Religious Studies & Philosophy

Religion matters to those to whom it matters

This remark from Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh during her St Cat’s Presents… lecture a few years ago, struck me as remarkably pertinent. Learning about religion is important and relevant to understanding the modern world. As such educated people need to know what and why others believe and understand how and why this might affect their lives.

My intention is that students should leave St Catherine’s with an ability both to appreciate and to appraise religious belief and practice. Of course, one can appreciate another’s way of seeing the world and of doing things without necessarily choosing to adopt those ways as one’s own. Balancing tolerance and respect for others with critical engagement and rational analysis is the intellectual tightrope students of Religious Studies must walk. Perhaps too, students will come to reflect on their own core values in a similar balanced way. Religious Studies explores what it means to be human after all. It is my intention that girls of all beliefs and none thoroughly enjoy their study of religion with us at St Catherines.

Cecilia Scott

Head of Religious Studies

Religious Studies & Philosophy Department Staff
  • Ms Cecilia Scott

    A Philosophy graduate from Sheffield University, Cecilia has taught in Surrey since obtaining her RS PGCE in Liverpool. She completed her Masters in Religion and Philosophy from Heythrop College, University of London in 2006. She serves on a Consultation Forum for Religious Studies at OCR. Her academic interests are Religious Ethics, Contemporary Christian Theology, with a particular focus on Social Justice and Liberation Theology. Interfaith dialogue has also become of ever increasing interest. Cecilia has worked in collaboration with Dr James Hodkinson, Head of German at The University of Warwick on his Two Chairs Exchange outreach project. The focus of Dr Hodkinson’s research is the history of the interface between Islam and Europe.


    Outside of RS, Cecilia completed her 200 hours Yoga Teacher training and has become an accredited teacher with Yoga Alliance. She now teaches Yoga to senior girls at St Catherine’s. She continues to develop her personal Ashtanga yoga practice, and her yoga studies have also stimulated a new research interest in Vedic scripture and Hindu culture.

  • Mrs Izzy McLean
    Joined St Catherine’s in January 2010 and thoroughly enjoys teaching in a school with such bright and motivated pupils.  In her spare time she is a keen amateur actress and director and has recently started to learn the drums. 
  • Rev. Dr. Benji McNair Scott
    Joined St Catherine’s as a teaching chaplain in September 2012. Before getting ordained he was a curate at Christ Church, Guildford and Assistant Chaplain at King Edward’s School, Witley. He then became a teacher at All Hallows in Farnham teaching RS, Theology and Philosophy.  Has recently completed his doctorate in Theology having spent the last five years looking at the ‘charismatic apostolate’.  He loves reading and watching films; playing Fives and racquet sports and scooting with his children.
  • Miss Laura White
    After studying English Literature at Cambridge, and exploring careers options in her twenties, Miss White completed a Masters in Theology, and a PGCE in Religious Studies. A life-long learner, and self-professed geek, she enjoys singing in her church worship band and walking her naughty lurcher in the lovely Surrey Hills. Miss White heads up Digital Learning at St. Catherine's and is also Head of Department for Life Matters (PHSE). 
  • Mrs Claire Wyllie
    Joined St Catherine’s in 2002 as Head of Religious Studies, before becoming Head of Sixth Form in 2007 and Director of Staff in 2016. Subject specialisms and interests include Philosophy Religion, New Testament and Christology. Extra-curricular interests include music, theatre and travel.