Religion & Philosophy

It was their wonder, astonishment that first led men to philosophise and still leads them.Aristotle (384–322BC) Greek philosopher. Taken from his work Metaphysics

The unexamined life is not worth living.Socrates (c470–399BC) Greek philosopher. Attributed to him in Plato’s Apology

I have become a question for myself.St Augustine (354–450) Early Christian theologian and philosopher. Taken from his work Confessions

There has never been a more exciting or important time to study Religion: our increasingly globalised world, the threat of religious terrorism and the rapid rise of multi-faith societies mean that understanding and critically analysing religious beliefs is essential in contemporary society. We do not study religious beliefs and practices with the aim of becoming religious, but for the purpose of understanding and engaging with them, so that we might be able to respond more effectively to modern issues and conflict.

Philosophy, whilst a separate subject in its own right, is a natural companion subject to Religion and the two have been studied alongside each other for thousands of years. Philosophy provides the tools to help us study religion; the critical evaluation of ideas, the questioning mind and the relentless pursuit of the truth. It also forces us to confront the central questions of our being: what does it mean to be human? What is my purpose? How should I live? Who should I become?

Oakhamians study Religion and Philosophy until the end of Form 3 and can then choose to continue their studies at GCSE (AQA Spec A). In the Upper School, the Department offers A-level Religious Studies (OCR) and A-level Philosophy (AQA), and International Baccalaureate Philosophy at Higher and Standard Level; all Upper School Philosophy students, both A-level and IB, are automatically members of the Philosophy Society which meets once every half-term. Students are taught by passionate subject specialists at every stage and so are encouraged to engage in in-depth, critical debate about key religious and philosophical issues. 

Megan Fairley

Megan Fairley

Head of Upper School

I am delighted to be Head of Upper School, having previously been Head of Religion and Philosophy since September 2015, having taught at Oakham since 2011 and previously at Latymer Upper School in West London. Prior to becoming Head of Department, I was a resident tutor and Assistant Housemistress of Round House and am currently an Upper School tutor as well as overseeing the student-led feminist society and running the dance-fitness and debating activities.