Ethics

KS3:

Across years 7-8 in Ethics, we examine a range of key questions concerning pupils’ identity, place in the world and values.

This includes the study of religions seen around the world, focussing predominantly on Christianity, but also examining other world faiths. We look at practices as well as core beliefs, whilst discussing how these impact upon the lives of believers and arguments surrounding the validity of faith based claims.

We also examine contemporary political and economic issues and themes. This includes covering ideological beliefs and outcomes through looking at current and past political movements. Further, pupils spend time examining key British values, such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance. We examine that nature of these concepts, as well as how much they can be seen and followed in practice. We also spend time looking at how businesses conduct themselves in society and how government interacts with this.

Furthermore, in Ethics we spend time examining key philosophical questions, surrounding what the world is actually like and how we are to behave within it. This includes such topics as whether God can or should be proved, or the purpose of life, as well as examining key ethical questions. These questions, such as how different groups can live alongside each other or whether religion is a force for peace are then examined from different religious and political perspectives, as well as from the pupils’ own position.

In ethics, we aim to give pupils the knowledge to be able to make their own informed decisions, applying theory as well as context to the choices they make in their lives and in society.

KS4:

In Year 9, our students begin studying for their GCSE in Citizenship Studies, with Edexcel. They will continue these studies throughout years 10 and 11 to sit their exams at the end of year 11. This course includes examining contemporary British life and values, the political system, the legal system and how different groups can influence our society. This course encourages student to think critically about their place in British society and the world as well as giving them an understanding of many of the issues which will impact upon their lives currently and after they have left the school. Students also have the opportunity to work collectively on a project of their own choosing related to a citizenship topic. This could be to raise awareness of a particular human rights problem, or to bring about a change in the law, to take just two examples. To help pupils outside of the classroom, it is encouraged that they read a quality newspaper or journal; a good starting point is the weekly digest The Week which gives a summary of big news stories from many sources, allowing for critical reflection and questioning of issues that are affecting life in the UK now.

Currently in year 11, we are examining some of the issues that pupils will be presented with upon leaving school. Students are studying a course designed by Unicef in conjunction with Barclays bank aiming to give them financial literacy and empower their human rights. To this end, they will examine the rights available to them and to other children around the world, reflecting on how economic security can aid them in leading a full life. We will also be examining global ethical issues such as fair trade, military intervention and foreign aid. Pupils will consider their own responsibilities and explore how best to cope with the problems a changing world is facing. Pupils will have the opportunity to debate and discuss contemporary moral problems as well as developing their ability to write coherently and persuasively about them.