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OCR A-Level Religious Studies: Aiming for Grades A/A*

Course Code:


This course is designed for all OCR A-Level Religious Studies teachers who are looking to maximise A/A* grades for their highest performing/achieving students.

The course will be predominantly practically focused, concentrating on a range of successfully implemented strategies to access the top grades.

Using feedback from the most recent exams, the first two years of examinations on the new specifications, the course will outline what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to develop the curriculum and build your teaching practice around this.


  • Expert practical advice on preparing students for the highest possible grades
  • Focus on practical teaching strategies which stretch and challenge the highest-performing students
  • Specific focus on how to meet the demands of the examination at A/A* grades
  • Scrutinise exam responses in detail, including those that attracted full marks
  • Support material can be provided which centres can tailor to their own needs
  • A chance to meet and discuss ideas with like-minded individuals

Grades A & A*: Lessons from the most recent exams?

10.00 – 10.45am
  • Structure of the specification for OCR A-Level Religious Studies – what does it require of the best students?
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the most recent papers – what is required for A/A*?
  • Analysis of mark schemes – helping students understand the demands of Level 5 and 6
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A grade?
  • CAGs and TAGs – how has the landscape changed in the non-exam years?
  • What does ‘an extensive range of scholarly views’ look like in practice?

Morning Break

10.45 – 11.00am

The Big Picture: Planning, Delivery and Routines for A/A* students

11.05 – 12.05pm
  • How to balance the focus on knowledge and skills in delivery
  • How to use Induction to set the temperature and raise aspirations
  • Key attributes of Grade A/A* students in the classroom
  • Use of primary texts to develop the precision and nuance needed for Level 6 writing
  • How to encourage regular and useful independent learning outside the classroom
  • Developing Metacognition and enabling gradual release of responsibility to students

Focusing of Philosophy of Religion: key challenges for Grade A/A* students on the Nature of God topic

12.05 – 1.00pm
  • Analyse examples of high grade answers to past questions
  • Active strategies to bring a potentially abstract topic to life.
  • Using primary text extracts such as Aquinas and Boethius to add detail and depth
  • How to ensure that essay planning focuses on evaluation and avoids being descriptive
  • Retrieval Tasks for the topic
  • Maximising opportunities for synopticity

Lunch and informal discussion

1.00 – 2.00pm

Teaching Business Ethics: stretching and challenging able students and allowing them to shine

2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Understand why students, even the more able, struggle on applied ethics topics
  • Review examples of high grade scripts on this topic
  • Showing depth of understanding of both the theories and the issues in the same answer
  • Ensuring that students both apply and assess the normative theories
  • Retrieval Tasks for the topic
  • Maximising opportunities for synopticity
  • Practical examples of effective best practice to be shared and teaching resources to be disseminated

The Sprint Finish: Revision and exam techniques for the highest grades

3.05 – 3.40pm
  • Practical strategies for the revision period in the classroom
  • Independent revision methods to help students produce high grade essays
  • 40 mark essays: what does a grade A/A* candidate need to do?
  • Model essays: the pros and cons of pre-planning
  • Teacher feedback: what do the most able need from us in the final few weeks?


London | Wednesday 21 June 2023
London | Wednesday 29 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Wednesday 21 June 2023
London | Wednesday 29 November 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Chris Eyre has 25 years’ experience as a teacher of Religious Studies in secondary and sixth form college settings. Alongside this, he has held a number of senior examining roles and is currently Principal Examiner for the Ethics paper. He has also written a number of textbooks and revision guides to support A level Religious Studies as well as a book on teacher wellbeing ‘the Elephant in the Staffroom. Chris delivers training, hosts events and provides resources via his website He is still a practicing teacher working part time at a sixth form college.


  • Heads of Religious Studies Departments
  • Teachers of A Level Religious Studies


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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