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Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Year 7

Half Term Topic and Key Content Additional Reading or Resources
Autumn 1 Major World Religions
  • In time – a study of the origins of the major religions.
  • In space – how religious growth shaped the world.
  • Religious symbolism: Understanding the key symbols and their relevance both in history and for today.
  • World religions investigation project: Personal research and presentation about basic religious beliefs that may have been missed in previous study.

BBC - Religion: Religions
World Religions Map (

Autumn 2 Philosophy
  • The history of philosophy, developing debate and discussion skills.
  • What is philosophy?
  • The Greeks.
  • Modern philosophy.

'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder.
'The Philosophy Book' DK

Spring 1 The History of Religion in the UK
  • The development of religion from ancient times through to Henry VIII and to the recent census date.
  • Paganism.
  • The arrival of Christianity.
  • The reformation.
  • Religion in Devon today.
  • What can we learn about religious trends from the current census?
Spring 2 What is Authority
  • Sources of authority in the main religions.
  • What do we mean by ‘authority’?
  • Key authority figures in religion.
  • Other types of authority e.g. Holy books and current leaders.
  • Jesus Christ and the Bible.

See the range of YouTube videos by Bible Project.


Summer 1 Ethics
  • An introduction to ethics.
  • What are ethical arguments?
  • The Trolly problem.
  • Topical ethical study leading to ‘how to write an essay’.
  • Exploring Humanism and Atheism:
    Looking at ‘other’ world views.

Many Accelerated Reader books focus on ethical dilemmas, including 'Kick' by Mitch Johnson and 'Pig Heart Boy' by Malorie Blackman.

Humanists UK

Summer 2 Religious Festivals
  • What elements connects these? Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Easter, Eid, Sukkot, Vesak.

Interfaith Calendar 2022: Major Religious Holidays, Religion Holy Days


Year 8

Half Term Topic and Key Content Additional Reading or Resources
Autumn 1 Rites of Passage
  • Birth.
  • Coming of age.
  • Marriage.
  • Death.
  • Personal response and as seen through a variety of main religions.

Consider what The Order of the Good Death suggests about our relationship to death and how we can develop a more positive relationship to death.

Autumn 2 What is a Human?
  • Exploring the idea of the soul, consciousness, conscience, morals, differences between humans and animals.

Consider in advance something you believe or feel strongly about. This will form part of an activity in class.

Spring 1 Interfaith Harmony and Conflict (1)
  • Looking at historical and recent points of conflict and harmony between various world religions.

Watch the film 'Life of Pi'. Will watch clip in class. Consider why Pi seems happy and content with not only believing in multiple religions, but practising them too?

Spring 2 Interfaith Harmony and Conflict (2)
  • Looking at what beliefs unite the major religions.
  • The House of One – a project in Berlin. Designing their own interfaith space and writing an interfaith order of service for the opening of the building.

Read the newspaper article, referring to 'The House of One'.

Summer 1 Religion and Science
  • The Big Bang/Evolution.
  • Various religious creation stories.
  • Major points of potential conflict – treatment of animals/belief in dinosaurs/how we treat the planet/embryonic experimentation etc. Viewing and discussion of the film ‘Contact’.

Further develop your knowledge, understanding and wonder of life of earth by reading or watching 'The Universe', the book or TV series presented by Professor Brian Cox.

Summer 2 Religion and the Media
  • Newspapers: focus on the coverage after 9/11, discussion on terrorism.
  • Art expressions: film themes and ‘morals’. Religion and TV. Focus on perspective and point of view.

Find examples of religion and spirituality as expressed in either of the following: poetry, art, music, film or TV. You can bring this in to share with the class, identifying and explaining its religious or spiritual themes.

Year 9

Half Term Topic and Key Content Additional Reading or Resources
Autumn 1 Citizenship - Human Rights
  • An exploration of the history of Human Rights.
  • Understanding the individual articles of Human Rights and organisations that support these.
  • A study of Child Rights and the complexity of the issues in some countries e.g. India
  • Case studies about individuals who work for Human Rights e.g. Malala Yousufzai/Gandhi.

Equality and Human Rights Commission
Human Rights Watch
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Amnesty International

Autumn 2 Citizenship - Government and Politics
  • World Government systems.
  • Exploring how the British government works including exploring the idea of democracy and the current voting system.
  • To look at how laws are made.
  • To understand law and order including the magistrate and justice system.

UK Parliament

Spring 1
GCSE Religious Studies: AQA GCSE Specification A Religious Studies and Ethics - Buddhism and Christianity.