The study of philosophy and ethics in lower school provides the opportunity for pupils to explore the role and significance of religion in society and the important beliefs and values that shape the world today. It helps pupils understand the beliefs and experiences of others and the ways in which they can give adherents a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.
Pupils begin Year 7 by investigating the importance religion, philosophy and ethics in the world today through a concept building exercise called The Island. This requires pupils to be part of the story of an imaginary island and react to different situations as events unfold lesson by lesson. The story takes place over five hundred years, the pupils responding to the inevitable changes to beliefs, language, traditions and moral issues that this brings.
As pupils progress through Years 7 and 8 they encounter religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism as well as the non-religious viewpoints of atheism and Humanism. Pupils also investigate the use of symbolism in religion, different concepts of God and issues to do with British values, diversity, tolerance, the rule of law and the freedom of religious expression.