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Philosophy & Theology

The Philosophy and Theology department plays a key role in the curriculum at Canford.

Our Shell groups study an internally devised course examining key issues related to philosophy, theology and ethical matters. Philosophical questions discussed are as varied as ‘How can I trust my senses?’ and ‘Can I quantify happiness?’ with a focus on analytical thinking and structured debate. 

The beliefs and practices of different religions are studied both individually and in comparison with one another, and pupils are encouraged to both understand and appreciate alternative points of view, whilst formulating their own thoughts and opinions on religion and the world around them.

All pupils in the Fourth Form will undertake a bespoke course in ‘Philosophy, Ethics, and Spirituality’ (PES), which is intended to enable pupils to have more responsibility for their studies and promote a love of learning for its own sake. The course is unexamined, giving both teachers and pupils the freedom to converse honestly and reflect on a variety of challenging and polemical topics.

Topics include: Atheism and Non-belief, Music and Religion, Mark’s Gospel, Crime and Punishment, God and the Movies, Contemporary Moral Issues, Sport Ethics, Faith and Science and Art Ethics.

It is important to note that PES is not a substitute for the Religious Studies GCSE, and should you have an interest and aptitude for the subject it would be worth taking the GCSE as a separate option.

Philosophy and Ethics is an incredibly enjoyable course in that it constantly makes you think outside the box and question things that you would otherwise not even consider thinking about.

Joss Long, pupil

Studying philosophy has helped me to approach things in a more open minded way and although parts of the course are challenging, I have really enjoyed being able to think about and discuss topics that I would otherwise not have been exposed to

Isobel Vasey, pupil