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National Curriculum

Assessment in religious education

 

About the non-statutory national framework for RE

The non-statutory national framework for RE sets out standards for learning and attainment and exemplifies the contribution RE makes to the school curriculum. The framework highlights the significant contribution RE makes to pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and its important role in preparing pupils for life in a diverse society. The framework is designed to benefit all pupils by improving the quality of teaching and learning in RE.

Making a judgement

At the end of a key stage, teachers should judge which level description best fits the pupil's performance. Each description should be considered alongside descriptions for adjacent levels. When making a judgement at the end of a key stage, you may wish to note the following points.

Making your judgement

  • You will arrive at judgements by taking into account strengths and weaknesses in performance across a range of contexts and over a period of time, rather than focusing on a single piece of work.

  • A single piece of work will not cover all the expectations set out in a level description. It will probably provide partial evidence of attainment in one or two aspects of a level description. If you look at it alongside other pieces of work covering a range of contexts you will be able to make a judgement about which level best fits a pupil's overall performance.

Giving pupils opportunities to demonstrate attainment

  • Your pupils will need to use a range of forms of communication to show what they can do.

  • In planning units of work and classroom approaches, you will need to provide opportunities for pupils to display their achievements in different ways, and to work in a range of situations.

  • The attainment target aspects are intended to help in planning teaching and learning by providing a focus for appropriate task setting.

Recording

Although you will want to be able to explain why you have awarded particular levels to pupils at the end of the key stage, there is no requirement for judgements to be explained in a particular way or to be supported by detailed collections of evidence for each pupil. Decisions about collecting information, about its purpose and how it should be used are matters for teachers working within an agreed school policy.

Progression in religious education

In RE the level descriptions indicate the progression in the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the two attainment targets in the non-statutory national framework.

Attainment target 1: Learning about religion

There are three aspects in this attainment target:

  • beliefs, teachings and sources

  • practices and ways of life

  • expressing meaning.

Attainment target 2: Learning from religion

There are three aspects in this attainment target:

  • identity, diversity and belonging

  • meaning, purpose and truth

  • values and commitments.

Attainment target 1: Learning about religion

When learning about beliefs, teachings and sources, pupils: 

  • recall religious stories (level 1)

  • retell religious stories; begin to show awareness of similarities in religions (level 2)

  • make links between beliefs and sources, including religious stories and sacred texts (level 3)

  • describe and show understanding of sources, practices, beliefs, ideas, feelings and experiences. They make links between them (level 4)

  • understand that similarities and differences illustrate distinctive beliefs within and between religions and suggest possible reasons for this; explain how religious sources are used to provide answers to ultimate questions and ethical issues (level 5).

When learning about practices and ways of life, pupils:

  • recognise and name features of religious life and practice (level 1)

  • identify some features of religion and its importance for some people (level 2)

  • describe some key features of religions (level 3)

  • begin to identify the impact religion has on believers’ lives (level 3)

  • describe and show understanding of…practices…They make links between them; describe the impact of religion on people’s lives (level 4)

  • explain the impact of beliefs on individuals and communities; describe why people belong to religions (level 5).

When learning about expressing meaning, pupils: 

  • use some religious words and phrases; recognise symbols, and other verbal and visual forms of religious expression (level 1)

  • use religious words and phrases to identify some features of religion and its importance to people; suggest meanings for religious actions and symbols; identify how religion is expressed in different ways (level 2)

  • use a developing religious vocabulary to describe some key features of religions; describe some forms of religious expression (level 3)

  • use a developing religious vocabulary to describe and show understanding of sources, practices, beliefs, ideas, feelings and experiences; suggest meanings for a range of forms of religious expression (level 4)

  • use an increasingly wide religious vocabulary; recognis[e] diversity in forms of religious, spiritual and moral expression, within and between religions (level 5).

Attainment target 2: Learning from religion

When learning about identity, diversity and belonging, pupils:

  • talk about their own experiences and feelings (level 1)

  • ask, and respond sensitively to, questions about their own and others’ experiences and feelings (level 2)

  • identify what influences them, making links between aspects of their own and others’ experiences (level 3)

  • raise, and suggest answers to, questions of identity [and] belonging; describe what inspires and influences themselves and others (level 4)

  • ask, and suggest answers to, questions of identity [and] belonging…relating them to their own and others’ lives; explain what inspires and influences them, expressing their own and others’ views on the challenges of belonging to a religion (level 5).

When learning about meaning, purpose and truth, pupils:

  • talk about…what they find interesting or puzzling (level 1)

  • recognise that some questions cause people to wonder and are difficult to answer (level 2)

  • ask important questions about religion and beliefs, making links between their own and others’ responses (level 3)

  • raise, and suggest answers to, questions of…meaning [and] purpose; apply their ideas to their own and other people’s lives (level 4)

  • ask, and suggest answers to, questions of…meaning, purpose and truth…relating them to their own and others’ lives (level 5).

When learning about values and commitments, pupils:

  • talk about…what is of value and concern to themselves and to others (level 1)

  • in relation to matters of right and wrong, they recognise their own values and those of others (level 2)

  • make links between values and commitments, and their own attitudes and behaviour (level 3)

  • raise, and suggest answers to, questions of…values and commitments; apply their ideas to their own and other people’s lives (level 4)

  • ask, and suggest answers to, questions of…values and commitments, relating them to their own and others’ lives (level 5).

About the attainment targets

The non-statutory attainment targets in religious education set out the knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils of different abilities and maturities are expected to have by the end of each key stage. Attainment targets consist of eight level descriptions of increasing difficulty, plus a description of exceptional performance above level 8. Each level description describes the type and range of performance that pupils working at that level should characteristically demonstrate. The level descriptions provide the basis for making judgements about pupils' performance at the end of a key stage.

The majority of pupils are expected to work at:

  • levels 1-3 in key stage 1 and attain level 2 at the end of the key stage

  • levels 2-5 in key stage 2 and attain level 4 at the end of the key stage.

By indicating expectations at particular levels and by charting broad progression in the subject, the level descriptions can also inform planning, teaching and assessment. Please note, the level descriptions are not designed to be used to 'level' individual pieces of work.

 

This content relates to the 1999 programmes of study and attainment targets.

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