On Monday the 26th of February, Tess Renneberg and I attended a PD day about the writing of the Year 6 Religion test (well what we thought anyway). When we arrived we realised that this was going to be not only about the year 6 RE test but also the year 8 and 10 Religious Education Test and how they are all linked. Tess and I were the only two teachers there, everyone else was an REC!!
This day started with the Science behind the writing of any test really! (this was especially fantastic for me as it gave me an insight into the dreaded NAPLAN testing for Year 5).
From this Jodie Micallef then explained to the Primary teachers about how she creates this test. She has had to firstly align the Year 6 Religious Education Test with the Year 8 and 10 Test, this is why the 2017 test was so hard! (sounded like an extremely difficult job, with Anthony Clearly checking over everything you created … EEEKKKK). Once this was completed Jodie then had to start creating more questions, she takes 10 questions from the previous year and then creates 35 new questions.
We learnt about where Jodie and her team get the content from to create the questions. Jodie and her leaders take content from the syllabus, any KWL book (K-6), Scripture background information and most importantly the Scripture that is mentioned in the K-6 content. Jodie also mentioned that if the Scripture passage is only mentioned once in K-2 it probably won’t be tested. If it’s mentioned twice along their school journey then it most likely will be tested and the Scripture in 3-6 is most likely tested as well as it is fresh in their minds, or it should be!!
The questions are initially written by RE coordinators and Leaders of Learning, from there they are assessed by their peers and are often changed 10 times along the way. From there they are given to Anthony Clearly to check and evaluate! You would think with the amount of knowledge Jodie has, that all questions would be perfect … how wrong that was, she was saying how alot of her questions need tweeking or even scrapping. She also said she is new to this journey and is still learning, this was refreshing for someone who is so amazing to say.
The questions of the tests are coloured to reference content sections:
Liturgical Year (yellow)
Beliefs and Decision Making (green)
We then worked to develop our own questions, at first I thought this would be easy as I’ve completed many multiple choice questions in my day … How wrong I was!!!!! It is a very scientific process and sometimes the most difficult part is writing the incorrect options, as I was told multiple times “there are no trick questions”!!!!!!
After this PD we were speaking in our R.E PLT about being time poor and what lessons we would be cutting out of our programming. Tess and I jumped in and explained where the year 6 RE questions came from and those parts are imperative to teach!!
This was a fantastic PD and I can’t wait to share some more information from this PD and hopefully this will help us boost our Year 6 RE test results. I would definitely recommend this to any person who is a teacher and wants to learn the Science behind writing a quality exam.