Young People are natural philosophers. They love to question everything and their thoughts and ideas have no boundaries.
In Perspectives, three areas are developed: Philosophy, Sociology and Religious Studies. The philosophical approach (open questions related to the world we live in) allows students to naturally develop their thinking skills (critical, collaborative, creative and caring thinking.) It is a chance for them to wonder about the world and learn to articulate their thoughts, developing their cognitive and social awareness. They really enjoy discussions, practising their communication skills, thinking of good and relevant reasons to support their speech and challenging each other’s ideas.
Perspectives asks students to address some of the fundamental questions about life: Who am I? Does God exist? How can the world be a fairer place? What is beauty? It is a philosophy programme that encompasses traditional subjects of Religious Education (RE) and Sociology. It makes excellent preparation for Senior school courses on Theology, Philosophy and Ethics and for the 13+ examination. It uses the methodology of Professor Matthew Lipman’s Philosophy for Children (P4C) and develops the essential learning and communication skills of logic, curiosity, scepticism, negotiation and storytelling.
Knightsbridge School has a commitment to developing the all-round learner and Perspectives supports this by nurturing the socio-emotional and thinking skills required for students to reach their full potential. Individuals are given the opportunity to reflect on their own values and beliefs and encouraged to challenge and extend their thinking by listening and learning from each other to develop an open mind. Perspectives shares many links to the rest of the curriculum and the students benefit from its cognitive impact for other subjects such as History, English, Science, Art or Maths; as well as the official examinations for ISEB at 11+ and 13+. For 13+ the students sit an exam in Theology, Philosophy and Religion. The curriculum is complemented with an extensive program of trips to museums (RA, Tate Modern), galleries (Saatchi), religious buildings (Central London Mosque, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Wimbledon Synagogue ) and Parliament.
The department offers the Socrates Club for students with curious minds and a passion for philosophical discussions. An annual event that the students always look forward to is the Perspectives competition, for which the students write and practice a speech answering a philosophical question. The work produced is outstanding.
The philosophical topics studied include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics and politics. The religious studied are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism. The studies on Sociology start from year 9 and the subject matures to Life Perspectives, which will lead naturally to GCSE subject choices in Religious Studies, Citizenship and Sociology.