Theology & Philosophy
This subject is called TP for short at Christ’s Hospital and is a popular and lively part of the curriculum. The aim of the department is to enable pupils to become reasonable and empathetic individuals, open-minded and curious about the nature of human existence, able to critically but sensitively evaluate their own views and those of others and motivated to change society for the better. We explore with pupils the knowledge and wisdom embedded in philosophical theories and religious traditions, travelling on an intellectual and personal journey alongside them. Through questioning and dialogue, we encourage pupils to connect their learning to their own experience and expose them to complexity in thought and experience, so that they may learn to deal positively with controversial issues and diversity and to think deeply and creatively.
TP is offered to all Year 7 and Year 8 pupils as part of their core curriculum. In Year 7, we look at Judaism, Christianity and Islam through the lens of their historical stories and critically examine key concepts, such as the nature of right and wrong and the idea of a ‘saviour’ in popular culture (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter). In Year 8, we discuss the nature of the self in Hinduism and Buddhism, human rights, persecution and humanism. From Year 9 pupils can opt to take the subject to GCSE, during which we study a range of philosophical and ethical topics through the lens of Christian and Buddhist teaching and practice alongside contemporary secular views. Numbers are very high and results excellent.
In the Sixth Form, we offer A level philosophy and regularly see pupils opting to read philosophy at university. The course covers four central areas:
- Epistemology: what can we know, and how?
- Moral philosophy: How should we live? Are right and wrong objective?
- Philosophy of religion: Does God exist? What does it even mean to talk of ‘God’?
- Philosophy of mind: What is the mind and is it distinct from the brain?
A good summary of some reasons to take philosophy can be found here: