ETHICS & PHILOSOPHY/ RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
The importance of Ethics & Philosophy/RE
The Religious Education Department at Theale Green School seeks to prepare pupils for life in the modern world, to enable them to flourish as citizens in a pluralistic, global society. Through the study of Religious Education, Philosophy and Ethics, students are able to develop their own opinions and to understand and empathise with a range of other viewpoints. Students are encouraged to respect people with different beliefs and practices to them; understand and empathise with those around them who believe and live differently to them. This is supported further by regular engagement with the British Values which aims to work towards building a more cohesive society.
“I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls.’
Malala Yousafazai – United Nations Foundation
Key Stage 3
All students in Years 7-9 study Ethics and Philosophy, which emphasises moral and philosophical thinking through an exploration of different religious and non-religious world views. Students begin their course in Year 7 by studying Religion and Culture which enables them to begin to understand the many different viewpoints that exist within our diverse society. Year 8 students develop their awareness of the subject through the study of British Values which emphasises the importance of tolerance and mutual respect. In Year 9 students have the opportunity to engage more deeply in themes including “Ethics in Crime”, which includes a dramatic enquiry with students taking on the role of expert investigators.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Students follow the Eduqas syllabus and study ethical topics such as abortion, euthanasia, human rights and relationships. These lessons consist of debates and discussions, which encourage students to express their own opinions whilst listening and empathising with the diverse views of others, as well as developing a secure exam technique where they are able to express their depth of knowledge coherently. Further to this, the course studies the two largest world religions, Christianity and Islam. Students learn about the historical foundations of each faith and understand the impact that both religions have on the world today.
Further to this, all Year 10 and Year 11 students receive Religious Education lessons as part of the wider Whole School Religious Education programme. This course engages pupils to consider important questions regarding Science and Religion as well as considering the depth and meaning behind Religious Literature.
Key Stage 5
A Level Students engage in a challenging course that demands academic rigour and a high level of intellectual engagement. The OCR course offers three areas of study;
Component 1: Philosophy of Religion
This is where we study the Ancient Greek Philosophers; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
Component 2: Religion and Ethics
Here we study ethical theories such as Utilitarianism and Kantian Ethics and learn to apply these to relevant topics such as Business Ethics and Abortion
Component 3: Development of Christian Thought
This unit is focused heavily on Christian Theology and emphasises the progression of religious thinking from the time of Jesus Christ, through the Church Fathers including Saint Paul and Saint Augustine, culminating in the study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology which opposed the Nazi regime in WW2.
Further to this, all Sixth Form students receive dedicated Religious Education lessons. Year 12 students engage with British Values at a mature level and discuss the importance of Individual Liberty, recognising that all have a responsibility towards each other within our community. Year 13 students focus on Human Rights and to support their development all students will attend an exciting religious or non-religious guest speaker each term, engaging them on a variety of topics including animal testing, humanism and atheist beliefs as well as Christianity.
Religious Education teaches a variety of skills including empathy which is regarded as being an essential skill to being successful in today’s world. The study of Philosophy and Ethics opens doors to a wide range of careers including Law, Business, Medicine and Education. Please look at some of these case studies: