Religion, Philosophy & 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 helps to enhance their views on Universal British values and a wider sense of community cohesion.
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 are introduced to Philosophy and Ethics and they will explore the meaning of reality. They will discuss Sikhism and Judaism focusing on practices and beliefs. Students will compare Christianity to other religions and they will discuss secularism and humanism. The final term will be dedicated to human rights and social justice. Students will complete a project in one of the topics.
The students follow a unit that explores issues related to creationism and scientific explanation of the world (Darwin and evolution). Focus will be the historical figure of Jesus and on Buddhism. There will be a project on Buddhism at the end of the term. Students will be introduced to the ethical theories of animal rights and just war.
All students in Y9 will analyse the meaning of the concept of ‘worldview’ and the Universal British values of Tolerance, Democracy and Individual freedom. Reference to J.S. Mill and Voltaire .
Students will complete a project on Ethics and Morality focussing on the social aspect of these theories. We will discuss the problem of evil from a secularist and religious perspective. The main focus will be on Islam (main philosophical and religious concepts) and the problem of Islamophobia in the UK and in the world. During the summer term we will focus on different types of family (nuclear families, extended families, single-parent families, reconstituted families and childless families).
Key Stage 4: Years 10 and 11
At the end of Year 9, students can opt to do our full course GCSE. Our year 10 and 11 students are studying the AQA Religious Studies full course (linear). Year 10 based on Christianity and year 11 on Judaism. In both years we explore a variety of philosophical and moral such as evolution, death, terrorism, sex, justification of the existence of God.
All Year 10 and 11 students, including those who take the GCSE course, also have one compulsory period every other week. The course is mainly based on discussion of specific topics such as contraception and sex, gender equality and diversity, environmental ethics and animal rights.