Ethics & Philosophy

Years 7 - 8

Our curriculum in Years 7 and 8 is designed to help students gain an introduction to thinking about religious, moral and philosophical issues, and to help them gain the skills necessary to be successful in this subject. In Year 7 we consider the importance of beliefs, objects, rituals and celebrations to people. We also begin to study questions of spirituality and morality at an introductory level. Students learn the skills of understanding different viewpoints, considering various opinions, and reaching and supporting an informed opinion.

We continue these skills in Year 8 when we study moral issues in more detail. For example, we shall examine issues such as poverty, euthanasia, crime and punishment from religious and non-religious perspectives. The purpose of these is to practise and refine the skills needed to be successful at GCSE level, which begins in Year 9.

Content for Years 9+ remains the same

Years 9 - 11

Students at Queensbury academy begin a GCSE RE course which lasts through Years 9, 10 and 11 and is compulsory for all students. We aim to help students think for themselves, consider their own beliefs and gain confidence in expressing their own viewpoints on a whole range of ethical and philosophical subjects. In addition they begin the process of learning how to think independently.

The first half of the course focuses on moral issues such as animal rights, abortion, war, prejudice, and the environment. The second half concentrates on an introduction to philosophy including: is there a reason for suffering? do miracles happen? is it reasonable to believe in God? could there be a life after death? does science prove that religion is false? GCSE exam board: AQA Specification B, Units 2 (Religious Philosophy and Ultimate Questions) and 4 (Religion and Life Issues)

Sixth form

Our A-Level Philosophy and Ethics course is a natural continuation of GCSE courses. The Year 12 course studies the roots of western philosophy from Plato, Aristotle and Judaism. It progresses to the classic 'proofs' of God’s existence and challenges to religion from science and evil. The ethics element examines a range of ethical theories such as Situation Ethics, Utilitarianism, Natural Law and Kant and gets students to think deeply about issues such as war, abortion, euthanasia and genetics. In Year 13 we consider questions such as whether miracles or life after death are possible, where the conscience comes from and whether we are truly free to act as we wish. The course is available at AS and A Level. A Level exam board: OCR (Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics).

Some students have also taken part in a philosophy discussion group to explore issues further in their own time.