The Philosophy and Ethics team is part of the humanities faculty. In Philosophy and Ethics students get the opportunity to ask, research and answer the big questions in life from KS3 right through to KS5. We believe that we can help students develop into well rounded citizens of a global community.
Our aim is to turn Philosophy from a subject students have to do, into a subject that students want to do. We have designed the curriculum so that it is both engaging and relevant to the students we teach. It is vital that students can relate to the content we teach, with this in mind each religion taught at KS3 is put into real world context.
- Ben Butlin – Subject Leader (Walnut Tree)
- Nick Bates – Assistant Subject Leader (Brooklands)
- Jeff Spivak – Philosophy Teacher (Walnut Tree)
- Charlotte Chisem – Philosophy Teacher (Walnut Tree)
- Hayley Ehioze-Ediae – Philosophy Teacher (Walnut Tree)
- Philippa Moran – Philosophy Teacher (Brooklands)
Alex Hills – Philosophy Teacher and Head of Year 10 (Walnut Tree)
Key Stage 3
In this course students develop their understanding of the 6 major world religions. They are able to look at these religions as ways of answering the big questions in life. Students are also able to see how the different religions developed and how they grew out of each other. The course is the same for students at both Walnut Tree and Brooklands campus.
||Year 7: Ultimate Questions
Students are given the opportunity to investigate different ultimate questions, how we answer them and the difficulty in answering them. Students select an ultimate question and investigate different answers to that question from a variety of sources including religion and science.
Year 8: Judaism
Students study Judaism. They will look at the key beliefs including the oneness of God. They will also investigate the Exodus story and Passover. Students will be required to look at the events of the Holocaust and the impact this has had on people’s faith in God. Students will answer an assessment question on the Holocaust. This is to give students a chance to reflect on the problem of evil and suffering and different ways in which people respond in different situations.
Year 7: Hinduism
Once year 7 have completed their Ultimate Questions they will move on to study Hinduism. They will investigate some of the stories in Hinduism and will also look at reincarnation and the caste system. This will give students the opportunity to reflect on how society operates and the implication of ideas such as reincarnation on people’s lives.
||Year 7: Buddhism
In Buddhism students will consider how mindfulness can help us live a happy life. Students will begin considering the life of the Buddha, following his shock at discovering death and illness and consider the solutions that he found to the suffering that life causes. Students will have an opportunity to practice meditation and consider how to apply these ideas to the modern world.
Year 8: Christianity
Christianity is one of the main religions students will study at GCSE. This unit is designed to give students that vital background information. Students focus will be on the life of Jesus and his teachings. They will investigate art as a way of expressing personal belief. They will also apply the teachings of Jesus to modern life.
||Year 7: Sikhism
Students will look at how Sikhs put equality and selflessness into action. They will begin looking at inequality in the world and then go on to study how different Sikh beliefs such as the Mool Mantra and the wearing of the 5 Ks manifest belief in equality. Students will then have the opportunity to use all of their knowledge from the year to answer how to live a happy life.
Year 8: Islam
Islam is one of the main religions students will study at GCSE. This unit is designed to give students that vital background information. Students will look at the key beliefs and the issues within the religion including crime and punishment, terrorism and religious moral laws. This unit investigates issues facing Islam in the 21st century.
Key Stage 4
Students will study the AQA Religious Studies A course. At the end of the course students will receive a full GCSE in Religious Studies. The course asks them to investigate 2 religions (Islam and Christianity) in detail and to apply these to 4 ethical themes.
||Year 9: Christianity – Beliefs and Teachings
Students will look at the key beliefs and teachings in Christianity, including what happens when we die and finding salvation through Jesus’ teachings.
Year 10: Families and Relationships
Students look at sexual relationships, marriage, divorce, gender equality, the role of the family and same sex relationships. They will also look at religious attitudes to these issues.
Year 11: Christianity – Beliefs, Teaching and Practices
Completing our study of Christian beliefs before moving onto an investigation of Christian practices and how Christians put their beliefs into action. This topic includes looking at the sacraments and the role of the local and global church.
||Year 9: Christianity – Practices
An investigation of Christian practices and how Christians put their beliefs into action. This topic includes looking at the sacraments and the role of the local and global church.
Year 10: Christianity – Beliefs and Teachings
Students will look at the key beliefs and teachings in Christianity, including what happens when we dies and salvation through Jesus.
Year 11: Islam – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices
Students will look at the key beliefs and teachings in Islam, including the creation of the world and what happens when we die. Students will then go onto investigate how Muslims put their beliefs into action. This includes, different rites of passage and the purpose of prayer.
||Year 9: Islam – Beliefs and Teachings
Students will look at the key beliefs and teachings in Islam, including the creation of the world and what happens when we die.
Year 10: Christianity – Practices
Students will look at the practices in Christianity including baptism, communion and charity work.
Year 11: Revision
This time will be dedicated to helping students prepare for their final exam. There will be revision time dedicated to each topic studied throughout the three years of study.
Students study the Edexcel A level course. This course requires students to study three topics (Philosophy, Ethics and New Testament). Students will sit three exams each lasting 2 hours and each on one of the topics studied. At the end of the course students will receive and A level in Religious Studies.
||Topic 1: Philosophical issues and questions
Topic 2: The nature and influence of religious experience
Topic 3: Problems of evil and suffering
Topic 4: Religious Language
Topic 5: Works of Scholars
Topic 6: Influences of developments in religious belief
||Topic 1: Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics
Topic 2: A study of three ethical theories
Topic 3: Application of ethical theories to issues of importance
Topic 4: Ethical language
Topic 5: Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars
Topic 6: Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues
||Topic 1: Social, historical and religious context of the New Testament
Topic 2: Texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus
Topic 3: Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship
Topic 4: Ways of interpreting the scripture
Topic 5: Texts and interpretation: the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus
Topic 6: Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the works of scholars