Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE)

"Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy."
Albert Schweitzer

RPE at Kingswood encourages students to nurture a lasting respect for life, in its depth and diversity. Rooted in the Wesleyan methods of reason, truth and love, RPE at Kingswood provides a thought-provoking platform to reflect and respond to religious, philosophical, ethical, spiritual, cultural and social issues in an impassioned and intelligent way. Furthermore, studying RPE will help to nurture an empathic and engaged relationship with oneself, other people and the wider world. It will invite its students to kindle a lasting respect for life and uncover the truths that pervade our experience of being alive.

Thinking Critically; Cultivating Empathy; Respecting Diversity.
Kingswood RPE Department Principal Statement

The RPE department aspires to deliver a broad curriculum and enrichment programme for its students. We respond organically to the changes that characterise our society and education, working to offer our students an edifying balance of traditional and topical subjects to learn. Our enrichment programme – whilst always developing – currently allows students to participate in National Academy Masterclasses; The Royal Institute of Philosophy Seminar Programmes; The Philosothon UK Competition and Pre-A-Level and Pre-University Enrichment Courses. Additionally, we enjoy a biannual 17-day trip to India and are hoping to add Nepal to our list of international destinations! Other regional and national trips to famous centres of worship and mindfulness retreats are also being considered.

Think yourself and let think.
John Wesley

Details of the current RPE curricula are provided below.

Key Stage 3

A range of topics are explored across Years 7-9, which include – but are not limited to – (Applied) Ethics and Morality; Hinduism; Humanism (& Comparative Christianity); Human Relationships (Traditional & Modern); Islam; Judaism; The Phenomenon of Religion and The Philosophy of Religion.

Key Stage 4

Students at Kingswood opt in to the IGCSE course, post Year 9. For those opting out, a General RPE programme is followed instead. Course outlines can be found below.

Edexcel IGCSE Religious Studies

Spanning five lessons per fortnight, students cover topics prescribed across two examination components: Beliefs & Values (60%) and The Religious Community (Buddhism) (40%). These include:

Beliefs & Values: The Universe, Creation and the Place of Human Beings; Life and Death; Religion, Peace and Conflict; and Rights, Equality & Social Justice.

The Religious Community (Buddhism): Origins and Their Impact on the Community; Celebration and Pilgrimage; and Worship and Practice.

General RPE

Students attend one bi-weekly lesson of General RPE. Herein, they will cover topics including: Contemporary Spirituality and NRMs; Meaning & Purpose; Medical Ethics; Sexual Ethics; Social Justice; and Soul, Mind & Body.

Key Stage 5

Beyond IGCSE, students may opt to study the Advanced Level course in RPE. Accredited by OCR (Religious Studies), the course comprises three elements: The Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics and the Development of Buddhist Thought.

The Philosophy of Religion: Ancient Philosophical Influences; Arguments for God’s Existence; God & The World; Religious Language; and Theological & Philosophical Developments.

Religious Ethics: Applied Ethics (Business and Medical Ethics); The Conscience; Meta Ethics; Normative and Religious Ethical Approaches; and Sexual Ethics.

The Development of Buddhist Thought: Challenges, Developments, Foundations; Insights; Living; and Society.

In collaboration with dedicated and enthusiastic RPE teachers, we invite our students to immerse themselves in the range and rigour of topics offered across the key stages. In so doing, we hope to negotiate a mutually empowering path that is defined by reason, truth and love. This, we believe, will elicit respect for all life, always.