Ethics and Philosophy

“Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not” – Isaiah Berlin

At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA syllabus which is closest to what we studied at Key Stage 3 in terms of issues. It is an academic subject and does require learning as well as personal opinion. The course provides a broad understanding of the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Islam, the main two faiths in the UK, as well as promoting religious literacy and the contemplation of ultimate questions.  Students will be able to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in light of what they have learnt.

We study relevant and contemporary themes that will promote awareness of modern-world issues.  Students will be challenged and hopefully inspired, whilst developing valuable skills sought after by higher education and employers.

Course content

There are two areas of study, Christianity: beliefs, teachings & practices and Islam: beliefs, teachings & practices. Here students find out beliefs about God, judgement and the afterlife. Differences of belief and practice within the two faiths are also studied; helping students understand that even within faiths there is disagreement about what is ‘right’. The other area of study consists of four themes chosen from six; we study relationships and families, religion & life, religion peace and conflict, and religion crime and punishment.

Skills developed

Students have to be able to read and interpret a variety of texts and religious teachings. They have to be able to learn, recall and apply factual information. Students further develop the skill started at Key Stage 3 to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject.


Description Length Percentage Comment
Paper 1: Christianity and Islam 1 hour 45 minutes 50%
Paper 2: Themes 1 hour 45 minutes 50%


A study of Religious Studies can lead to a career in areas such as:

  • Journalism
  • Charity organisations
  • Civil Service
  • Police
  • Medicine and many others.