Agenda item

RE School Results 2017


The Deputy Director for Housing, Environment, Education, Health & Wellbeing introduced the results, noting that over the past three years, RE GCSE results had been fairly stable, although had seen small drops in Level 4+ results since 2015.


The Advisor to HSACRE commented that RE was not on the national curriculum and the previously used “half GCSE” is now no longer used, so schools still need to push for RE to ensure pupils are still entered for exams. The Committee noted that the number of pupils entered to take GCSE RE had risen by over 250 between 2016-17.


The Committee heard that there was a steep decline between 2015-17 in the number of pupils who achieved A* or A at A-Level, and noted that there was also a decline in the number of pupils who were entered for A-Levels between 2016-17 which may have helped contribute to that.


Members noted that RE results were encouraging, but there were concerns about the decrease in people who studied RE at A-Level, and were informed that student choice, as well as the available study options on school’s curriculums at A-Level, may both have an impact on this.


The Deputy Director for Housing, Environment, Education, Health & Wellbeing confirmed that at recent discussions with Secondary School representatives, the breadth of the school’s syllabus had to be considered and aligned to pupil choice and financial considerations. However, schools were working together and looking to potentially combine resources with neighbouring schools to increase pupil choice, by sharing venues or teachers, for example. The Committee did, however, recognise that this was not straightforward due to timetabling practicalities.


It was suggested that schools should concentrate on getting pupils to study RE to GCSE level, as some students would take career paths into consideration when choosing A-Levels, and this can impact on the number of students who choose any subject. Members also stated that some schools choose to carry out the entire syllabus and exam by the end of Year 10, and then do not study RE in Year 11. The Committee noted that this may impact on the decision to not study RE at A-Level as some students may not consider the subject for an A-Level course having not studied it for a year.


The Committee also viewed a mock GCSE paper which was requested at the last meeting, that had been sourced from ‘GCSE Bitesize’. Members noted that the questions were standardised and repeated with each different faith, which would allow students to choose just one religion to answer the questions, and thus not need to learn about other faiths. The Committee agreed that the topic would not be easy to learn, and noted it was admirable that 70% of pupils attained a grade of 4+ at GCSE.


Members noted that as exam boards populated their own exams, HSACRE could not influence that, but commented that it was useful to see a copy of the paper.


The Committee also asked whether it would be possible to see the exam results broken down by school, and the Deputy Director for Housing, Environment, Education, Health & Wellbeing confirmed that he would follow up on this request.


RESOLVED: That the School Exam Paper and Results were noted.

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