Philosophy and Theology

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. Mrs Webster is a senior examiner for OCR A Level Religious Studies where she also leads teacher training and inset and has a published article on Gender and Theology in Dialogue magazine. Mrs Webster’s area of academic interest spans from the Medieval Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant to the current ethical implications of emerging technologies, especially AI and the implications for discussions surrounding what it means to be human.

Mrs Webster is also Assistant Head Teaching & Learning and runs Ethics Cup, Philosothon and A Level academic enrichment.

Mr. 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.  Mr Whyatt has experience as an examiner for AQA GCSE level Religious Studies. His area of academic interest is the New Testament and Philosophy of Religion.

Mr Whyatt is a qualified rugby referee and coaches rugby.

Miss Rebecca Smith B.A. (Hons) University of Southampton, e-Qualitas QTS, Teacher of Philosophy and Theology, Head of Wellbeing, DDSL

Mrs Rebecca Mugridge is an Old Caterhamian who returned to teach at Caterham School in 2014, after completing her study of Philosophy & English Literature at Southampton University. Mrs Mugridge’s area of academic interests includes the Philosophy of Religion, as well as Epistemology and how we can come to ascertain true knowledge.

Mrs Mugridge is also Head of Wellbeing, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, and a Lacrosse coach.

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