Religion & Philosophy
Miss E Henderson BA (Hons)
Head of Religion & Philosophy
“Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.”
Plato, Theaetetus, 150c
Our world is built on ideas. We have ideas about freedom of speech, how far tolerance should extend, how laws should be made, what rights we intrinsically have and, importantly, what kind of life we should live. All these ideas have a historical pedigree, which a study of world religions and Philosophy bring to life.
Giving you an opportunity to engage with the rich history of philosophical and theological thought contributes to your personal growth and ethical development. Take the questions: Is the mind separate from the brain? or What makes an action right or wrong? You have the ability to energise conversation, stimulate thought and create a feeling that there is something intriguing and worth learning about. By encountering the rich diversity of ways in which thinkers, both religious and secular, have gone about trying to answer Socrates’ great question How, then, should we live? you learn that your own ideas about life are open to challenge and critical question.
Religion & Philosophy is compulsory in Year 7 and 8, with many pupils opting to study it further in Year 9, GCSE, A-level and beyond. The curriculum in the Year 7-8 examines the major world religions and introduces pupils to Philosophy and ethics. In addition, we teach modules on Christianity, mindfulness, tolerance and new religious movements. In Year 9 pupils explore Islam, Buddhism, Humanism, arguments for the existence of God and ethics.
The Religious Studies & Philosophy GCSE focuses in part on Christianity and Buddhism, with the remaining content dedicated to philosophical and ethical themes. At A-level we offer Philosophy with modules in epistemology, moral philosophy, the metaphysics of mind and the metaphysics of God.
Outside the classroom many pupils choose to engage their faculty of wonder in the fortnightly Philosophy Club, participate in House Philosophy or attend one of our frequent trips to lectures, conferences and debates.
A-level course details: