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Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Current Teaching Staff:  
Mrs D Bloomfield - Head of Department
Miss R Thompson, Miss K Williams

Curriculum Intent:
To develop informed, open-minded, and tolerant global citizens who engage critically with a range of diverse issues that challenge us as humans.

Subject Overview

Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is taught to all students. At KS3, students have three lessons a fortnight. At KS4, students have the option of studying GCSE Religious Studies. Regardless of whether they do GCSE RS or not, all students at KS4 do one lesson a fortnight of RP&E which we call “Ethics and Values”. At, KS5 RP&E is delivered in tutor time and tutorial lectures and students can opt to study A level Religious Studies. 

Our aim is that students: 

  • Understand that there is diversity within religious and non-religious traditions, but also that there can be common ground between them.   

  • Understand that religions are dynamic as they need to respond to current issues. For example, we look at how religions respond to organ donation, crime, human rights and environmental issues etc. We look at what might lead people within a religion to disagree about these issues.  

  • Are aware of some of the benefits and challenges facing both religious and non-religious believers in the UK today. For example, we look at the benefits and challenges of being a Muslim in Devon. This unit was written in consultation with Muslim students at the school.  

  • Are aware that religion can manifest itself in unpleasant ways.  

  • Use interdisciplinary approaches to the study of religion e.g., philosophical, sociological, and psychological.    

  • Reflect on religious and non-religious teachings to develop or formulate their own views.  

  • Find the subject stimulating and enjoyable. 


RP&E plays a significant role in promoting SMSC, PSHE and Ethics. 

SMSC and Ethics:  

Each unit in RP&E gives students opportunities to formulate their own views about philosophical, religious, and ethical issues in the light of other peoples’ beliefs. 

At each Key Stage, we also have units of work to learn about and evaluate the different ways people make moral decisions. In A level RS, one of the three components studied is moral philosophy. 

We have arranged cultural trips to Krakow, Rome, Jewish London and Exeter places of worship. Recent visitors include Linx Christian youth trust, a local policeman to talk about crime and punishment and Dr Sam Wilkinson from Exter University to talk about the philosophy of social media and mental health.  

PSHE: At each key stage we have units of work that consider different religious and non-religious attitudes towards relationships, including LGBTQ+ ones, supporting PSHE. We also look at extremism and human rights issues in Y7 and Y10.

British Values

RP&E promotes British Values, in particular mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. We aim to provide a safe space for students to discuss and debate different opinions whilst respecting and understanding the views of others. We also look at extremism and human rights issues in Y7 and Y10. 


A key focus in RP&E is to understand how interpretation of religious texts can lead to a diversity of opinion about an issue. To promote reading of books with ethical or religious themes, we ask students to write a review of a book that they have enjoyed, which are then shared. In addition, we have books and magazines (RS Review and Philosophy Today) in our classrooms which we encourage students to borrow.


Communication of ideas through discussion and debate is facilitated in our classrooms through the grouping of tables so that students can discuss issues with each other. Different forms of debate are embedded in our lessons, giving students an opportunity to listen to each other and share their views. 

We have a philosophy club called the Forum@TGGs and we regularly hold joint events with the philosophy club at TBGS. At these events, students discuss and debate a variety of topics.  


Wherever appropriate we link content in our lessons to careers, recognising that it is important for students to see how knowledge and skills developed in RP&E can be useful in their future. We also have discrete lessons on RS and careers in Y9 to highlight the link between the subject and careers such as law, journalism, medicine, broadcasting, research, etc. 

Character skills

We have high expectations of students in our lessons to produce their best work and to contribute to the lessons. We emphasise the need to not only share opinions, but also to be open-minded and listen to the views of others. We pride ourselves on having positive relationships with students and giving them a safe space to express themselves. We give opportunities to produce creative work, such as reflections on anti-Semitism, and we run a Spirited Arts club for y7-8 once a fortnight.  

Religious Studies Career Guide