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Ethics and Philosophy (Religious Studies)

Ethics and Philosophy (Religious Studies)

Our aim: ‘Making connections’ and learning about ‘people and the world around us’, is what links the King Alfred’s Academy Humanities vision to the Ethics and Philosophy curriculum. We deal with traditions and cultural precepts that have shaped laws, attitudes, and beliefs, and therefore societies, for centuries. We want our learners to connect with people with diverse beliefs and cultural backgrounds and build deeper knowledge and understanding.

Curriculum Overview

In Years 7 to 9 we focus on the Abrahamic and Dharmic faiths. Students are expected to identify points and substantiate explanations with relevant knowledge, showing respect and an awareness of other viewpoints and opinions. In addition, the ethics unit engages with difficult moral questions, the use and abuse of animals and stewardship and dominion with reference to the prevailing climate debate.

The GCSE course in Years 10 and 11 follows the AQA specification (Religious Studies A, 8062) and is separated into two components; the Study of Religions: Beliefs, Teachings and Practices; and the Thematic Studies element. The students study Christianity and Islam for component one.

Year 7 Topics

Term 1-2: Hinduism – What does it mean to be a Hindu? What do Hindus believe about lifer after death? What do Hindu believe about the soul? How do Hindus live? 

Term 3-4: Buddhism - What does it mean to be a Buddhist? Who was the Buddha? What did the Buddha teach? What do Buddhists believe about life after death? How do Buddhists live? 

Term 5-6: Sikhism – What does it mean to be a Sikh? Who was Guru Nanak? What did Guru Nanak teach? Why is the Guru Granth Sahib so important? How do Sikhs live? 

Year 8 Topics

Term 1-2 – Christianity. The life of Jesus. Why learn about the life of Jesus? What did Jesus teach? What is a parable? What does the Resurrection mean? 

Term 3-4 – Ethics. How do we decide between what is right and wrong? What is morality? What influences our moral decision making? How do we treat animals? What causes crime? 

Term 5-6 – Islam. What is the meaning and significance of the Five Pillars of Islam? Who was Muhammed? How do Muslim beliefs affect how someone lives their lives? 

Year 9 Topics

Term 1-2 - Religion, human rights and social justice. What is the importance of human right? 

Term 3-4 - Jewish Beliefs and Practises. What does it mean to be Jewish?

Term 5-6 - Judaism and The Holocaust: A Depth Study. What are Jewish beliefs and how do Jews live? What was The Holocaust?

Year 10 topics

Term 1: Themes – Relationships and Life. How do society’s views on relationships develop? 

Term 2-3: Christianity – Beliefs and Teachings. What do Christians believe and why?

Term 4 Themes – Religion and Life. How do we understand the value of life?

Term 5-6 Christianity – Practices. How do Christians celebrate their holidays? Why are they celebrated in this way? What are the sacraments and how are they celebrated? 

Year 11 topics

Term 1-2: Islamic beliefs and teaching. What do Muslims believe and why? 

Term 3: Islamic Practises obligatory acts? What actions are taken to follow the pillars/acts? How are holidays celebrated in Islam?

Term 4-5: Peace and Conflict. How have ideas about peace developed in response to conflict? 

Crime and punishment. How should we respond to crime and punishment?