Religion, Philosophy & Ethics (RPE)

Who are we?

Head of Department – Mr M Rafaqat
Teachers – Mr A Carlespie, Miss K George, Mrs A Yeoman

Curriculum Intent

We aim to develop young philosophers and critical thinkers who are respectful of all beliefs.

Within our curriculum we explore religious knowledge, varied perspectives and philosophical questions.

Students will learn how to engage with ethical decision making, using skills of analysis, evaluation and debate.

Our students will be encouraged to develop into confident, respectful and resilient citizens of society.

Curriculum Map

Curriculum Map

Click here to view the department curriculum map.

What do we do?

​​Studying Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE) helps students to understand aspects of cultural and religious difference, while challenging and extending their views of themselves and people in the world around them. RPE encourages students to be self-aware, respectful and open-minded, so they can learn to appreciate wonder through asking some of life’s biggest philosophical questions. The subject helps pupils develop key literacy skills such as description, explanation and evaluation. Also, it equips them with a set of life skills such as, independent research, resilience, responsibility and working with others to solve problems.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students study across a range of aspects of world religions, philosophy, moral and ethical topics.

  • Spirited Arts Project
  • Looking for Truth
  • Christianity – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices
  • Hinduism – Beliefs Teachings and Practices
  • Alternative Thinking and Beliefs
  • Islam – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices
  • Places of Worship
  • Evil and Suffering
  • Buddhism – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices
  • Judaism – Beliefs, Teachings and Practices
  • Ethics – Holocaust education
  • Ethics – Human Rights

The units are project based and as an NHTS learner, progress will be made through a balanced mix of academic and life skills development. All students are assessed on their progress in line with the school’s assessment cycles. They will demonstrate this through extended writing that examines explanation and evaluation skills, as building blocks to Key Stage 4 Study.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Full Course – Option Choice

Students have the option at the end of Year 9 to take the AQA Religious Studies GCSE Full course, as part of one of their GCSE option choices. Students follow the AQA Religious Studies A course. In Year 10, students study Islam and Buddhism, Beliefs, Teachings and Practices. The GCSE also covers four philosophical and ethical units, Human Rights, Religion and Life, Relationships and Families and Religion, Peace and Conflict. Students are examined at the end of Year 11 through 2 papers, 1 hour 45 minutes each. The examination questions assess description, explanation and evaluation skills.

Core Religion Philosophy and Ethics

Year 10 students’ study RPE for 1 hour per fortnight. They cover Ethical decision making, Ultimate philosophical questions and Abrahamic religions. Students explore their own and peers’ perspectives through discussion and mini projects. The knowledge and skills learnt prepares all key stage 4 students for life beyond school, providing them with awareness about world faiths and a variety of philosophical and ethical viewpoints.

A day in the life…

RPE students are engaged by highly thought provoking ideas and topics, which are introduced each lesson by visual stimuli. Students are encouraged to contribute to discussions and debates sharing different ideas, practising their abilities to describe, explain and evaluate viewpoints. Students also participate in either, written, creative or project based activities to express their ideas about the topics. The RPE teachers help to facilitate discussions and encourage self, peer or teacher assessed exercises.



Consistent collaborative planning, providing direction and appropriate levels of challenge through engaging lessons.

Students are asked to reflect on their work and respond to teacher’s feedback, specific focus on assessments, where students are continuously reviewing their learning and progress.

We consistently and continuously recap on prior knowledge and develop this through a variety of schemes of learning.


Closing the Gaps

For Key stage 4 students, official course revision guides and activity books are purchased by the department for students to use.

All KS3 and KS4 students can access SAM Learning, revision activities on Frog and use of BBC Bite size to review and extend their learning out of lesson time.

KS4 students are provided with one to ones and have independent revision lessons, so they can digest the course content at their own ability/pace – attempting timed exam questions or testing their understanding of key terminology.

During Year 11, period 7, after school sessions are led by the department, for extra study support.



We work closely with trust partner, University of Huddersfield, through teacher training and Holocaust education in Religious Studies project.

We collaborate within the wider school community with other subject areas – PSHE Drop Down Days/mindfulness and History department for Holocaust education/trips.