Philosophy & Ethics

Curriculum Intent Statement

The intent of Religious Studies is to provide varied and enriching lessons that effectively prepare our students for life in a culturally diverse modern world. We aim to promote an awareness of the usefulness of Religious Studies to everyday living, to encourage enthusiasm for interest in the study of other people’s beliefs and to promote mutual respect, tolerance and understanding across different cultures and communities.
Britain is a very diverse society; finding out about the beliefs and lifestyles of all people makes us think about what we believe and reflect on our own choices. This helps us to develop our own ideas and opinions, and ultimately shapes who we are. Learning to express our own beliefs and to listen to the views of others is an important life skill and this is something that the Religious Studies Department has a real passion for.

At Key Stage 3, Students in years 7 and 8 have Religious Studies lessons once a week, (every other half term), which results in 3 half terms for the full academic year. This will include the studies of the major religions of the world, a chance to delve into the world of philosophy, encouraging deeper thinking and improved writing skills.

In year 9 students have one lesson a week in half term 3 and half term 6. Their study will be dedicated to philosophy and ethics, encouraging skills that will equip them for life and further study, such as deeper thinking skills, questioning skills, communication, tolerance and understanding of differing views in the world today.

At Key Stage 4, Students have one lesson a week in half term 3 – this will be dedicated to the study of ethics, looking at current affairs such as animal rights, discrimination, and medical ethics. Students will be given the chance to explore legal, medical, religious and world views on different ethical topics.

In year 11 students have one lesson a week in half term 2. This allows students to lpok at more mature issues, from influential people and their contributions to our world, to New Religious Movements and how these differ from cults and sects.

If students choose Religious Studies as a GCSE option, they will have an additional 3 lessons of RS each week for the duration of KS4, all taught by specialist teachers. GCSE students will be following the AQA Syllabus: Specification A. They will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and develop valuable skills that will help prepare them for further study.
Students will study Christianity and Islam, which reflect the most followed religions in the local area. The first examination will focus on beliefs, teachings and practices in the two religions. The second exam will require study of four ethical issues: relationships and families, environmental issues, animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, peace and conflict, and crime and punishment. Students will study these perspectives from world views, current affairs, medical ethics and legal ethics.

At Key Stage 5 students who opt for Religious Studies A level have 4 lessons a week for the duration of KS5. Our A Level in Religious Studies provides a coherent and thought-provoking programme of study. Students develop their understanding and appreciation of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and the philosophy of religion.