Philosophy, Theology and Ethics

The Philosophy, Theology and Ethics Department actively promotes the values of truth, justice and respect for all.  In Key Stage Three we aim to achieve this through a thematic approach; looking at philosophical and ethical issues and enabling students to explore the role of different groups within society.  This includes the major world religions as well as non-theistic groups.  In Years 9 to 11 students follow the OCR Religious Studies (Philosophy and Applied Ethics) GCSE.  This allows students to focus upon ultimate questions and ethical codes, giving them the opportunity to appreciate their own and others’ beliefs and how these may impact upon individuals, communities and cultures.  This complies with the Devon Agreed Syllabus and provides a good basis for post-16 study.

Curriculum Overview

KS3 – Students start studying GCSE Religious Studies, OCR Syllabus

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Introduction to the six major world faiths (1 term)

  • Symbols
  • Places of worship
  • Holy Books
  • Leaders
  • Key beliefs

Authority (1 term)

  • Sources of authority
  • Religious sources of authority
  • Faith changes lives
  • Prayer
  • Holy Books

Religion, Peace and Conflict
(1 term)

  • Attitudes to war
  • Violence and pacifism
  • Terrorism
  • Social injustice
  • Social justice
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation


Beliefs and concepts (1 term)

  • Faith
  • Describing God
  • Why are humans important?
  • Why is there suffering?

Ethics and relationship (1 term)

  • Ethics and morality
  • The life and work of Martin Luther King


The existence of God (1 term)


  • The question of God
  • The nature of reality
  • Experiencing God


Expressing spirituality (1 term)

  • Expressing spirituality through the body, art, drama, music

Global Issues (½ term)

  • Equality
  • Sikhism

Rights and Responsibilities (½ term)

  • United Nations
    Declaration of Human Rights
  • Human Rights issues
  • Our rights and responsibilities




Judaism (1 term)

  • The nature of G-d
  • The divine presence.
  • The covenant of Sinai
  • The Messiah
  • Promised Land
  • Key moral principles
  • Sanctity of life
  • Death


Year 10

Year 11

Relationships and Families (1 term)

  • Role and purpose of the family
  • Sexual relationships
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Equality of men and women
  • Prejudice and discrimination

Dialogue between religious and non-religious beliefs and attitudes (1 term)

  • Challenges for religion
  • Secularism
  • The role of religion in public life
  • The monarchy
  • Humanism
  • Atheism
  • Agnosticism
  • Medical ethics
  • Inter-faith dialogue

Christianity – Beliefs and Traditions (1 term)

  • The nature of God
  • The problem of evil and suffering
  • Creation
  • Jesus Christ
  • Salvation
  • Eschatological beliefs

Revision of all the topics covered in Years 9, 10 and 11.


Christianity – Practices (1 term)

  • Worship
  • Sacraments
  • Prayer
  • Pilgrimage
  • Celebrations
  • The role of the church in local community
  • Rites of passage
  • Mission
  • The role of the church in the wider world

Exams 2 x 2 hour papers