The RS: Philosophy and Ethics curriculum is designed and centred around our students. We recognise the importance of inclusive, rigorous and relevant content, which can help students develop and acquire a better understanding of the role that different religions and cultures play in today’s pluralistic world. Adopting a mixture of thematic and religious approach to our schemes of work allows students to apply, compare and contrast some of the world’s major beliefs, religious and secular, to some of the ‘Big Issues’ we are faced on a day-to-day basis.
Differentiated lessons and safe space within the classroom allow students to explore these issues and develop tolerance and respect for the communities in which we live. Fundamental to their understanding is their religious literacy, which is developed through structured key term and spelling tests and wider reading opportunities (particularly at Key Stage 4 and 5). Throughout all the Key Stages, Religious Studies provides students with the opportunity to debate and discuss thereby improving their ability to articulate verbally as well as enabling them to develop their extended writing skills.
The curriculum in Key Stage 3 supplies students with an initial understanding of the multicultural society in which we live and the key skills in which to discover more about the world and their individual place within this. From this early stage, we encourage students to be independent learners, both within and outside of the classroom environment. Students are exposed to 6 principal religions throughout Key Stage 3 and examine Christianity within all year groups. As the Key Stage progresses, students will have a sound understanding of a variety of religious and non-religious views and will be able to begin asking the big questions in life and make decisions around ethical and moral dilemmas.
As students’ progress into Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, they are given the opportunity to explore these bigger questions on a deeper level through the study of Philosophy and Ethics, sharpening critical thinking alongside developing a student’s ability to think and theorise through issues themselves; skills which are imperative to development later in life. At Key Stage 4, students undertake an in-depth study of Christianity and Buddhism building on the work from Key Stage 3. Students will be able to apply Christian, Buddhist, non-religious and their own views to a range of ethical and philosophical questions such as, Existence of God, Evil & Suffering, Capital Punishment and Poverty to name a few. Our Key Stage 5 curriculum continues to build on learning from Key Stage 3 and students examine in detail Philosophers from the UK and across the world. We aim to give students exposure to a variety of key philosophical and ethical concepts such as Religious Experience, Natural Law, Language, Meta-Ethics and a detailed study of Buddhism.
Across the curriculum students will develop skills to be lifelong learners: oracy, research, empathy, understanding, critical thinkers, lateral thinkers, self-understanding and reflection.