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 B Philosophy and Applied Ethics in Year 9

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

Religion, Peace and Conflict (3/4 term)

  • Attitudes to war
  • Violence and pacifism
  • Terrorism
  • Social injustice



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 (3/4 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 (1 term)

  • Equality
  • Sikhism



(One and Half terms)

  • 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

Religion and Medical Ethics (1 term)

  • Attitudes to abortion
  • Attitudes to fertility treatment
  • Attitudes to euthanasia and suicide
  • Using animals in medical research

Religion and Human Relationship (1 term)

  • Roles of men and women in the family
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Sexual relationships and contraception

Good and Evil  (1 term)

  • Concepts of good and evil
  • The problem of evil
  • Coping with suffering
  • Sources and reasons for moral behaviour

Revision of the 8 topics


The End of Life (1 term)

  • Body and soul
  • Life after death
  • Funeral rites

Exams 4 x 1 hour papers


OCR J621