The King's School in Macclesfield


      Religion and Philosophy

      About the Department

      The R&P department at King’s consists of two full-time specialist Religion and Philosophy teachers, as well as very dedicated Psychology teachers who add a new dimension to the teaching of the subject.

      We have embraced the schools’ philosophy of helping to develop key Learning Habits by promoting a challenging and inspiring curriculum with plenty of opportunities for students to hone their reasoning skills throughout all the Key Stages.

      Examination Results

      2019 A Level           Religious Studies          100% A*- B
      2019 GCSE                Religious Studies          67% 9 - 7 (A*- A)

      Subject Content & Syllabus

      Students are taught in tutor groups during Years 7 - 9. In Year 7 they receive two periods per fortnight and in Year 8 and 9, three periods per fortnight. We offer a broad curriculum that essentially has three main strands:

      Firstly - Religious Studies: During Years 7 – 9, we look at five of the world faiths in some detail, offering the students the opportunity to understand different and global perspectives and encouraging tolerance and an open-minded appreciation of the views of others.

      Secondly - we allow students to flex their philosophical muscles through enquiry-based lessons: all R&P staff are trained in a technique known as Philosophy For Children (P4C) which is a means by which students make enquiries regarding all sorts of profound topics (of their own choosing). The students love the opportunity to muse about big questions, whilst staff are trained in the art of helping them to structure their thinking about any particular topic.

      Thirdly - we also teach citizenship: this includes helping students understand their place in their local as well as global community, including themes such as criminal justice, voluntary work and equality.


      At GCSE level, we study the AQA Religious Studies Philosophy and Ethics course. This is examined in three separate exams at the end of Year 11.

      Topics covered in Beliefs, Teachings and Practices units are: Christianity and Islam. 

      Topics covered in the Philosophy and Ethics unit are: Relationships, The existence of God and ultimate reality, Peace and conflict, The dialogue between religious and non-religious beliefs.

      A Level:

      We study the OCR Philosophy and Ethics course. This is examined in three separate exams at the end of Year 13.

      Topics covered in Philosophy are: Greek Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle; The nature of the soul; The nature of God; Arguments for God’s existence; Challenges to religious belief.

      Topics covered in Ethics are: Ethical theories such as Utilitarianism, Natural Law, Kantianism, Situation ethics as applied to medical ethics, War & Peace and Business.

      Topics covered in ‘Developments in Religious Thought’ are: the religious beliefs and values of Buddhism, sources of wisdom, practices and the relationship between religion and society.

      Monitoring & Assessment

      At Key Stage 3, all pupils are marked on their classwork as well as their oral contributions. There is one major assessed piece per half term that will help inform the half-termly assessments.

      At Key Stage 4, pupils’ work is continually monitored and there are several examination style questions that inform our assessment every half-term.

      Summer end of year examinations are taken at the end of Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. Public exams (GCSE and A Level examinations) are taken in Years 11 and 13.

      Enrichment Opportunities

      The R&P department runs a number of trips. In Year 7 we usually run a ‘places of worship’ trip that provides an opportunity for students to get an insight into different religious traditions. In the Upper School we aim to take exciting trips to places of religious and cultural significance. Last year we visited Japan. Next year we will take 16 students to Nepal. 

      The R&P department runs two philosophy groups at lunchtimes:

      For Years 7-9, Filmosophy provides an opportunity for students to engage with philosophical themes that can be found in modern masterpieces.

      For Years 10-13, Philosophy Club aims to tackle fundamental philosophical issues through presentation, argument and debate. 

      There are also a number of national essay competitions, for which support is provided by the department.

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