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Teaching OCR A-Level Religious Studies For The First Time

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This course is intended to provide teachers who are about to start or in their first couple of years teaching OCR A level Religious Studies, with all they need to teach their course effectively and well. It will equip delegates with the knowledge and skills needed to become a confident, successful A level Philosophy teacher, ideologies and analysis of contemporary politics, both in terms of classroom teaching ideas and preparation for the terminal examinations in these skill areas.

This course brings a wealth of both examiner and practitioner experience to provide teachers with tips on how to overcome issues in the classroom and to guide students to optimise their examination performance.

The course will reflect current challenges and any modifications to the exam system.


  • Gain strategies on how to plan the course and manage the content in a two-year course
  • Learn what level of depth is appropriate
  • Learn how to ensure students keep up with latest philosophical issues and how to apply them to their existing understanding
  • Develop a confident understanding of the specifications, assessment and mark schemes to develop the skills student need
  • Analyse a range of sample answers to understand the standard and how students can achieve it

Overview of OCR A-Level RS: Planning and Structuring the 2 year course

10.00 – 11.15am
  • Overview of the specification and potential challenges in delivery.
  • Planning a 2 year course – sequencing considerations and guided learning hours.
  • Producing a scheme of work which develops knowledge and skills.
  • Curriculum Issues – what’s the intent, how to implement, how can we build in points to measure impact
  • Developing Metacognition and allowing gradual release of responsibility
  • Developing a culture of independent learning: the role of induction and expectations
  • Recognising which areas will be the most challenging for you and how to address these

Discussion: coffee break

11.15 – 11.30am

The Exams – what is expected?

11.30 – 12.30pm
  • Understanding the structure of exams and how the levels of response are interpreted.
  • Marking exercises using past exam answers to understand the process and standard: ensuring you ‘mark like an examiner’
  • Focus on essay structure in exams, how to pick up marks, and what top grade responses look like
  • Ensuring a skills focus whilst teaching the RS content; how to do assessment when you’re short of time
  • Review and analyse example answers that demonstrate how students can meet the highest levels
  • Giving effective feedback and ensuring students act on it

Lunch and informal discussion

12.30 – 1.30pm

How to Effectively Teach Philosophy of Religion: Nature of God

1.30 – 2.15pm
  • Introducing the Philosophy of Religion Paper – what is Philosophy and why do students find it hard?
  • Nature of God: giving the students the big picture first
  • Tricky concepts such as coherence and timelessness – making the learning memorable
  • Retrieval and checking learning
  • Developing AO2 on the Nature of God topic – identifying key arguments
  • Writing exam answers to questions on this topic

Teaching Ethics at A level: Applied Ethics

2.15 – 3.00pm
  • What do examiners reports say about the Ethics paper?
  • Why are Applied topics more difficult?
  • Sequencing and using Applied Ethics to consolidate the normative theories
  • Retrieval tasks
  • Arguments and essay structuring
  • Writing exam answers to Applied Ethics questions

Discussion: afternoon tea

3.00 – 3.10pm

Key ideas for teaching Religious Thought: Christian Moral Principles*

3.10 – 3.55pm
  • What is theology and how might it be different from Philosophy and Ethics?
  • Using Christian Moral Principles as opportunity for synpoticity
  • Starting points: what to do if they really do know nothing!
  • Exegesis, hermeneutics et al. Getting the right balance between depth and going down a rabbit hole
  • Key arguments on the importance of the Bible and how to use them
  • Writing exam answers on this topic
* The examples in this session will be from Christian Thought which is the option chosen by 75% of centres but the principles are applicable to other optional units


London | Friday 26 May 2023
London | Wednesday 22 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 26 May 2023
London | Wednesday 22 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.


  • NQTs in RS
  • RS teachers in their first few years of teaching A-Level RS
  • Heads of 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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