Religion, Ethics & Philosophy

The aim of the department is to deliver a programme of study that informs, academically challenges and is relevant to the culture of pupils at all key stages.

This is delivered through a combination of active group-based activities, individual tasks and quieter, more reflective exercises. Creative and innovative approaches to the teaching of REP are encouraged and the department is continually looking for new and improved ways of delivering an effective and academically rigorous course of study.

Mission Statement:

How do we see the role of REP in a young person’s development?

We aim to encourage students to become:

  • Thoughtful.
  • Respectful of different ideas.
  • Understanding of why there are different world views.
  • Empathetic.
  • Analytical.
  • Curious.
  • Accepting of mystery.
  • Engaged with their life-story and that of others.
  • Celebrators of diversity.
  • Excited and curious about the world.
  • Understanding of the impact of faith and other world views on different groups of people and themselves.

In order to achieve this, we will:

  • Create a learning environment that stimulates students’ engagement, while enforcing good learning behaviours.
  • Allow students to explore ideas without fear of making mistakes.
  • Encourage a sense of connection with their own story and that of others by making the subject relevant to their own experience.
  • Provoke a sense of awe and wonder by consistently leading students outside their comfort zone.
  • Personify the values that we are trying to encourage in students.
  • Encourage students to ask questions that may not have answers.
  • Allow students to lead their own learning wherever possible.

Key Stage 3

Lesson allocation

Year 7: 2 a week

Year 8: 1 a week

Year 9: 1 a week

Year 7:

  • What is Spirituality? The scheme goes back to the origins of spirituality and the idea that there might be another existence. Starting with cave paintings, and progressing on to look at more advanced ideas of God and the nature of life after death.
  • Who Were the Prophets of the Old Testament? The scheme encourages students to investigate the key figures of Old Testament theology and assess their impact both on the Jewish faith and the Christian tradition.
  • Was Jesus a Real Hero? Starting from the assumption that Jesus was a historical figure, we move through to investigate the claims surrounding his life. Students aim to answer the question of whether Jesus might be considered a ‘hero’.
  • How Do the Five Pillars of Islam Affect the Life of a Muslim? A study of Islam, based on the core tenets of the faith, and how they relate to a Muslim’s life experience.
  • What Makes a Gurdwara Special? By investigating the place of the Gurdwara in the Sikh community, students are encouraged to explore Sikh beliefs on a range of issues.

 Year 8:

  • What Does ‘Justice’ Mean to a Christian? Students are given the chance to explore Christian attitudes to justice, based on a study of the lives of Mother Teresa and John Wesley.
  • How do Different Faiths Express Belief Through Art? Students explore how two different religions express their faith through art. They are then asked to produce their own piece of art work, based on their own beliefs.
  • What is Freedom to Rastafari? Students are asked to investigate the origins of the faith, as well as the expressions of it through the music of Bob Marley. This will link with the Music department’s project on reggae music.
  • What Are the Origins of Buddhism? Students are given the chance to learn about the origins of Buddhism, as well as its central principles and how these will affect a Buddhist’s life.

 Year 9:

  • Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics - A short introduction to the kinds of themes explored at GCSE level, including the arguments for and against the existence of God.
  • Would the World Miss Tibetan Buddhism? Following on from the Year 8 study of Buddhism, this part of the course looks at the beliefs and practices of the Tibetan Buddhist, as well as focusing on the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
  • How Should We React to the History of Anti-Semitism? The unit explores the History of the Jewish people, culminating in a piece of artistic work as a reaction to the Holocaust.
  • How Do Different Belief Systems Approach the Issue of Environmental Ethics? The unit aims to allow students to express their own views on how the environment should be treated, as well as a study of the Gaia hypothesis and Christian ideas about stewardship.
  • How Do Different Belief Systems Approach the Issues of Sex and Marriage? Students are asked to question their own attitudes towards sex and marriage, as well as exploring contrasting Biblical attitudes towards the subject.

Key Stage 4

Lesson allocation

GCSE Full Course

Year 10: 3 a week

Year 11: 3 a week

Compulsory REP

Year 10: 1 a week

Year 11: 1 a week

For details of the GCSE course, please click on the link below (PDF document):