Religion & Philosophy

God/no/where
God/now/here

Where do YOU draw the line? Many people say this generation of students is the most ethically alert and aware body of thinkers. The room comes alive when we have class discussions about abortion, war, euthanasia, cloning and many other contentious issues.

Imagine a subject which could take you to faraway cultures, to times past and to other worlds: that is what we do! Welcome to the most exciting subject in the world - this one at least!

Religious Education is the academic study of some of the most powerful, inspirational and emotive ideas in human history. A major component of what it means to be human is to 'believe'. In RE, we discuss these ideas, where they come from and how they influence and structure believers’ lives. Thinking about these issues makes our pupils more focused, analytical and skilful in both debate and research.

We want our pupils to be articulate about what they believe; we want their opinions to be backed up by solid academic knowledge. We have, at the same time, a completely unique, intellectual identity - teaching and reinforcing the intellectual skills that make many of our students successful applicants to law, journalism and a host of competitive and demanding careers.

Pause for Thought

“One of the highlights of our whole School Assembly is an inspirational weekly address. This address which is both varied and topical leaves us all with much to ponder upon. I am keen these thought-provoking missives are shared with as wide an audience as possible and give us all food for thought during the coming week. From rock star Jon Bon Jovi’s New Jersey ‘Soul Kitchen’ restaurant, to Why do we wear a poppy? and the challenges of a new term, there is much to contemplate.”

Ian Davies, Headmaster

 

Pause for Thought - Whole School assembly readings

Mr Clements' ‘Pause for Thought’ articles have been viewed more than 25,000 times on TES. See his latest reading below. 

Mandela

Assembly date: Monday 3rd December 2018

Last year marked the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and it is worthwhile to think about that remarkable man’s life in these troubled times. His example and words are still needed in this broken world and maybe more now than ever.  He was a man rejected his earlier violence to become the President of South Africa and a global icon for the best in all of us. We find in his story a journey from violence to peace; and it is a story we should tell ourselves to remind us that nobility and decency are the highest of human virtues.

One of Britain’s leading musicians and advocates for human rights is Peter Gabriel, who along with Richard Branson, set up a group of global leaders nearly 20 years ago, who through their maturity and integrity could help offer a new level of leadership to the world’s nations. Peter realised only one person could really make sense as a leader of this group – Nelson Mandala known affectionately as Madiba. Peter wrote:

“He was the one person who represented this currency of moral authority more than any other. He had put his life at risk for his people, spent 27 years in jail to win equality and freedom for black South Africa – which was still, then, the only country in the world which had racism enshrined in its constitution. Madiba wanted to see his country unified and was willing, as he stepped out of jail, once more to put off his personal life and serve his time again – only this time, as President.

To lead with such remarkable forgiveness, compassion and inclusiveness inspired people in every country. But building a Rainbow Nation in his own country required working with the apartheid regime – the very people who had killed and imprisoned so many of those he had fought for.

We feel so very privileged to have spent some time with him, to have brainstormed and built something with him and seen up close how his determination compassion and humility can turn the world around.”

The stories we tell are of a great value to how we see and react to the world. Stories of hate and violence ultimately make the acts of hatred and violence normalised. They corrupt the teller and the listener, but as Peter’s example teaches us, a good story can enlighten and inspire. It can be a call to action and a reminder not to be afraid. Mandela’s life story gives us these gifts and for that, we should be very grateful.

We would be grateful for your views.

Mr B Clements
Teacher of EAL

 

  • All 'Pause for Thought' articles from the last four years are available to read here