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Philosophy & Religion

About Our Subject

The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.


Introducing Philosophy, Religion and Citizenship

Oldbury Wells School promotes tolerance and harmony and enables students to appreciate and respect different cultures and traditions through the provision of a broad and balanced curriculum.  This uses themes to promote the spiritual, moral and cultural development of pupils and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life, with respect for the public and private institutions in the country. The school promotes community cohesion and safeguards against biased or unbalanced teaching and the promotion of partisan political views and ensures that when political or controversial issues are brought to pupils’ attention, they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.


Religion and Ethics

At Key Stage 3 all students follow a program that looks at topics focussed on key areas of life and experience that combine exploration of different religious approaches with an open and neutral investigation of these themes.  At Key stage 4 this continues in a core program where the themes tackled are aimed at providing the students with a balanced and unbiased investigation of important issues that are at the forefront of daily experience.  Students still explore different religious approaches, with particular attention paid to Christianity and Islam, as these are the main religious traditions in the UK and in Shropshire. The themes investigated can be reviewed on the curriculum plan linked below.


Philosophy and Religion GCSE

Students can also opt to study a full course GCSE in addition to the Core programme at KS4. In this course additional themes are explored that require the students to approach topics in more depth.  The religions studied are Christianity, as the main religion of the country and Shropshire, and Buddhism due to its philosophical approach and popularity with the students. Both have strong ethical and moral positions and act as excellent stimuli to develop critical thinking skills. Again, the themes explored can be reviewed on the curriculum plan linked below.


Key Skills

Throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 three key skill areas are developed by the course.  The first of these is for students to acquire key knowledge of the six main world faiths and the beliefs and practices of people who follow them. The second key skill is how to understand how people’s beliefs and attitudes are significant to them and will affect the decisions they make on various ethical and moral issues. By reflecting on key beliefs and practices they will learn how to evaluate these and apply their knowledge to better understand the impact of these beliefs on the lives of religious and spiritual people. The third skill is to use this to develop positive character traits and abilities, such as how to investigate new topics, interpret ideas and concepts, to reflect and empathise with people. This will enable students to better understand the world around them, and the motivations of the people they will meet in their journey through life. 


The Syllabus

At Oldbury Wells we follow the Shropshire Agreed Syllabus, which can be found online, and which provides the framework for RE at Oldbury Wells.


SMSC and Britishness

An important role of Religion and Ethics, and the Philosophy and Religion GCSE, is to ensure that students at Oldbury Wells receive a balanced, unbiased and positive experience of the society in which they live and core British values are embedded within the curriculum we provide.  Throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students are given opportunities to reflect and develop their own ideas, discuss ethical and moral issues to develop their ideas of right and wrong, understand the role and importance of laws, and how to make a positive contribution locally and nationally through different government, public and civil agencies. The course supports and encourages students to develop self-confidence through mutual respect for all ways of life and how this is facilitated by democracy and active participation in it.