This week, our A Level RS students made the virtual journey along the A40 to Oxford to attend the Academy Masterclass for Philosophy and Ethics. Usually held in the stunning setting of either Oxford Town Hall or The Mathematical Institute, this year the event was held online. This compromise, however, did not diminish the quality of the presentations. World leaders in their subjects addressed the students with some of the most profound and demanding questions asked by any subject, with the aim to inspire and enthuse.

The day consisted of:

Self Death and Afterlife | Julie Arliss walked us through the ideas of both Plato and Descartes on the question of ‘Do we have a soul and what happens after death’.

Introduction to Aquinas and Natural Law  | Andrew Pinsent covered the basics for outstanding performance at A Level, primary and secondary precepts, the principle of double effect and real apparent gods.

Faith and Reason | Tom Greggs, speaking on the nature of the ways in which faith and reason might relate and the relative weight placed on each.

On Not Being an Ostrich | Daphne Hampson opening the questions of feminism and theology.

The Attributes of God – Defending the New Testament view of God Professor | Keith Ward defended the nature of God as demonstrated in the New Testament.

Making Essay Writing Work for YOU | Peter Baron rounded the afternoon off with a presentation about developing essay writing skills, targeted at those aiming for the top grades.

The conference was a fabulous way to further equip our students with the skills and knowledge required to excel in their Religious Studies A Level and all agreed it was a hugely worthwhile experience.