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Philosophy and Ethics
What we aim to achieve with students
Philosophy and Ethics 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.
Philosophy and Ethics 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.
Philosophy and Ethics 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.
Philosophy and Ethics 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.
Philosophy and Ethics 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.
A variety of activities and approaches enable students to develop a range of skills. Students are encouraged to engage in debate and to ask searching questions. In this way they will learn to think critically and to develop their analytical skills.
Delivery of Philosophy and Ethics at the Knights Templar School is guided by the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus.
Ms K Bradley is the Head of Religious Education
Mr M Breadmore
Rev. E Lavelle
Mrs L Wells
Mrs Wells studied Theology at Hull University, and joined the Philosophy and Ethics department at the Knights Templar School in 2001. She teaches RE, PSHE, ‘A’ level Ethics and Philosophy and the Extended Projects Qualification (EPQ). Mrs Wells is a Team Leader for Edexcel’s GCSE Religious Studies examination course.
Mrs S Scales
Mrs S Scales has been teaching for 33 years, including at St Albans Girls School, Princess Helena College, Monks Walk WGC, and Norton School. She has taught RE at the Knights Templar School since 1979 and A level since 1995. Mrs Scales particularly enjoys teaching Philosophy and getting the students to consider the ‘big’ questions; she says sometimes they have to think so hard their heads actually hurt!
Courses we offer
Our KS3 students follow the Hertfordshire Approved Syllabus for Religious Education. In Year 7 they will examine such areas as ‘Who Am I?’, ‘God for all faiths or none?’, ‘What is the nature of God in Islam and Sikhism?’, ‘Jesus – Man or God?’, ‘How do we know what’s right and wrong?’ and ‘What is Christian Justice?’
Our Year 8 students follow a programme of study which includes ‘Will you be my people if I will be your God?’, ‘What makes a journey special?’, ‘Was Jesus a troublemaker?’ and the Holocaust.
In Year 9 we explore such issues as ‘A life for a Life?’, ‘Does suffering have a point?’, ‘Is it ever right to fight?’, ‘Do animals have rights?’ and ‘Where does the universe come from?’
Current year 11 students (2016-7) follow the Edexcel board. They study unit 2 - Believing in God, Matters of life and death, Marriage and the family , Religion and community cohesion. They also study unit 8 - Rights & Responsibilities, Environment & Medical Issues, Peace & Conflict, Crime & Punishment
Students in Y10 (from September 2016) are following the new specification and study AQA Religious Studies A based on a study of Christianity and Islam. The topics to be studies for the GCSE include The Existence of God, Key Beliefs & Practices in Christianity, Key Beliefs & Practices in Islam, Religion Crime & Punishment, Relationships & Families, Religious attitudes to matters of life and death.
Our KS5 students follow the new Edexcel GCE:
- Paper 1 - Philosophy of religion (Paper Code: 8RS0/01)
- Paper 2 - Religion and Ethics (Paper Code: 8RS0/02)
- Paper 4 - Study of Religion (Paper Code: 8RS0/4A-4F)
Trips and Activities
The Philosophy and Ethics department runs a variety of visits for its students throughout the year. These include attending GCSE and GCE conferences in London and elsewhere to assist our examination students in their learning, as well as a number of study days for our KS3 students at the British Library and the British Museum.
Exhibitions our students have visited recently include ‘Sacred: Discover what we share’, ‘Treasures of Heaven: saints, relics and devotion in medieval Europe’, and ‘Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: Journey through the Afterlife’.
Guest speakers at our Sixth Form conferences have included leading Cambridge scientist Professor Sir John Polkinghorne and human fertility pioneer Dr Peter Brinsden.