This is an updated mark scheme with particular examples to a unit entitled ‘How and Why do people worship?’ This is working towards developing both a student friendly explanation as well as a detailed explanation for staff/parents.
How and why do people worship – Mark scheme
Description – Level 4
Work at this level will focus mainly on describing what is going on, focusing on detail. The work will look at the factual description of what happens in worship in a variety of religions. Students will describe the key outline of the topic and will show a basic understanding of key religious concepts. Ideas are expressed simply.
e.g. Baptism is an event which takes place for new born Christians
e.g. Muslims worship in a mosque. Men and women worship on separate sides of the mosque hall. In some mosques women have to pray behind men or in a separate prayer space.
Explanation – Level 5
Work at this level will be able to explain what is going on. To do this students will show an ability to link a religious meaning to the events being discussed. Students may use PEE (point, evidence, explain) to explain the meaning of beliefs, actions and ideas focusing mainly on the symbolic meanings. Students will also begin to use more key terminology to further develop their argument.
e.g. Baptism is a rite of passage for new born children which welcomes them into the Christian faith.
e.g. A mosque can be quite plain inside. There are no pictures or statues of God. The reason for this is because Muslims believe that pictures and statues are blasphemous. Muslims believe that it is offensive to try and show Allah, who is wholly spirit, in physical form. They also think that any human attempt to create an image of Allah would be a very bad and poor version of him and so they reject any attempt to do so.
Analysis – Level 6
Work at this level begins to analyse the beliefs and actions and express them in terms of deeper spiritual and moral concepts. This means that ideas are developed and understood in a larger context within the religion itself or within society. Students will explore the key ideas that link to the topic, considering multiple theological/religious concepts expressed through event/topic. Students will support claims they make using a range of evidence.
e.g. Child baptism is a rite of passage for babies joining the Christian faith. This is seen through the actual baptism itself when the sign of the Cross, the key symbol of the Christian faith, is made on the baby’s forehead. Whilst the baby is too young to understand, it provides the baby with a larger family by welcoming them into the church. Therefore the service changes the identity of the child by providing a sense of belonging to a larger community of baptised people. This in turn develops the Christian identity as it continues to welcome people into the faith. Therefore baptism can be seen as reflective of the missionary and evangelistic nature of the religion, a characteristic commended by Jesus himself to the disciples.
e.g. A key characteristic of a mosque is the minaret tower. From here Muslims will be called to prayer. This teaches the believer and the surrounding community about Islam itself. For Muslims it is important to stop and attend the mosque worship. It serves as a reminder that the concerns and activities they are carrying out on Earth are nothing in comparison with the importance of worshipping Allah. The call to pray could also be considered as evangelistic as the striking sound of the call to prayer is heard by everyone. This reflects the Islamic understanding that all souls have access to Allah, as it was before Creation, however not all souls respond to that calling. However it is important in the Islamic faith that the calling is offered to all so all have the opportunity of worshiping Allah at least.
Linking ideas together – Level 7
Students will evaluate ideas in order to reach a conclusion using PEE to tie a number of ideas they have analysed in detail so as to reach a conclusion. Students will express their ideas as well, confidently using many key terms to express their answers eloquently. Students will go beyond merely expressing an opinion. They will use evidence and ideas in order to create a reasoned conclusion, theory or idea that is well argued, providing a persuasive developed argument. Some of the higher level answers may begin to recognise the strengths of different ideas, as well as considering bias arguments are exposed to.
e.g. Child baptism is a rite of passage for new born babies who are being welcomed into the Christian faith through the process described above. However, this is not an active choice on the part of the child. Instead it will have been developed as a rite of passage for the baby by the parents. We can see this further through the declarations the adults present have to make, that they will help and support the child who cannot answer for themselves. It is this lack of conscious choice on the part of the child that leads me to suggest that only adult baptisms are acceptable. In the adult baptism the person being baptised has more knowledge about the faith and community they are joining and the implications of the choice they are making. Children at times do not look at the long term effects of their actions – for example wanting to play around in lessons rather than consider the usefulness of schooling in later life. A baby is unaware of the social implications of their baptism – i.e. How they are viewed by others nor the implications for their own behaviour following the baptism.
However an adult is more conscious of these decisions and can therefore take the responsibility of faith on board as well as looking at the long term effects -access to heaven or, if they believe in Hell, the implication of an eternity in hell. Due to these reasons I would argue that an adult baptism would be more effective as it is a reasoned choice on the part of the believer, rather than an imposed parental decision given to the child to develop into a Christian.
e.g. Whilst Islamic worship may have many elements within it, it can be argued that this ritualistic approach which helps strengthens a believer’s faith and their understanding of their own faith. When Muslims enter the mosque they have to ensure that they have washed themselves. Whilst this ensures that they are clean before entering the mosque, I think it’s purpose is far deeper than that. This process forces them to concentrate on what they are doing and where they are. This pause between the secular world and the world of the mosque helps the believer become aware of the spiritual event they are about to engage in.
However it is possible to argue that ritual can replace the belief and that believers can become so wrapped up in their ritual that they forget the real reason why they are there. My own view is that intention has to be the key element of worship. Whilst one can be seen to do all the right things in the right order, this becomes pointless if the intention to worship is not present. However this is a view not necessarily shared by some religious communities. Ritual is a method of preserving tradition and becomes an identifier to separate the communities and to show a claim to religious truth. I can understand that communities do not want to lose this identification tool and therefore may prioritise ritual.
However as mentioned in the first paragraph, people can become easily distracted by the world around them. If a ritual is able to remind them of what they should be doing, then it serves a purpose of bringing people to worship and highlighting what the correct intention should be during that process of worship. Therefore this highlights the key principle of Islamic worship itself, the role of actively choosing to worship Allah. If worship is just ritual or is just sat in a quiet space, then it is not worship. Worship must include an active intention of dedicating time and space to Allah, something which ritual can aid.