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The Piggott School

A Church of England Academy

Philosophy, Religion & Ethics (PRE)


The mission of the Piggott School Philosophy, Religion & Ethics Department is to nurture young people, so they grow into deep Critical Thinkers, life-long Reflective Learners, caring Good Samaritans, and empowered Courageous Advocates.

We view this as a process.

Firstly, students engage in analysis, evaluation, discussion, and debate of the philosophical, ethical, and theological issues of the present day. This enables them to grow as Critical Thinkers. This leads the students to a place of self-reflection. Through intentional classroom-based activities, we nurture our students to become lifelong Reflective Learners. We believe this approach develops a compassionate response to ourselves and the world around us. This enables students to combine the topical learning with the school’s vision from Luke 10:25 – 37 to become caring Good Samaritans who embody a spirit of love and mercy to themselves and those around them. In doing so, we plant the seed of empowerment, giving the students the opportunity to use their evaluation, reflection, and agape for others to respond with Courageous Advocacy to the ethical issues of the day.

Curriculum Impact: June 2023 Results:

Year 10 AQA GCSE RE Results:

197 Entries:

% 9

% 9-7

% 9-5

% 9-4

% 9 - 1






Curriculum Impact: June 2022 Results:

OCR A-Level Religious Studies:

9 Entries:


A*- A

A*- B

A*- C

A* - E







Year 11 AQA GCSE RE Results:

201 entries:


% 9-7

% 9-5

% 9-4

% 9-1







Year 10 AQA GCSE RE Results:

200 Entries:


% 9-7

% 9-5

% 9-4

% 9-1







Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum intent is founded on the Church of England Religious Education Statement of Entitlement for Church Schools and the Pan-Berkshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2018-2023.

Philosophy, Religion & Ethics at The Piggott School engages pupils in a rich, intellectual discourse about religious and non-religious traditions that have shaped Great Britain and the world. Pupils study the six major world religions and alternative religions.  Pupils understand that in many areas of community life they are outsiders that need to understand how insiders might view their religion or world view and how that impacts their wider community.

PRE enables students to use a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling significant human questions of believing, behaving and belonging (as outlined in the Pan-Berkshire syllabus). Pupils use this to reflect on their own world view and meaning to life, and how that impacts their life and window into the world. Pupils are taken on a learning journey that involves substantive, multi-disciplinary and personal knowledge.  This makes PRE a unique learning experience across the curriculum.

In line with the requirements of a Church of England school, pupils learn and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs and practices using an approach that critically engages with biblical text and the diversity within Christianity.

Philosophy, Religion & Ethics is an open-minded, big-hearted subject that promotes a tolerant yet rigorous discussion of religious and non-religious views on theological, philosophical and sensitive moral issues. Pupils can personally reflect on and critically evaluate these views in a safe environment.

PRE is taught with a strong emphasis on social advocacy and championing others, we incorporate topics and activities that enable pupils to flourish as reflective advocates in a modern, diverse Britain. PRE contributes to the cultural capital of every pupil in the school and plays a major role in The Piggott Schools’ spiritual, social and moral development programme. We want to give pupils from Year 7 to 13 opportunities to ‘Go and do likewise.’

In other words:

  • We want to facilitate reflection opportunities for our students in every lesson - on their learning, progress, and themselves, within our curriculum with a consistent approach across all types of assessment and topics. This will encourage our students to take more ownership and responsibility for their own learning. Reflection and peer/self-assessment activities in lessons will help students to grow to become independent learners and critical thinkers.
  • We want to promote the importance of social advocacy, be imaginative in how we incorporate it into our SOWs and extra-curricular activities, and take a school lead on managing/initiating student engagement in wider issues
  • We want to develop our outstanding PRE teaching and learning practices of GCSE exam skills throughout KS3 and KS4, maintain a consistent approach to lesson planning, homework and exam-style assessments and feedback, make use of internal and external CPD, incorporate ‘creative and challenging’ activities into most lessons, and help students achieve their full potential at GCSE exams.


How PRE at The Piggott School reflects the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement:

PRE at The Piggott School meets the criteria laid out in the ‘Statement of Entitlement’ by the Church of England because:

  • PRE is taught to every pupil from Year 7 to Year 12
  • Every pupil receives 2 hours of PRE per fortnight from Year 7 - 9 with 4 hours per fortnight in year 10 to allow for early exam entry.
  • Year 11 pupils receive 1 hour a fortnight of core PRE
  • Year 12 pupils receive 1 hour a fortnight of core PRE
  • All students take full course AQA GCSE Religious Education at the end of Year 10.
  • OCR A Level Religious Education is part of the A Level provision at The Piggott School
  • The RE curriculum is sequenced in a way that allows students to master the core skills and deep, substantive religious knowledge over the 6 years.
  • The curriculum provides a rich discourse on a range of religions, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and alternative religions.
  • Units on the beliefs, attitudes, and practices of Christianity are embedded into every year group so that pupils develop an excellent understanding of Christianity as a diverse global living faith.
  • We teach 2 distinctively Christian units in Year 7 - The Good Samaritan and the Life of Jesus. In year 8, pupils are introduced to Christian philosophical ideas on the existence of God, they contrast Christianity with Buddhism and Sikhism, and understand how other ‘alternative’ religions helped develop Christian thinking. Moreover, Year 8 pupils also study the ethics of Christianity related to animal rights, and put Jesus on trial. Year 9 pupils study the AQA GCSE units of Christianity Beliefs and Christianity Practices, and Year 10 students understand the diverse Christian responses to issues of relationships, crime and punishment, and life and death.
  • In Year 7 pupils are introduced to the Biblical text, and it is used throughout the KS3 and GCSE lessons within the study of Christian theology, philosophy & ethics and the study of Judaism.
  • The RE Curriculum is intrinsic to the establishment of the school’s Christian vision as we begin Year 7 with a unit exploring The Good Samaritan story - in its context for pupils individually, collectively, and creatively.
  • The PRE curriculum is embedded with ample opportunity for social advocacy and reflection, as seen in the SOWs and curriculum implementation document
  • The curriculum is well-balanced, pupils understand the difference and develop skills and knowledge in philosophy, theology and ethics
  • Pupils have access to a wide range of professional resources, including: KS3 Explore RE Hodder textbooks, Biblical Literacy Hodder textbooks, the Miracle Maker DVD, AQA GCSE textbooks, 3 different OCR textbooks, and an in-department wider reading library.


Curriculum Implementation:

Year 7:

  1. How can our schools’ Christian vision and values be applied to everyday lives? Exploring the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10: 25 – 37
  2. Do Origin stories stand the test of time? Exploring Creation Myths
  3. Where did the Abrahamic faiths begin? Exploring Judaism
  4. How is the life of Jesus still relevant today? Exploring the impact of the life of Jesus
  5. What does it mean to be a Muslim in the UK? Exploring the faith of Islam and it’s meaning for Muslims in the UK today
  6. How do religious believers express themselves in art? Exploring the continuously changing relationship between religion and art

Year 8:

  1. Does God Exist? Exploring the Philosophical question of the existence of God
  2. Can you be religious without believing in God? Exploring Buddhism
  3. What can we learn from the traditions of Sikhism and Hinduism? Exploring Sikh and Hindu Dharma
  4. Does Religion exist outside of the big 6? Exploring Alternative Religions
  5. How do religious believers advocate for issues of human and animal rights? Exploring issues of human and animal rights
  6. How should we form evaluative judgements? Exploring Religious Figures on Trial

Year 9:

  1. What do Christians believe? AQA Spec A GCSE Christianity Beliefs
  2. How does Christian practice differ around the world? AQA Spec A GCSE Christianity Practices
  3. How should we respond to issues of war and conflict? AQA Spec A GCSE Theme D: Religion, Peace & Conflict
  4. How should we respond to issues of crime and punishment? AQA Spec A Theme E: Religion, Crime & Punishment

Year 10:

  1. What do Muslims believe? AQA Spec A GCSE Islam Beliefs
  2. How does Muslim practice differ around the world? AQA Spec A GCSE Islam Practices
  3. How should we respond to issues of relationships and families in contemporary British society? AQA Spec A GCSE Theme A: Relationships & Family
  4. How might our worldviews impact the way we see life and death? AQA Spec A Theme B: Religion and Life
  5. GCSE Exam Revision

Year 11:

The curriculum for core RE Year 11 was designed through pupil responses to a Google Forms survey and the requirements of the Church of England statement of entitlement. Pupils receive 1 lesson a fortnight, in which they study:

  1. Intro to Philosophy, Ethics & Religion
  2. What is a Worldview?
  3. Philosophy: Who am I?
  4. Philosophy: Does God Exist?
  5. Ethics: What approach do I have?
  6. Ethics: Responding to Theme E – How can we create a safer society?
  7. Ethics: Holocaust - Overview
  8. Ethics: Responses to the Holocaust – Philosophical, Ethical, Psychological
  9. Theology/Ethics: Judaism & the Holocaust
  10. Theology: Buddhism & Silent Meditation
  11. Theology: God & Gender in Christianity
  12. Theology: God & Gender in other religions

Year 11 Pupils then produce 2 projects:

  1. Teaching PRE to Younger Years Project–

Year 11 pupils use their experience, knowledge, and creativity to help teach RE to pupils from Year 1 – Year 9. They will have the choice to engage in an aspect of the teaching process that most suits their skills and confidence – such as teaching a whole or partial lesson, leading a small group discussion, creating resources and worksheets, or creating suitable displays. Year 11 pupils will be able to see their material in action through visits to younger year classes and minibus trips to the primary school. This enables Year 11 pupils to give back to the school community, champion the importance of RE in all year groups, and engage critically with the teaching material as more mature students.

  1. Social Advocacy Project

Year 11 pupils will re-visit one of the topics from the AQA GCSE Spec Paper 2 through the lens of social advocacy. They will carry out independent research on their chosen topic and then determine the most appropriate way to advocate for that cause. Their advocacy action will need to be based on religious teachings or principles and reflect the work already carried out by religious charities around the world. At the end of the project, they will present their research, advocacy action and personal reflection to the rest of the class and receive teacher feedback.


Year 12 Core PRE:

The curriculum for core PRE Year 12 was also designed through pupil responses to a Google Forms survey and the requirements of the Church of England statement of entitlement. Pupils receive 1 lesson a fortnight, in which they 3 questions of Theology, Philosophy & Ethics:

  1. Is Religion still important in contemporary Britain?

What does religion look like in Britain today?

The Rise of Atheism: Is Britiain losing faith?

How do religions promote good?

Religion and advocacy: how can we be Good Samaritans?

How has religion influenced pop culture?

  1. Engaging with big Philosophy questions:

How do we know we’re alive?

Is Utilitarianism the best policy for all actions?

What is the best form of government?

What is the meaning of life?

  1. Contemporary ethical issues of Justice, Injustice and Equality:

What is the meaning of justice of equality?

Is prejudice a problem in the UK?

Why is tolerance a necessary ‘British value’?
Do countries have a duty to support refugees?

Does the UK have a ‘gender’ issue?

To what extent is the UK an ‘equal’ society?


OCR A Level RE:

A-Level Religious Studies follows the OCR Syllabus which is split into 3 strands: Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics, and Development of Christian Thought.

Year 12:



Development of Christian Thought

  • Ancient Greek Influences
  • Soul, Mind and Body
  • Arguments for God from observation
  • Arguments for God from reason
  • Problem of Evil
  • Religious Experience
  • Normative Ethical Theories
  • Utilitarianism
  • Natural Law
  • Situation Ethics
  • Kantian Ethics
  • Business Ethics
  • Ethical theories applied to Euthanasia
  • Augustine’s teaching on human nature
  • Death and the Afterlife
  • Knowledge of God’s existence
  • The Person of Jesus Christ
  • Christian Moral Principles
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Christian Moral Action


Year 13:



Development of Christian Thought

  • Nature and attributes of God
  • Religious Language
  • 20th Century perspectives on Religious Language
  • Language Games
  • Falsification Debate
  • Ethical Language: Meta-Ethical Theories
  • Conscience: Freud & Aquinas
  • Sexual Ethics
  • Religious Pluralism and Theology
  • Religious Pluralism and society
  • Gender and society
  • Gender and theology
  • Challenge of secularism
  • Liberation Theology and Marxism




Pan Berkshire Agreed Syllabus:

Church of England statement of Entitlement on Religious Education:

House of Commons Debate on Religious Education and the Freedom of Religion and Belief - June 2022

Religious Education in Modern Britian - Statement from the House of Commons - October 2022