Philosophy and Theology are subjects which encourage curiosity about the world and our place in it. They are subjects which encourage the development of critical thinking alongside personal reflection.
In the Philosophy and Theology department we try to expose pupils to some of the fundamental ideas which underpin our understanding of the world and our culture, as well as encouraging the analysis and evaluation of ideas and points of view which are more alien to us.
The department takes a non-confessional approach - all views and approaches are accepted - but the expectation is that opinions and views must be justified and reasoned. No person can be a neutral participant in debates about the existence of God, what is the right thing to do or the relationship between science and religion. Reflection and awareness of our own assumptions and the fundamental beliefs we hold is essential to academic development in this subject.
Initially, students in Shell (Year 9) explore the relationship between religion and science as an introduction to philosophical enquiry and different ways of approaching fundamental questions. The remainder of the year provides an introduction to religious texts and exploration of responses to suffering and evil across different religions.
Study of GCSE Religious Studies involves in-depth examination of belief and practice in two religions including Christianity, exploration of fundamental philosophical and ethical questions concerning the existence of God and the value of human life.
In the Sixth Form students can examine Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics with an emphasis on the Christian approach to these debates through A-level Religious Studies.
Co-curricular Philosophy and Theology
The department provides many books to encourage more advanced reading and independent learning and this is supported by the staff who meet with students in small groups to encourage and foster exploration of key religious and philosophical debates beyond the syllabus.
Philosophy and Theology beyond Hurst
The department has supported many candidates’ successful applications to highly selective universities in recent years.