Philosophy, Religion and Ethics
The PRE Department is the study of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, and aims to educate students in religious and philosophical disciplines, including the study of religious texts, histories, beliefs, practices, and ethics.
The department aims to:
- Educate students in the knowledge and skills they need to think in an open minded way about religion and matters of faith.
- Encourage critical and ethical reasoning about personal beliefs and institutional religious practices, asking how religious, philosophical and non-religious worldviews may affect attitudes and beliefs.
- Explore how religions are lived and practised in local communities and global contexts.
- Cultivate a sense of responsibility for communities informed by the study of theology and religion.
Our PRE lessons provide opportunity for students to progress through the:
- Philosophy core skills of critical thinking, creating and articulating coherent arguments, engaging in open-minded reflection which may include challenging pre-conceptions and questioning assumptions.
- Theology core skills including learning about the origins, core beliefs and core practices of religions; understanding sources of wisdom and authority of religions, including hermeneutical investigations where appropriate; linking beliefs to practice; evaluating divergent beliefs; and comparing and contrasting varied interpretations within and between religious traditions and non-religious worldviews.
- Ethics core skills of analysing real-world issues of morality, and considering diverse viewpoints available to assess moral arguments and ethical perspectives.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3, PRE aims to develop characteristics and key skills that help prepare all students for dealing with life: raising awareness of other faiths, establishing a sense of identity, developing open and enquiring minds and encouraging empathy with others.
In Year 7 the students will study elements of community in ‘The Island’ unit, then will look at world religions, their beliefs and practices.
In Year 8 we will start with a unit on ‘Looking for Meaning’, then continue with topics on: religion and art, philosophy, ethics, an investigation of the meaning of the Old Testament for Christians and we finish by looking at the problem of evil and possible solutions to the problem.
In Year 9 we study religion and the media, Global issues of peace and conflict, the Holocaust, the nature of God and belief, Global issues of equality and end with a study of the early histories of Islam and Christianity.
How can parents help at home?
At Key Stage 3 parents can help by discussing the issues and topics we learn about in PRE. Many of these topics will be reflected in the wider world, in the news and in TV programmes. In PRE we encourage debate and discussion so parents can help by asking students what they are learning, and by asking them to explain the various religious, philosophical or ethical viewpoints on the issues.
At Key Stage 4 parents can help by quizzing and testing students on their GCSE work – the text book has a list of revision questions at the end of each chapter, and if students were asked regularly about ANY of the topics they have already covered this would help them enormously in their learning. Testing and discussion does not have to be limited to the topic the students are studying right now, by asking them about something studied last year parents can help strengthen the learning over time!
Bible Gateway – Good News Translation: https://www.biblegateway.com/
BBC Bitesize – Religious Studies: Christianity and Islam: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zb48q6f
RS Revision: http://www.rsrevision.com/contents/index.htm