Ethics & Philosophy

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open” – Thomas Dewar

Welcome & Ethos

Ethics and Philosophy at Nunnery Wood High School encourages pupils to:

Understand what is meant by ‘religion’ and engage with the range of beliefs, practices and values they will thereby encounter.

This primary aim can be broken down into other important aims as follows:

  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions represented in Great Britain;
  • Gain an understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence individuals, societies, communities and cultures in a global community;
  • Acquire a capacity to engage in a search for meaning and purpose in order to enhance their own spiritual and moral growth;
  • Discover opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development;
  • Reflect upon their pursuit of a set of moral values which will be a guide to their behaviour;
  • Develop a positive attitude towards people who hold beliefs different from theirs;
  • Consider how their own experiences can contribute to reflection on the fundamental questions of human existence;
  • Acquire investigative and research skills in order for them to make reasoned judgements about religious issues;
  • Develop and apply their cross-curricular skills to the study of religious beliefs and practices;
  • Promote a willingness to challenge religious, racial and cultural stereotyping and prejudice;
  • Encourage, support and promote good relationships within and between families, communities and religions.

Context of the Subject

Ethics and Philosophy offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It aims to enhance students’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, the family, communities and cultures. We want the students at Nunnery Wood High School to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens, through provoking questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. We want our young people to develop their sense of identity and belonging and to flourish as individuals within their communities and as citizens in a diverse and global community. Ethics and Philosophy have an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. We aim to enable them to develop respect for and sensitivity towards others, in particular those whose faith and beliefs are different from their own.

Staffing Structure

Curriculum Leader
Ms E Budge
Phone: 01905 363652

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

Curriculum Facilities

There is specialist housing for this subject that contains excellent ICT facilities – interactive white boards and a bank of netbooks for student use in lessons. 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

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 ½ termly on the core RE element of Ethics and Philosophy this will be in the form of exam style questions – developing their exam technique from the start.

Sources of information that may be useful

Worcester Agreed Syllabus
BBC Bitesize KS3


KS4 Overview -repeated for each GCSE in the department and each year
From September 2017
Please be clear if there is a different course for year 10 and year 11

Subject title, board and syllabus code

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, 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, Human Rights and Justice


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