Nunnery wood high school 10

Ethics & Philosophy


At Nunnery Wood High School, we value the impact that Ethics and Philosophy can have on all students not just academically but as they enter the wider world. It is for this reason that Ethics and Philosophy is a core subject studied by all students until the end of year 11. As a department and a school body we believe that it is essential for students to have a greater understanding of the world and its people beyond that of Worcester and the UK and to recognise the individual’s role and impact in their community. Through this subject we are able to celebrate diversity, make comparisons with other communities and help students to understand the importance of tolerance towards others, especially when our views do not align.

The curriculum is designed so that students are exposed to a wide range of religions and world views and introduces students to the complexities of ethical decision making and philosophical thought. Through the range of topics covered students should not only experience a knowledge rich curriculum but also develop vital skills for the many avenues they may move on to. The subject provides countless opportunities for debate, discussion and to develop written arguments, all of which are vital for many work environments and in students’ personal lives. We want to empower students to start to form their own views on controversial topics rather than following the crowd, we encourage students to ask questions and strive to discover more.

At KS3 we aim to introduce students to a wide range of religious views and world views, we aim to also help them connect the impact that religion has had on society for millennia and how the modern world continues to be impacted by religious beliefs. We take the opportunity to guide students through some of the most well-known philosophical theories as well as some contested ethical debates. At KS4 we focus on two religions in detail and four thematic options which allow us to connect religious beliefs to topics which are part of the 21st century. Helping students to recongise the wide range of views that exist and why. The curriculum is designed with all students in mind and differentiated to ensure that all can access the material covered. The setting of groups enables teachers to plan to meet the needs of all students and to vary material covered when appropriate. The course material and structure of lessons allows frequent opportunities to practice oracy skills and also cover topics that link to SMSC content.

There are opportunities for students to apply the skills they have learnt in class through extra-curricular clubs. As a team we run a popular debate club and enter the mock trial competition. The mock trial competition gives students to the chance to explore an area of the world of work where their skills from Ethics and Philosophy could be applied. As a team we try to link the work and skills covered in lessons and extracurricular events back to careers and further study. We liaise with local 6th form providers to share opportunities that are available within Worcester.

The department is made up of enthusiastic and driven leaders and excellent teachers who are constantly looking for new opportunities within the classroom. The teams is united in its vision to provide students with a safe space to share their ideas, and opportunities to reflect on big questions and current issues which will affect all people during their lifetime. We want students to question the world around them and we equip them with the skills to do so.



Staffing Structure
Curriculum Leader: Ms E Budge
Phone: 01905 363652

Team Structure
Curriculum Leader
Assistant Curriculum Leader
1 full-time teacher
2 Part time teacher
1 non specialist teacher


Curriculum Facilities

There is specialist housing for this subject that contains excellent ICT facilities access to shared iPad and laptops. The subject also owns a good selection of religious artefacts that support learning inside and outside the classroom.


KS3 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

At KS3 Ethics and Philosophy we aim to introduce students to a range of religions, beliefs, ethical issues and philosophical thought. We work in line with the Worcestershire Agreed Syllabus to ensure students receive a broad and engaging level of religious education. Through our topics we aim to cover the following concepts:
1. Beliefs
2. Expression and Celebration
3. Living and Belonging
4. The Search for Meaning and Purpose
Developing skills of Investigation, Interpretation, Analysis, Explanation, Synthesis, Reflection, Evaluation and Empathy.

Developing the core skills of:
• The intrapersonal skills required for self-management
• The interpersonal skills required for positive relationships in a wide variety of settings
• Skills of enquiry

We have built the curriculum so that students can explore different religious and non-religious ideas throughout each year. The knowledge gained each year will allow students to compare and contrast religious beliefs and practices which will be a vital skill for GCSE. As students move into year 9, they can explore their own morals and beliefs further and consider how this impacts their own decision making.

Organisation of the KS3 curriculum and how students are assessed (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings.

Students will be assessed either termly or ½ termly on the core RE element of Ethics and Philosophy. Across each year group students are assessed in a variety of ways. The department has diversified assessment approaches so that each year students will complete an oracy assessment, a written exam, and a creative writing task alongside many other assessment opportunities. Each unit has been planned to help ensure students have a broad understanding of both religious and world views, at the end of KS3 students should have covered all the 6 main religions. The topics are planned to develop students’ skills in writing, oracy, and enquiry. The outline for each year group is below. 

Year 7

  • Why do we have religion?
  • Who was Jesus?
  • What do Hindu’s believe?
  • How was the world created?
  • Who are the faithful?

Year 8

  • What do Buddhists believe?
  • How can we express faith through the arts?
  • What makes someone inspirational?
  • What do Sikhs believe?
  • What do Muslims believe?

Year 9

  • What is Ethics and Philosophy?
  • What do Jews believe?
  • What is humanism?
  • What makes a religion?

Sources of information that may be useful

Worcester Agreed Syllabus
BBC Bitesize KS3

KS4 - AQA Religious Studies (A) 8062

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS4 teaching in the subject area

Students are challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues.
Students also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these skills help prepare them for further study.

In Route A students must answer questions on two specified religions in Component 1A Christianity and Islam and four from six religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes in Component 2A. The topics we choose to cover are; Relationships and Families (A), Religion and Life (B), Religion, Peace and Conflict (D), Religion, Crime and Punishment (E). 

Component 1A:
Christianity – beliefs, teachings and practices
Islam – beliefs, teachings and practice

Component 2A:
Theme A- Relationships and Families
• The nature and purpose of the family
• Relationships and equality.

Theme B – Religion and life 
• The origins and value of the universe
• The origins and value of human life

Theme D – Religion, peace and conflict 
• Religion, violence, terrorism and war
• Religion and belief in 21st century conflict

Theme E – Religion, crime and punishment 
• Religion, crime and the causes of crime
• Religion and punishment

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings)
Students are timetabled Ethics and Philosophy 4x fortnight.

Year 1:
Christianity beliefs and teachings
Christian practices
Islam beliefs and teachings
Islam practice

Year 2:
Theme A - Relationships and Families 
Theme B - Religion and Life 
Theme E - Religion, Crime and Punishment 
Theme F - Religion Peace and Conflict 



Students are assessed regularly for progress over the year.

This is a linear course with 2 examination papers.


Sources of information that may be useful
BBC Bitesize