Theology, Philosophy and Ethics

The primary aim of the Department is to stimulate the religious curiosity, interest and literacy of our pupils. We encourage them to engage with the issues regardless of their own faith position.


ur aim is to nurture pupils’ interest in the issues of theology, philosophy and ethics, and to help them gain the skills and understanding to participate meaningfully in ongoing intellectual debate.

What is the nature of reality? Can I survive the death of my body? Is there a God? What is salvation? What is it to live a good life? These are some of the fundamental questions which have been asked for millennia, and now it is our turn to reflect upon them. We want pupils to be able to work out their own responses. We do this by bringing the questions alive in the classroom, and addressing them in an academically rigorous manner – we learn what key philosophers and theologians have argued, and then apply the higher order critical thinking skills of analysis and evaluation to establish where we stand in relation to the great minds that have shaped the subject.

A personal faith is not required to flourish in the TPE classroom – intellectual curiosity and an openness to ideas are far more important as we question assumptions, highlight misinterpretations, and uncover fallacious reasoning in our pursuit of knowledge (and perhaps even wisdom).

We teach a foundation TPE course in the Shells, and an introduction to world religions in the Fourth Form. Pupils may choose to study Religious Studies GCSE, or the Big Ideas SESC Perspectives course, and in the Sixth Form, A Level Religious Studies and IB Philosophy are offered.

Head of Department: Charles Wallendahl


Charles Wallendahl MA Theology, Trinity College, Oxford
Michael Bunch BA, MEd Durham
Ernest Lennon MA Theology, St Stephen’s House, Oxford; MA Philosophy, BA English & Philosophy, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; PGCE Religious Studies, Homerton College, Cambridge (Chaplain)
Jonathan Thomson BA, Grey College, Durham
Thomas Wyatt BA Theology, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford; PGCE Secondary Religious Studies, Oxford

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