Eduqas Version 2…

Reviewing version 2 of the eduqas GCE A Level RS specification this afternoon…/religious-studies/as-a-level/

Sadly it is not looking as promising as version 1… however none of the other boards’ version 2s seem to be available yet, so my verdict is still wait and see!

My observations at this stage:

1) Ofqual seem to have spotted the possibility of being a bit selective in terms of teaching (maybe they read my blog… oops) and have forced eduqas to close the implied loophole by insisting that the choice of questions is constrained i.e. either one question or the other in section A and then one out of 3 in section B, with no clarity about which topics either section can hit. The assessment remains through structured essay questions, which still seems more attractive than the short answer / compulsory questions or unstructured essay strategies chosen by EdExcel and OCR though.

2) Ofqual also seem to have spotted the relative lack of detail in the eduqas specification and have demanded a blow-by-blow demonstration of how the specification fulfils the DfE criteria from their team. The result is a frankly terrifying list of (sometimes idiosyncratic) content, which makes the EdExcel and OCR specs seem lightweight and refreshingly straightforward by comparison… however, before you all go changing your mind, remember that if Ofqual have asked for this from eduqas, my guess is that the others will have to increase their detail as well – so look for massive changes to the small-print elsewhere in the coming weeks and months. Reading between the lines, I can imagine that the team at eduqas might be hoping to make back some of the costs of this protracted development process through selling CPD courses… I can’t imagine many people feeling 100% confident about teaching Alston, Plantinga, Frege or Finnis in detail at A Level for just a few examples.

3) The Study of Religion module seems to have borne the brunt of the changes – particularly the Christianity element. My impression is that the Christianity element is now far more demanding than the Buddhism or Sikhism elements within the same paper – which would seem to defeat the original object of offering parity between routes through the qualification as well as between boards. Hey ho…

With the ongoing confusion about the future of A Level RS, AQA’s Philosophy team must be rubbing their hands!

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