Assessment in RE Leaders

What do pupils get out of RE at this key stage?

Pupils should develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should use basic subject specific vocabulary. They should raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about and in response to questions about their ideas.

Aims:  The main aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.

For assessment to be most effective in RE, it requires a number of different assessment strategies to be used so that a holistic and accurate judgement of a child’s ability in the subject can be made.

Strategies to be used:

  • Planned assessment opportunities to be identified at the beginning of a unit of learning.
  • Ongoing formative assessment opportunities consisting of:

high quality teacher questioning
teacher observations particularly around children’s verbal contributions to class and group discussions
teacher observations of when children are engaging in collaborative learning opportunities
Teaching Assistants scribing children’s verbal responses during class discussions and debates.
quality verbal and written feedback

  • Ongoing self and peer assessment
  • Beginning and end of unit self-assessments
  • Prior knowledge and understanding mind maps at the beginning of a unit and then re-visited at the end of a unit thus offering a tool that evidences clearly a child’s progress of learning during a unit
  • Summative assessment

How to gather evidence:

To effectively assess a child’s attainment and progress in RE, it is essential that a range of evidence is used so that holistic and accurate judgement can be made.

Possible ways of gathering evidence:

  • Children’s individual books
  • Children’s individual reflection diaries
  • Class portfolios
  • Photographs
  • Records of class discussions/debates (flip charts)
  • Group outcomes
  • Class displays
  • Teacher’s evaluations of their planning

When to assess

Assessment should always be in line with the school assessment policy and an integral part of teaching and learning process.  Ongoing formative assessment will provide the best possible assessment outcome for a child.  Summative assessment tasks can be used if the teacher feels they are appropriate.  It is recommended that these take place either in the middle of a sequence of learning so that any misconceptions can be addressed or at the end of the unit which would provide evidence of what the pupil has learnt during the unit.  It is key that all assessment feeds into future planning.

How to track progress in RE:

Tracking pupil progress over a course of a year is essential in RE so as to ensure that children make good or better progress from their starting point.  This can be done in a number of ways and it is up to schools to decide how best to do this.  What is essential is that pupil progress is tracked against recommended end of year expectations for RE that clearly outline the knowledge, understanding and skills a pupil is expected to achieve at the end of a key stage.

It is important that the leader of learning for RE has a good understanding of pupil progress and is able to demonstrate their understanding of the assessment criteria used by the school, and how assessment judgements are made.  It is essential that leaders keep a tracking system that identifies the percentage of pupils working towards, at expectations and working at greater depth.  This must be done on an annual basis.  Schools may decide to do this termly so as to ensure that end of year targets are met.

Moderation of standards in RE:

To ensure that the teaching and learning of RE is pitched accurately and provides all pupils with learning tasks that give scope for children to meet greater depth expectations where possible,  moderation of standards within a school and across a cluster of schools is important.

It is recommended that moderation meetings take place every term.  End of year expectations should drive the moderation.  A range of evidence should be considered when making a judgement about a child’s attainment in RE. It is encouraged that pupils’ English books are used as part of the moderation process to ensure that standards in RE are at least in line or above the English standards within the school and nationally.   Excellent teacher subject knowledge is required to ensure teachers have a good understanding of what is expected for each year group.

Creating high quality exemplification documents of what each assessment criteria looks like within a year group would ensure standardisation of expectations across a school and cluster of schools. 

Pupil progress meetings:

It is recommended that termly pupil progress meetings take place, providing teachers with the opportunity to discuss individual pupils’ progress in RE with the leader of learning and the senior leadership team.  Such meetings provide the opportunity to identify areas of strengths and areas for further development for both individual pupils and for cohort specific needs, thus allowing for gaps to be closed and for every opportunity to be provided to ensure pupils meet or exceed their end of year target.

Supporting Documents:

Disciplinary knowledge and skills progression document
Year 1 assessment grid
Year 2 assessment grid
Year 3 assessment grid
Year 4 assessment grid
Year 5 assessment grid
Year 6 assessment grid
Cohort tracker