Ethics & Philosophy at North Gosforth Academy

Ethics & Philosophy (RE)

The Ethics and Philosophy curriculum is designed to cover a range of world issues and look at them from different perspectives including legal, social, political and those of the major world religions.

Key Stage 3

Year 7, 8 and 9 Ethics
During Year 7 students are introduced to the school RICH ethos. Each lesson has one of these strands - at least - as a focus. The students predominantly study Relationships and this then is further progressed in the Relationships Unit within the GCSE Ethics.

To find out more please get in touch with Susanna Cooke on

Areas include: Love and Relationships, Families, Marriage and Weddings, Exploitation of Children within Relationships, Breakdown of Relationships and finally Sex before Marriage.

The students will also complete some Philosophy for Children Enquiries in order to improve their ability to reason and discuss issues as this is a skill required in many different subjects within school but will be particularly useful if they choose to study Ethics at GCSE. At the end of the year, the students will study discrete lessons on Resilience, Industriousness, Curiosity and Honour in order to embed the school ethos.

Year 8 students engage in the study of Poverty within the UK and also in the wider world, Morality, Prejudice and Discrimination, completing the year with units on God and Pilgrimages. The RICH ethos continues to be embedded in to the curriculum with many examples of opportunities whereby children can demonstrate their Resilience, Curiosity, Industriousness and Honour.

Year 9 students begin their year with a detailed study of Life and Death to include Abortion, The Death Penalty and Euthanasia. This is followed by War and Peace, further work on Poverty adding to their Year 8 work and they complete the year with a unit on Immortality linked to, and furthering, their study of God in Year 8.

Image 1

Key Stage 4

Year 9-11 GCSE Ethics

Students who choose this option will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. The course covers issues of local, national and global concern and places them in a moral and religious context. Students are challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth enabling them to develop their own attitudes to issues whilst being aware of opposing viewpoints. They will develop an awareness of how differing views can impact and influence the modern world as well as their impact on contemporary British society.


Paper 1: The beliefs, teachings and practices of two of the world's religions namely Christianity and Islam.

Paper 2: Students will study four themes and develop an awareness of different perspectives including religious perspectives on them. This will involve topics such as abortion, euthanasia, animal experimentation, crime and punishment, discrimination, human rights and poverty. Some of these units were covered within KS3 so this is a development of those areas with students being expected to be critical, inquiring and reflective on them, similarly with any new topics covered. There is an expectation that students will complete extended written work demonstrating balanced discussions as well as specific references to sources of wisdom and authority.


Assessment is 100% exam. The students will complete two papers both being 1 hour 45 minutes. This GCSE will be graded using the new 9-1 scale.