Philosophy and Theology
Philosophy and Theology brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding human experience.
“Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom.” Wisdom is the knowledge of ultimate causes, explanations and principles. It includes knowledge of values, not just facts. It gives you a “big picture,” a “world-view” and a “life-view.” It explores such questions as these: What is the essence of a human being? What is the meaning and purpose of human life? What is a good life? What is a good society? Are there higher laws than human laws? Are we here by chance or design? Are we fated or free? How do we know what is good or evil? How do we know anything? Is anything certain? Can reason prove (or disprove) the existence of God? Why do we suffer? Why do we die? Is there life after death?
Philosophy and Theology at Caterham School is an exciting and intellectually stimulating subject that covers diverse theological, philosophical, ethical, psychological, spiritual, historical and social questions.
Philosophy and Theology is an academic discipline that engages pupils in a challenging and complex course, studying moral and spiritual development and fostering an understanding and respect for Christianity and other world religions.
The ultimate aim is that students learn to question and think for themselves.
Fourth and Fifth Years: The AQA A GCSE course allows students to discover more about the religions of Islam and Christianity whilst exploring contemporary ethical issues including animal testing, abortion and homosexuality and philosophical debates including the nature of God and religious experience.
In the Sixth Form… provides an intellectually stiumulating course which enables students to explore three papers in philosophy, ethics and developments in Christian thought. Students consider how we make moral decisions, and how these theories can be applied to recent debates for example the legalisation of euthanasia and questions surrounding sexaul ethics. In philosophy, one can question whether we are simply our material bodies or whether we have a soul? What we mean when we talk about God, whether God is a necessary explanation for the origin of the universe. In Theology, students can discuss the impact of feminist and Marxist thinking on Christianity, whether all will be saved in the afterlife, and the impact of secularisation on organised religion.
Mrs Samantha Webster, BA (Oxon), Head of Philosophy and Theology
Mrs Samantha Webster joined Caterham in 2017 with 10 years of experience teaching at Worth School, West Sussex and Trinity School in Croydon.
Jan Whyatt, B.A. (Manchester), PGCE (Roehampton Institute), M.A. (Heythrope College, University of London), Teacher of Philosophy and Theology
Mr. Jan Whyatt joined Caterham School in 2003 with 11 years of experience teaching at Trinity School, Croydon and one year at Hampton School.
Miss Rebecca Smith B.A. (Hons) University of Southampton, e-Qualitas QTS, Teacher of Philosophy and Theology, Head of Ridgefield, Assistant Head of Third Year
Miss Rebecca Smith is an Old Caterhamian who has returned to teach at Caterham School in 2014, after completing her study of Philosophy and English at Southampton.
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