Welcome to Philosophy & Ethics

As students of Philosophy & Ethics we work hard

We are curious about diversity and passionate about debating philosophical and ethical issues to expand our knowledge and understanding of religions, beliefs and values and world issues. We are courageous and determined to explore our own and different people’s perspectives with respect and empathy, whilst growing our resilience to setbacks. Every issue that we explore and all religious and non-religious opinions that we consider help us on our journey to success.

As teachers of Philosophy & Ethics we work hard

We cultivate safe learning environments where we fuel students’ curiosity about the best of what has been said, written and done within different religions and philosophy. We scaffold learning in ways that help students to develop their skills of knowledge understanding and evaluation. We then support them to develop their own beliefs and values and challenge them to never give up. We help our students to understand that their opinions are all valid and heard.

As students of Philosophy & Ethics we are kind

We are growing up together. We explore together, discuss ideas together, and value each other’s opinions. We are empathetic and respectful young people who appreciate the diversity in our school and in our community.

As teachers of Philosophy & Ethics we are kind

We are role models for our students by reading widely and staying up to date with current thinking and contemporary ethical issues. We enjoy the privilege of sharing their journeys of self discovery, helping them to develop and strengthen their identity and passion to be active citizens in our diverse culture.


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.


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, 8 and 9. 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

  • Why believe in God?
  • How do you put your beliefs into action?
  • What makes an inspirational figure?

Year 8

  • How can we make out communities more respectful? Equality
  • Death is it the end?
  • What can we learn from visiting places of worship?

Year 9

  • What is it like to be a member of one particular religion in Britain today? Islam
  • Does religion make peace or cause war?
  • Where can we find wisdom to live by? Studying sources of wisdom from religion: Islam

KS4 Core


  • Christian Beliefs and Teachings
  • Religion and Relationships
  • Religion and Revelation


  • Human Rights and Social Justice: Discrimination
  • Human Rights and Social Justice: Wealth and Poverty

GCSE Option


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 unforgivable? 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.

All Humanities subjects are available at GCSE and A Level at The Nottingham Free School. As part of our core curriculum all pupils will take either GCSE Geography or History. As Philosophy and Ethics is a core subject for all 11-18 year olds, all pupils will have the opportunity to study short course in Philosophy and Ethics. Pupils will also be able to opt to take the full GCSE in Philosophy and Ethics if they wish.

A Levels in these subjects will prepare pupils well for a variety of university courses.

Geography History Philosophy and Ethics
University Courses Geography, International Relations, Politics, Economics, PE History, Politics, Economics, Media, Teaching, Law, Criminology, Forensics, Business, Journalism. Theology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Law, Criminology, Medicine, Nursing.
Careers Journalism, Politician, Tourism, Environmentalist, Weather forecaster/presenter, town planner, surveyor, Outdoor Pursuits, Survival Expert Business, Architects, Finance and banking, Teaching, Law, Politics, Police, Television, Armed forces, Research, Journalism, Doctor Teaching, law, Social work, Nursing, Doctor, Charity worker, Media, Politics, Social work

January 2022


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