Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics)

Contact Teacher: Mrs C Duke

Exam Board: OCR


The way in which the RE curriculum is designed specifically to promote ‘life in all its fullness.’ Religious Education allows students to explore religion, philosophy, and worldviews, expressing and communicating ideas and gaining and deploying a range of valuable, transferable skills that will be useful for all students. Students advance these skills as they progress through the various key stages, with a focus on knowledge and explanation, influence and impact, and evaluation. RE contributes dynamically to students’ education by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. Students will have the opportunity to discuss real issues that impact the society we live in; from racism in sport to examining the aims of punishment in the criminal justice system. Through engaging lessons, enrichment opportunities and adaptive teaching, we work hard as a team to ensure all students are able to flourish and truly experience ‘life in all its fullness’.

Religious Education Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Religious Studies curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

RE Learning Journey

Why study Philosophy and Ethics?

Philosophy and Ethics rigorously explores essential areas for understanding the world. It is incredibly interesting and highly regarded. It equips students and helps them develop essential skills, including high level thinking skills and the capacity to delve with perception into issues of global, international, national and personal significance. It is highly beneficial for any career, such as a career relating to the justice system, teaching, journalism, politics and much more.

Over two years, we will look at everything from Plato to Aristotle, as well as genetics, animal rights, environmental concerns, business studies, medicine and law. It provides an opportunity to explore a range of beliefs in depth and to discuss many important ethical issues.

Course details

There will be a focus on the following three areas:

Component 1: Philosophy of Religion

Including ancient philosophical influences, the nature of the soul, mind and body, the nature and impact of religious experience, the problem of evil and issues in religious language.

Component 2: Religion & Ethics

Including normative ethical theories, the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance, ethical language, conscience, sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought on religious beliefs.

Component 3: Developments in Religious Thought

Including exploring religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world. Exploring sources of religious wisdom and authority, practices which shape religious identity, significant social and historical developments in theology and key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

How the course is taught and assessed

The course is delivered through a variety of teaching and learning styles. Pupils will learn through co-construction, debate, the use of media and independent, inquiry based learning. During the course students have the opportunity to participate in engaging workshops with other schools. The A level is assessed through three, two- hour written papers, testing knowledge, analysis and evaluation.

Entry requirements

Students should have gained grades 6 or above in English and Humanities subjects, as the ability to construct a good argument on paper is essential.