Head of Department: Andy Waldron


The study of Philosophy appeals to those who like to think about things other people take for granted. The aim of the course is to enable students to think and write like a philosopher: with clarity, originality and depth.

Philosophy is not taught below the Sixth Form, and students therefore come to it with fresh eyes and open minds. We encourage them to consider key philosophical questions through discussion, example and judicious use of texts by the great philosophers. At the end of the first year, many students elect to further their interest by writing an Extended Essay in Philosophy, and several opt successfully to pursue the subject at university. From our suite of rooms in the Manor House, we provide full support for all who feel the urge to be philosophical.


IB Philosophy
Philosophy can be studied at either Higher or Standard Level. Candidates are required to study philosophical questions and problems grouped into themes; to explore in detail one major text in Philosophy; and to respond philosophically to different stimuli.

The Core Theme asks what it means to be human, and offers different perspectives on issues such as the self, personal identity and consciousness. Other themes include Theories and Problems of Ethics, the Philosophy of Religion and Political Philosophy. Higher Level candidates study the Core and two optional themes; Standard Level candidates study the Core and one optional theme.

All candidates study one classic text from a list that includes Descartes' Meditations, Mill's On Liberty and Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals.

All students complete a coursework essay exploring the philosophical implications of a non-philosophical stimulus (perhaps song lyrics or a cartoon; a movie script or a piece of art). Higher Level candidates also develop their understanding of Philosophy as an activity in an additional paper.

More information can be found on our website

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