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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 12 RS

Guidance for parents

What will students be studying in Religious Studies this year?

In Year 12 students prepare for Unit 1 (“Foundations”) and Unit 2 (“Investigations”) of the Edexcel AS Religious Studies qualification. Unit 1 covers a range of philosophical and ethical topics, whilst Unit 2 assesses the students’ ability to independently research a chosen area of study, either Medical Ethics or the Mind and Body problem.

What are the major assessments this year?

Students complete at least one timed essay for each topic studied. These assessments are usually completed during lesson time and resemble the style and format of the final examinations. Students also complete a mock examination for both papers. There is no coursework component to this course.

What will the current performance grade be based on, and what do the levels mean?

Until their mock examination, their current performance will be based on the assessments and homework that they complete. Their mock examination result gives us a much better predictor of how they might do in the summer examination and will be used as evidence of their current performance on their written report.

What should my son or daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

In the first instance, they should speak to their subject teacher and try to identify specific areas of the subject which are posing a challenge. We can then offer targeted support which may take the form of lunchtime or after school support sessions, or we may assign a Year 13 mentor to offer additional support and advice.

How can I support my son or daughter in Year 12?

The best way to support Year 12 students is to ask them about the topics they are covering in Religious Studies. Often students benefit from having to explain complex ideas to others so ask them to explain an argument to you or challenge them to justify their opinions. Newspapers, television and radio are also a great source of information about religion and other related areas so do keep an eye out for anything religion, philosophy or ethics related. Students may be directed to attend support and revision sessions during lunchtime or after school and parents will be notified by letter of this. Please encourage your son or daughter to attend any sessions offered. The best students are organised and complete their homework in good time so please speak to your son or daughter about upcoming deadlines and whether they are planning their time effectively.

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

Students are given regular independent work to complete in the form of essays and reading. Students are expected to seek out their teachers outside of lessons to seek help if required and they should repeat any essays that are below standard. The best performing students are those who regularly review their class notes and engage in wider reading. The school’s library is well-stocked with relevant reading materials and a reading list is provided to the students. Students can also subscribe to journals such as “Dialogue” or “RS Review” or alternatively access these in the school library. External revision conferences are publicised and students are advised to attend (remember, it is possible to access the school hardship fund to pay for a ticket if money is tight).

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact the Head of Religious Studies, Ms Harvey, on lharvey@newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk if you have any concerns about your son or daughter’s progress in Religious Studies.