Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

“Be a free thinker and don’t accept everything you hear as the truth.

Be critical and evaluate what you believe in” 



Philosophy, Religion and Ethics Education at Kings Langley School

We follow the Hertfordshire agreed syllabus for Religious Education across all key stages. Our programme of study enables Kings Langley school to fulfil statutory guidelines on teaching RE and supports students spiritual, moral and cultural development. Our aim is to prepare them for the diversity of belief, cultural and religious practices that they will experience throughout their life.

We consider RE to be a rigorous academic subject which develops skills in analysis and evaluation and which helps student to develop an appreciation of religious thought and its contributions to individuals, communities and societies. We have based our curriculum on different moral issues and religious practices and focus on developing evaluation skills based on rigorous academic study. We want students to think carefully about their own opinion and encourage them to develop well informed and balanced ideas.


  • Ms S Shah (Head of department)
  • Mr M Moyo
  • Mr J Dilks
  • Ms C Hardingham
  • Ms S Howley
  • Ms R Ashraf
  • Mrs A Sharp

Curriculum Intent Objectives:

  • To build an RE curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of rich knowledge and skills.
  • To Increase the understanding students have of the diversity of belief, cultural and religious practice locally, nationally and globally.
  • To develop student interest in the study of different religions, cultures and philosophy, arousing their curiosity so that they possess an intrinsic motivation to learn more about RE.
  • To help students develop a sense of being part of a diverse and multicultural society where people are free to express their beliefs.


  • Students have full access to a knowledge rich RE curriculum which is differentiated to meet learning needs and styles.
  • Knowledge organisers which help students develop, learn and re call the meaning of subject specific terminology.
  • Informal and Formal assessments -Providing opportunities for repetition to embed knowledge, increasing the chance of information recall and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas. Regular class based tests and the two yearly formal examinations will require students to re call more knowledge.
  • Variety of Teaching approaches so that students are engaged in the content of the curriculum and are encouraged to learn more.


Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

By the end of Key Stage 3 pupils will be able to use a range of increasingly complex religious, moral and philosophical vocabulary to demonstrate the ability to understand and explain a range of religious and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global context.
They will be able to use this knowledge to analyse and synthesise personal and critical responses to a range of different issues in order to form coherent, well-argued conclusions. They will be able to challenge arguments about the meaning of religion and spirituality and suggest answers relating to the search for truth.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 -11)

By the end of Key stage four students will develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism. They will have a deeper knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and sources of wisdom and authority, including through their reading of key religious texts, other texts and scriptures of the religions they are studying. They will continue to develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject. They will be able to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learnt and contribute to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community. All of these skills will continue to build and improve upon the foundations they have been taught in Key stage three.

Philosophy and Religious education

All students are entered for the GCSE in Religious education

Students sit two papers for AQA GCSE RE (9-1) Specification A (8062)

Paper 1: The study of religions (Christianity and Judaism) written exam 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of final mark)

Religion one: Christianity

Students will be taught that Christianity is one of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today and that the main religious tradition in Great Britain is Christianity. They will be taught the following components of the specification:

  • Key beliefs: The nature of God/ Jesus Christ and Salvation
  • Practices: Worship and festivals/ The role of the Church in the worldwide community
Religion two: Islam

Students will be taught that Islam is one of the diverse religious traditions and beliefs in Great Britain today. They will be taught the following components of the specification:

  • Key beliefs: Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. The nature of God, Six articles of faith. The five roots, Risalah
  • Practices: Worship, duties and festivals

Paper 2: Religious, philosophical and ethical studies (Themes A, B, D and E) written exam 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of final mark)

Students will be taught different religious perspectives on the issues studied within and / or between religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism. Students will also study religious, philosophical and ethical arguments related to the issues raised, and their impact and influence on the modern world. They will study the following themes from a Christian and Jewish perspective.

Theme A: relationships and families

Theme B Religion and life

Theme D Religion peace and conflict

Theme E Religion crime and punishment 

GCSE Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Religious Studies A specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives. 

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs including:

  • Beliefs, practices and sources of authority.

  • Influence on individuals, communities and societies.

  • Similarities and differences within and/or between religions and beliefs.

AO2: Analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence.

Key Stage 5

By the end of Key Stage 5 students will demonstrate a complex understanding philosophical and ethical issues. They will be able to analyse and evaluate aspects of, and approaches to, religion and belief, including their significance, influence and study. University standard journals and popular interpretations and sources will be used to help students become familiar with the language of Philosophy, ethics and theology so that they can build a strong foundation from which they can excel in their undergraduate studies.

Key Stage 5: Philosophy and Ethics

OCR A Level (H573 components 01, 02 and 03)
Students will sit three papers

Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion written exam 2 hours (Worth 33.3% of final mark)

Students study philosophical language and thought, and issues and questions raised by belief:

  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • 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
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language.

Paper 2: Religion and ethics written exam 2 hours (Worth 33.3% of final mark)

Students explore key concepts and the works of influential thinkers, ethical theories and their application:

  • Normative ethical theories
  • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Paper 3: Developments in religious thought written exam 2 hours (Worth 33.3% of final mark)

Students study one religion systematically: Christianity (03)

  • 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.

A level assessment objectives

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and belief including (40%):

  • Religious, philosophical and/or ethical thought and teaching.
  • Influence of beliefs, teachings and practices on individuals, communities and societies.
  • Cause and significance of similarities and differences in belief, teaching and practice.
  • Approaches to the study of religion and belief.

AO2: Analyse and evaluate aspects of, and approaches to, religion and belief, including their significance, influence and study (60%).

Religious Extra-Curricular Programme:

  • In year 9 all students visit a local synagogue to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
  • The department run various activities in school during the week of Holocaust Memorial Day to commemorate the Holocaust and other genocides.
  • Two year 12 students take part in the ‘lessons from Auschwitz’ programme each year.
  • Students from years 9-13 participate in the philosothon at Stowe school.
  • The department organises a trip to Rome during activities week to visits sites of religious and historical importance.

Useful links:

Key stage three

Hertfordshire Syllabus 2017-2022

BBC Bitesize

BBC - Religion



BBC - Bitesize

A Level