Welcome to the Philosophy & Ethics Department

“An unexamined life is not worth living”

Plato

Philosophy is an ancient discipline which saw Man’s first attempts to understand the world around us. Thus, Philosophy predates all other academic disciplines in its fundamental search for truth concerning the important issues that face humanity.

Within Philosophy and Ethics at Toot Hill School, we present students with a broad understanding of the religious, philosophical and ethical beliefs which form the very building blocks of our society

We choose to teach World Religions early in students P&E journey as religion is both a powerful and persistent presence within the world. For both practitioners and observer, and indeed anyone who wants to be informed about the world around them, religion is an intensely curious phenomenon that calls out for better understanding.

Within P&E, students are challenged to reflect on and consider a variety of ethical issues which have impacted our world - from both religious and non-religious perspectives. This includes an in-depth study of the Holocaust in Year 8; and in Year 9 an examination of Human Rights and the Value of Life.

We are aware that our students may bring with them a wide-range of preconceived notions to lessons. Thus, as a department, we aim to tackle existing worldviews within a safe and secure learning environment; challenging misconceptions or harmful stereotypes that may hinder their development as global citizens. At the same time ensuring all views are heard and responded to in a respectful manner.

Philosophy and Ethics instils students with the skills needed to sensitively and effectively cooperate with the world around them; immersing students in beliefs and ways of life which are varying and diverse by:

  • Offering a safe space to present their own views
  • Providing opportunities to listen and emphasise with different responses to ethical issues
  • Providing students with the skills needed to grapple with life’s big questions
  • Thinking critically about information presented to them
  • Introducing fundamental ways in which the most important ethical dilemmas can be approached
  • Robustly challenging false and harmful preconceptions about people of other faiths and none
  • Instilling courage to believe what they think is right, not simply following the crowd.
  • Offering a balanced viewpoint, after evaluating the information that has been presented

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