For the Philosophy, Religion & Society department, the diversity of our complex world, with its wide array of belief systems and worldviews, is something to be celebrated and explored.
As boys develop an appreciation of that world, they learn to engage critically with it, not taking ideas for granted, and to navigate it with empathy.
Pupils are encouraged to reflect carefully on their own beliefs in relation to those studied. The ancient maxim, ‘know thyself’, is a guiding principle for how we expect boys to engage with studies.
When teaching a topic, we encourage the view that there may be no one correct answer – which does not, of course, mean that there are no incorrect answers.
In the Lower School, we introduce boys to key concepts – looking at the nature of philosophical enquiry, the analysis of argument and critical thinking skills – and to ways of engaging with major societal issues, so they can better understand the world around them.
This approach is developed at GCSE level, with boys shown how to engage more deeply with arguments, to research independently and to express themselves through extended written pieces.
In the Sixth Form, pupils gain an understanding of major issues in philosophy, while university-style seminar sessions give them the opportunity to engage independently with complex ideas and to communicate their own understanding clearly and persuasively to their peers.
There are lunchtime societies for specific faiths – Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism – while our philosophy society provides a forum for exploring extra-curricular philosophical ideas.