RELIGIOUS STUDIES. J625/01 Christianity Beliefs and teachings and Practices (Question 1) GCSE (9 1) Candidate Style Answers

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1 Qualification Accredited GCSE (9 1) RELIGIOUS STUDIES J625, J125 For first teaching in 2016 J625/01 Christianity Beliefs and teachings and Practices (Question 1) Version 1

2 Contents Introduction 3 Candidate 1 Question 1(a) answer 4 4 Question 1(b) answer 5 5 Question 1(c) answer 6 6 Question 1(d) answer 7 7 Question 1(e) answer 8 9 Candidate 2 Question 1(a) answer Question 1(b) answer Question 1(c) answer Question 1(d) answer Question 1(e) answer

3 Introduction The sample answers and commentary in this resource have been written by senior examiners to help illustrate how the mark scheme could be applied. Please note that this resource is provided for advice and guidance only and does not in any way constitute an indication of grade boundaries or endorsed answers. Whilst a senior examiner has indicated a possible level for each Assessment Objective, in a live series the mark a response would get depends on the whole process of standardisation, which considers the big picture of the year s scripts. Therefore the level awarded here should be considered to be only an estimation of what would be awarded. How levels and marks correspond to grade boundaries depends on the Awarding process that happens after all/ most of the scripts are marked and depends on a number of factors, including candidate performance across the board. Details of this process can be found here: uk/images/ marking-and-gradingassuring-ocr-saccuracy.pdf. 3

4 Candidate 1 High level answers to Question 1 Question 1 (a) (a) Describe what is meant by the term agape. [3] Agape is a Greek word for a form of love. This is love which does not demand anything in return and it may cause harm to the person who shows it. Jesus showed agape when he helped people who were outcasts from society such as lepers. AO1 3 marks Each three mark question is point marked, according to the marking instructions in the mark scheme. For a question with the command word Describe responses should consist of a short statement, a development of the description and further development or exemplification. Short statements are acceptable and are in fact essential in order to keep to time. This response can be given full marks as three correct points are made which form an appropriate description of the meaning of the term agape. The simple meaning of the term is given it means love. This is then unpacked as selfless love which might involve a problem for the person giving the love and finally this is exemplified by reference to Jesus care for outcasts such as lepers. Exemplification is by reference to Jesus. The response is clear, precise and well organised. 4

5 Question 1 (b) (b) What do Christians mean when they describe God as personal? [3] When Christians say God is personal, they mean it is possible to have a relationship with him like they do with other people. For Christians, God is not an impersonal power or force. Jesus showed that God is like a person when he called God father. AO1 3 marks Although there is no command word for this question, it clearly demands a short description. The response gives three clear points and it matches the requirement to offer a statement with development and further development. The opening statement explains the Christians view that it is possible to have a relationship with God; therefore God must be personal. This view is supported by a contrasting statement and then it is exemplified by reference to Jesus words. The candidate could have saved some time by omitting the first six words and just starting the first point by replacing they with Christians and him with God In these short answer questions it is not necessary for candidates to labour over a link between their response and the question by rewriting the question in their response. 5

6 Question 1 (c) (c) Outline one Christian teaching about why there is sin in the world. [3] Some Christians believe that sin is the result of the fall. This is when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit they were told they should not eat. As a result sin entered the world because all people are descended from Adam. AO1 3 marks The question asks for an outline of one teaching. This sort of response is marked in a similar way to a short description but the requirement to offer only one teaching means that the description must be a development of that teaching alone. The candidate has selected the teaching about The Fall and the response is clearly focused on that one teaching. The command word outline tells the candidate to be brief in their description because the topic is obviously a significant part of Christian Theology and only three marks are available. The candidate has opened with an accurate statement which is supported by a concise description of The Fall and then referred to the concept of original sin without actually using the term. 6

7 Question 1 (d) (d) Explain why Christians consider Easter to be an important festival in the Christian Church. [6] Easter is the day when Jesus rose from the dead. This probably is the most important belief of Christians. Christians remember the last week of Jesus life during Holy week which ended with his trial and crucifixion on the Friday. This was a very sad day for Jesus followers because he had been executed and they had watched him die in agony. Their future was uncertain and they were frightened they might have the same fate. On the Sunday, Jesus grave was found to be empty and the women who had followed Jesus saw him alive as did the disciples. The joy of this very important event is what is celebrated on Easter Sunday. In the Orthodox church the resurrection and Easter are celebrated very grandly starting with processions at midnight on the Saturday. In all other churches it is a special Sunday with special hymns and prayers and the priests dressed in white. Because Jesus rose from the dead, Christians believe death is not the end and they will be raised as well. This gives them great comfort when a loved one dies and when they think of their own death. Easter is important because it celebrates this belief. New life is remembered in the eggs which are eaten at this time. Easter is also important because the resurrection shows that God approved of what Jesus had been doing and saying and that his sacrifice had been accepted. AO1 4 Marks AO2 2 Marks Total 6 Marks The answer has referred to the reason for Easter being an important festival because of the historical event of the resurrection but it also refers to the theological significance of this event for the Christian faith. The candidate has alluded to how it is celebrated differently in Orthodox and other denominations and also to a specific aspect of the celebration Easter eggs. The response should be read and judged as a whole against the levels of response for AO1 and AO2. Candidates do not need to have met each of the bullet points at a level. A judgment is made of the best fit for a response. Referring to the Levels of Response for part d), this candidate has, within the limits of what can reasonably be expected of a 16 year old and within the time constraints of the question, met the requirements of four of the bullet points at Level 4 for AO1. This is sufficient for the response to be judged to be Level 4 overall. There is: Good understanding of the question shown by appropriate selection of religious knowledge by the reference to the events of the resurrection. Good selection of appropriate material with detail and/or developed explanation. Appropriate material is selected and there is clear explanation of the importance of what has been selected. Good knowledge and understanding of the breadth and/ or depth of the issues by demonstrating both the importance of Easter as a celebration of the event of the resurrection and as reminder of the religious significance of the event for Christians today. Good knowledge and understanding of the influence on individuals, communities and societies by referring to the importance of this for Christian beliefs about life after death. The response also matches bullet point 3 in the Level 3 descriptors because adequate knowledge and understanding of different viewpoints within Christianity is displayed by a brief reference to the differences in the way denominations celebrate Easter. AO2 is Level 2 because there is successful analysis and evaluation of the importance of Easter. As this is similar for all Christian groups, an exploration of the difference between Christian groups is not demanded by the question. 7

8 Question 1 (e) (e) Evangelism should be the most important thing for Christians today. Discuss this statement. In your answer, you should: Analyse and evaluate the importance of points of view, referring to common and divergent views within Christianity Refer to sources of wisdom and authority. [15] Spelling, punctuation and grammar [3] Evangelism is when Christians share the good news about Jesus coming into the world and the message that he brings salvation to anyone who believes in him. Christians want people to know about this for several reasons so evangelism is important. The question however is whether it is the most important thing for Christians today. For some Christians, evangelism is the most important part of their faith because without salvation, people will be unable to have eternal life which is life after death. People will go to hell because they have not heard the good news and accepted Jesus as their saviour. People need to be converted and saved to ensure they have eternal life. This belief is supported in the New Testament by Jesus words in John s Gospel when he said that people would have everlasting life if they believed in Jesus. He also said that he was the way the truth and the life, and that God could only be reached through him. So evangelism is obviously more important than anything else. The importance of evangelism for many Christians is also based on the words of Jesus when he commanded his followers to make disciples of all nations. Also, the first followers of Jesus spread the word. St Paul is a good example because he devoted his life after converting to the faith, to converting others. Christians who hold these views often use large public meetings known as missions or TV and radio channels and special church services to get the message across to people. Denominations such as the Pentecostal and Baptist churches favour this. So, from the evidence in the Bible it would seem that evangelism is very important and can be justified as most important thing in today s anti religions and multi religious climate. However, other Christians, whilst accepting that spreading the faith is important, believe that Christians have to follow the teaching of Jesus by doing good works. He healed the sick, encouraged the poor and accepted the outcasts of society. In the view of these Christians, they should do the same. Their mission is to put the gospel into action by working for the good of others. These Christians take the message of the parable of the sheep and the goats very seriously and know that their own place in heaven depends on whether they help other people. For many Christians working to help the poor and needy is more important now than ever and is priority which overtakes evangelism for these Christians. After all, what is the point of trying to preach about the good news to a person who is starving or who is dying of disease as a result of poverty? Evangelism comes second to social and political action. Evangelism is actually a distraction from what is really needed today. 8

9 Other Christians see worshipping God as the most important thing. They see a focus on evangelism as a diversion from proper spiritual development of those who believe. Worship is vital if the Christian is to live a good life and to keep the religious spark alive especially today with all its temptations. Through worship and prayer Christians can become closer to God, especially through the service of the Eucharist. Jesus told his disciples to celebrate the Eucharist ever time they met so it s not something that should come second. Roman Catholics in particular, believe mass to be the most important thing because Jesus is truly present. For these Christians evangelism has its place but it is not the most important thing for those Christians today. In conclusion, the statement is true for some Christians but not all. However some people might say that if the only thing Christians did was spread the word, they would fail to be true Christians because there is so much more they should be doing. It is also true that even when doing good works or worshipping, Christians are spreading the message to those around them. So, evangelism happens even when it is does not seem the most important thing for a Christian. AO1 3 Marks AO2 12 Marks Total 15 Marks The response should be read and judged as a whole against the levels of response for AO1 and AO2. Candidates do not need to have met all of the bullet points at a level. A judgment is made of the best fit for a response. The candidate has offered an informative response which addresses the issue in the stimulus. The focus on today is not strong but the discussion points offered about importance are good. There is a short but relevant conclusion. Referring to the levels of response for part e), the candidate has met the requirements of all the bullet points for AO1 Level 3. In particular, there is good use of sources of wisdom and authority. Biblical teaching, words of Jesus, knowledge of denominational practice are all examples of this. The final bullet point is less well addressed and probably matches the description at Level 2 as the focus on today is not strong. However, best fit and positive awarding mean that Level 3 is selected. Referring the levels of response for AO2, the candidate s response matches the major strap line for Level 4. There is a well-developed and sustained line of reasoning which is coherent, relevant and logically structured. A better response could be imagined but for a 16 year old in the time frame of roughly minutes, taking account of some time for planning, this is a good response. The response can be judged to have addressed all the bullet points but not in equal depth. However this unevenness does not inhibit the overall judgement about the mark within the level because there is sufficient evidence of achievement at Level 4. Referring to the Bullet points at Level 4: A variety of viewpoints have been explored with a good use of reasoned argument and discussion. Three points of view are explored and there is a good use of reasoned argument for each. There is good analysis and evaluation of the significance and/or influence of the issue on different Christian groups. The significance of each view for Christians, who hold that view, is explained. There is evidence of critical evaluation including comment on, and comparison of, arguments from different Christian groups. Comments are made about each view and there is some comparison. Evidence of judgement on the issue in the stimulus and a balanced conclusion to the discussion. There is evidence of judgement on the issue in the stimulus throughout the response for example; in the paragraph about the importance of worship, where the importance of the Eucharist is weighed against that of evangelism. There is a balanced conclusion to the discussion. The candidate notes that the statement is true for some but not all Christians and suggests that being a Christians is about more than just being an evangelist. As well as pointing out that evangelism is implicit in all activities of Christians. The response can be judged to have addressed all the bullet points but not in equal depth. However this unevenness does not inhibit the overall judgement about the mark within the level because there is sufficient evidence of achievement at Level 4. 9

10 Candidate 2 Medium level answers to Question 1 Question 1 (a) (a) Describe what is meant by the term agape. [3] Agape means love. Different kinds of love have different names and agape is one of them. It s love like Jesus showed. AO1 1 mark Each three mark question is point marked, according to the marking instructions in the Mark Scheme. For a question with the command word Describe, responses should consist of a short statement, a development of the description and further development or exemplification. Short statements are essential in order to keep to time. The first statement gains a mark as it is a correct description of the meaning of Agape. The second statement however does not add anything to the description of the meaning the term. The third statement is too vague to be credited with a mark. It would have been creditable if an example of what Jesus showed had been given. For example It s love like Jesus showed when he healed the leper. 10

11 Question 1 (b) (b) What do Christians mean when they describe God as personal? [3] When Christians describe God as personal they mean that it is possible to have a personal relationship with him as you would with other people. For example, in the story of Adam and Eve, God gets angry with them for sinning. Christians also believe God is personal because Jesus called God Father and taught his followers to do the same in the Lord s prayer. AO1 3 marks Although there is no command word for this question, it clearly demands a short description. Three appropriate statements are offered which describe what Christians mean when they say God is personal. The first statement describes the meaning and the second and third statements are development and exemplification. 11

12 Question 1 (c) (c) Outline one Christian teaching about why there is sin in the world. [3] Christian teaching says that sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden. Some Christians say that sin is the result of bad choices. This can happen because God gave people free will to choose between right and wrong. AO1 1 mark The question asks for an outline of one teaching. This sort of response is marked in a similar way to a short description but the requirement to offer only one teaching means that the description must be a development of that teaching alone. Only the first teaching offered in a response can be credited. Only the first point in this response can be credited because the second and third points, whilst correct are not a development of the first point but of a new teaching/idea. 12

13 Question 1 (d) (d) Explain why Christians consider Easter to be an important festival in the Christian Church. [6] Christians celebrate Jesus birth at Christmas and his death and coming back to life at Easter. These are both important festivals. The last week of Jesus life including his crucifixion is remembered during what Christians call Holy Week and then his coming back to life on the Sunday is remembered at Easter. This is known as the resurrection. Easter is an important festival for Christians as it reminds them of how his friends, who were sad because Jesus had been killed, found his tomb empty and then how happy they were when they saw him alive again. Jesus resurrection is also an important belief for Christians because they believe they will be raised from the dead as well. Jesus death takes their sin away and they can have life after death. Some Christians concentrate more on this belief and emphasise the events of Good Friday but others think Easter is the really important festival as it celebrates the new life Christians can expect after death. This is why people have Easter eggs which are a symbol of new life. The message of Easter helps Christians to cope with the prospect of death. AO1 3 Marks AO2 1 Mark Total 4 Marks The candidate has referred to reason for Easter being an important festival because of the historical event of the resurrection. The response should be read and judged as a whole against the levels of response for AO1 and AO2.Candidates do not need to have met each of the bullet points at a level. A Judgment is made of the best fit for a response. Referring to the Levels of Response for part d), this candidate has, within the limits of what can reasonably be expected of a 16 year old and within the time constraints of the question, met the requirements of four of the bullet points at Level 3 for AO1. This is sufficient for the response to be judged to be Level 4 overall. There is: Adequate understanding of the question shown by some use of religious knowledge in referring to the crucifixion and resurrection narrative. Selection of appropriate material with superficial explanation and/or description. Appropriate material is selected and there is some accurate explanation of the importance of what has been selected. The first part of the response is repetitious however and the candidate could have been more concise which would help time management. Adequate knowledge and understanding of the breadth and/or depth of the issues shown by demonstrating briefly both the importance of Easter as a celebration of the event of the resurrection and as reminder of the religious significance of the event for Christians today. Adequate knowledge and understanding of the influence on individuals, communities and societies is shown by referring to the importance of the resurrection for Christians as they face their own death. Adequate knowledge and understanding of different viewpoints within Christianity is shown by a superficial reference to the different emphasis between Christians who concentrate in the events of Good Friday and those who emphasise Easter. AO2 is judged to be Level 1 because there is some analysis and evaluation of the importance of Easter. 13

14 Question 1 (e) (e) Evangelism should be the most important thing for Christians today. Discuss this statement. In your answer, you should: Analyse and evaluate the importance of points of view, referring to common and divergent views within Christianity Refer to sources of wisdom and authority. [15] Spelling, punctuation and grammar [3] Christians want other people to join their religion. This is known as evangelism. It means spreading the good news. The good news is the teaching of Jesus and also what Christians believe about why his life and death are important to people today. Jesus died for the sins of the world and because of that God will accept sinners into heaven. People who accept this will be saved. This is important news and Jesus told his followers that they must spread it to all nations. Many people today are not religious and others belong to other religions. Some Christians believe that unless people become Christians they will not go to heaven. This is because Jesus said he was the way to God. Some Christians believe that the bad things that happen in the world are because people are not following Jesus and that they need to evangelise people in order to make the world a better place. Sometimes, because evangelism means so much to some Christians, they will invite people to special meetings where they hear the Bible or a sermon about the gospel. They may even run missions and huge rallies as well as go on the radio or TV. Some evangelical protestant Christian groups favour these. Christianity is not all about telling others about the faith. It might have been the most important thing at the beginning when the first Christians started the church but not now the religion is established. For example Christians should follow Jesus teaching and he spent his life helping others so Christians should do the same. They might give money to a charity like Christian Aid or they might spend their spare time helping to run a church youth club. Probably the best way to evangelise is by being like Jesus and helping others rather than by just talking about the religion. Some Christians such as Monks or Nuns believe they should spend their time in worship and prayer. For them, following the rule of their religious order may be more important than anything else. Going to Church is important for Christians and worshipping God. This keeps their faith alive and it s good to meet others who believe the same and to share communion with them. Jesus said his followers should do this. In the Roman Catholic church this is called mass and it is a really important thing for Roman Catholics to do because of what they believe happens to the bread and the wine during the service. 14

15 In conclusion it can be seen that there are different views in Christianity about what is important today. Most Christians believe it is important but not the most important. Some may even feel that in a multireligious world it s wrong to try to convert others to your religion. It s better to live a Christian life and let people make up their own minds. AO1 2 Marks AO2 8 Marks Total 10 Marks The response should be read and judged as a whole against the levels of response for AO1 and AO2. Candidates do not need to have met all of the bullet points at a level. A judgment is made of the best fit for a response. The candidate has addressed the issue in the stimulus. There is a focus on today and several views are offered. However the evaluation and comparison of the views is uneven. There is a relevant conclusion. The first paragraph contains some repetition which wastes time. A few minutes spent planning the response pays dividends in terms of organisation and the good use of the time available. Referring the Levels of response for Part e), the candidate has met the requirements of all the bullet points for AO1 Level 2. The response is an adequate but under-developed demonstration of knowledge and/or understanding in response to the question. There is an adequate understanding of the question shown by some use of religious knowledge. There are references to sources of wisdom and authority. For example Jesus teaching is mentioned in sufficient detail as is following the rule of religious order. There is adequate knowledge and understanding of different viewpoints within Christianity for example between Roman Catholics and Evangelical Protestant Christians. There is a range of knowledge which is general and underdeveloped offered. Although this aspect is not well developed the evidence matches the bullet point for Level 3 rather than Level 2 because views are more than just stated. There is adequate but underdeveloped analysis and evaluation of the significance and/or influence of the issue on some Christian groups. This is evident for each view expressed but it is not fully developed or explored by the candidate. There is some evidence of comment on, and comparison of, arguments, for example in the paragraph referring to the view that following Jesus example is most important. Evidence of judgement on the issue in the stimulus and some conclusion to the discussion. There is a brief appropriate conclusion which refers back to an observation in the paragraph about following Jesus example. Despite the tendency in this response to give a simple account of views with only some analysis and evaluation, the variety of views expressed, the quality of the evidence and the conclusion allow it to be judged as Level 3. There are characteristics which suggest Level 2 such as the lack of comparison between views and judgement upon them. This suggests the response should be judged worthy of the lower or the middle mark at Level 3. Positive awarding allows the higher of the two marks to be awarded. 8 marks. Referring the Levels of response for AO2, the candidate s response matches the strap line for Level 3. An adequate but under-developed attempt to respond to the stimulus. Referring to the Bullet points at Level 3: Different viewpoints offered with some evidence of reasoned argument and/or discussion. Several points of view are explored in a factual way. There is some evidence of reasoned argument for the points which are 15

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