Ethics and Philosophy

‘It doesn’t really make a difference what religion is right. What really matters is the one I choose to believe in. Because that’s the one that helps me get through the day and back to my bed at night”

At Key Stage 3 we study a range of concepts from various religions’ beliefs. The intention is not to promote any single religion but to give students an understanding of what it means to be religious and how that belief has an impact on the believer’s everyday life. Our young people are growing up in an increasingly multi-cultural country where religion is frequently in the news and, especially with Islamophobia, we want to enable our students to make their own minds up about the truth of what is reported. In Year 9 we study a range of issues which anyone, religious or not, may be faced with in life. Our intention is to help our students find a code by which to live their lives in the best way they can.

Course content

In Years 7 and 8 we study a wide range of concepts like: Is there a God? How do believers express their beliefs? Inspirational people. Rites of Passage – memorable events from birth to death. Rules and sources of authority. What does it mean to be human? Where did the universe come from and why? Where do we go when we die? In Year 9 we study issues relevant to modern life: Relationships and marriage; the problem of evil and suffering; prejudice and discrimination. These issues also feed into our GCSE course.

Skills developed

As well as the obvious skills such as identifying, describing, explaining and evaluating, in our cultural studies lessons we aim to develop literacy and oracy skills by encouraging the students to ask questions about issues, debate different opinions and suggest answers to troubling questions. By the end of the key stage we want them to be able to articulate personal and critical responses to a range of important religious and moral issues, recognising the perspectives of others.