Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Curriculum Team Leader:

Mrs Tara Askew (t.askew@tgs.starmat.uk)


Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics our specialist RPE staff teach using innovative learning styles alongside ICT.

Year 7 – Students focus on all three strands- Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. In term one students study, ‘An introduction to RPE: Believe it or not’, which incorporates Philosophy and Ethics and the reasons behind different degrees of belief or nonbelief. In term two students focus on ‘Who is Jesus’ and delve into the theology of the religion and look at the key events in his life. Finally, in term 3 students complete a Philosophy unit on ‘Ultimate questions’ . Students focus on key skills of debate and discussion on key aspects of life such as why are we here and what is after death.

Year 8 – Students complete all three strands of RPE once again. They begin by examining ‘The Philosophy of Buddhism’. As the only major faith not to believe in a God or higher being students look at the philosophy that encapsulates actions and practices for a better world, not one driven on pleasing a deity for a guaranteed afterlife. In term two students study ‘Philosophy and Ethics of Hinduism’. In a similar way to term one but with the added aspect of ethics, students learn to evaluate the importance of religion and the impact on people’s actions to be a better person. This ties in well with the school values and the importance of understanding who you are, who you want to be and how you can make a difference to others. Finally in term three students study, ‘The Philosophy of Evil and suffering’. In this they focus on interpretations of: right and wrong, why are we here, what is our purpose, are we free. Key philosophers are studied such as Plato, Aristotle, John Hick and Plantinga to name a few.

Key Stage 4

All students in years 9-11 study the AQA New 9-1 Specification. This covers the practices and beliefs of Christianity and Islam (Religion Paper 1) as well as an in depth study of religion and life, crime and punishment, peace and conflict and families and relationships (Themes Paper 2).
Students complete in year 9: Families and Relationships, Peace and conflict and Crime and Punishment. In year 10 students complete: Religion and Life, Islamic Beliefs and Practices. In year 11 Students complete: Christian Beliefs and Practices, then have time for revision.

Key Stage 5

Philosophy & Ethics

Year 12 – Students follow the new AQA A Level specification. As part of this specification they complete one unit on Philosophy and Ethics and one unit on Christianity. The philosophy and ethics unit covers the design argument, the cosmological argument, the ontological argument, evil, religious experience, natural law, situation ethics, virtue ethics, human life and death and animal life and death. The Christianity element covers sources of wisdom, God, death and afterlife, moral conduct and religious identity.

Year 13 – The A2 course for Philosophy includes the nature of religious language, religious experience, life and death, nature of God and miracles. In Year 13 students continue to study ethical theories, looking at other issues including Free will, Meta Ethics and the role of the conscience in ethical decision making and explain how free our moral decision making really is. Students also look at the language we use in ethical discussion and how we determine the meaning of words such as ‘good’. The Christianity unit covers gender, women’s rights, science and religion and the environment.