Ethics & Philosophy

The maturity of thought and powers of self-expression developed in this subject are vital in today’s competitive market.  An articulate and thoughtful person who can piece together an argument or put forward a point of view in a concise manner is an asset to many employers.  Good communication is important in many fields of employment such as Retail & Marketing, Accountancy, Advertising, Insurance, Journalism, Public Relations, Personnel, Police, Teaching and Youth Work. 

The problems of morality and ethics considered in the course are of particular relevance in the fields of Medicine, Psychology, Nursing, Police, Ministers of Religion, Law, TV and the Media.  There are also many areas of business and finance where financial and managerial decisions are made which often require an individual ethical standpoint. 

Ethics and Philosophy is taught at Don Valley Academy at GCSE and A level. These options form the RE AQA GCSE and A level.  At GCSE students have the opportunity to study different ethical issues such as medical ethics, war, prejudice and discrimination. This is examined at the end of Year 11 in two exams both holding 50% each of the final grade. At A level Philosophy is also taught as students will have grown the skills and critical thinking powers to analyse complex issues.  An A Level in RE is highly regarded by universities as an academic discipline requiring sound skills in thought, reflection, independent and critical thinking, and the ability to construct a coherent and balanced argument. 


Spiritual education in Ethics and Philosophy involves the experience and search for meaning, the purpose in life and the values by which we live. In learning about different religious and non-religious beliefs and why people hold such views, pupils should have the opportunity to learn from their experiences, to reflect on and interpret spirituality and their own lives and discuss and reflect on ultimate questions.

Moral education in Ethics and Philosophy allows pupils to learn about shared and differing moral values. EP allows pupils to debate moral dilemmas about right and wrong. EP allows pupils to discuss issues such as people’s responsibility towards the world and future generations. Through EP pupils have the opportunity to make a personal response to right and wrong and to consider other peoples’ responses to moral issues.

Social education in Ethics and Philosophy involves exploring similarities and differences in religious and non-religious cultures. This is reflected in their relations with others in the classroom and their ability to work together co-operatively.

Cultural education in Ethics and Philosophy involves learning about other cultural perspectives, giving pupils an opportunity to learn what it means to belong, to develop confidence in themselves and be able to respond positively to similarities and differences in our multi-faith and changing society.