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Studying Religion and Philosophy encourages students to engage with life’s most fundamental questions and issues, such as whether science and religion are compatible, the nature of knowledge, whether God exists, what morals are (if they exist at all), and whether we are free. 

Studying this important subject teaches students to analyse and compare different points of view and to develop their own ability to reason and argue their viewpoint. Being a student of RP also provides the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the world we live in by learning about, and from, world religions. The opportunity to gain both a solid grounding in analytical and academic rigour, as well as a deeply spiritual, moral and cultural education in this subject is part of what makes it such a popular one at our school.  

The unexamined life is not worth living


KGS is a non-denominational school and RP lessons are non-confessional. No prior knowledge is expected and we welcome students of any faith, or none, to take the subject as an option. We follow the OCR Philosophy and Ethics course at GCSE and the Pre-U in Philosophy and Theology in Sixth Form. The subject is compulsory in First and Second Year, and becomes optional in Third Year, with at least half of each year group choosing to continue studying the subject every year. 

The Department is a thriving one: with excellent examination results and a vibrant co-curricular offering, it is no surprise that every year a number of students choose to study Philosophy, Theology or related degrees at university. To enhance their understanding, our students learn from numerous trips and visits. For example, GCSE and Sixth Form students have attended lectures and conferences provided by eminent contemporary philosophers, and Lower School students to places of worship such as the Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon and the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking. Third Year students were particularly fortunate in hearing a moving talk given by two Holocaust survivors. 

Additionally, we run a weekly Philosophy and Ethics discussion group for Upper School students called Touchstone which is led by both teachers and students. We also run a weekly club, Have I Got Ethical News for You!, for younger students.

A Level Course guide

Religion and Philosophy Information Booklet


  • Head of Religion and Philosophy, Mrs C Williams
  • Deputy Head Academic; Teacher of Religion and Philosophy, Mr W Cooper
  • Head of Stanley; Teacher of Religion & Philosophy, Mr H Lawrence
  • Teacher of Religion & Philosophy, Mr P Sheehy 

The Richmond Journal of Philosophy (RJP) Archive

The RJP was established in 2002 to provide students at an early stage in their study of philosophy with articles that could inform, guide and further excite their interest. Originally published in hard copy, the RJP moved online after 12 issues. Here you can access those first 12 journals in their entirety.

The Kingston Grammar School Religion and Philosophy Department is delighted to host this archive. One of the original goals of the journal was to be make good quality serious philosophical writing widely available. We hope this site helps to achieve that aim.

The RJP was conceived and established by the Philosophy Department at Richmond upon Thames College. The college showed great vision, commitment and trust in backing the journal with the money and time that enabled an idea to be realised. Eventually, the depredations wrought by financial crises and austerity meant it could no longer be published.

The editorial board consisted of Dr Stephen Grant, Paul Sperring, Dr Mat Carmody and Dr Paul Sheehy.[1] Set out below is the original statement of the motivation and aims of the RJP. With the entire set of papers once again being publicly available, the reader can judge the extent to which we succeeded. 

The motivation for and ambition of the journal is to provide serious philosophy for students who are at an early stage in their philosophical studies. The style and content of the papers will be accessible to students who have yet to become hardened to the more technical and specialised journals of professional philosophy.

What do we mean by ‘serious’ philosophy? First, the content of the journal is not constrained by a remit to appeal to or reach the interested general public. Whilst the papers must speak to the needs of students who are relatively inexperienced in philosophy, they presuppose that their audience is actively engaged in philosophy. Second, the content is serious in its focus on the central areas of philosophy. One must beware of the dangers of trying to impose more precision on a subject than its nature will allow. Therefore, some degree of caution is called for in talking of the central areas of philosophy. Nonetheless, the big or traditional questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics will provide the journal’s centre of gravity. The third way in which the philosophy is serious is through the scope, variety and depth of analysis that can be achieved by the accumulation of papers over time. Moreover, each paper is not simply an introduction to one of the main topics on A Level, IB or degree courses. Such papers will indeed have a role in the journal, but they will not be the only kind. Our contributors will be offering original papers based on their own research. The journal will be a forum for the kind of critical engagement and debate that characterise the practice of philosophy. The fourth way in which the philosophy is serious is in the contributors themselves. The vast bulk of the papers will be written by professional philosophers engaged in both research and teaching.

[1] Each has left RUTC and can now be found teaching at City and Islington College, St Paul’s Girls School, Mander Portman Woodward and Kingston Grammar School respectively.