Philosophy & Religion

The study of religion and the elements within it is imperative to a holistic education. In the department of Philosophy and Religion we develop pupils' skills to be able to examine, talk about and understand the world’s major religions as well as the ability to discuss ethical issues and philosophical concepts. In doing so, pupils are encouraged to develop a sense of self-worth, duty, responsibility and respect for others. Nurturing lively and enquiring minds, the subject encourages pupils to appreciate diverse and contrasting beliefs and to develop the ability to argue cogently and rationally.

Learning outside the classroom and inspiring pupils to engage with the broader subject area is vital. The department utilises a YouTube channel, ‘PhilosophyAndReligion’, and a Twitter account, ‘@ReedsPandR’, to support this engagement. Understanding the way in which we behave in society, how we believe, the questions of morality and faith are all subjects discussed daily in our newsfeeds.

Visits from various religious leaders inspire pupils to consider arguments such as the influence of Buddhist mindfulness and meditation on productivity. Trips to places such as Holocaust memorials in Amsterdam allow for reflection and understanding of some of the world’s greatest atrocities.

All pupils study Philosophy and Religion in Years 7 to 9 and the subject is a popular choice at GCSE and A Level.

In the First and Second Forms (Years 7 & 8) we deliver an in-depth evaluation on the six major religions, covering the three prominent Eastern faiths and practices. To strengthen their knowledge further, each year group visits the respective places of worship.

The innovative curriculum for the Third Form (Year 9) has themes which are especially relevant in the twenty-first century such as: an analysis of cults and the grey-area between cults, sects or religions; the dangers of extremism, radicalization and the manipulation of faith; and the Arab/Israeli conflict.

The GCSE course in Philosophy and Religion involves an evaluation of both the philosophical and ethical concepts within Christianity.

In the first year of the new A level course pupils study the first 6 topics in each section and the remainder in the second year. The course is split into thirds between Philosophy, Ethics and Theology. There is a wide variety of topics covered, varying from the ancient philosophy of Plato and Aritotle to Arguments for the existence of God and from Meta-Ethical Theories to Christian Moral Principles. A great aspect of this new and exciting course is that more weight is given to the pupils’ opinion and evaluation over knowledge and regurgitation in the final A Level examinations.

The department promotes curiosity, initiative and adaptability of mind in pupils to nurture them into the inspiring young minds of tomorrow.

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