Learners who have an interest in the big questions in life, are accepting of a range of beliefs and approaches to life and who are passionate about voicing their own opinions opt to do Philosophy and Ethics for GCSE and receive 300 minutes of session time over the two week timetable.
The course allows learners to explore, develop, enhance and change their views on a range of moral and philosophical questions facing the world and provides them with opportunities to hone their skills on independent thought and argument. By presenting learners with a range of both religious and non-religious approaches to these issues learners can develop an awareness and empathy around the views of others; equipping them with the ability to relate to people from different standpoints whilst affirming or questioning their own pre-conceived views. The main religion focused on at Honywood is Christianity and learners will grapple with interpreting bible scripture and applying it to support the beliefs and opinions in response to controversial statements. The exam board currently used is OCR B Religious Studies, though the course is designed with a focus on skills to be successful in the subject rather than the exam in light of the recent exam changes in other subjects. Learners who take Philosophy and Ethics for GCSE will explore the following concepts in their first year of study:
- Human Relationships
- Medical Ethics
- Poverty and Wealth
- Belief in Deity
- Life After Death
- Religious and Spiritual experiences
Learners will then study a further 6 units in Cohort 10
- Peace and Justice
- Good and Evil
- Religion and Science
- Religion, reason and revelation
The aim for the final year of study is for learners to explore their 12 units of study in more depth and develop expertise in these as well as in their essay writing capabilities ready for the final summative exams at the end of cohort 11.
A few learners may opt to take their GCSE one year early and complete their course at the end of cohort 10. These learners will be moving at a faster pace than other learners and will need to commit to further study outside of session time to achieve this and to ensure they are fully equipped for the exam at such an early stage. If learners wish to continue to study Philosophy and Ethics rather than investing this time in other subjects they can gain a further half a GCSE by completing the OCR ‘Projects’ course.