Theology and Philosophy
In a world that is sometimes united, yet often divided, by religious belief the department aims to educate pupils on the variety of religious faiths and to explore both their historical influence and what motivates believers today. We pride ourselves in offering the opportunity for students to delve into questions about truth and morality, and to develop meaningful opinions about the world around them.
Theology and Philosophy is a core subject in the Lower School (Years 7 and 8). In the First Form pupils are introduced to two of the three Abrahamic religions in chronological order, beginning with Judaism, followed by Christianity. In the Second Form we introduce Philosophy through the comparison of Eastern and Western religious understanding of the world. We then focus on current ethical issues including religious conflict and religious identity as well as studying the third Abrahamic religion, Islam. Pupils will choose their GCSE options at the end of the Second Form.
The GCSE course is very popular and addresses issues of current debate ranging from philosophical questions over the existence of God and religion versus science through to ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, war, poverty and sexual ethics. Pupils enjoy the opportunity to debate important philosophical and ethical issues and apply their understanding of both Christian and Islamic viewpoints to key questions, as well as exploring non-religious and secular responses.
The A Level course develops a greater understanding and appreciation of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as probing the disciplines of ethics and philosophy of religion. Students will develop their skills of critical analysis in order to construct balanced, informed arguments and responses to religious, philosophical and ethical ideas. Typically, this attracts two sets of students in each of the year groups and pupils often choose to continue this subject at university.
The department offers extra clubs to inspire pupils in their studies of Theology and Philosophy. Fifth and Sixth Form pupils present and debate on a range of topics in The Academy, a current affairs debating club that attracts pupils from across a wide range of disciplines and a Christian Union club runs weekly for all age groups. The department also organises enrichment trips including a trip to Oxford and Philosophy and Ethics conferences for Sixth Form pupils in London.
Please take a look at the Sixth Form pages for details of our A Level Theology and Philosophy course