Through the study of religion, philosophy and ethics students investigate the nature of reality and seek fundamental truths about themselves, others and the world they live in. Our challenging and enriching curriculum imparts knowledge from religious traditions and philosophical arguments thousands of years old, and considers their impact on contemporary society. Students learn to analyse arguments, interpret religious texts and discover the diversity in the multitude of religions that exist in the world today.
Our expert teachers have an authentic love of philosophy and religion, and our classrooms are a place of discussion and conversation, where students are expected to justify their positions and support their arguments rather than simply express their opinion. In our classrooms, students hear the hum of rigorous debate where there is equal emphasis on learning how to listen as well as argue.
Reading is central in religion, philosophy and ethics and we do not shy away from exposing our students to difficult texts. From Year 8, our students read the likes of Aristotle and in Year 9, Locke and Hobbes, and the Jewish theologians Rubenstein, Buber and Maybaum. They are taught the skills necessary to analyse and dissect the arguments within so that they can flourish in doing so.
9–7 at GCSE Religious Studies 2023
9–8 at GCSE Religious Studies 2023
A*–B at A level Philosophy 2023
Philosophy Society is available to all students in Years 9–Upper Sixth, and is an excellent opportunity for students to encounter philosophical ideas and arguments beyond what they study in the classroom. Society meetings start with a written extract from philosophy and the following discussion is led by students. Many Sixth Form students enter philosophy essay competitions run by universities and have a history of great success with these. Philosophy competitions offer an exciting opportunity for students to engage with students from other schools, with a recent team attending the Philosothon national finals, after winning the Southeast regional qualifier.
There is no better way to understand a religion than by talking to practitioners and seeing it lived. As such we take Year 7 to Bhaktivedanta Manor to develop their understanding of Hinduism, this always proves an exceedingly popular trip.
Alongside the Classics Department, we run a bi-annual trip to Greece, where students can see where philosophy was born and walk the same paths that the ancients did, musing on the nature of justice and beauty as they did.
Every term we host world expert philosophers and leaders of religion to talk to our students on topics ranging from the ethical use of artificial intelligence to design arguments for the existence of God and cosmic fine-tuning. Our proximity to Oxford University has proven a boon for this.