Home #BHFamily Pupils Departments Governors School Day Policies Staff Contact Us

Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School     
Merthyr Dyfan Road
CF62 9YQ
Vale of Glamorgan

Telephone: 01446 403500

Fax: 01446 403501

Email: brynhafrencs.bhcs@valelearning.com

Philosophy & Religion

The PR department is a dynamic department that has taken a fresh approach to the teaching of Religious Education, allowing pupils to think deeply about a range of philosophical, theological, ethical, and spiritual questions in a modern and exciting way. We use innovative teaching techniques and lots of pupil-led activities to ensure every pupil has the opportunity to broaden their spiritual, moral and cultural knowledge and understanding of the diverse society in which they live.

Department Aims: 
To make the study of PR enjoyable and engaging. 
To enable all pupils to have equal access to all that the department offers, with opportunities for all to reach their full potential in PR. 
To develop in pupils a sense of self-worth and respect for others in a multi-cultural, multi-faith world. 
To create a stimulating and active learning environment.

Staff List

Mrs Karen Stapleton - Head of PR/Humanities 
Miss Gemma Price – PR teacher


In Key Stage 3 pupils are taught in mixed ability groups. In Year 7 pupils start by asking fundamental questions about life such as ‘Why are we here?’ and ‘How did the universe begin?’ before moving on to study rites of passage which are examined in various religions through the Theatre of Learning experience. They also study food laws. In Year 8 pupils examine beliefs about life after death, how people worship and different places of worship and then pilgrimage. The course is delivered through a range of activities including discussion lessons, practical activities and personal investigations. Pupils have frequent opportunities to use ICT and are set meaningful and stimulating homework tasks throughout the year. Pupils are also encouraged to use a range of skills such as working with others, communication and improving their own learning in every lesson, which transfer well into all elements of their school life. Pupils are set in Year 9 and begin the GCSE WJEC Religious Studies course, completing two of the four topics that make up the first unit of the GCSE. Pupils undertake three assessments per year.


The pupils will sit a full course qualification in Religious Studies. Unit 1 will be taught from Year 9 and pupils will sit the examination in Year 10. This will make up 50% of their GCSE. Unit 2 will be examined in Year 11 and will also be 50% of the GCSE. The results of the two Units will be merged to create a full course qualification. In Unit 1 pupils will study ‘Religion and Philosophical Themes’. In this unit, they will study the core beliefs and teachings of Christianity and Judaism. This will include beliefs in God, religious practices, morality, places of worship and worship. Pupils will also study themes of ‘Life after Death’ and ‘Good and Evil’ from the perspective of Christianity, Judaism and non-religious views. Issues of ‘Life after Death’ involve studying views on the creation of the world, the origin and value of human life and beliefs about death and the afterlife. The theme of ‘Good and Evil’ involves topics of crime and punishment, forgiveness, good, evil and suffering. Unit 2 consists of the study of core beliefs and teachings of Christianity and Judaism. This includes the holy books, the afterlife and religious practices. Pupils will also study themes of ‘Relationships’ and ‘Human Rights’ from the perspective of Christianity, Judaism and non-religious views. ‘Relationships’ involves the study of relationships in general, sexual relationships and issues of equality: gender prejudice and discrimination. Issues of ‘Human Rights’ involves human rights and social justice, prejudice and discrimination and issues of wealth and poverty. A qualification in Religious Education is now highly sought after in our ever-increasingly multicultural society. Professions such as the police, nursing, teaching, journalism, television, radio, social work, retail, the armed forces, the fire service, probation work, public relations, personnel work, lecturing, broadcasting, law, advocacy, teaching assistant, secretary, administration, clerical work, call centre, youth work, prison service, medicine and nursery nurse all value Religious Education as a critical subject for providing a good understanding of other peoples’ beliefs and cultures. It is a subject that has moved away from purely teaching about Christianity, and now involves the development of transferable critical thinking skills such as the ability to evaluate fact, opinion, evidence and experience. Pupils learn about a range of important, everyday topics such as poverty, abortion, euthanasia, testing on animals, human rights and relationships. There are few employers who do not recognise the benefit of a good qualification in GCSE Religious Education and this department prides itself on delivering a top-rate qualification.


In Key Stage 5, throughout the AS and A2 course pupils study Ethics, Philosophy and Buddhism. In Ethics, pupils look at different approaches to moral issues such as deciding what the ‘right’ thing to do is, sexual ethics and medical ethics. In Philosophy, pupils learn how to use rational argument and philosophical reasoning to consider deep philosophical questions such as whether God exists. The beliefs and practices of the religion Buddhism is also studied. The qualification is one which is highly sought after by universities, colleges and employers. It can lead to a career in any area, many of which are listed above in Key Stage 4.