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Philosophy, Religion & Ethics

At Ashlyns, we teach Philosophy, Religion and Ethics according to statutory requirements, ensuring that we adhere to the locally agreed guidelines for all Key Stages.

We realise the value of PRE to students, as they prepare to become part of a multi-faith, multi-ethnic society. We teach them to respect, through learning and debate, the difference and similarities between different faiths, whilst ensuring that they appreciate how British values have developed through evolving moral and ethical dilemmas.

As they progress through the school, students have the opportunity to go on trips to places of worship, listen to guest speakers or to go to Philosophy and Ethics conferences, where students get the opportunity to listen to many prominent philosophers and ethicists who influence society today.

In addition to this, in school re run a popular debating club that is open to all, which allows students to debate issues of the day, not just from a philosophical perspective, but from a political perspective as well.

Key Stage 3

Years 7 and 8

At Key Stage 3, we teach all of the six main world religions, in addition to Humanism. We try to make sure that students understand the link between faith and the believer, and how what an individual believes impacts upon the way that they live their lives.

The curriculum is taught by an enthusiastic team who are committed to students and ensure that lessons are balanced and interesting.

Year 7

  • The importance of symbolism in religion and in life
  • Christianity
  • Sikhism
  • Hinduism

Year 8

  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Humanism
  • Buddhism

Key Stage 4

Years 9, 10 and 11

At Ashlyns, we appreciate the value of an all-inclusive approach to education, and as such offer all students the opportunity to sit a full course GCSE at the end of Year 11.

We start year 9 looking at philosophy and ethics, building upon some of the ideas that we looked at in the last term of year 8 in Humanism and Buddhism.

We also feel that looking at “Big questions” helps prepare students for starting their GCSE studies in the second half of the autumn term.

The GCSE examination is split into two papers, and we follow the specification as laid out by the Edexcel board:

Paper 1 looks at Religion and Ethics. Students must study all four content sections based upon the centres chosen religion (Christianity). Paper 1 gives students and insight into the ethical decision making process in Britain, as well as understanding the varying arguments surrounding many current issues, such as euthanasia, abortion etc.

Topic 1 – Christian Beliefs

Topic 2 – Marriage and the family

Topic 3 – Living the Christian Life

Topic 4 – Matters of life and death

Paper 2 looks at Religion, Peace and Conflict. Students study all four content sections based upon our chosen religion, and this must be a different religion to the Paper 1 choice, our choice is Islam, as we feel that this will provide students an insight into the religion, as well as creating greater understanding.

Students will look at the impact of both Christianity and Islam in the UK, but also on the world stage.

Topic 1 – Muslim Beliefs

Topic 2 – Crime and punishment

Topic 3 – Living the Muslim life

Topic 4 – Peace and Conflict.

Purpose of the course: To acquire knowledge and develop understanding of beliefs, values and traditions of one or more religions. Students learn how to consider the views held by other religions and how this might shape their responses to certain situation. They will be able to relate the beliefs, values and experiences of others to your own experience of life. Both this course and the style of examination techniques used will support other GCSE courses that are offered at Ashlyns.

Key Stage 5

In this course students will develop an interest and understanding of some of the fundamental questions of human life. They will gain an insight into how human beings try to answer them, something which might shape how they see society and yourself. Students will begin to explore what it means to be a human being.

Content and Assessment Overview

The Advanced GCE in Religious Studies consists of three externally examined papers. Students are required to choose three papers from a choice of four available from the OCR examination board. Students must complete all assessment in May/June of year 13.

They will meet with examiners and philosophers to help them with their studies and have access to resources created by staff and the exam board. In addition to this philosophical and Religious Studies journals and text books will be made available to them by the LRC.

They will attend the Vardy conferences to direct and extend their knowledge of varying aspects of the course, as well as being given the opportunity to participate in debates with students from all over the country.

At Ashlyns, we will study the following:

The topics and elements of the OCR course that we have chosen for students, are directly related to the specialisms of the A level teachers in the department.

Paper 1 – Philosophy of Religion

Philosophical issues and questions; The nature and influence of religious experience; Problems of evil and suffering; Philosophical language; Works of scholars; Influences of developments in religious belief.

Paper 2 – Religion and Ethics

Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics; a study of three ethical theories; Application of ethical theories to issues of importance; Ethical language; Deontology; Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars; Medical ethics – beginning and end of life issues.

Paper 3 – Developments in Religious Studies

Religious beliefs, values and teachings; Sources of wisdom and authority; Practices that shape and express religious identity; Social and historical developments; Works of scholars; Religion and society; Primary texts.