Theology & Philosophy

This subject is called TP for short at Christ’s Hospital and is a popular and lively part of the curriculum. It is offered to all Year 7 and Year 8 students as part of their core curriculum, with three periods a week taught to all classes. This is on a par with other humanities subjects such as History or Geography. As an independent school, Christ’s Hospital is not bound by legal requirements for state schools, but it is acknowledged that the study of Theology and Philosophy provides a unique opportunity for pupils to take ownership of their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The subject enjoys the same academic rigour as any other in the school and our pupils like that, rising to meet the challenges we set. We collaborate with other academic departments from time to time to ensure that themes we are exploring are supported and complemented elsewhere.

The department has five specialist teachers and we believe that our schemes of work stretch the students academically and offer them a first class introduction to the subject prior to GCSE. On the LE (Year 9) the pupils can opt to take the subject to GCSE. At present numbers are very high and results excellent.

We also offer Philosophy at Pre U (an equivalent to A level). Once again, numbers are high and results good. We regularly see students opting to read Philosophy or Theology at University.

Philosophy and Theology in the Sixth Form


The department is committed to offering first class teaching and learning to all its pupils. In the sixth form, smaller class sizes mean that our support can be far more bespoke, catering for the needs of individuals, often in one to one tutorials undertaken outside of the formal timetable. Our staff are well qualified, experienced teachers who present the subject matter in a clear, innovative way making full use of a variety of resources, both on paper, audiovisual and online.

What is it?

Philosophy is the academic process of subjecting the world to rigorous scrutiny. It is widely agreed to be a method of thinking or approach to study rather than a body of knowledge, although it has traditionally been applied to the investigation of some particular problems, including:

  • What is knowledge? Is it possible to know, and if so, how? (Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science)
  • What is the real nature of things? (Metaphysics)
  • How should we live? (Moral Philosophy)
  • Is it rational to believe in God, and what is He like? (Philosophy of Religion)
  • How are words meaningful and how do they refer to the world? (Philosophy of Language)
  • What is the mind and is it distinct from the body? (Philosophy of Mind)

Why Philosophy?

  • For its own sake. Philosophy lessons will offer you the space to explore and attempt to answer for yourself some of the most difficult and important questions that have faced human beings.
  • Philosophy is an essay-based arts subject which will support related subjects such as English or History and develop similar skills of synthesising information and presenting arguments; these will be valued at university level.
  • Philosophy is an excellent complement to round off a selection of unrelated subjects such as sciences; philosophy tutors at university level often appreciate the rigorous and systematic approach that a scientist brings to the subject. Linguists and mathematicians will also appreciate the systematic exploration of the rules of logic or the rigorous emphasis on defining terms appropriately.