At Taunton School, we aim to develop open-minded thinkers who are aware of and respectful of cultural and religious diversity, but who are not afraid to challenge opinions and beliefs whilst forming their own.

Whether our pupils are studying Religious Studies for IGCSE, A-Level Philosophy, Religion and Ethics or IB Philosophy, our courses provide the ideal platform for them to explore, discuss and seek answers to the fundamental questions of human existence and identity.

We offer a Year 9 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics Course which has been designed to make you think critically and perceptively, and to reflect upon yourself and the world around you.  It will give you the skills to think philosophically, not only within your PRE lessons, but to examine every area of the curriculum under a new lens.

Students will sit an exam in the autumn and summer exams.  Within this exam, they will be assessed on your understanding of philosophical terminology, their ability to analyse the moral implications and philosophical question within key thought experiments, as well as the skills to write an essay which contains an exploration of different views, in addition to the construction of a justified argument.

In later studies, students can choose to study RS Full Course at IGCSE, this will include the study of Buddhism – a philosophy of the mind.


  • 2017 RS Full Course GCSE results: 100% A*/C,
  • You appreciate that engaging with issues to do with religion and ethics is unavoidable in the 21st century
  • You enjoy exploring the ultimate questions in life, the universe, and beyond..!
  • You are intrigued by other people’s different belief systems and ways of life
  • You can empathise with and analyse different points of view.
  • You want an academic course that will train you to think, discuss, and write in a critical, articulate, and informed manner (Russell Group universities highly value RS  for this reason)
  • You may want to study Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Sixth Form, or beyond… (but you don’t have to!)

There will be two assessments; the first on Beliefs and Values and the second on The religious Community – Buddhism.

Courses in Religious Studies have changed significantly over the last fifteen years and they no longer focus on nurturing Christian faith in students. Instead, they focus on the academic analysis of important metaphysical and ethical topics through an engagement with both religious and nonreligious argument. While not everyone believes in God or the supernatural realm, everyone tries to make sense of their lives and the ups and downs they encounter during it.

The Christian and Buddhist responses to these current issues are examined and critiqued alongside a look at relevant legal and social changes, technological advancements, and up-to-the-minute examples from the news. The students reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning. Since it is an academic course the students are not encouraged to accept any particular religious or faith tradition’s answer as correct.

The students will not merely learn a body of knowledge but will acquire the key academic skills of research, analysis, and evaluation and use them throughout the course. This provides a firm foundation for future academic study beyond GCSE in other subjects as well as Religious Studies and Philosophy.