ETHICS & PHILOSOPHY/ RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.” Martin Luther King Jr 

 The importance of R.E 

RE is crucial to prepare pupils for life in the modern world, to enable them to flourish as citizens in a pluralistic, global society. It enables pupils to develop their own opinions and to understand and empathise with a range of other viewpoints. It is more relevant than ever before as it enables pupils to explore and understand tensions in the world today and to develop tolerance and understanding of different religions and beliefs in a multi-cultural society. 

Key Stage 3 

In Years 7-9 the focus is on philosophical thinking, ethical questions and exploring different religions. We begin with a unit called ‘Thinking about God’ where we explore why people may or may not have faith. We encourage pupils to explore the world around them from various perspectives, including secular and religious points of view. We then continue to look at a variety of ethical and philosophical issues and explore how different religions may respond to them. In year 9 we focus on ‘Big questions’ where we look at a range of ethical issues including Euthanasia, Life after Death and War. This is in preparation for the topics studied at GCSE.  

GCSE RE 

We follow the Eduqas syllabus and study: Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World, this includes topics such as abortion, life after death, human rights, the problem of evil and relationships. The lessons consist of many debates and discussions and the pupils enjoy looking at a range of controversial but relevant topics.  

We also study two religions which are Christianity and Islam, pupils are able to explore the beliefs and practice of these religions and also know how they would respond to a range of ethical issues. Pupils develop their skills in written evaluation and are able to use lesson debates to aid them in this.  

A Level Religious Studies  

  • Component 1: Philosophy of religion, in which we look at topics such as the problem of evil and arguments for the existence of God. 
  • Component 2: Religion and ethics where we look at ethical issues such as Euthanasia and sexual ethics.  
  • Component 3: Developments in religious thought where we study thinker such as Augustine and look at topics such as gender in society and life after death.  

In an ever changing world open to new thoughts and forward thinking, Philosophical enquiry and religious thought plays a key role in encouraging people to have a critical understanding of faith. Employers and universities love Philosophy and Ethics students because they are trained in critically analysing ideas and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. Students are able to engage with ideas beyond their own viewpoint, think beyond the obvious, and articulate arguments coherently and persuasively. 

Careers 

Studying RE can provide invaluable life skills, offer opportunities to further education and enhance careers. The study of Philosophy and Ethics opens the doors to a wide range of careers, including Law, Medicine and Business. If you would like to find out more about careers in RE then please have a look at these case studies: http://casestudies.reonline.org.uk