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Philosophy and R.E.


The Religion and Philosophy department aims to contribute to the ‘concrete growth in reasonableness’! This means we want to develop the abilities of Silverdale students to carry out reasoning and consequently become reasonable future citizens. We do this by exploring some of the most thought-provoking questions that humanity has considered throughout its existence. By studying Religion and Philosophy we hope Silverdale students will be in a better position to think for themselves and contribute meaningfully and respectfully to important debates which are raised by living in a multicultural society.


Key Stage 3

In years 7 & 8 pupils will explore a broad range of questions raised by religious and ethical enquiry. These will include:

  • What is the best explanation for the universe?
  • Where did religion come from?
  • The significance of religious texts
  • Whether there are types of truth
  • What our relationship with the environment should be
  • How religious themes influence the media


Unlike other compulsory subjects at KS3, there is no national curriculum for religious education. Instead the content of our syllabus is determined by what the local authority and school feel is most appropriate for our setting.


Key Stage 4

In years 10 & 11 students can opt for the Edexcel Religious Studies GCSE. This is a theme-based GCSE and explores religious views on topical debates held within modern Britain. In the GCSE, Christianity and Islam are the two religions we focus on though reference is made to humanist/atheist perspectives. There are two units:

  • Religion and Life
  • Religion and Society

Both unites are assessed in exams at the end of Y11. The exams last 1h 30. There is no coursework or controlled assessment.


If students do not opt for the Religious Studies GCSE then they are still entitled to their statutory provision of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. This will be provided in off-timetable days. Each day will explore a key theme in contemporary philosophy such as:

  • Personal identity
  • How to make moral decisions
  • Whether gender is natural or socially constructed


Key Stage 5

Students who want to further their study Religion and Philosophy can opt for the AQA Philosophy A-level. Across the two years four topics will be studied

AS 1: Epistemology (theory of knowledge)

AS 2: Philosophy of Religion

A2 1: Ethics

A2 2: Philosophy of Mind


The A-level is assessed in two 3 hour exams.

Entry requirement is a grade ‘C’ or above at GCSE English