Religion, Philosophy and Ethics encourages student’s curiosity and appreciation of the diverse world around them. Through rigorous investigation and debate, student will develop the confidence to challenge the views of others and articulate their own arguments on world issues such as wealth and poverty, the nature of faith, and medical ethics.  The study of Philosophy creates students who are inquisitive, resilient members of society, who are prepared for life in the 21st century, making the subject very desirable for employers and further education.

At key stage 3, students will answer 1 enquiry question per term. They will investigate many different answers (religious and non religious)  to that question, before being able to create their own reasoned judgements as part of their assessment. The focus skills of assessments will be ; knowledge and understanding, analysis and interpretation and reasoning and evaluation.

Learning Philosophy is enjoyable because each lesson, you acquire new knowledge from the different topics that is covered. Discovering different viewpoints, attitudes and beliefs from a range of people from different backgrounds is intriguing. This is because you are able to get an understanding of a variety of perspectives that you may have not come across before.

From learning Philosophy, I have become more open minded of views which could differ from mine, which resulted in me understanding and accepting that everyone has their own opinions and thoughts of the society around us.    Dane Y11

Autumn Spring Summer
Year 7 Why do people have faith in God? What do Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common? Why is equality important to Sikhs?
Year 8 How do Muslims show commitment to their faith? Was Jesus more than just an ordinary man? Is Buddhism compatible with modern life?
Year 9 Is the sanctity of life more important than the quality of life? How does religion respond to conflict and suffering? Does faith still have a place in 21st century Britain?

If students choose Religion, Philosophy and Ethics as one of their GCSE options they will complete a study of the AQA GCSE Religious Studies Specification.

This comprises of two parts-one part will involve a detailed study of the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Islam. The other aspect involves applying the above to a range of thematic studies-such as medical ethics, just war theory, debates about the existence of God.

In KS3 our students are formally assessed using an end of topic knowledge test and a piece of extended writing which is logged onto G4S.

In KS4, in addition to the above, students will sit one mock exam in the Spring term of Year 10 and one in the Autumn term of Year 11.

GCSE Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

Course Leader: Miss B Fairs
Contact Email:
Examination Board: AQA  
Assessment: 100% external examination, 2 x 1 hour 45 minutes exams

Why should I study this subject at Key Stage 4?
This is a very engaging course about people and what they believe. You will examine a range of beliefs and actions, which will help you understand the diverse world we live in. 

What does the course involve?
Students will be following the AQA GCSE ‘Religious Studies A’ specification (Route A) which consists of two components:

Component 1 is the study of religious beliefs and practices in Christianity and Islam.
Christian beliefs: Key beliefs in Christianity and how beliefs influence Christians today as individuals, communities and societies. Christian practices: A study of how Christians put the teachings of Jesus into practice in their everyday lives. What impact does this have on society? How do Christians worship?

Islamic beliefs: Key beliefs in Islam and how they influence Muslims today as individuals, communities and societies. Islamic practices: A study of how Muslims put their faith into action. How do Muslims pray? How can they put their beliefs into practice in their everyday lives? What impact does this have on society?

Component 2 is the thematic study of four religious, philosophical and ethical themes.
Relationships and Families:  This topical, current affairs unit  will involve students learning about different societal attitudes, non religious and religious views on sex, marriage, family, contraception, divorce and gender equality.

Religion and Life: A philosophical and ethical investigation into questions such as Why are we here? How did the world begin? What is the purpose of human life? Issues of abortion, euthanasia and animal experimentation will be discussed. 

Crime and Punishment: What are the different reasons people commit crime? What are the ethical and philosophical implications of capital punishment, corporal punishment and forgiveness?

Human Rights and Social Justice: A philosophical and ethical investigation into issues surrounding justice and injustice in the world. Human rights and social responsibility, equality and justice. 

Skills developed
GCSE RPE  will  develop your communication skills through extensive debating. The ability to listen, have empathy for others, express your opinions and consider the viewpoints of others will all be key skills as you learn more in this subject. This subject will also develop your skills as a critical and abstract thinker, your ability to write persuasively and with analytical detail.

Studying Religion, Philosophy & Ethics at Sixth Form

Students can continue studying religion, philosophy & ethics as an A Level here at Thomas Gainsborough School.