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What is EPR?

Religious Education is provided at Bourne Grammar School through three academic disciplines combined into a single subject called 'EPR' - this stands for Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion.


There are two areas of Ethics we deal with explicitly – Applied Ethics and Theoretical Ethics.  In Applied Ethics lessons, our students will consider the morality of specific human actions or types of behaviour.  In Theoretical Ethics lessons, our students will discuss whether the principles which guide us when faced with ethical dilemmas are fit for purpose.

The Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy is the critical analysis of our assumptions or beliefs in order to establish the truth.  There are a number of fields within Philosophy, and our students will study issues taken from the Philosophy of Religion.  The key foci of the Philosophy of Religion lessons are the following questions:

  • Why does religious belief and non-belief exist?
  • Are religious belief and non-belief justified?
  • Do religious belief and non-belief do us any good?
The Study of Religion

This strand of the subject involves an in-depth investigation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.  However, the students will encounter other religious traditions other than the three mentioned.  The students will also spend some of their time studying topics relating to the role of religion within society.

What are we trying to achieve?

Academic Ambition

The School Curriculum Philosophy states: Lessons are designed to challenge and push students to achieve their potential.

In EPR, our students learn to:

  • Comprehend: to know and understand the world of belief in which we live.
  • Communicate: to debate, read, and write effectively.   


The School Curriculum Philosophy states: Our curriculum is inclusive, ensuring equal opportunity for all our students to thrive and excel.

In EPR, our students learn to:

  • Consider: to listen to, and think deeply about, the beliefs of others and the reasons for them.
  • Care: to respect the differences between us but show concern for our shared humanity.

Develop Independence

The School Curriculum Philosophy states: Equip our students with the skills required to succeed … by developing their independence. 

In EPR, our students learn to:

  • Critique: to see the strengths and weaknesses in the reasoning of others.
  • Conclude: to decide what we think and justify our opinions but have the confidence to say ‘I don’t know’.


What do we teach? - Key Stage 3

The most popular worldviews within the school, Lincolnshire, nationally, and globally are: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and no-religion.  Consequently, it is through these perspectives that each of topic in Key Stage 3 is approached.  However, the students will encounter other religious traditions and worldviews other than the three mentioned; for example, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, and Taoism.  

Year 7 Topics
  • What is a worldview?
  • Who or what is God?
  • What makes a good person? (1)
Year 8 Topics
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What makes a good person? (2)
  • Why does religion exist?
Year 9 Topics
  • Who is right: atheists or theists?
  • What makes a good person? (3)
  • How do religion and religious extremism differ?

What do we teach? - Key Stage ​​​​​4

Thematic Studies Topics
  • Religion, Crime & Punishment
  • Religion, Human Rights & Social Justice
  • Religion, Peace & Conflict
  • The Existence of God & Revelation
The Study of Religions Topics
  • Christianity: Beliefs & Teachings
  • Christianity: Practices
  • Islam: Beliefs & Teachings
  • Islam: Practices

What do we teach? - Key Stage ​​​​​5

Buddhism Topics
  • The life of the Buddha: the Four Sights; the Enlightenment.
  • Key Buddhist Teachings: the Three Marks of Existence; Rebirth.
  • Key Buddhist Teachings: the Four Noble Truths; the Eightfold Path; the Ten Precepts.
  • Key Buddhist Practices: dana (giving) and punya (merit); meditation; refuge.
  • The Buddhist Scriptures: the Tipitaka; the Patimokkha; the Heart Sutra; the Lotus Sutra.
  • Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism: arhat; bodhisattva.
  • Historical developments in types of Buddhism: Zen; Pure Land; Nichiren; Tibetan; British.
  • The teachings of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • Buddhism and the Modern World: feminism and gender; pluralism; science; secularism.
  • Modern Buddhist Movements: the Mindfulness Movement; Socially-Engaged Buddhism.
Philosophy of Religion Topics
  • Cosmological Argument
  • Design Argument
  • Ontological Argument
  • The nature of religious experience
  • Religious experience as an argument for the existence of God
  • Atheism
  • The problem of evil & suffering
  • Theodicies & solutions to the problem of suffering
  • Psychological critiques of religious belief
  • Religious language
Religion & Ethics Topics
  • Divine Command Theory
  • Ethical Egoism
  • Natural Moral Law
  • Situation Ethics
  • Utilitarianism
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Emotivism
  • Intuitionism
  • Naturalism
  • Free will versus determinism