce a wide range of learning approaches in RE.
Children could act out a parable in groups. That would show they know the parable. Then they could make comments into the ipads, or to each other, or a reflection in their book etc. on what they think the parable tells us and what it means to them. e.g. this one minute video embedded the story of the Crippled Man (Jesus strand) and that Jesus forgave sins as well as healed the body. Doing drama, freeze-frames, art, sculpting etc are the best ways of embedding learning, but still need reflection.
This group of children heard the story first, acted it out in groups, really considered how the important message was that sins were forgiven, got right into the attitude of the pharisees and the wonder of what Jesus did. They did this over a few days and then brought in their dressing gowns and tea towels to act it out. I'd love to know if they still remember the meaning/point of it. But if we record our assessments and link them to our spreadsheet, next year's teacher can bring it out and show it and bring it all back for the children. Imagine these children starting their next year's learning on the Jesus strand by looking at their video of what they learnt last year - they'd remember then.
Here's an example of a hands-on year 7 project to describe the Trinity. Whilst the children were making these, the teacher can go round and talk to them and make notes, or simply record why they are showing the Trinity this way, what it means to them etc and that's the assessment. This class then used their work to present the Trinity Gospel at mass.
In term 4 it would be good if you can each put forward an interesting assessment you have done either for God or Church this term - explain why its a fail, or a success and how well it shows the content knowledge and moving into deeper thinking, or not. We learn a lot from our fails and they're often entertaining too.
Here is where the assessment spreadsheets are kept: assessment spreadsheets
There’s a link on there for you to add your plan and what you do for assessment. Please put this on -that is so teachers in subsequent years can have a look at what’s been done. Also that you can pull up and share another person’s plans if you move levels.