Theology, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: Mr Richard Waddington

Our boys follow a Religious Studies syllabus until to the end of Year 4. 

In Pre-Prep, the children examine and discuss their own place in the world through their understanding of themselves and their relationships with those close to them. The boys examine how ritual is used in their families to mark important events in their lives.  

In Year 3 and Y4, the boys look more closely at Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. They explore beliefs, dress, buildings, rituals and festivals. 

In Year 5 to Year 8, the boys follow a spiral curriculum in which they look at aspects of Theology, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (TPRE) each year. 

Theology covers the Bible story from Creation to Pentecost. Biblical ideas heavily influence artistic, cultural, ethical, legal and political aspects of British life. Familiarity with biblical themes enables our boys to recognise and understand them as they arise. Year 5 study Creation and the Fall. Year 6 encounter Abraham, Moses and Elijah. Year 7 explore reactions to Jesus, a miracle and a parable. Year 8 explore the crucifixion, resurrection and Pentecost accounts. 

Philosophy introduces boys to attempts to understand the human experience using reason. We explore four key areas: epistemology (knowledge), metaphysics (reality), logic (reason) and ethics (behaviour). Year 5 encounter the ancient philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Year 6 examine scholasticism, just war theory and Machiavelli. Year 7 explore Descartes, Hume and Mill. Year 8 discuss Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Sartre. 

Religion explores life’s rites of passage through the lens of 6 world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. The boys discover important rituals and symbols for four key transitions. Year 5 explore birth. Year 6 learn about initiation into full membership. Year 7 learn about marriage. Year 8 examine death, funerals and beliefs about life after death. 

Ethics explores human individual and group behaviour. Ethics are generated in both religious and non-religious settings. Year 5 investigate laws and punishments. Year 6 explore resources and the environment. Y7 examine equality, prejudice and discrimination. Year 8 debate the value of human life and the death penalty.