Philosophy, Religion and Ethics


Year 9

All pupils study Philosophy, Religion and Ethics in Year 9 for one hour a week.  We have designed a course that offers our pupils an opportunity to look at new and challenging material with the focus not just on knowing and understanding ideas but being able to offer some personal response, regardless of their religious or non-religious conviction.

We currently study material relating to the following:  Reality and Truth, Is religion a force for good in the world or a cause of conflict?  Arguments for the existence of God and their challenges, the question of Miracles, and our ‘super curriculum’.  As part of the ‘Super Curriculum’, we shall be working with the History department looking at different aspects of the Holocaust.

GCSE – Year 10 + 11  AQA Religious Studies

All students have the opportunity to do Religious Studies at GCSE Level as an option. The course followed is the AQA A syllabus, which is examined with two papers, each one lasting an hour and ¾.

Paper 1

  • Christianity (beliefs, teachings and practices).
  • Judaism (beliefs, teachings and practices).

Paper 2

  • Religion and Life– the origin and value of the Universe and Life – including Scientific and Religious beliefs about the origin of human life, the sanctity of life, abortion, euthanasia and death and the afterlife.
  • Religion, Crime and Punishment– causes of crime, the aims of punishment, the treatment of criminals and capital punishment – the principle of utility and the sanctity of life.
  • Religion, peace and conflict– including different religious attitudes towards violence, terrorism and war. Responses such as forgiveness, reconciliation and justice.
  • The existence of God and Revelation – here pupils revisit aspects of religious belief concerning the reasons people believe in God as well as what they believe about God.

A LEVEL – OCR Religious Studies

A Level RS remains a popular choice in Year 12 and Year 13.  We follow the new OCR course ‘Philosophy, Ethics and Developments in Christian Theology’.  This A Level will be examined by three, two-hour exams where students will be expected to complete three essays in each.

Students are expected to support the work we do in lessons with extensive studies in their study periods and work at home.  A schedule of work for private study is provided and students are expected to complete tasks to support what we do in lessons.

Year 12

Three papers are studied:

  • Philosophy of Religion– which includes: arguments for the existence of God, questions to do with body, mind and soul, the influence of ancient Greek philosophers, religious experience as well as the problem of evil and arguments for the existence of God.
  • Religion and Ethics– which includes: different approaches to deciding on right and wrong (deontological and teleological, religious and non-religious) as well as applying these to the issues of Euthanasia and Business Ethics.
  • Developments in Christian Thought– which includes: Christian teaching on human nature and the afterlife, their sources of authority, the person of Jesus and how these beliefs shape Christian’s moral lives.

Students will be expected to repeat these topics when completing their A2 exams at the end of Year 13.

Year 13

  • Philosophy of Religion– Issues concerning the Nature of God and Religious Language.
  • Religion and Ethics– debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience, sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.
  • Developments in Christian Thought– Religious pluralism, society and theology, gender, society and theology, the challenge of secularism and liberation theology and Marx,


Head of Department: Mrs K Short
Other Teaching Staff: Mrs F Habgood
Miss S Thomas
Sept 2019