Religion, Philosophy and Ethics.
The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) Department at Beaconsfield High School is a thriving and successful Department, with outstanding examination results at both GCSE and A Level. The subject is taught by experienced specialist teachers who aim to provide opportunities for young people to engage with relevant contemporary and challenging questions that impact on all of our lives; questions about faith, meaning and purpose, truth, existence, morality, equality and diversity. RPE helps young people to be more informed about the beliefs, practices and wider questions of theists and atheists in our society and in cultures across the globe; thus encouraging students to have a better understanding of their own and others beliefs which help to enhance views on British values and a wider sense of community cohesion. We follow the Buckinghamshire Agreed Syllabus 2011-16 entitled 'Challenging RE'.
Key Stage 3 : Years 7, 8 and 9
Students follow an introductory unit regarding Ultimate Questions with the focus being on questioning the existence of truth and God. Students then look at what it means to be a Sikh and what it means to be a Jew. These units incorporate wider questions on equality, service and wider philosophical and ethical questions. The final unit is an ethics based unit which looks at Social Justice through the Judeo-Christian tradition.
The students follow a unit that explores the perceived conflicts between Religion and Science, looking at different interpretations of accounts of our origins from Christianity, Science and ancient cultures. Y8 students then look at the questions of what does it mean to be a Christian and what does it mean to be a Buddhist. These topics look at fundamental Christian beliefs such as Jesus as the Messiah, resurrection atonement, discipleship and different denominations. The Buddhism unit introduces the Problem of Evil and Suffering as well as its key beliefs. The final unit looks at the question of Is it ever right to kill? This covers issues such as war and peace and vegetarianism.
All students in Y9 follow the Core curriculum which introduces the three world views of theism, secularism and post-modernism. Through these lenses the issue of God’s existence is explored. The students then look at the key question of Do You Need God to be Moral? Major atheist and theist ethical systems are introduced including Utilitarianism and use of Religious texts. Students then look at Judaism and the Problem of Evil which includes looking at different responses to the Holocaust. After Easter all students start the AQA Religion and Morality Short course which covers Crime and Punishment and UK Poverty.
In 2014-2015 Y9 have also had the option of doing a GCSE Foundation course which has looked at the issues around God’s existence and different types of morality in more detail before looking at New Religious Movements and the question of What it means to be Religious? In the summer term they study the OCR GCSE Religion and Media unit.
Key Stage 4 : Years 10 and 11
At the end of Year 9, students can opt to do our full course GCSE and it is usual to have two GCSE sets. Those who take the GCSE course currently study OCR Philosophy and Ethics full course. All Year 10 and 11 students, including those who take the GCSE course have one compulsory period every other week, timetabled against Enrichment (our PSHE & Citizenship course). In Year 10 students are studying the AQA Religion and Morality Short course. In Year 11, we explore a variety of moral issues which currently dominate the headlines, specifically the ethical debates surrounding current Laws and practices of Abortion and Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide. 2014-2015 is the last year this course will run before it becomes the AQA Religion and Morality course.
Key Stage 5 : Years 12 and 13
We have a thriving AS/A2 level. We take the OCR syllabus and study Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics. Please see Sixth Form for AS/A2 subject information.