Philosophy & Ethics



Key Stage Three

At Key Stage 3 students will study the Six Major World Religions and a variety of philosophical issues including “Does suffering make it impossible to believe in God?” and “Religion and Science” which considers the origin of the Universe. Throughout Key Stage 3 students will look at religious viewpoints on issues and evaluate them in light of their own understanding of the World. Students study 4/5 units a year and complete an assessment at the end of each unit, these take a variety of different forms including written assessments and creative assessments. Students complete Key Stage 3 at the end of Year 8 in P&E.

Key Stage Four

Students start their Key Stage 4 programme from the beginning of Year 9.  Students will either complete the Full Course AQA GCSE or the Short Course AQA GCSE (worth half a GCSE). All students will study the same topics in Year 9 and then at the end of Year 9 a decision based on each student’s effort, attainment and attitude to the subject will be made and we will decide whether students complete Full Course GCSE or Short Course GCSE.

In Year 9 students will study the following topics

  • Christianity (including different denominations in Christianity, the importance of Jesus and the Trinity)
  • Islam (including Sunni and Shia Islam, the importance of Propehthood and the oneness of Allah)
  • Relationships and Family (including sex, marriage and divorce)

In Year 10 Full Course students will study the following topics

  • Religion and Life (including abortion and euthanasia)
  • Religion, Peace and Conflict (including violence, WMD and pacifism)
  • Christianity and Worship (including festivals and the role of the Church in the local and worldwide community)

In Year 11 Full Course Students will study the following topics

  • Islam and Worship (including the Five Pillars of Islam and Muslim festivals).
  • The existence of God and Revelation (including the arguments for the existence of God and their weaknesses).

The Full Course assessment will be 2 x 1 ¾ hour exams at the end of the course.

In Year 10 Short Course Students will study the following topics

  • Religion, Peace and Conflict (including violence, WMD and pacifism)
  • Exam Skills.

Students will sit 1x 1 ¾ hour exam at the end of Year 10. In Year 11 students will complete Core Philosophy and Ethics which will involve topical news debates and sanctity of life issues.

Key Stage Five

At Key Stage 5 students study the AQA Philosophy and Ethics A Level. The course is split into two components.

Component One:  Philosophy and Ethics

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious experience
  • Religious language
  • Miracles
  • Self and life after death
  • Ethical theories
  • Issues of human life and death
  • Issues of animal life and death
  • Introduction to meta ethics
  • Free will and moral responsibility
  • Conscience
  • Bentham and Kant.

Component Two:  Study of Christianity

Section A:  Study of Christianity

  • Sources of wisdom and authority
  • God/gods/ultimate reality
  • Self, death and the afterlife
  • Good conduct and key moral principles
  • Expression of religious identity
  • Religion, gender and sexuality
  • Religion and science
  • Religion and secularisation
  • Religion and religious pluralism

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion

  • How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on, philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

Section C:  The dialogue between ethical studies and religion.

  • How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on, ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

Each component is worth 50% of the A Level and is assessed in a 3 hour exam.


In order to continue to further your education in P&E see if you can visit a variety of places of worship and keep up to date on Religious news in the world.


  • Public Sector jobs including social worker, police officer and teacher
  • Charity Officer
  • Medical Profession (dealing with ethics)
  • International Aid/ Development worker
  • Counsellor
  • Youth Officer
  • PR Manager


  • Mrs Rachel Moore – Head of P&E, Citizenship, PSHE and Health & Social Care
  • Mr Rob Findon – Teacher of P&E, Sociology & Psychology, and DofE Co-ordinator
  • Miss Sam Mulholland – Teacher of P&E, Health & Social Care, Head of Key Stage 4 & Head of Year 11


You have a legal right to withdraw your child from Philosophy and Ethics but please note that you will be expected to provide work for your child of a spiritual nature during this time.  This time should not be seen as an opportunity for your child to ‘catch up’ on other work (please see the ‘Right to Withdraw Policy based on guidance provided by Hertfordshire County Council Sacre).