The New Studies of Religion Syllabus
This session of the implementation package
provides support to:
Review significant features of the Syllabus to
consider when developing programs
Consider methods for developing students’ skills
and expertise in writing that minimise marking
time for teachers
Develop school-based programs using the draft
programs provided as a starting point
Review: Significant Features of the Syllabus
What students are required to do:
LEARN ABOUT – content
LEARN TO DO – application of skills via glossary terms
The integrity of Religious Traditions: approach the
teaching of chosen traditions in their own right, not as a
The chiasmic structure of the syllabus: Preliminary
study provides significant foundation for HSC, especially
in Religious Traditions.
Assessment for and of learning: promoting personal
achievement in Studies of Religion through skills’
Reading, writing and more writing!
Consistent writing practice
A Few Simple Strategies for Developing Writing Skills
Consistent writing does not mean consistent marking!
Spot quizzes: Allow 5 minutes for students to write the opening line
and 3significant points to a question based on syllabus e.g. ‘Outline
the unique features of Catholicism’
Peer review: Small groups review each others responses to a task
such as the above. Choose the best for sharing with class – state
reasons for selection.
Small groups develop questions and criteria: groups exchange
questions and write a response. Change back – mark responses and
Provide an ‘A’ response for student self review: build up a bank of
excellent responses for students to assess their own attempts against.
Impression mark: for short, informal tasks give a simple A – E grade
Keep a visual record: develop a graph to record progress in relation
to informal writing tasks – see sample next slide.
Provide consistent opportunities for writing practice: from the
start of Preliminary allow some time in each teaching cycle to develop
writing skills related to the Syllabus outcomes and the Glossary.
Sample Visual Summary of Writing Progress
Promotes a team approach to improvement
the aim being to get all the class to C and above!
Task A B C D E
1. Outline origins of Christianity 2 3 7 8 5
2. Describe events – Jesus’ life 3 5 9 6 2
3. Explain Jesus as model… 2 4 12 4 3
4. Outline principal beliefs… 6 6 10 4 1
5. Identify importance of Bible… 8 9 6 2 -
Using the Draft Programs in this Package
Draft programs emphasise the skills component
of the syllabus: ‘students learn to…’
They incorporate a number of suggested writing
tasks. It is recommended that these or similar
be use throughout the Preliminary Course in
order to develop skills in critical thinking and
application of knowledge.
Modify programs to complement the resources
and particular needs of your school community
The programs incorporate links to revised
textbooks, websites and film resources.