Ethics and Philosophy
Ethics and Philosophy includes Religious Education, which the following information pertains to.
Suffolk Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) took into account the four purposes of the national curriculum, and set out to:
· Establish an entitlement to religious education All pupils in Suffolk schools, irrespective of social background, culture, race, religion, gender, differences in ability and disabilities, have an entitlement to learning in religious education. The Suffolk Agreed Syllabus contributes to the developing knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for their self-fulfilment and growth as active and responsible citizens. It is expected that few, if any, parents will wish to withdraw their children from this entitlement.
· Establish standards in religious education The Agreed Syllabus sets out explicit expectations for learning and attainment to pupils, parents, teachers, governors, employers and the public. It establishes standards for the performance of all pupils in religious education that may be used to measure progress and set targets for improvement.
· Promote continuity and coherence in religious education The Agreed Syllabus seeks to contribute to a coherent curriculum that promotes continuity. It facilitates the transition of pupils between schools and between phases of education by setting out clear requirements for all concerned. It provides foundations for further study and for lifelong learning.
· Promote public understanding of religious education Through the Agreed Syllabus SACRE wishes to increase public understanding of, and confidence in, the work of schools throughout Suffolk in religious education. They also hope to encourage others to participate in enriching the process of providing religious education.
National Curriculum Aims
There is no requirement for an independent school to adopt the locally agreed syllabus used in the LA’s maintained schools. However, it is good practice and government recommendation for these schools to use the principles of the locally agreed syllabus for their RE.
Based on the Suffolk Agreed Syllabus, this scheme of work aims to meet the following criteria:
- Throughout Key Stage 3 pupils extend their understanding of Christianity and other principal religions in a local, national and global context. They deepen their understanding of important beliefs, concepts and issues of truth and authority in religion.
- They apply their understanding of religious and philosophical beliefs, teachings and practices to a range of ultimate questions and ethical issues, with a focus on self-awareness, relationships, rights and responsibilities.
- They enquire into and explain some personal, philosophical, theological and cultural reasons for similarities and differences in religious beliefs and values, both within and between religions.
- They interpret religious texts and other sources, recognising both the power and limitations of language and other forms of communication in expressing ideas and beliefs.
- They reflect on the impact of religion and belief in the world, considering both the importance of inter-faith dialogue and the tensions that exist between people of different beliefs.
- They develop their evaluative skills, showing reasoned and balanced viewpoints when considering their own and others’ responses to religious, philosophical and spiritual issues.
Overview of Curriculum
The 21st century brings with it new and exciting developments in the realms of science and technology. Little time is often found to reflect as the changes are sometimes too fast for many of us to keep up with. Ethics and Philosophy gives the students the opportunity to reflect upon the changes to our society, to wonder why and ask questions about our very existence. Students need to explore the ultimate questions of human existence as well as reflect upon their own experiences, values and beliefs.
Ethics and Philosophy at Felixstowe International College aims to promote the spiritual, moral and philosophical dimensions of human existence; to enable students to develop their own spiritual, philosophical beliefs and moral values whilst remaining sensitive to the views and beliefs of others.
During their Ethics and Philosophy lessons students are given the opportunity to:
- acquire knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of Christianity and other world religions
- be aware of and respond to life experiences, technological advances and the questions they raise
- to evaluate the significance of religious concepts, beliefs and practices through an ability to express personal opinions based on the use of appropriate evidence and argument
- develop sensitivity towards the beliefs of other people.
In 2018, the Church of England’s Education Office (https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2018- 03/Key%20principles%20of%20a%20balanced%20curriculum%20in%20RE_0.pdf) presented a document (also latterly supported by Ofsted’s RE subject lead, Richard Kueh’s three types of knowledge) outlining the three strands of effective RE teaching:
· Theology (loosely, WHAT people believe)
· Philosophy (loosely, WHY beliefs are held, but this is also covered in Theology)
· Human/Social Sciences (mainly, HOW beliefs are lived out and their impact)
The document states that a broad, balanced and effective RE curriculum would cover each of these areas at various points. They are all academically challenging, yet important in the wider development of students too, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness, which will be evident in all topics and lessons.
Units of Work