Philosophy, Religion & Ethics (KS3)
Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) is taught to all students in Years 7-10. We attempt to answer challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self, the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
In the autumn term, students focus on Philosophy. We study Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume and Kant, and evaluate their answers to a variety of philosophical problems. We also learn to philosophise ourselves through discussion, debate, and essay writing. Students are encouraged to think about some of the biggest questions, and are given the tools to go about answering them.
In the spring term we focus on Religion. We study the history, beliefs and practices of the six major world faiths – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism – as well as looking at new religions and Humanism. We consider how religious teachings are applied and how beliefs influence people’s behaviour. Students are encouraged to learn about and from different religions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning.
In the summer term we focus on Ethics. We study ethical theories and different interpretations of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We evaluate these ideas by applying them to important and relevant situations, and through this we learn to make decisions about our own behaviour. We focus on how we treat others, and how we treat ourselves, by looking at sex and relationships, physical and mental health, and drugs and alcohol.
Students will have to show progress in terms of their knowledge and understanding of these topics, and their ability to analyse and evaluate different ideas. They will be assessed on their essay writing, speaking and debating, and independent research skills. While Philosophy, Religion and Ethics are taught in separate modules, there is significant crossover between each area, providing a rounded education and a wide skill-set. We aim to provide students with a broad range of knowledge, the desire to be inquisitive for more, and the skills with which to gain it.
Students who particularly enjoy Philosophy, Religion and Ethics are encouraged to go take Religious Studies GCSE and/or Philosophy A Level. Aspects of PRE are also useful for a further study of Sociology (GCSE/A Level), Psychology and Classics (A Levels).
If you are interested in reading further on this subject, the following introductory books are particularly recommended:
What Does it all Mean? - Thomas Nagel
Introduction to World Religions – Christopher Partridge
Being Good - Simon Blackburn
The Philosophy, Religion & Ethics Curriculum for Key Stage 3
To learn more about Assessment at KS3 and KS4, click here.