Thurston Community College

Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics Curriculum

Intent of Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics

At KS3 students follow a programme of learning which splits the focus into the 3 main areas of study. Philosophy is the study of key ideas - why we view the world in the way that we do and how we see ourselves within it. We look at a range of different belief systems to question how other people see the world and what, if anything, we can learn from them. In ethics we explore key issues about what is right and wrong - from how we treat the environment to how we treat criminals. All of our KS3 curriculum is taught through a process of enquiry in the hope that we equip students with the contextual knowledge necessary to ask deep questions.

At KS4 GCSE PBE is presented as an option for which students opt to do. We follow the Edexcel RS full course ( specification B). Students use the religions of Christianity and Islam to study ethical and philosophical units of; Peace and Conflict, Crime and Punishment, Marriage and Family and Matters of Life and Death.

At KS5 we study the AQA Philosophy course, which covers a range of topics; such as moral philosophy, metaethics, epistemology, metaphysics of the mind and God. 

Threads of powerful knowledge in Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics

Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics involves a set of general themes that provide the basis for:

  • What does it mean to be human? - Everything we do in Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics attempts to answer this question. PBE is a humanities subject in which we explore the nature of people, their ideas, culture values, etc.
  • Philosophy - The study of fundamental nature of knowledge and existence.
  • Beliefs - The study of different beliefs about the nature of the world. In epistemology the term belief refers to attitudes about the world which can be either true or false.
  • Ethics - Is a branch of philosophy that involves organising, defending and recommending the concepts of right and wrong.
  • Inquiry - This is an approach to education that will be a thread in all key stages. Open questions will be posed to students and the purpose of the lessons, topics and units is for the students to answer them, even when there is no definite answer.
  • Empathy - the capacity to place oneself in another's position. This is an important skill and approach in PBE and this is essential to development for young people.

Cultural reading and enrichment in Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics

  • Key Stage 3 have a reading programme based around the topics they are studying in class.
  • Key Stage 4 have a extended writing and reading focus for reading and interpreting scripture
  • Key Stage 5 has a reading programme based on reading for pleasure and interest, in which students present their discoveries to the class

Links to Further Information