Philosophy & Ethics Teaching Staff
- Mrs Reiffer – Curriculum Lead
- Mr Harmey
- Mr Jarvis
- Miss White
- Mr Bell
- Mrs O’shea
The Philosophy and Ethics (previously referred to as Religious Studies) department at Wey Valley Academy is dedicated to helping students understand the world around them.
In this subject we look to reduce and challenge misconceptions, prejudice, and negative views of different groups of people, places, and religions. We aim to deepen students understanding of Christianity whilst studying and comparing major world faiths and equipping students with the ability to think for themselves as they study philosophical, theological, and social issues. Students in our subject are open minded to other points of view, identify and challenge misconceptions and question prejudice around them. They listen to each other and are not afraid of making their voice heard when justifying their viewpoint with reasoned consideration. Students are challenged to think empathetically whilst reflecting and considering a variety of ethical issues which have impact our world.
We aim to encourage students to be critical thinkers and develop their literacy ability whilst debating controversial issues such as Human rights, Animal rights and the value of life. We want students to be inspired by Philosophy and Ethics and motivated to make a positive difference in the lives of those around them. One of our core principles of the department is to give students the confidence to be courageous advocates for those who suffer injustice and discrimination.
- During the course, students will focus on developing their ability to:
- Reduce and challenge misconceptions
- Deepen knowledge and understanding of different faiths in discussions
- Be open minded to other points of view and to identify and challenge misconceptions and prejudice.
- Listen to each other with consideration
- Reflect critically on shared and diverse beliefs and practices
- Think theologically and reflect critically on ultimate questions
- Respect others and their viewpoints on religion and faith
- Analyse, interpret and discuss religious texts
Key Stage 4
AQA remains by far the most popular exam board for religious studies in the country. A variety of textbooks and revision resources are readily available, and we can provide details on these. The AQA exam is consistent in format and therefore easier for the students to understand. We believe that students sitting the AQA exam are tested on their own subject knowledge rather than exam technique. That noted, we want students to develop their knowledge and understanding of those core religions, developing awareness of beliefs, teachings, practices, the forms of expression, and understand how belief can contribute to people’s identity and sense of belonging. Students will gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of any culture.
Religious beliefs and teachings underpin the course, so are taught first. Students then deepen their knowledge of religious teachings by applying them to ethical themes and eventually philosophy of religion. We teach interactively, discussing and showing real-world events and how these are often impacted by faith and religion.
Opportunities to learn outside of the classroom are sought out as much as possible in our department, currently we are seeking out opportunities to visit Prisons (linked to the crime and punishment module) and look at the legal system. Prior experiences have included a GCSE trip to London, where students can relive the streets of Victorian London and key elements of the Crime and Punishment topic in the London Dungeons and the London Eye providing students with awareness of some of the key Historical sites the capital city has in addition to exploring the treatment and development of medicine and its impact of Human and Animal rights. Other trips have included those to the Natural History Museum and Imperial War Museum where focus was placed on the Holocaust. We also invite visitors to come to the school to talk about and discuss specific philosophical issues and will continue to bring these opportunities into the classroom as much as possible.