In Theology & Philosophy at Haberdashers' Prep, the aim is to encourage every boy to think about their own ‘Worldview’ and to consider how they might answer the fundamental questions of human existence.
We prepare the Prep for the Senior school and dip into the same ultimate questions of life: Where am I from? (Origin) Who am I? (Significance) Why is the world in a mess? (Evil) Is there a future? (Purpose) How should I live? (Morality) Is there a God? (Reality) How can I know? (Epistemology).
In pursuit of this aim, the world’s major religions are studied. In Year 3 there’s lots of comparison work investigating Prayer, Places of Worship, Festivals and traditions. As they go up through the Prep school the boys will study Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Throughout the teaching of Theology, Philosophy 4 Children lessons (P4C) are taught. During the P4C lessons boys are challenged not only to learn but also think. Particular focus is given on getting the boys to be caring, collaborative, critical and creative in their thinking and group work. Regular time for reflection and self-evaluation ensures that the boys are involved and leading the discussion and learning from each other. These skills are developed in order to prepare boys for the intellectual demands of the Senior school and beyond.
Most P4C lessons will link to the World religion lessons. For example, in Judaism we learn about King David and his abuse of power which leads to a P4C lesson exploring the concept of Power and Responsibility. Many religions have accounts of miracles, again this provides an excellent topic for P4C. In year 6 we study the Creation account and think about how this fits in with today’s understanding of Science. In addition to this, Ethics, Law and Human rights are explored.
For those students who enjoy this subject a Thinking Skill and P4C clubs are offered to the older and younger students.