Religious Education is taught as an academic subject up to the end of the 5th Form Philosophy and Religious Studies is offered at IB and A-level Religious Studies.
The aims of the department are to help pupils to:
- Develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and some of the other principle religions represented in Great Britain;
- Enhance their own spiritual, moral, cultural and social development;
- Develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions.
At Key Stage 3 pupils study The Bible, Old Testament Studies, a study of Judaism and the Life and Work of Jesus and inspirational figures. In the 3rd Form this extends to a study of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Every year trips are arranged for the 1st to 3rd Form. These include Orthodox and Reform Synagogues, Woking or Regent’s Park Mosque, Neasden Hindu Temple and Wimbledon Buddhist Temple.
Pupils opting for Religious Studies in the GCSE Years will follow OCR Religious Studies - Philosophy and Applied Ethics course, with eight topics of study, including: Religion and its relationship to Human Relationships, Medical Ethics, the Media, Peace and Justice, Science as well as life after death.
Philosophy develops independent thinkers whose critical and analytical skills stand them in good stead for life at university and beyond.
Philosophy is taught as part of the IB Diploma programme, and is offered at Higher or Standard Level. It is also possible to take it as a stand-alone standard level subject in combination with A-levels.
Students of Philosophy develop an intellectually independent and creative way of thinking and relate their philosophical understanding to other disciplines and to personal and civic life. They formulate arguments in a rational and logical way as they critically examine their own experience and their ideological and cultural biases. They become aware of the plurality of philosophical traditions, ideas and concepts and develop their own thinking as they evaluate different ideas and arguments. They are trained to test hypotheses and interpret data and source material. They will then express the ideas clearly and coherently and be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of concepts, arguments and questions.
Today it is widely accepted that one who has studied Philosophy has developed metacognitive (think about their thinking) skills that promotes achievement in a wide variety of careers - from being a salesperson, nurse, mother or teacher to a doctor, lawyer, business person or engineer. The course is challenging yet extraordinarily rewarding as pupils are equipped with both significant and crucial academic and personal skills that are so valued by universities today.