Our approach to Christian religious education involves helping students pass through three important learning steps:
We believe asking questions is the key to learning. Our teachers aim to build an environment of trust, where students are encouraged to ask questions about the Christian faith and its relevance to life.
Students are encouraged to explore questions of faith, life and values in relation to their own personal beliefs and the broader worldviews found in society today as well as in the past. This exploration brings deeper comprehension.
Discovery is when knowledge and information come alive. When students draw their own conclusions about faith, values and the place of Christianity in society, they can make decisions about life and how they feel it should be lived.
Underpinning our approach to Christian religious education is a supportive framework which ensures:
- Teachers and Co-ordinators of Christian SRE receive training, curriculum materials, and access to resources, information and support to help them in their roles;
- Parents are informed about how Christian SRE works and what they can expect when their child attends Christian SRE; and
- Schools are aware of the requirements of SRE and their options for implementing it.
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN SRE?
Special Religious Education (SRE) is the time set aside in Public Schools where parents/carers can choose to have their children educated in the faith of their family and cultural background. The NSW Education Act (1990) allows for the local community to make this contribution to public education, via annually approved providers responsible for developing age appropriate lessons, training and authorisation of teachers.
Christian SRE follows an authorised curriculum enabling students to question, explore and discover more about their Christian faith by examining the Word of God, church teaching and the faith experience of others. It helps students to grasp what it means to live well, to be in relationship with God and to embrace a life of service of others.
Christian SRE teachers are encouraged to use a variety of teaching activities including writing, craft, small groups, class discussion, songs, drama, storytelling, games and new learning technologies. Every SRE provider must have on their website a link to the outline of the authorised curriculum they use.
WHY CHOOSE CHRISTIAN SRE?
Fulfilling the aims of the Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (Melbourne 2008), Christian SRE helps students to ‘become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’. It aids them to ‘have a sense of self- worth and personal identity that enables them to manage their emotional, mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing’.
The NSW Government published the independent SRE review findings and recommendations in 2017. These highlighted how SRE positively contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage, is an avenue for their spiritual care, builds tolerance in schools, promotes multiculturalism, contributes to a well-rounded education, and connects schools with their local community.
WHO TEACHES CHRISTIAN SRE?
SRE teachers are people from local Christian churches, both paid and volunteer. All SRE teachers have mandatory working with children checks, as well as ongoing training in child protection and classroom management, lesson preparation and the appropriate use of authorised curriculum materials.
HOW DO WE CHOOSE CHRISTIAN SRE?
When completing the school enrolment form, a parent/carer nominates their choice in the Religion section e.g. Catholic, Greek Orthodox or Combined Christian. Schools should regularly inform parents of SRE options locally, but if a parent/carer is unsure or wants an update, they can simply contact the school. A parent/carer can alter their choice at any time by sending a note to the school principal. SRE providers fully support the right of parents/carers to choose non-SRE options, including supervised study, and Special Education in Ethics classes where available.
WHO ARE WE?
Christian SRE (aka Scripture) is about delivering Christian special religious education in NSW public schools that teaches children to question, explore and discover the Christian faith.
Christian SRE begins with the understanding that we were created by a loving God, who calls us to fullness of life. Children are encouraged to see themselves as God sees them, full of gifts and potential to be a force for immense goodness in our world. As such, Christian SRE contributes to positive self-image, identity and resilience, forming young people in their understanding of the morals and values from the teaching of Jesus.
The Christian SRE approach (see above) is to provide special religious education for students that:
- encourages them to ask QUESTIONS about the Christian faith and its relevance to life;
- enables them to EXPLORE their own personal beliefs and the broader worldviews in our society; and
- helps them DISCOVER their own conclusions about faith, values and Christianity.
For further information about the churches who together form CSRE, visit the ICCOREIS website.