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”

Fit For Life Through Cultural Studies

Diversity.  Inclusion. Tolerance. These are the qualities that our curriculum strives to imbue in our students. In a largely white, largely Christian area of the country, it is vital that our students are introduced to different cultures, beliefs and values in order to celebrate the differences and vibrancies of the world but also to appreciate the common values that we all share.

Skills and knowledge

In KS3 it is our intent to offer a broad sweep of topics and issues in what is a small amount of curriculum time. We want to ensure that our students are introduced to a range of different cultures and practices whilst at the same time providing a sound basis of knowledge and skills for curriculum progression . In Year 7 we begin by asking our students big, difficult questions about the nature of truth and God; in essence , philosophical questions to which there is not necessarily one correct answer, in order to establish the fact that this subject is not always about absolutes. Our analysis of Jesus Christ leads into us questioning heroes in the modern age, from the more vacuous celebrity culture to what makes a person truly great. In Year 8 we take the time to explore Sikhism so that the students experience at least one religion in depth but we return to breadth from that point onwards, touching upon Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism via rites of passage, relationships and the concept of suffering; topics chosen becaue they are relateable to our stduents but allow us to explore them through the lens of new and different cultures. 

In KS4 we have chosen Islam and Christianity as the two religiosn we focus on.  These are touched upon throughout KS3, alongside the other major world religions, but in such a way as to allow the “deep dive” in KS4 to spark some recognition in the students.   Islam and Chriustianity are at the forefront of many current affairs in the modern world and therefore provide ample opportunity to discuss  issues and events that go beyond the GCSE syllabus. 

Communication and community

A big influence on our KS3 curriculum is the concept of that which makes us different is less important than how we are similar; we are a community of mankind.  We see this subject as an important one for promoting good literacy and written skills; the ability to explain differing points of view with appropriate evidence to back up arguments is a skill of cross curricular importance. However, it is also our aim to provide the students with ample opportunity to debate and discuss and this is built into our schemes of work as not only an important means of communication but also of formative assessment.