Religious Studies, Philosophy & Ethics
Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is an integral subject in developing students’ knowledge and understanding within the multi-cultural and diverse world in which we live.
Our vision is to allow students to develop key skills for learning and life beyond education. Students will gain a deeper understanding of religions and explore philosophy and ethics in the modern world. Our subject develops students’ skills such as critical thinking and reasoning; it encourages them to participate through in-depth debates.
Studying Religion, Philosophy and Ethics helps us to understand other people’s beliefs, what their beliefs and values are and why they do the things they do. It helps us to think about our own beliefs as well as looking at alternative belief systems we might want to find out about in the future. Religion, Philosophy and Ethics helps us to think about big questions which people sometimes ask about life. We can look at some of the answers philosophers have come up with over the last five thousand Years.
We have high expectations of our students and provide a variety of opportunities for them to engage with the subject through our teaching and learning methods. Students are able to enjoy and achieve in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics through activities such as group work, role play, research and debate. We also focus on developing the students to become independent students by encouraging them to have a growth mind-set and foster a love of learning for the subject.
Some of the most important figures in history, and in the modern-world, have studied Religious Studies and Philosophy and Ethics such as T.S.Elliot, Carol-Ann Duffy and Martin Luther King Jr. Our aim is to inspire our students to understand the importance of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Ethics in today’s world whilst ensuring they gain the best possible results at all key stages.
KS3 Religious Studies
Students receive two hours per fortnight in Religious Studies. All sets are mixed ability.
During the course of Key Stage 3 Religious Studies is looked at from a perspective of all the major six religions; Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Students follow the Hertfordshire Agreed syllabus, a recent change from the QCA Key Stage 3 specifications. The syllabus is intended to be a foundation providing a wider understanding for the Key Stage 4 GCSE. Each topic lasts for half a term and is assessed by an end of module assessment.
Examples of topics studied are:
- Year 7: Introduction to Religion, Philosophy and Ethics; The Island; Questions of Life: An introduction to Philosophy; Jesus (Man or God?); Sikhism (Individual and Community); Christian Justice.
- Year 8: Judaism; Life after Death; Is there peace in power? (Gandhi and Martin Luther King); Christianity; Islam.
- Year 9: Buddhism; Suffering and Evil; Is it ever right to fight?; A Life for a Life?; GCSE RS: AQA – Introduction: Diversity within Judaism
Homework is set on a fortnightly basis, alternating between written tasks and literacy specific tasks to widen knowledge through reading and vocabulary extension
KS4 Religious Studies, Philosophy & Ethics
Students follow the AQA A syllabus.
Students will study the beliefs and teachings & practices of two religions: Christianity & Judaism (Component 1). In addition, Component 2 will cover 4 themes within religion, philosophical and ethics in the modern world through the religion of Christianity.
Skills and Progression Routes
On completion of the course, students will have developed a number of skills including:
- Describing, explaining and analysing sources
- Using evidence and reasoned argument to express and evaluate different religious beliefs, teachings and practices
- Debating moral and ethical issues within the contemporary world
- Explaining the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning
- Recognising how differences in belief lead to differences of religious response
- Communicating their ideas using key vocabulary
Progression Routes & Career Opportunities
Philosophy and Ethics opens a variety of doors and will aid students into further study at A Level and beyond. The skill-set developed can help students to move into a large number of possible professions such as:
- Police Service
- Social Work
- Civil service
- International relations
- Charity Work
- Public Relations
Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics) | OCR
Religious Studies A-Level is a 2 year course that gives students a greater understanding of Ethical and Philosophical ideas and theories, from Plato to current theorists. This is a valuable A-Level in terms of academic development, understanding legal and Philosophical concepts and understanding the contemporary world. This course will provide an excellent basis for University study.
Students study 3 components:
Component 1 – The Study of Religion: Christianity; religious beliefs; values; teachings; sources of wisdom and authority including significant social and historical developments in religious thought; the works of two key scholars; the relationship between religion and society
Component 2 – Philosophy of Religion: arguments about the existence or non-existence of God; religious experience; challenges to religious belief; philosophical language including how religious language has changed over time; the works of two key scholars; how the study of philosophy of religion has been influenced by religious beliefs and practices
Component 3 – Ethics and Religion: ethical language; normative ethical theories; application of ethical theories to sex and sexuality and euthanasia including how ethical language has changed over time; the works of two key scholars; how the study of ethics has been influences by religious beliefs & practices
3 written exams (one for each topic studied)
Religious Studies will enable students to progress across all employment areas, from the Police and legal areas to retail and tourism. From the skills students gain in this subject, the wealth of information, the ability to evaluate concepts and ideas as well as debate and ‘prove’ concepts all lead this to be a respected A-Level across universities and employment areas.
Students will be provided with one core text book which will cover all 3 examined units. However, students are encouraged to purchase / borrow supplementary texts that will broaden their knowledge and understanding.
Students will require 5 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent, to include English. However, students who have achieved GCSE grade B in RS will be better prepared to meet the course demands