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Pagewood Public School

Pagewood Public School

Endeavour

Telephone02 9316 9313

Emailpagewood-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Religious education

Special religious education and special education in ethics

 

Special religious education (SRE) is education in the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion by authorised representatives of that persuasion.  This occurs during what is commonly known as "Scripture" time.

 

Special education in ethics (SEE) is a program in ethical decision making, action and reflection within a secular framework, based on a branch of philosophy.  It will be offered during the time set aside for special religious education to students whose parents/caregivers have withdrawn them from special religious education and nominated interest in Ethics.

 

General religious education is education about the world's major religions, what people believe and how that belief affects their lives. It is taught mainly in class time through the school curriculum.

 

In public schools, the classes are run by volunteers from various approved providers. At Pagewood PS, classes occur once per week on Tuesday from 9.20am to 9.50am.

 

Children are allocated to groups in Kindergarten, based on information provided on the Enrolment Form. As time goes by, parents advise us (in writing) of any changes they would like re their child's group. Attendance at SRE  or SEE groups is optional. Any parent may request that their child goes to non-scripture.

 

Each of our existing groups was asked to provide some information which may assist you in deciding which group is appropriate for your child/ren:

 

Catholic

The Catholic program prepares children for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Year 6 students are encouraged to prepare for Confirmation. Links with local Catholic churches are encouraged, as is having fun at the church club on Sunday afternoons. Children learn the prayers which are a special part of services. They also learn about Christian values. Children of other denominations, both Christian and non-Christian, are welcome to join the Catholic groups. In recent years, there has been a shortage of volunteers so not all of our Catholic students are able to have SRE each week.

 

Jewish

In 2016, a volunteer was arranged by the Jewish Board of Deputies so that Jewish families may opt to participate in this group.

 

Orthodox

Orthodox scripture is open to all Christians of the orthodox faith which includes Greek, Lebanese, Armenian, Serbian and Russian.


Each term a book is provided to each child, free of charge. The book consists of 8-10 lessons. The children take the books home at the end of term. Each week the children are presented with a story from their books about a saint, a miracle or a parable that was given by Christ. They discuss how they can relate that to today's events or our everyday lives.


The great events of the calendar -Easter, Annunciation and Dormition of the Holy Mary and Christmas are also taught. They are taught about fasting, which is a vegetarian diet and what foods we can eat prior to Holy Communion. They are reminded of the sacraments they have already taken and of future sacraments. We talk about Church and going there on a Sunday morning. They are taught about world environment day which was initiated by the Patriarch of America and how important it is to care for the earth and it's creatures. Throughout the year the children are reminded about respect for others, love and care.

 

Protestant

Protestant Scripture (SRE) at Pagewood Public is taught by a team from Kingsford Church of Christ and other local churches. Stories and teachings from both the Old and New Testaments teach about God's love and his plan to give us a full life through Jesus. The children learn how they can respond to that love through wise life choices. Songs, stories, videos and other activities help make these timeless truths relevant and engaging to the students.

While the lessons are particularly appropriate for children from Anglican, Baptist, Church of Christ, Methodist and similar church backgrounds, no prior knowledge is necessary and we welcome all who come. Further details on the approved curriculum can be found at kingsfordchurch.org.au/ministries/scripture/  Brochures from ICCOREIS - The Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education In Schools – can be collected from the school office.

 

Special education in ethics (SEE): Trained volunteers have begun to provide classes for students who opt to participate in SEE. A shortage of volunteers means that not all interested students can be accommodated in this program.

 

Non-scripture

The children are supervised by teachers while they draw, colour, read, etc. A frequent question is why the children at non-Scripture are only "minded" and not "taught". The guidelines for schools are very specific: "Principals support special religious education by ensuring that no academic instruction or formal school activities occur during time set aside for special religious education. Such activities create conflict of choice for some parents and students attending special religious education."

 

Another question is about provision of other denominations. In recent years, parents have investigated other groups but were unable to obtain teachers for the very small number of children involved.