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Philosophy and Religious Studies

Welcome to the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department

In the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies [PRS] we offer our students opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the major world religions, as well as giving them the chance to begin to explore different philosophical and ethical perspectives on important contemporary issues. We try to offer students a freedom that allows them to find their own voice. This can promote their personal, social and spiritual development.

Emphasis is placed upon encouraging students to become independent learners and critical thinkers, so there are many opportunities for students to participate in research, debate and discussion and to present their individual discoveries to others. ICT and media have an important role in our teaching strategies. ‘Philosophy goes to the Movies’ is a popular club where students watch and philosophically evaluate films.

At key stage 3, students explore the 6 major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Key stage 3 students also enjoy the many opportunities, that the department offer, to visit sites that are of religious and cultural significance. Students are encouraged to discuss ethical and philosophical questions in relation to the religions under study, and the development of their analytical and evaluation skills is promoted from their very first Philosophy and Religious Studies lesson.

In upper school, all students take a Religious Studies course which looks at important life issues through different religious and philosophical lenses. All students are given the option of following the full course which results in a GCSE qualification. This entails additional study, focusing on contemporary social, political, environmental and other world issues. Students explore a variety of religious and philosophical responses to the issues in question. Those who opt to take short course instead are awarded with a half GCSE.

The department also offers Religious Studies at AS and A2 which comprises the study of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Students explore key philosophical and ethical debates: old arguments are applied to new problems and the course is taught to reflect the concerns of a modern world, which students find engaging and relevant.