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Philosophy and R.E.

The Religion and Philosophy department aims to contribute to the ‘concrete growth in reasonableness’! This means we want to develop the abilities of Silverdale students to carry out reasoning and consequently become reasonable future citizens. We do this by exploring some of the most thought-provoking questions that humanity has considered throughout its existence. By studying Religion and Philosophy we hope Silverdale students will be in a better position to think for themselves and contribute meaningfully and respectfully to important debates which are raised by living in a multicultural society.

Why choose to come to our school for this subject?

There is a long tradition of Philosophy study at Silverdale. It is a popular subject with proven high quality results. We have developed a very strong relationship with the internationally recognised Philosophy department at Sheffield University and through their Philosophy in the City programme we co-run a weekly seminar programme, helping students to consolidate their knowledge of the complex issues as they evolve. This is led by Masters and PhD students alongside second year Philosophy undergraduates.

Key Stage 3 

In Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils will explore a broad range of questions raised by religious and ethical enquiry. These will include:

  • What is the best explanation for the universe?
  • Where did religion come from?
  • The significance of religious texts
  • Whether there are types of truth
  • What our relationship with the environment should be
  • How religious themes influence the media

Unlike other compulsory subjects at Key Stage 3, there is no national curriculum for religious education. Instead the content of our syllabus is determined by what the Trust and school feel is most appropriate for our setting.

key stage 4 

If students do not opt for the Religious Studies GCSE then they are still entitled to their statutory provision of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. This will be provided in five off-timetable enhancement days, when students have time to reflect on important topics and develop skills. These topics and skills are ones that normal GCSE-focused curriculum cannot adequately cover. Therefore the days are immersive opportunities to engage with ideas for the sake of those ideas rather than for a qualification.
The skills the days will try to develop are:

  • Team-working.
  • Independent thinking.
  • Creativity.
  • Problem-solving.
  • The ability to consider context.
  • Awareness of ethical implications of actions.

The five days cover topics including:

  • Employability and the world of work.
  • Mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Global citizenship and asylum.
  • How to make moral decisions.
  • Media: information or manipulation?

GCSE Religious studies 


what will i study?
  • Topics include: Muslim beliefs and practices e.g. the nature of God, the Problem of Evil, and the afterlife. Marriage and the family. Students will learn to understand aspects of the interconnections between religion and ethics from the view point of Islam.
  • Topics include: Christian beliefs and practices e.g. Philosophy of Religion, the beginning of the universe, equality, racism and prejudice. Students will learn to understand aspects of interconnections between religion, philosophy and social justice from the view point of Christianity.
how will this be assessed?

All pupils following a GCSE course will take 2 examinations x 1 hour 45 mins (100%) in year 11. There is no coursework.

beyond the classroom​​​​​​​ 

Students from Years 7 through to Year 13 organise their own debating society and compete with their self-chosen topics every week. 

future pathways​​​​​​​ 

People often ask what jobs philosophers can get. There really is no limit. You will develop problem solving, interpersonal, quick information processing skills that are highly employable and transferrable to all university degrees and future careers. All the people I went to university with are very successful, highly paid senior professionals in for example: law, investment banking, the civil service, foreign diplomats, TV, teaching, journalism, charities, politicians, academia and many more interesting and diverse careers.