Religious Studies - Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
Theology – the study of belief about God - and Philosophy – enquiring about the meaning of life – have traditionally been subjects of fundamental importance.
In lessons there are opportunities to learn about, understand and reflect upon a variety of both religious and non-religious beliefs, values and traditions.
- Consider philosophical questions about the meaning and purpose of human existence
- Learn how to make well-reasoned, sensitive judgements about a variety of religious and moral issues
- Explore beliefs and practices within the major world faiths and philosophies that they may encounter as adult citizens in a diverse world today.
The courses are suitable for all pupils, whatever their beliefs.
Highly experienced members of staff, including two subject specialists, deliver the present subject curriculum.
Years 7, 8 and 9 have two lessons a week learning of the three great Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They will consider the lives of saints and heroes of faith. They examine topics such as Miracles, Creation and the Environment, Evidence for God’s existence, and Forgiveness.
Those who choose GCSE Religious Studies will study a wide range of topics including Christianity, Islam, relationships and families, the existence of God and peace and conflict.
Pupils will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and develop valuable skills that will help prepare them for further study. Philosophy involves critical thinking and reasoning. Ethics considers morality, deciding what actions are good or right and what are bad or wrong.
The course is accessible to pupils of all faiths and none. Pupils will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. Pupils will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills.
Please click here to find out more about our GCSE option.
Religious Studies at A level complements other related A level subjects including History, Politics, and English Literature.
It helps develop skills of logical reasoning and analytical writing. This seemingly abstract subject involves the development of attributes that should prove useful in the world of work. Top business schools have proven there to be a strong correlation between moral values and exceptional business performance. Research at Columbia University and Dundee suggests that working out what is right also improves IQ, emotional intelligence, team spirit, motivation and personal well-being.
Additionally, philosophy graduates have been shown to outperform significantly those who studied other disciplines in terms of verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills in the standardised GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) test.
Please click here to find out more about our A level course.
Enrichment and Co-Curricular
The Department organises regular lunchtime Faith Debates, Explore Christianity, and a Philosophy Club, all of which are popular and provide an opportunity for participants to hone their debating skills. Additionally, our pupils have led Café Philo meetings at the French Institute in Kensington. This is an open debating forum where they are required to present their views on a philosophical problem of their own choosing and then defend those views from questions and criticisms posed by an adult audience of philosophy enthusiasts.
Groups are taken to suitable lectures in London and elsewhere. There are visits to St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the National Gallery to see sacred art, and to churches, a synagogue and a mosque.