Assessment in RE – the beginning of something new?


The RE community have been busily thinking about curriculum alongside other curriculum subject communities. We have engaged in webinars, learning journeys, a NATRE symposium, resources shared and conferences (rightly) focusing on what we teach, why we teach it and when we teach it. However a few of us have been turning our focus on the next important step – how do we know if our curriculum is doing what we want it to do? How do we know that students know, understand and can do what we have planned and enacted for them?

It’s time to delve into the education hot potato of assessment.

We’ve been reading, looking for research, discussing with each other and with experts to start to build up a picture of what is good assessment and where RE currently is in this complex domain.
And the general conclusion so far is, there’s not much out there that is RE focused. As with many other subjects, RE has mainly continued to follow a levels-type system, often with age-related expectations. Engaging with more general educational research on assessment (from this country and beyond) has been a really helpful starting point, but we are aware that whilst a particular approach might work well for one subject, it doesn’t follow that it’s the most effective model for another. We’re on a mission to learn from and build upon what is out there, in order tounpick what might be a better way to assess in RE and consider how that might work across contexts and settings. Of course, being experienced RE teachers and leaders, we’re doing this with the caveat that RE has its own particular challenges and there is a huge possibility that there is, in all likelihood, no perfect assessment model!

Watch this space for updates on our project and please do get in touch with any suggestions or insights……

Dawn Cox & Gillian Georgiou

Suggested reading….

Free Seneca intro to assessment course

£ ResearchED book on assessment