Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Mrs C. Yeadon

Department staff:

C M Yeadon: Subject Leader

R Parmiter: Head of Year (Sixth Form)

S Tunnicliffe: Subject Teacher


Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE)


“A thought which is not independent is a thought only half understood.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein


“The unexamined life is not worth living.” –Socrates


Key Stage 3:

Overview of the course

Key Stage 3 RPE is a subject that builds empathy, understanding and respect in a world often characterised by diversity, conflict and change.  The Year 7 and 8 curriculum provides a unique opportunity to learn about, and from, cultures and people in an open, respectful and objective way.  It hopes to increase understanding about faith communities which are so often misrepresented by the extremists.  It celebrates the contributions religions and religious people have made to our world; but it also provides opportunities to critique certain beliefs, practices and structures. In Year 9 we explore Philosophy, Ethics and Philosophy of Religion. In line with the opening of the 2013 ‘Realising the Potential’ report, we agree that;

Religious education (RE) should make a major contribution to the education of children and young people. At its best, it is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It helps young people develop beliefs and values, and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society. It fosters civilised debate and reasoned argument, and helps pupils to understand the place of religion and belief in the modern world’.

What will I learn?

Some examples of content:


Year 7:



How can you be religious and not believe in God?

Who founded Buddhism?

What are the Three Marks of Existence?

What are the Four Noble Truths?

How do I reach Enlightenment?

Meditation – theory and practice.

Different types of Buddhism – why more than one?

Who is Aung San Sui Kyi?

Buddhism in Britain

What is so radial about Jesus?

Did he meet expectations?

What did he really teach?

Death and Resurrection?

Does living Biblically mean obeying the Bible?

Prayer and Worship.

Who was George Foxx?

Who was Margaret Clitheroe?

Christianity and York.

Year 8:




Monotheism or Polytheism?


Gods and Goddesses

Puja – One way to show devotion.




Who is the founder?

The Qur’an

What do Muslims really believe?

The Five Pillars

Malcolm X

Islam in Britain

In what ways is gender equality so admirably enforced by this faith?

What difference does it make to believe in….?

A book guru?

What was Guru Nanak’s aim?

Is a fighting force ever right?

How and why is faith reflected in dress?

Year 9:

Philosophy & Philosophy of Religion


Night by Elie Wiesel

What is real?

Plato’s Allegory of The Cave

Baudrillard and The Matrix

Nozick’s Pleasure Machine

Free Will and Determinism – do we have control of our destiny?

Who or What is God?

The Design Argument

The Cosmological Argument


If there is a God is it evil?

Why is there suffering and are there any good solutions?

The Birth of Monotheism

Who was Abraham and what can be learnt about humanities response to God?

Moses and Passover



Yom Kippur

Hanukkah…. What can be learnt about a faith from the way it celebrates and remembers?

How did the Holocaust effect Elie’s faith and humanity?

What questions does the Holocaust raise about belief in God?

What important lessons must we learn from this book in order to save the world?


What will I do?

  • Discuss
  • Debate
  • Reflect
  • Create
  • Question
  • Design
  • Read
  • Argue
  • Think
  • Listen
  • Empathise
  • Evaluate
  • Explain


Key Stage 4:

CORE Religion, Philosophy & Ethics:

Overview of the course

Philosophy for Life is a course which allows students to reflect on the most important questions of all: What is the point of life? What should I be aiming for? How should I live? What do I really want? How can I be happy? How do I deal with anxiety? How do I manage my anger? What job do I actually want to do?

Students will explore these questions by learning about, and from, a variety of philosophers from Socrates to Nietzsche. They will also look at different religious approaches to these questions from the likes of Jesus and The Buddha.

What will I learn?

Stoicism: Managing anxiety and anger.

Epicurus: Happiness, pleasure and the present moment.

Cynicism: Free from fear.

Pythagoras: Memory, reputation and incantation.

Scepticism: Question everything (especially yourself).

Plato: How do societies flourish?

Aristotle: Character and friendship.

Nietzsche: Hardship and happiness.

Schopenhauer: Love and happiness.

Michel de Montaigne: Self-esteem

Siddhartha Guatama: Attachment and Letting Go

And more…

GCSE Religion, Philosophy & Ethics:

Overview of the course

The quest will be two-fold: students will investigate religious beliefs, teachings and practices from Buddhist and Christian faiths. They will then apply these to an ethical investigation into a variety of issues: war, violence and peace; crime and punishment; philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God; origins of the universe; and the origins of human life.

Examination board: AQA Specification A


2 x written exams ( 1 hour and 45 minutes x 2).

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