Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Learning to be Extraordinary


The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics Department is staffed by specialist teachers who are passionate about the subjects and support students to achieve their full potential.

At A Level, the pass rate is consistently 100%.

Religion, Philosophy and ethics is an increasingly popular choice at both GCSE and A Level.

Why Take Religion, Philosophy and Ethics?

Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to questions such as these. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.

Religious education encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.

Religious education encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community.

Religious education has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice


All students in  Years 7 and 8 study Religion Philosophy and Ethics.

In Year 7, students investigate 3 topics:

  • Religious beliefs about God
  • Islam in today’s world
  • Curriculum Kernewek (religions and beliefs in Cornwall)

In Year 8, students investigate three topics

  • Buddhist beliefs
  • The influence of religions of ancient cultures
  • Christology

Lessons are challenging and engaging, allowing students to explore their own beliefs and the beliefs of others in a safe and supportive environment.


GCSE Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is an increasingly popular option.

The GCSE is a fascinating and rewarding study of contemporary issues in our world.  Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these skills will help prepare them for further study.

GCSE RPE follows the AQA A Syllabus. The religions studied are Buddhism and Christianity.

Component 1:  The study of religion:  beliefs; teaching and practices (Christianity and Buddhism)
Component 2:  Thematic studies:  contemporary philosophical and ethical studies including:  crime and punishment; social justice.

In addition, in Year 9 all students follow a core module of RPE, investigating key philosophical issues.


A Level RPE is a fascinating, challenging and rewarding subject which engages students fully, enabling them to develop high level academic skills which will support them in further study.

A Level Philosophy and Ethics encourages students to explore and challenge assumptions about what we are, how we think, and the nature of the world around us. The course  helps  students to think creatively and critically through philosophical and ethical issues, and to develop a richer understanding of issues to do with truth, reality, the self and society. Students investigate key developments in philosophy and ethics, and developments in Buddhist thought.

Unit 1:  Philosophy of Religion
Unit 2:  Ethics
Unit 3:  Developments in Buddhist Thought



Our Religion, Philosophy and Ethics provision goes far beyond the classroom. As part of enrichment, we offer Philosophy Club to all students, a chance to engage and debate key issues in contemporary philosophy and ethics.

These enrichment activities are open to all students and are a collaborative offering from CSIA staff.


Studying RPE is very important in our multicultural and diverse society.   A wide range of career paths are open to those who study RPE, ranging from education, medicine and social work to journalism and international relations.

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