The RS department at Goffs School consists of two full-time teachers and number of knowledgeable, committed and enthusiastic non-specialists from various other departments. Importantly, the department not only aims to deliver outstanding lessons that are both engaging and enjoyable, but is also central to the ethos of Goffs School, especially the promotion of respect, confidence and achievement. The RS department wants all Goffs students to be tolerant and respectful of other people’s beliefs, cultures and opinions both in school and within the wider community. Moreover, the department also believes all students at Goffs should be fully prepared for success in an increasingly globalised and interdependent world and to be responsible local and global citizens.
The department has decided to implement some curriculum changes from September 2011 and we are excited about the opportunities for creating creative and challenging schemes of work. BLP (Building Learning Power) is embedded in all schemes of work and we also hope to offer an A level in RS within the next few years. The department is collaborating with the highly successful RE department at Simon Balle School in Hertford to raise achievement at both Key Stages 3 and 4. An outline of the RS curriculum is given below.
Key Stage 3: Students are taught about key religious beliefs and the importance of religious founders in Year 7. Units include ‘Why are Abraham and Moses important to Jews?’, ‘Was Jesus a Revolutionary?’ and ‘What did the Buddha Seek to Find?’ All units of study centre on a thematic question and include various types of activities for different types of learners. In Year 8 students explore more moral issues through units such as ‘Does it Matter How we Behave?’, ‘Is Marriage just about Love and Romance?’ and ‘Is Prejudice Alive and Kicking?’ All units are linked to the locally agreed syllabus for RE and cover the six major world religions. These are Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Key Stage 4: RS is a core subject at GCSE. All students in Years 9 and 10 will follow an AQA Short Course in RS called ‘Religion and Morality’ from 2011 onwards. The main units covered are Religion and Drugs, Religion and Crime, Religion and Matters of Life and Religion and Matters of Death. The issues covered in these units are often controversial and include the appropriate classification of illegal drugs, genetic engineering and the ethics of the death penalty, for example. Furthermore, students will also get to discuss and debate topical issues such as the use of shariah law in Islam and Christian attitudes to euthanasia. All the major world religions are relevant and students will also be able to compare and contrast secular views to religious ones. The current Year 10s and 11s will continue to follow the Edexcel Short Course in RS, which also centres on religion and morality.
Key Stage 5: The department offers an AS/A2 course called ‘RS – Philosophy and Ethics’. This course follows the AQA Religious Studies curriculum and incorporates the AS and A2 units on Religion and Ethics, which allows students to gain a solid understanding of both secular (non-religious) and religious moral philosophy and ethical theory. Topics include Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics, Natural Law and Kantian Ethics as well as the Value of Human Life.