Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE)

Leventhorpe 2017 Sixth Form 0782


Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is an accessible subject for all students at Leventhorpe School. It prepares students to be citizens of the world by informing them of different worldviews, whilst enabling them to shape their own. Lessons are full of dialogue, debate and discussion and allow all students to participate.

KS3 focuses on studying different religions before moving into Philosophical content and Ethical discussions as students’ progress into KS4 and 5. We are very proud of the varied and diverse schemes of learning that students will explore with topics as varied as ancient Greek philosophy, animal rights and what it means to be a Buddhist in the 21st Century.  These lessons are current, focused on world issues and cross curricular in developing student’s ability to display knowledge, description, explanation, and debate.

KS3 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) - Years 7/8

In Year 7 the aim of RPE is to encourage students to think for themselves. Students have 3 lessons over the two week timetable. They begin by looking at ‘What is religion?’ which allows them to become familiar with the six main world religions and their key beliefs and practices.  Students then have in-depth explorations of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism across KS3. In each topic students will discover what it means to be part of that particular religion; they will explore religious ceremonies, beliefs about suffering, life after death and some of the ethical disagreements within that religion. In the final term of year 8, students will complete the school ‘Prevent’ program, which is part of the preventing radicalisation program that schools are required to teach to students. 


KS3 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) - Years 9 CORE Lessons

As part of the statutory requirements of Leventhorpe School, students have one hour a week of RPE Core lessons in year 9. These lessons are not assessed in the same way as KS3, with the focus being on creating interesting lessons that students can regularly engage with. Topics explored in Core lessons aim to be inclusive to students of all beliefs and backgrounds. Students begin the year by exploring religion and the media and whether religion is negatively or positively displayed in TV programs and film. From there students then explore what does it mean to be a Humanist and key Humanist beliefs on current world issues. The remainder of the topics have an ethics starting point and include a study of whether it is ever possible to have a ‘good’ war, as well as what does Religion have to say about crime and punishment? The final topic is entitled ‘Is it too late to save the world?’ and is an exploration of climate change ethics.

KS3 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) - Years 9 Option Choice

In year 9 students have the option to take ‘Philosophy and Ethics’ in addition to their Core lessons. These lessons are very popular with students as they take a more philosophical approach to lessons, including ‘philosophy for children’ debates and Socratic dialogue techniques. Students will study philosophy and ethics concurrently in their 4 lessons over the two weeks and explore topics such as ‘arguments for the existence of God’ and ‘The only way is Ethics’ which is an exploration of key normative ethical theories such as Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics. The course then progresses to explore classic philosophy from ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle and the Chinese philosopher Confucius to the recent French Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. Other topics studied include consciousness, ‘is religion good for society?’ and ‘Medical Ethics’. These lessons are suited to compliment students developing enquiry to the wider world and students love the challenge of learning new theories and new key thinkers.


KS4 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) - Years 10/11, GCSE


The GCSE course beings in Year 10, where the ‘Religious Studies’ course is an option subject at Leventhorpe School, with 5 lessons being taught over the two week timetable. We follow the AQA syllabus at GCSE where we explore the ‘Beliefs and Practices of Christianity and Islam’.  There are four ethics modules at GCSE that students explore; these include Religion and Life (a study of everything concerned with ‘life’ from the origin of the universe to abortion and euthanasia), Relationships and Families (an exploration of ethical issues within relationships such as marriage, divorce and LGBTI), peace and conflict, and crime and punishment.

For more information on the AQA specification, you can access it here:


KS5 Religious Studies - AS and A Level: Philosophy, Ethics and Theology


The A-level course of ‘Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics’ is an increasingly popular subject at Leventhorpe School due to its positive standing with the Russell Group of top universities. The Russell Group has made it clear that Religious Studies A level provides ‘suitable preparation for University generally’ as it ‘enables students to acquire skills that will be prepare them for higher education or the world of work’. Although we offer a linear course at Leventhorpe, the course is sub-divided across the two years to incorporate topics from philosophy, ethics and theology. In the two years, the course is broken down as follows:

• Ethics – normative ethical theories, the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance, ethical language and thought, debates surrounding the significant ideas of conscience and free will, the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs and the philosophy of religion.
• Philosophy – ancient philosophical influences, arguments about the existence or non-existence of God, the nature and impact of religious experience, the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil, the nature of the soul, mind and body and the possibility of life after death, ideas about the nature of God, issues in religious language.
• Theology: religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world, sources of religious wisdom and authority, practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a  tradition, significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought, key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.
This course follows the OCR specification which you can access here:


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