Ethics

KS3:

Across years 7-9 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 exists, or if computers can think, as well as examining key ethical questions. These questions, such as those surrounding medical ethics or the ethics of war 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 10, we are examining some of the issues that pupils will be presented with upon leaving school. To this end, we will examine the British Political system, including the current standing of the parties following the recent election and how they plan to implement their policies. We will also be examining how pupils can make their own voices heard to influence the decisions that affect their lives.

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.

In year 11, we are studying the OCR level 2 award in Thinking and Reasoning Skills. This course serves to develop pupils’ critical thinking faculties, encouraging them to question and analyse the information they are presented with. Topics covered include formal flaws in argumentation, questioning reliability and persuasive writing. The skills developed on this course will serve to complement pupils’ other studies in the Humanities, as well as serving them well in their ability to challenge the age of ‘fake news’. 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.