Philosophy & Ethics

Philosophy & Ethics Curriculum

  • Miss L. Pattle

    Lead Teacher

  • Mrs K. Cuff

    KS5 Leader

Department Vision & Ethos


It is our intent for the religious education element of our school curriculum to engage, inspire, and encourage pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions. The principal aim is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and values which have shaped- and continue to have an important influence on the world that we live in. The subject provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. Philosophy, Religion and Ethics aims to develop curiosity, investigative and questioning skills and an enquiring mind. By exploring issues within and across Christianity and Islam, pupils learn to understand different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, and their influence on individuals, communities and cultures. These questions raised by religion, belief and values, encourage students to think for themselves and reflect on their own ideas, values and ways of living. The curriculum will help to develop responsibility, respect and tolerance for all aspects of diversity, whether it be social, cultural and religious, and prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain. The overarching concepts for Philosophy, Ethics and Religion at Sandy Secondary School are tied in with the whole school vision.


  • KS4

    Pupils will demonstrate a deeper understanding of Christian and Islamic beliefs, teachings and practices and how these can differ depending on denomination. Pupils will be identify places of religious significance around the world and the importance of those historically and as places of pilgrimage. Pupils will confidently articulate justified opinions on ethical issues, giving religious, non-religious and personal views. Pupils will be able to explain in detail how religious teachings in both Christianity and Islam can be applied to contemporary moral issues such as euthanasia, abortion, abuse of the world and the use of capital punishment. They will know how religious organisations support the global problems of injustice and poverty and link religious teachings to these issues. Pupils will be able to confidently articulate justified opinions on issues giving personal, religious and non-religious views.

  • KS5

    Students will demonstrate a deeper understanding of challenging and complex theories in Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics and Developments in Christian Thought. Students will be able to write concisely and succinctly to present a complex series of ideas and evaluate evidence to build a logical argument across the key topic areas. The course allows students to develop the ability to make connections and observe differences between key philosophical thinkers. Students will be able to explain the key religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world. Students will be able to explain the works of influential thinkers and ethical theories and articulate both verbally and in their written work, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the key arguments and how they can be applied to the wider world around them.

Skills across the curriculum:

  • Make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs, so pupils can:

    • Identify, describe, explain, and analyse beliefs and concepts in Christianity (GCSE and A Level) and Islam (GCSE), using appropriate vocabulary.
    • Explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities.
    • Recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g., texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are used, expressed, and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation.

  • Understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs, so that pupils can:

    • Examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways.
    • Recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities, and in the wider world.
    • Appreciate and appraise the significance of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.

  • Make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied, so that pupils can:

    • Evaluate, reflect on, and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses.
    • Challenge the ideas they study, and consider how these ideas might challenge their own thinking, articulating beliefs, values, and commitments clearly in response.
    • Discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal reflections with increasing clarity and understanding.

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