Ethics & Philosophy

Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8, pupils are introduced to key skills needed throughout their time at Tupton Hall School for Ethics and Philosophy, such as forming a well-balanced argument, becoming confident in debates and being reflective, analytical learners who are tolerant of diversity. They will study Ethics and Philosophy in one lesson a week.

The course over Year 7 and 8 includes topics such as:

  • World Religions
  • Ancient Mythology
  • Cults and New Religious Movements
  • Philosophy for Children
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Religion and the Media  
  • Medical Ethics
  • Crime and Punishment

Forms of assessment

Students will be formally assessed in each topic to ensure they are making good progress. This will usually be through written reflections, key vocabulary tests or sometimes will involve creative tasks, too.

Students also sit a 1 hour exam during the year which will be on whichever topic they are studying at the time.

How parents can help

Talk to your child about what they are learning, get them to teach you about the topics they have covered in lessons.

Get your child to watch topical documentaries on ethical issues covered in our curriculum and watch the news regularly.

Key Stage 4

Ethics and Philosophy at GCSE (Years 9 - 11)

EP is currently an optional GCSE which pupils can choose during their Y8 options process. It is no longer a compulsory subject.

We follow the AQA syllabus Religious Studies A: it includes modules on Christianity, Islam and ‘Themes’ on Philosophical and Ethical issues.

Pupils begin this course in Year 9 to ensure they have plenty of time to learn the course content and practice exam skills. If you have any questions concerning the course, please contact Miss Adair.

Aims of the Course

  • to explore the importance of values and motivations in human society by evaluating the beliefs and practices of two of the world’s major religions;
  • to consider moral issues and to develop a well thought out personal response to these;
  • to consider ultimate questions regarding the meaning of life, the origins of the universe and the existence of God and to evaluate the different possible responses to these questions.
  • to develop mature and well balanced debate and essay skills that are useful for the pupil but also contribute to good overall writing skills in their school career

Course Content:

Students will study the following units of work:

  • Christian Beliefs and Practices (including the significance and effect they have on Christians and society today).
  • Islamic Beliefs and Practices (including the significance and effect they have on Muslims and society today).
  • Theme 1 – Crime and Punishment (Corporal punishment; the death penalty; forgiveness)
  • Theme 2 – Human Rights and Social Justice (Forms of prejudice and discrimination, the importance of Human Rights and Freedoms, the causes of poverty and how people respond to it).
  • Theme 3 – ‘Life Issues’ (Euthanasia; abortion; animal rights; is there such a thing as the afterlife?)
  • Theme 4 – The Existence of God (Ancient Greek philosophy; arguments for the existence of God; atheist arguments; immortality and the soul).
  • Theme 5 – Peace and Conflict (Causes and consequences of war, victims of war, pacifism vs the just war theory, nuclear warfare).


The course is assessed in two exams lasting 1 hour 45 minutes each. These will be taken at the end of Year 11. The first exam is focused on the beliefs and practices of the religions studied. The second exam is focused on 4 Philosophical and Ethical ‘Themes’. Each exam counts for 50% of the pupil’s overall grade and there are no modular exams or coursework. There will be a single tier of assessment covering grades 9 – 1.

Progression routes from this course could include:

Progression to careers where understanding people’s motives and beliefs are important (e.g. medicine, journalism, law, education, nursing, social work).

Revision tips/How parents can help:

Get your child to watch topical documentaries on ethical issues covered in our curriculum and watch the news regularly.

Study with a friend to test each other’s knowledge

Make a bank of teachings and quotes to be applied to different ethical topics.

Go through past papers/specimen papers and questions to test your knowledge.

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