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Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at Highworth Warneford School is a rigorous and demanding subject that encourages students in all year groups to be independent, inquisitive and respectful students.

The subject is popular with students no matter their age as they are able to identify with the subject matter and are able to form connections to the world today and their own lives.

Students are encouraged throughout their lessons to reflect and voice their own opinions about the subject matter and give support to their arguments and this can then lead to students being to academically debate with one another. In turn, this also enables students to think deeply about the world around them and acknowledge different points of view in a supportive environment. All these are vital skills in a modern workforce where communication, collaboration and cooperation are core skills.

As well as the above, it enables students to look at their own identity and be respectful of others, who may have a very different background to their own. Today we live in a multicultural society and students need to understand other beliefs and practices to encourage a tolerant society.

Students can also learn more about British heritage, its values, the plurality and the future. In lessons, we will discuss many contemporary issues that may have roots in religion and how laws are changing to meet the needs of Britain today.

In Key Stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9), students are taught about the world religions through different topics and some of the schemes include:

  • How was the world created?
  • Is Sikhi a religion of equality?
  • Is death the end?
  • What can Philosophy and Ethics teach us?
  • War and Peace
  • Was Buddha right to leave the palace?
  • Beyond the Big Six
  • How much do I know about my identity and religious identity?
  • An in-depth study of Islam and Christianity in and beyond Britain.

In Key Stage 4 (years 10-11), students all take Core RE. This is a non-examined course in which students study topics which affect our world today such as Medical Ethics, Crime and Punishment and Privilege and Refugees, Rites of Passage and Religion and the Media. Students have one lesson a fortnight.

In Key Stage 4 (years 10-11) students who have opted to take Religious Studies will have five lessons a fortnight and are required to study the following:

Component 1:Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 50% of qualification

Component 2: Study of Christianity

  • Written examination: 1 hour
  • 25% of qualification

Component 3: Study of Islam

  • Written examination: 1 hour
  • 25% of qualification

At Highworth Warneford School, we believe it is important for students to understand and question the world in which they live as well as what they see on the news every day, and this subject will help them with this as well as allowing them to develop as independent learners. All these are vital skills in a modern world and in work where communication, collaboration and cooperation are core skills.

Miss C King, Head of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics