Religious Studies

The RS department at Goffs consists of three knowledgeable, committed and enthusiastic full-time teachers. Importantly, the department not only delivers outstanding lessons that are both engaging and enjoyable and fantastic results at both GCSE and Alevel, but is also central to the ethos of Goffs, especially the promotion of respect, confidence and achievement. The RS department wants all 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 Curriculum

The department have created creative and stimulating curriculum that has resulted in RS being one of the most popular options at both KS4 and 5. We deliver a curriculum that inspires and challenging students which is evident in our fantastic exam results.  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

The first part of the course looks at the beliefs, teachings and practices of both Christianity and Buddhism.  This includes studying the lives of Jesus Christ and the Buddha as well as how they are worshiped in modern society.  The Christian component would also include, for example, analysing the meaning of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the purpose of prayer whereas the Buddhist component would look at the idea of dukkha, anicca and annata (suffering, impermanence and no-self) and the purpose of meditation.  

The second part includes the study of relationships and families, crime and punishment, matters of life and human rights and social justice.  The issues covered in these topics include the classification of illegal drugs, the death penalty, abortion, IVF, and gay marriage, for example. 

Key Stage 5

This exciting course allows students to explore theological, philosophical and ethical theories in depth.

At their simplest, theological and philosophical questions ask why we exist; what is the purpose of our existence; whether there are higher powers or whether we simply exist in the here and now. Throughout the course students will become familiar with some of the greatest thinkers of human civilisation from the moral philosophers of Ancient Greece, such as Plato and Aristotle, to the rational philosophers of the Enlightenment, such as Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant.

Tom Cahill

Head of Religious Studies

Goffs School