Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy & Religion

As a Woodard school, the philosophy and religion department at King's is a respected academic department and is regarded as central to the delivery of an important part of the Woodard vision - an awareness of the reality of spirituality as a fundamental human characteristic. Not only that, the absolute necessity of tolerance and mutual respect, based on knowledge and understanding, in our multi-faith society. All pupils study this subject in a non-judgemental, open and vibrant context. It is also an increasingly popular option at A Level.

Third Form

All pupils follow the Face to Faith programme of philosophy and religion for two years. The Woodard Corporation endorses this programme as an excellent preparation for life in a multi-faith world. The programme brings our pupils together with young people from all over the world using digital technology. Young people of different religions and cultures learn directly with, from and about each other. Face to Faith prepares students for global citizenship in the 21st century. Through facilitated dialogue and the "community of enquiry" method, students practise the key skills of conflict negotiation and resolution so that they are able to hold meaningful and respectful inter-faith discussions – even if their views diverge. Using video-conferencing facilities and a secure online community, pupils work together to investigate specific global issues such as the environment, health, art, poverty and wealth; discuss a range of opinions, values and beliefs, and explore the reasons for similar and different world views. Face to Faith can connect pupils at King's with schools as far afield as Australia, Canada, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Singapore, UAE and the US.

The Face to Faith programme is accredited by the International GCSE offered in 140 countries by Cambridge Assessment and recognised by the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

"In academic circles this subject is highly prized because of its particular demand to examine one's own beliefs, behaviour and assumptions."

It is common to go through life in the shadows of reality, convinced that pleasure is the only purpose of life and happiness the goal of existence. Interestingly, there is no single religious leader in the world, past or present, who preaches 'happiness.' Why is this? It is because they claim that being fully human is far more than just about being happy. Being a fulfilled and complete individual means taking time to consider the big questions about life, its meaning and its purpose. You will certainly die, but how you spend your life and what you do with the time you have are matters of choice. This course examines, in an open and academic environment, how such decisions are made, and what governs such life choices.

The course is designed to offer an academic approach to the study of religion and to be accessible to students of any religious persuasion or none. There is no need for you to have passed GCSE Religious Studies to do this course, but it is essay based so you will need good English skills. Otherwise all that is required is a willingness to be open-minded and intellectually challenged.

The AS course includes a module on ethics. This will include examination of different ethical theories and how these are applied to contemporary issues such as

  • Medical Ethics
  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia
  • Genetics, cloning and embryo research

The second module will be Philosophy of Religion. This will introduce you to an academic and philosophical approach to the central questions of religion.

Why is there something rather than nothing?

  • Can anyone prove that God exists?
  • What about those who say they experience God? Can they prove it or is there always another explanation?
  • Reasons for atheism
  • The A2 course comprises two modules: Philosophy of Religion and the Synoptic module.
  • If God is good why is there so much suffering and evil in the world?
  • Body soul and personal identity
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