'Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life' - The Buddha
Religion, Ethics and Philosophy go to the very core of what it means to be human. Through a variety of world faiths we can understand and empathise with others; we can find what links us all and find our own truths. Through Ethics we can explore what it means to be good and how we can put beliefs into action in the real world. Through Philosophy we can challenge ourselves to think deeply about the questions that concern us most.
In RE we look to explore all three aspects of the subject so that students learn about different beliefs, values and cultures that are relevant to the UK and our globalising world in the 21st century. We study all six major world religions as well as non-religious perspectives and encourage students to come to their own conclusions regarding the questions explored in lessons and beyond.
'We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience' - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
In Key Stage 3: The students will be exploring a number of key questions which allow them to learn about the six main world religions and other key beliefs and groups. Throughout this time each student will be developing four skills sets which we have identified as sitting at the heart of RE: Analysis & Reasoning; Explanation & Application; Investigation & Enquiry; Reflection & Empathy. These skills sets are introduced over the three years, starting with Analysis & Reasoning and Explanation & Application in Year 7.
In Year 7: Students learn about key beliefs from Buddhism, Islam and Christianity by putting key questions at the heart of their work. These are: Why did the Buddha teach what he did? The Five Pillars: What impact do they have in individual’s lives? Forgiveness: an impossible task? How do people express their spirituality?
In Year 8: Students ask a series of key questions from all six main world faiths starting with an exploration of whether or not religion can provide guidance for living in the modern world. The subsequent unit ask these questions: Why can’t we draw God? Good, bad, right, wrong: How can I decide? Life after death: does it exist? Happiness: is it the purpose to life?
In Year 9: Students focus more on key philosophical and ethical questions, starting with an analysis of the ways in which religion and science work together and work apart. The next unit considers the stories found in all religions with a focus on the story in the diary of Anne Frank and, subsequently, suffering and the Holocaust. Students then look at the many questions raised by the ethics of war and conflict and complete the year exploring the ways in which religion and society have developed.
Click on the button below to access Key Stage 3 Religious Education Resources
In Key Stage four: Students have the option to take the RE GCSE. We use the OCR Philosophy & Ethics specification which covers units such as Belief about Deity, Life After Death, Good and Evil, Medical Ethics and War, Peace and Justice. There are twelve units in total, studied over the two years, with four exams taken at the end of year 11.
We also run a Core Ethics course for all Year 10 and 11 students during one lesson a fortnight. Students explore key ethical themes of Genetic Engineering, Capital Punishment and the purposes of Punishment, Religion and the Media and a research task, chosen from a range of questions such as ‘Can you talk to the dead?’ and ‘Pooh’s Philosophy is the best Philosophy: Discuss.’
Click on the button below to access GCSE RE Resources
In Key Stage Five: We use the Edexcel RE: Philosophy & Ethics Course which is split into four main units. The first, Foundations, covers key themes in both Philosophy & Ethics, including arguments for the existence of God and theories such as Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics. The next, Investigations, gives the students the freedom to choose an area of study from either Philosophy or Ethics. In A2 we continue our study of key areas in Philosophy & Ethics with the unit, Developments, and complete the course with an anthology unit, Implications, which focuses on Philosophy.
Click on the button below to access KS5 RE Resources