This NEW course will demonstrate, for teachers of OCR A level Religious Studies Philosophy and Ethics, how to prepare your students for answering exam questions to get the highest marks on the Philosophy, Ethics and Developments sections of OCR’s Religious Studies A level specification. Led by Jon Mayled, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for all the popular options to enable students to develop their skills and reach the highest levels of the mark schemes and therefore achieve Grades A and A*.

The course will explore what is expected of students by examiners and outline ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the key demands unique to A-level RS specifications and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • Looking at the topics which pose the most challenges to students
  • The course will look in detail at the weighting to complexity of questions across specification
  • Mark schemes will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the levels
  • Sample answers will be discussed and critiqued in depth
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the content effectively in innovative and student-friendly ways that push all students to achieve their best possible results
DATE & LOCATION Online | Monday 21 June 2021
  • Heads of Department with responsibility for R.S
  • All Teachers of OCR AS/A level Religious Studies
  • Teachers new to teaching A-level Religious Studies
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues

10.00 – 11.00am
Key Challenges of Philosophy and Ethics for OCR AS/A-level Religious Studies

  • Feedback from 2019 – the key strengths and weaknesses of answers on Philosophy, Ethics and Developments in Christian and Islamic Thought
  • The link to the religious content and why students can struggle with this – exploring access and memory
  • Producing evaluative answers – how to avoid your students merely regurgitating theories and facts

11.00 – 11.15am: Discussion: coffee break

11.15 – 12.30pm
Achieving A and A* in OCR A-level Philosophy & Ethics

  • Ancient Greek Philosophy: where and why good students struggle with this in particular – a posteriori &
  • Techniques and approaches for A* thinking on theodicies including Process Theodicy
  • Religious Language, Religious Experience and integrating understanding across the paper
  • Nature and attributes of God: what OCR examiners expect to see
  • Meta-ethics and methods to challenge the most able on this
  • Fletcher: Propositions, Principles & Examples
  • Application of Ethical Theories
  • Business Ethics and Sexual Ethics: what OCR examiners expect of A and A* students
  • Promoting A and A* thinking on Philosophy & Ethics throughout the course
  • Approaches to strengthening the links to the other OCR papers– in particular linking topics with world faiths. In practice this will primarily be with Christianity or Islam for the ‘Developments’ papers – showing how these philosophical concepts relate.

12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.15pm
Achieving A and A* in ‘Developments’ Christianity & Islam

  • Techniques and approaches for A* thinking in ‘Developments’ papers
  • Promoting A and A* thinking throughout the course
  • Approaches to strengthening the links to the Philosophy and Ethics papers
  • Different approaches to topics through film, music, other media – considering some of the alternatives to concentrating on text books and how this can enrich the study experience and results.

2.15 – 3.00pm
Achieving excellent performance on the question papers

  • AO1 and AO2 – what the examiners expect from high achieving students
  • Format of question papers and how students can use this to their advantage
  • Levels of response: getting your students into the higher bands
  • Indicative content mark schemes: what your students need to know

3.00 – 3.15pm: Discussion: afternoon tea

3.15 – 4.00pm
Working with model answers on Philosophy and Ethics

  • Practical exercise in marking scripts individually and collectively
  • Distinguishing grades – what examiners are looking for at C, A and A* in Philosophy and Ethics answers
  • Avoiding under and over-written responses
  • Student feedback and classroom approaches to boost performance over time
  • Plenary

4.00 – 4.15pm

  • Q&A and follow up to any raised questions

Jon Mayled

Jon has been involved in public examinations as a teacher and examiner since 1984. He has worked at all the major examination boards including Eduqas, the International Baccalaureate and also CIE Pre-U. He has been a Chief Examiner for 24 years at ELC, GCSE and A level. He is a consultant for Ofqual and is a tutor for Culham St Gabriels. He has extensive experience as a leader of CPD. Jon is also a writer of Religious Studies texts for various publishers KS2-KS5 with over a hundred titles as well as producing online and video materials.