Philosophy, Religion & Ethics
YEARS 7 AND 8
All Key Stage 3 teaching follows the guidance of the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus. The emphasis is that students should learn from and about religions and these criteria are present in our assessments. All students follow a series of modules to develop their understanding and knowledge of all major world religions. In Year 8 students are introduced to more philosophical concepts such as: what does it mean to be human and why are we here? Students are encouraged to formulate and express their views and opinions, but are also expected to listen carefully and respectfully to those of others. We encourage students to create and deliver presentations that make use of ICT technology and that promote independent learning.
At the beginning of this year all students study for their GCSE in religious education by completing units from the OCR syllabus. The syllabus includes the study of two major world religions to examine their beliefs, philosophy and practices. Students will also engage with ethical issues such as war and peace later in the course.
There is the option to take Full Course in Year 10 and the units studied in Year 9 will support both Full Course and Short Course.
YEARS 10 AND 11
All Key Stage 4 students prepare and are entered for GCSE religious education. The syllabus is the OCR religious studies B paper in philosophy and ethics; this does not require coursework. We teach a total of three units for Short Course and four units for Full Course and predominantly focus on Christianity throughout. However, strategies are in place to serve the needs of those candidates who have a deeper knowledge of a different religion and wish to answer questions from that perspective.
Students will study a further unit for Short Course and will be entered for their final examination at the end of Year 10. The option to do Full Course will be made early in Year 10 and those students will be taught the extra material required throughout the year using three of their off timetable PSHCE days. When in Year 11, Full Course students will then attend one hour twilight lessons (either lunchtime or after school) to complete the remaining units. Full Course students will therefore be entered for their examinations at the end of Year 11.
YEARS 11 (2015-2016)
All students follow the same programme of study and the decision to take Full Course follows Year 11 mock examinations. Full Course students are required to complete extra work for the examination through home learning and attending twilight sessions.
‘A’ LEVEL YEARS 12 AND 13
Many have chosen to take the AS and A2 in the Philosophy and Ethics of Religion. Ethics considers more formal approaches to morality, and then seeks to apply these theories to practical issues such as War and Peace and Euthanasia, for example. Philosophy seeks to investigate the way in which we can argue that God Exists, to consider the problem of evil and consider the Christian responses.
Trips and Visits
As part of the PRE course we feel it is valuable for pupils to both learn and experience different aspects of religion therefore we have number of trips and speaking visitors.
Year 8: Currently we invite visiting speakers to provide activities during Summer Term.
Year 10/11: To prevent interruption for other GCSE subjects there are no outside visits during Key Stage 4, however, the Christian group, STEP, are invited in to discuss their views on the topics we study throughout the GCSE course.
Year 12/13 students are encouraged to attend conferences usually held in London.