chapter  8
GCE A Level Religious Studies
WithSue Cooke
Pages 16

GCE Advanced Level (A Level) teaching is possibly one of the most exciting, stimulating, challenging and yet scary arenas for any classroom practitioner, let alone student teacher. Many of the greatest successes and failures in terms of results, lessons and activities can be experienced at this level. On the one hand, some of the most significant rewards can be experienced, since the pupils have chosen to study the subject and their level of response tends to be high. On the other hand, with the new modular system it is now easier to identify the strengths and weaknesses within a department. The numbers of pupils opting for GCE A Level Religious Studies (RS) is increasing each year as we reap the rewards of increased numbers taking the subject at GCSE. In 2005, it was the fastest rising subject and in 2006 the numbers taking the examination went up another 8 per cent. In order to meet the increased demand for the subject at GCE A Level, we need to ensure that teachers are fully prepared with a well-considered curriculum that maintains the interest and enthusiasm of the pupils. Where the previous chapter dealt with GCSE examinations and the next chapter deals with general religious education at 16-plus, our focus here is on RS at GCE A Level (the title RS identifies the examination subject, whereas RE is used of the non-examination subject).