Philosophy, Religion & Ethics

GCSE Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

A Level Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE), for pupils in Year 9, looks at the ideas of tolerance and how people see the world in different ways. Pupils are encouraged to explore issues in philosophy, theology and ethics and to develop a critical approach to religious and moral questions. This academic emphasis makes the subject appealing to pupils irrespective of their personal faith.

The overarching goal and assessment criteria for religious studies are to learn about different religions and then begin to develop an understanding of how religion affects people’s views and actions.

The GCSE in PRE looks at topical and controversial issues such as abortion and euthanasia through the views and beliefs of both religious and non-religious people.

We encourage discussion from all members of the group, and there is the opportunity for pupils to articulate the logic of their beliefs whilst being tolerant of others. 

Year 10 pupils study the ‘Religion and Life’ course. This includes a topical study of various broadly religious ideas arranged under four headings:

  • Believing in God                  
  • Matters of Life and Death
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Social Harmony

The first topic is studied from a Christian viewpoint, with the next comparing the Christian and Islamic points of view. The course allows pupils to explore religious and moral ideas and gain understanding of various perspectives on important life issues.

Year 11 pupils study the ‘Religion and Society’ course. This includes a topical study of various broadly religious ideas arranged under four headings:  

  • Religion and social responsibility       
  • Religion and the environment                                                         
  • Religion peace and conflict                  
  • Religion crime and punishment                     

This course looks at the impact of religious ideas on society with all topics looking at the moral issues from two religious points of view.

The examination requires pupils to know and evaluate different religious responses to issues, so they are required to think beyond and evaluate their own opinion. 

At A Level we study ethics and contemporary issues that help pupils tackle life issues with a degree of certainty.  Theories such as situation ethics, utilitarianism, virtue ethics and Kantian ethics are examined in relation to topics of death, sex and medicine. 

Contemporary issues such as fundamentalism, secularisation and new religious movements are discussed in relation to local, national and international scenarios; challenging but deeply interesting topics. 

To finish this unit we study the Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung views on life and religion. 

PRE A Level is assessed through essays for which pupils learn the skill of writing an essay that demonstrates academic rigour through their knowledge and critical evaluation of a topic.