Philosophy & Ethics

Intent

The curriculum intent for Philosophy and ethics is to

  • Give students a broad understanding of religious and non-religious beliefs about key philosophical and ethical issues.
  • Develop individual beliefs and values.
  • Represent British Values.
  • Promote equality and diversity.
  • Develop skills for knowledge, understanding and evaluation.

Implementation

Students learn about the six major world religions as well as considering non-religious beliefs. Students learn to develop their knowledge, understanding and evaluation of different philosophical and ethical investigations throughout Y7 and 8. This is aimed at developing these assessment objectives at KS4. Each topic has a focus on knowledge, understanding how beliefs/teachings affect the lives of individuals and students are then asked to evaluate an aspect of this topic. By the end of KS3 students should be experienced in simple knowledge recall, point, evidence and explain and evaluation questions. This should put them in a strong position to access GCSE style questions and then beyond to A Level.

During GCSE students study two religions and various ethical issues. The two religions are Christianity and Islam. These reflect the school population, Nottingham City and Britain in a wider context. Students study five out of six ethical themes available in the syllabus to allow some choice in the exam. They are required to answer questions on four. I chose themes that link well together and provide interleaving. During GCSE evaluative skills are developed and critical thinking is encouraged. This links well to A level where evaluation has a higher weighting. At A level we study Islam, Philosophy and Ethics. The decision to teach Islam was based largely on student voice and because Islam is a widely misunderstood religion in contemporary British society. At A level students further improve skills of wider reading and research, as well as continue to develop the critical analysis of sources/scholars, putting students in good stead for various university course and careers.

Year 7 and 8

Within all topics we represent major world religions and non-religious perspectives.

Year 7

  • Does God Exist?
  • Who was Jesus?
  • Key Inspirational Figures

Year 8

  • What is Equality?
  • Places of Worship: What makes a Sacred Space?
  • What happens when we die?

GCSE Option

Overview

Course outline

Do you enjoy discussing current issues? Are you interested in solving moral dilemmas, investigating different belief systems and developing your own opinion? Philosophy and Ethics is perfect for students who are curious about the big questions in life.

What do I study?

  • Christian and Muslim beliefs, teaching and practices
  • Peace and Conflict: Is war ever just? What is terrorism? Are some actions unforgiveable? How can we reconcile with enemies?
  • Religion and Life: Are religion and science compatible? How should we treat the planet? Should we test on animals? What do religions think about abortion and euthanasia?
  • Crime and Punishment: Why is there evil? Why do people commit crime? What is the best way to deal with criminals?
  • Relationships and Families: What do religious believers think about marriage, divorce, contraception and same-sex marriage? Are men and women equal? What role do parents play?
  • Human Rights and Social Justice: Do the wealthy have a responsibility to take care of the poor? What are our human rights?
  • The Existence of God: Does complexity in the universe infer an intelligent designer? Do miracles happen? Why is suffering a problem for God?

Assessment details

Two exam papers (50% each). There is a variety of short answer and essay type questions.

Additional information

The course includes an enrichment trip in Year 10 to places of worship
Possible career paths: teacher, social worker, lawyer, police officer, medical professional and more! You will gain many transferable skills such as constructing arguments, communication, debating, and evaluation skills as well as having a firm grip on current, worldwide events.

GCSE Core

Overview

Course outline

Religious Education is a compulsory part of secondary education. At Nottingham Free School students will study a religious studies course that will result in a qualification worth ½ GCSE.

What do I study?

  • Christian and Muslim beliefs and teachings.
  • Peace and Conflict: Christian teachings about war, peace, terrorism, forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • Relationships and Families: Christian teachings about marriage, divorce, sexual relationships, contraception, the role of men and women and same-sex marriage.

Assessment details

One written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes.
A combination of short answer and extended answer type questions.

Additional information

Standard classroom equipment is needed for every lesson. Possible career paths: teacher, social worker, lawyer, police officer, medical professional and many other caring roles.
You will gain many transferable skills such as constructing arguments, communication, debating, and evaluation skills as well as having a firm grip on current, worldwide events.

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