About Religion and Ethics
The Education Act 1990 states 'in every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion'. Special education in ethics (SEE) is offered as a secular alternative to special religious education.
Special religious education (SRE) is education in the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion. Special education in ethics (SEE) is a program in ethical decision making, action and reflection within a secular framework. At Kiama Public School we currently offer Bahai, Catholic, Protestant and Islam as well as the SEE course provided by Primary Ethics.
The SRE and SEE programs are taught by volunteers from organisations approved by the Department of Education. They are often parents, grandparents, carers or lay volunteers from a local congregation. The volunteers undergo a police background check, a working with children check and have been trained by the SRE or SEE organisations. Our classes are held on Wednesdays.
Below is a list of approved special religious education programs provided at the school. If you would like to change the course your child is currently enrolled in, please send a written request to the office.
At Kiama Public School, SRE and SEE is delivered on Wednesdays over different times for different years. 11:55am-12:25pm for Years 3-4, 12:55pm-1:25pm for Years 5-6 and 1:45pm-2:15pm for K-2.
The following SRE classes are offered at Kiama Public School:
as well as the SEE course provided by Primary Ethics.
During the time that SRE/SEE classes are being held, students not attending will be located in a separate space and will participate in meaningful activities which could include reading, private study or completing homework.
If you would like to change the course your child is currently enrolled in please send a written request to the office.
Option 1- Bahai Special Religious Education
Bahá’í Education in State Schools (BESS)
“Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future” “Take the utmost care to give children high ideals and goals so that once they come of age, they will cast their beams like brilliant candles on the world”- Bahá'í Writings.
Bahá'í Children’s Education addresses the spiritual and moral aspects of children’s development, to enable them to acquire positive qualities of character and high ideals which are essential for fulfilment in life.
Spiritual truth is universal. The Bahá'í teachings recognise that all of the world’s great religions emanate from the same Divine Source and that they share common universal values, thus developing in the students the understandings and attitudes required to be world citizens and to embrace the equality of all peoples regardless of race, religion, nation, class or gender.
Childhood and youth are the best time in life for forming character and developing spiritual qualities. Intellectual training is most effective when balanced with moral education and spiritual development. Our classes work towards creating that balance.
Bahá'í Children’s Education is based on the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith and focuses on the knowledge and love of God, on the Bahá'í principles which promote unity and spiritual happiness, and on personal virtues such as honesty, love, trustworthiness, kindness and cooperation with others, offering an alternative to those parents who would like their child to have an ethics or moral education, but with a spiritual dimension..
BESS classes are open to all students regardless of their cultural or religious background subject to parental approval.
For further information please contact Kathryn Humphries on 0438443051 or go to our website .
Option 2- Catholic Special Religious Education
Catholic Special Religious Education
Catholic SRE teachers (also known as Catechists) are volunteers authorised by the local parish and trained by the Wollongong Diocese of the Catholic Church. All volunteers have a verified Working With Children Check.
We use a professionally developed teaching curriculum, with syllabus outcomes and scope and sequence, called Christ Our Light and Life. Each lesson contains a Bible story or teaching, a practical application and/or comprehension activities and time to reflect, share and pray together. Examples of lesson topics are:
*Being a Good Neighbour *To Be Kind
*Renewing the Earth * We Can Make a Difference
*Creation, a Gift from God *Speaking Out for Justice.
Catholic SRE teachers engage young people in hearing the Good News about Jesus Christ and learning the key elements of our Christian life and culture. We teach them of God’s great love for them and how to be in a close relationship with Him.
Catholic SRE aims to provide children with a framework to help them make good choices in their lives, teach them about responsible behaviour and how they can be a force for good in the world.
For more information about Catholic SRE please contact the Coordinator Gai Delavere on 0401 468 209. Wollongong Website and Curriculum resources page.
Option 3- Protestant Special Religious Education
Special Religious Education (SRE) has been a regular part of the public education system in NSW for over 130 years.
Christian churches are committed to working with the NSW Govt. and Dept. of Education and Communities to ensure that well-trained and well-resourced SRE teachers deliver sound programmes that enable parents to confidently choose Christian SRE for their children.
Each week in NSW, over 10,000 volunteer Christian SRE teachers are involved teaching approx. 200,000 students.
Here at Kiama Public School, authorised leaders and volunteers from Kiama Baptist and Kiama Anglican Churches come to teach Protestant SRE. Our approved programs are publicly available on church websites.
Our teachers love coming to school each week. We want to affirm that each child is unique and of great worth to God and we want to examine how the teachings of Jesus call us to live lives of faith, humility, generosity, forgiveness and love.
Rev. Aiden Sibrava (Christian Combined SRE Co-ordinator, Kiama and Minnamurra Public School 0437 903 986.
Option 4- Islam
Carrying the noble Islamic tradition of seeking knowledge and teaching, ISRE is an educational program dedicated to providing Islamic education to Muslim students in NSW Public Schools. ISRE is a project offered through the Islamic Council of NSW (ICNSW) and has been running since the early 1980’s. ICNSW is an approved Special Religious Education provider with the Department of Education and Communities.
The ISRE lessons provide a specifically tailored Islamic education program for Muslim students from kindergarten through to year 12. The program is designed to teach Muslim students the basics of Islam, nurture them to develop a strong sense of identity and purpose and inspire them to lead productive lives by contributing positively to themselves, their communities, their society and the world. The ISRE program is non-sectarian and is provided to all Muslims students, regardless of their sectarian groupings. The aim of ISRE is to teach students to love, learn and live Islam.
Further information about the program and curriculum can be found at www.isre.org.au You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 9708 0880.
Option 5- Special Education in Ethics
Helping children develop skills for life.
Ethics classes support children to develop a life-long capacity for making well-reasoned decisions about ethical issues. Through the give-and-take of reasoned argument students learn to disagree respectfully, to challenge ideas and to support their arguments with considered evidence rather than according to habit or peer pressure. Our volunteer ethics teachers use detailed lesson materials which present a range of stories, scenarios and questions to generate discussion. Ethics teachers are trained to impartially facilitate student discussions, helping students develop their critical thinking and collaborative inquiry skills. Ethics teachers support student learning by:
· modelling the inquiry process – by asking questions and encouraging discussion
· showing genuine curiosity and interest in the questions being discussed
· staying neutral – ethics teachers are trained to keep their own views out of the discussion
· creating a positive learning environment – by allowing students time to think, encouraging students to share ideas, give reasons and ensuring
The Special Education in Ethics program is provided by Primary Ethics. You can find out more information about the program from Darren Fernandes on 0401 563 136 and the Primary Ethics Website.