Philosophy & Religious Studies

In Philosophy and Religious Studies we place increasing emphasis on thinking critically and developing a response to issues.

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In the Philosophy and Religious Studies department, we place increasing emphasis on thinking critically and developing a response to issues, as opposed to simply knowing a collection of facts about religion or practice.

Pupils undertake research and make presentations, as well as debate issues and acquire the basic elements of how to assess arguments.

Theories of punishment and forgiveness, medical ethics, business ethics, moral dilemmas and prejudice and discrimination are all typical of the kinds of topics we examine.

Some of these discussions will feed directly into the College ethos: a reflection on the Malvern Qualities and universal values is central to this course. Tolerance of those who think differently, reflectiveness, intellectual curiosity and confidence in expressing oneself are the main qualities we are keen to promote.

In the Foundation Year (Year 9), we consider a range of ethical and philosophical ideas as well as looking at aspects of Christian and other religious teachings.

In the Remove and Hundred (Years 10 and 11), pupils have the option to take the Edexcel iGCSE in Religious Studies. The course examines the place of human beings in the universe, life and death, peace and conflict and lastly the topic of rights, equality and social justice. It also provides a detailed study of Christian practice and teaching. One of our primary goals is to help pupils to understand the ethical, philosophical and religious ideas underpinning many contemporary debates, such as those concerning human nature, identity and rights.

In the Sixth Form, pupils may take Philosophy as an International Baccalaureate subject at both Standard and Higher Levels, or Religious Studies as an A level. The A Level focuses on ethics, philosophy of religion and religious themes in society. The IB takes questions concerning what it is to be human as its point of departure: Are we free? What is a person? Is materialism true? The IB also examines issues in ethics and the philosophy of religion. Both courses offer an opportunity to develop more advanced study skills and assist when it comes to university entrance tests and interviews. More importantly, they also refine the critical thinking skills required in our fast-changing and diverse world with direct applications to the major issues of our time, such as the development of artificial intelligence, medical, business and environmental ethics.