Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Northwood College for Girls seeks to reflect the cultural, social and religious backgrounds of the people in our community and enable each student to come to a more developed understanding of their own identity. Moreover, it is important in enabling dialogue with members of different faith communities and those who consider themselves secular humanists, atheists, and agnostics.

The subject aims to address ultimate questions (concerning the nature of God, the human condition, and problems in ethics) which form the basis of religious understanding. Students will look at how religious conviction, or lack thereof, might affect the individual, social, and moral values of members of different communities in modern Britain. 

During their exploration of philosophy and ethics, students will take in the perspectives of the six major world faiths; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as having opportunities to investigate the beliefs of religions which are represented in the local community, such as Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Humanism.

Thinking skills and creativity play an important role in the delivery of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics to ensure that girls can develop informed opinions about different life situations; to be able to empathise with opinions which differ from their own; and to develop skills in citizenship and thereby be equipped to contribute to the world in which they live. Our Philosophy, Religion and Ethics teaching staff are highly experienced subject specialists and have accredited training in Philosophy for Children (P4C), and membership to professional bodies such as the ISRSA and NATRE.


KS3 CURRICULUM CONTENT

Year 7 – An Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics, What Does it Mean to be Religious, Women in Religion, Who am I part 1: Questions of the Self

Year 8 – Issues of Poverty and Wealth, Can Religion solve the Climate Crisis, Issues of Equality and Diversity, Who am I part 2: Questions of Community

Year 9 – Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, The Holocaust, Questions of Faith in the Twenty First Century


KS4 CURRICULUM

Girls who choose to take the subject at GCSE in Year 10 and 11 follow the AQA Religious Studies A specification (8062). Topics include: the study of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Islam and Christianity; the existence of God and Revelation; Relationships and Families; Religion, Crime and Punishment; Human Rights and Social Justice.


KS5 CURRICULUM

Girls who choose to take the subject at A Level in Year 12 and 13 follow the OCR Religious Studies – H573 specification, with a focus on Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Developments in Christian Thoughts.

 

  • Year 7 An Introduction to Philosophy for Children, The World Religions Project, Living a Religious Life (Part 1: Judaism and Buddhism), Religion and the Arts

    Year 8 Philosophy for Children, Living a Religious Life (Part 2: Hinduism and Sikhism), and Wealth and Poverty

    Year 9 Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, The Holocaust, Living a Religious Life (Part 3: Christianity and Islam)

  • Girls who choose to take the subject at GCSE in Year 10 and 11 follow the AQA Religious Studies A specification (8062). Topics include: the study of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Islam and Christianity; the existence of God and Revelation; Relationships and Families; Religion, Crime and Punishment; Human Rights and Social Justice.

  • Girls who choose to take the subject at A Level in Year 12 and 13 follow the OCR Religious Studies – H573 specification, with a focus on Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and Developments in Christian Thoughts.

    Topics include: ancient philosophical influences; the nature of the soul, mind and body; arguments about the existence or non-existence of God; the nature and impact of religious experience; the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil; ideas about the nature of God; issues in religious language; normative ethical theories; the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance; ethical language and thought; debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience; sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs; religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world; sources of religious wisdom and authority; practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition; significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought; key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

  • There are many extracurricular visits, including visits to Bhakti Vedanta Manor and Northwood Orthodox Synagogue Holocaust Memorial Day.  Girls are also given the opportunity to attend conferences relating to their GCSE and A Level examination such as those organised by Julie Arliss and Dr Peter Vardy of Candle Conferences.

    The department organises a weekly Philosophy club and works with the Royal Institute for Philosophy to provide additional courses for students. We also provide drop in surgeries for KS4 and KS5 students to help prepare them for their forthcoming examinations.