- Do I have to teach all the exemplar units?
As the name indicates, these units are examples so no, you don’t have to teach any of them. However, we would advise you to begin teaching Big Ideas through at least one of the preprepared units. That way you are more likely to become familiar with the differences in this approach. We find that most people when they start working with Big ideas take time to realise that they are not teaching a unit of work on e.g. ‘Islam’ but on e.g. ‘how people express their beliefs through the arts’. We would also advise that you teach prepared units on ideas that you are least familiar with.
2. Am I expected to teach the whole unit?
This depends on two factors; time for RE and the ability of pupils.
There are huge variations in the time that schools provide for RE. Most units have been designed to be taught over a term in weekly lessons of one hour. Where RE is being taught in less time, teachers may have to be selective.
The ability of pupils is another important factor. For example, in a selective school where RE is taught for a reasonable time it should be possible to teach complete units. Similarly, in non-selective schools where pupils are taught in same-ability sets there will be differences between how much of each units covered with each set.
We expect teachers to adapt the units to their situation. At every age-group, each BI is planned in relation to Topic Related Questions (TRQs). It is important that if pupils are going to understand the BIs (which is the aim of this approach), they need to make progress in relation to ALL TRQs. Therefore, if your planning is based on a reduced unit, it is important that you include material from all of the TRQs rather than base your reduction on cutting some TRQs altogether.
3. Some of the resources are too difficult for our pupils. Will you be producing some easier resources?
Not immediately. We considered adapting resources but the needs of pupils are so varied that their teachers are in the best position to adapt resources and tasks for them.
4. How can I teach pupils to transfer what they have learnt to other situations?
Through practice. You will find this question, or similar, in the units; ‘can you think of another situation where this happens?’ Wherever possible, encourage pupils to apply the principles in the Bis to other contexts.
5. Is the substantive knowledge used in the units somewhat random?
The substantive knowledge selected to support pupils’ learning has been carefully chosen as exemplifying the BI. That does not mean that it is not worth learning in its own right.
6. I can’t find some of the videos you suggest. Can you suggest others?
We are aware that videos available on the internet may be removed, which is why we give examples. There are usually several alternatives available. If teachers let us know when a resource has been removed, we will replace the example.
7. Do I have to use the Anderson & Krathwohl taxonomy for assessment?
No. We know that schools are using a range of assessment models but could not reflect them all. We have used a process that is being used successfully worldwide and which includes elements that will be familiar to teachers.