D04 Standards: Driving Words for Skills Progression


Previous ‘level-based’ forms of assessment in RE were based on a development of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational goals. The ‘can-do’ statements in previous AMV syllabuses unpacked the key skills of interpretation and evaluation into component parts: remember, describe, explain, analyse and so on. These came to be seen as hierarchical in order to provide a scaffold of skills within which pupils could build their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs. In fact, of course, children develop their thinking at different rates and rarely such straight lines.

The challenge now is to present the key RE skills in a way that enables pupils to exercise higher level skills at ANY point in the programme of study. Assessment tasks have to be designed to enable pupils to apply such skills where they can, and to revisit the opportunity to apply those skills at different points in the programme.

Many schools and academies following the AMV syllabus are now part of the ‘Learn-Teach-Lead-RE’ (LTLRE) project based in the South-West of England. This project has provided materials that will be useful in identifying a range of ‘driving’ words that provide indicators of skills progression. Using Bloom’s taxonomy, as developed by Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, LTLRE has listed these driving words that may be linked with six key skills:

  • remembering
  • understanding
  • applying
  • analysing
  • evaluating
  • creating

‘Understanding’ for example, can involve several cognitive processes, such as interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining. Several verbs relate to understanding, such as, restate, locate, explain, express, infer, illustrate, and so on.

Each of the key skills above is illustrated with sample question stems and examples of activities and products that could be used to help pupils progress.

The complete set of resources and background materials can be found at: http://ltlre.org/projects/assessment-without-levels-in-re/

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