Mr Colin Bray
Position: Head of Philosophy & Religion
Department: Philosophy & Religion
Qualifications: BA Sheffield, BPhil Ed Warwick
Telephone: 01280 818281
Life before Stowe
I have twenty five years of experience in education and training having started my career in 1986 developing and delivering government led initiatives designed to secure training and employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed. Then in 1988 I became a Lecturer in adult and further education (General & Communication Studies and Learning Support) working in colleges in London and the South-East. In 1997 I decided to re-train as a secondary school teacher and since then I have taught Religious Studies and Philosophy in a wide range of state and independent schools. I have also been a Head of PSHE, a Head of House and I am a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language. I joined Stowe from the Royal Latin Grammar School, Buckingham, in January 2013 where I was Head of Philosophy & Religion for five years.
What do you enjoy most about your subject?
The fact that religion and philosophy have always been, and continue to be a powerful driving force in society. Knowledge of religion and philosophy is needed to inform our own political and social understanding, to enlighten the subtleties of literature and to aid our understanding of history. The study of Religion is a fascinating one, interesting for its own sake and useful in that it sharpens the mind and provides an insight into the study of ideas and their accompanying debates. It forces you to examine your own ideas and raises questions where before you thought there were none. Overall, religion is powerful and persistent, provoking heartfelt commitment, eloquent expression, forthright action, and intense debate – I love it!
What do you enjoy most about Stowe?
I very much enjoy being part of the very unique, friendly and supportive community of Stowe. The Stoics are fantastic – inquisitive, engaging, charming and polite – they are a pleasure to teach. The beautiful surroundings, the successful and thriving Religious Studies department, and driving over Oxford water of a winter’s morning and seeing the Beagles running through the mist. A truly enchanting experience.
What is your favourite Lesson?
I enjoy all of my lessons because due to the nature of my subject and the Stoic’s response to philosophical and ethical questions, every lesson is different. However, I particularly enjoy introducing my A Level students to Teleological arguments for the existence of God and Meta-Ethics. I enjoy encouraging my students to open their minds to a wide range of arguments and philosophical thinking from Socrates to the present day.
What do others say about you?
You’ll have to ask them really, but I hope they say I’m professional, friendly, approachable and a good teacher.
I really enjoy leading a weekly meditation class and helping out with the chess club. I am also a temporary Lecturer and Tutor at the University of Buckingham (Department of Education).
Teaching and learning. Outside of teaching my passion is for gardening and when we get a summer I like nothing more than sitting in the garden with a glass of wine enjoying the fruits of my labour.