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
KS5 Religious Studies / Philosophy & Ethics
2016/17 Current Year 12 : Religious Studies
Exam Board : OCR
Philosophical Language and Thought
- Ancient philosophy: Plato
- Aristotle and causation
- Soul, mind and body
- The existence of God: arguments based on observation
- The existence of God: arguments based on reason
- Religious experience
- The problem of evil
Religion and ethics
- Aquinas and natural law
- Situation ethics
- Kantian ethics
- Business ethics
Developments in Christian Thought
- Augustine on human nature
- Death and the afterlife
- Knowledge of God’s existence
- Jesus Christ
- Christian moral principles
- Christian moral action: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
2016/17 Current Year 13: Philosophy & Ethics – Exam Board: OCR
G571: Philosophy of Religion
Ancient Greek philosophy of religion
Judaeo-Christian influences on religion
Traditional arguments for the existence of God
Challenges to religious belief
G572: Religious Ethics and Ethical Theories
Applied ethics topics – the right to a child, euthanasia, genetic engineering, war and peace
G581: Philosophy of Religion
Religious language and Religious Experience
Nature of God, Miracles and Life after Death
G582: Religious Ethics, Meta-Ethics
Free will and determinism, Conscience, Virtue ethics
AS Unit 1: Examination (25%)
AS Unit 2: Examination (25%)
A2 Unit 3: Examination (25%)
A2 Unit 4: Examination (25%)
Potential Sectors of Employment
- Education and Training
- Business, Administration and Law
- Health, Public Services and Care
- Arts, Media and Publishing
- Social Sciences