Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

Department vision

Everyone has beliefs. Even the person who says, 'I don't believe in anything." The study of religion is for everyone, whether religious or not, and is always carried out in a non-doctrinal and open way. There is no preaching in this study and no particular creed is ever recommended. Rather students are expected to develop the ability to listen and learn from others and show respect and empathy for the views and life styles of others. The world is becoming a smaller place with worldwide travel, business and the use of the Internet and Britain is now a multi-cultural society under global influence. Understanding other cultures is vital for modern life and social cohesion.

Year 7

In Year 7 students spend 50% of the time studying Christianity and the other 50% learning about Sikhism, Hinduism and Judaism.

  • Unit 1: Sikhism - What do Sikhs believe?

  • Unit 2: Christianity - Jesus and the Gospels

  • Unit 3: Judaism - Belief and Practice

  • Unit 4: Christianity - The Life and Works of Jesus

  • Unit 5: Hinduism - Belief and Practice

  • Unit 6: Christianity - Global Issues - Poverty

Year 8

In Year 8 students spend 50% of the time studying Christianity and the other 50% learning about Islam and Buddhism. Furthermore, students will have three terms where they will begin to study religion in a Philosophical and Ethical way.

  •  Unit 7: Christianity - Belief in Action
  •  Unit 8: Humanism – Key Beliefs
  •  Unit 9: Christianity - Religious Philosophy
  •  Unit 10: Islam - Ethics and Global Issues
  •  Unit 11: Buddhism - The teachings of Buddha
  •  Unit 12: Christianity - Ethics and Values

Year 9

All students at WGSG take AQA GCSE Religious Studies A Full course and will be required to sit two papers. The first being Component 1: The study of religion: beliefs, teachings and practices; this requires the study of two religions and at WGSG these will be Christianity and Islam. The second being Component 2: Thematic studies - Philosophy and Ethics where students will study four themes.

In Year 9 students will study:

Component 1: Christianity – Belief and Practice

  • Key Beliefs
  • Jesus and Salvation
  • Worship and Festivals
  • The role of the church in local and worldwide community

Year 10

In year 10 students will study:

Component 1: Islam – Beliefs and Practice

  • Key Beliefs
  • Authority
  • Worship
  • Duties and Festivals

Component 2: Thematic – Philosophy and Ethics

  • Crime and Punishment
  • Relationships and Families

Year 11

Year 11 are in the final year of their GCSE and are studying the legacy AQA GCSE RS B sepcification. Pupils will complete the study of the final two ethical topics, beginning with religion and the role it plays in young people lives in 21st Century Britain. The time left is used to recap and revise the topics studied over the previous three years in preparation for the two one and a half hour examinations to achieve a full course Religious Education GCSE.

  • Unit 2: Religion and Life Issues – Topic 6 – Religion and Young People
  • Unit 2: Religion and Life Issues – Topic 4 – Religion and Early Life


Students work is assessed in a number of ways throughout Years 7-11. We believe very strongly in formative and summative assessment.

Year 7 & 8 - In Key Stage 3 all pupils will be given a copy of a pupil friendly version of Level Descriptors 1-3 and these will be stuck into the front and/or back cover of their exercise books so they can start to make judgments about their own work. They can also use it to help them assess their own work in order to help them set targets for themselves.

Year 9, 10 & 11 – In GCSE students worked is marked in accordance with examination assessment criteria. Students will be given regular assessment sheets which will assess their ability to show knowledge and understanding of the religious and philosophical content covered in class. Furthermore, students will be expected to complete four end of topic test throughout the year in order to review their progress.

post 16 at wg6

The RPE department is part of the Social Science Faculty at WGSG. The Social Science department offers four A Levels which have all proven to be some of the most popular A Levels in the school. They are:

  • Religion, Philosophy and Ethics A Level

  • Business Studies A Level

  • Psychology A Level

  • Sociology A Level

  • Health and Social Care A Level

related careers

RS, Philosophy and Ethics develops skills of evaluation and analysis which are applicable to almost any walk of life. It is not just about what others think; it is about learning to think for yourself. According to AGCAS – the association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service, RS/Theology graduates go into a wide range of careers. However, they, and employers, feel that it particularly prepares students for the following careers:

  • Law

  • Social Worker

  • Teaching

  • Journalism

  • Politics

  • Financial Services

  • Hospitality

  • Human Resources

  • Community Work