At Brisbane Water Secondary College, Umina Campus, we deliver Special Religious Education (SRE) and Special Education in Ethics (SEE) programs. On enrolment parents/carers will select if they want their child to participate in SRE, SEE or not to participate. After the initial enrolment, notification of changes to a student's enrolment in SRE/SEE should be given to the front office in writing.
NSW schools offer special religious education and special education in ethics. Approved providers deliver these, where available.
Write to the school if you wish to withdraw your child from special religious education, sometimes known as scripture. Special education in ethics is an option for your primary-age child if you withdraw them from special religious education. For more information, visit Religion and ethics.
The following SRE/SEE classes are offered at Brisbane Water Secondary College, Umina Campus:
Christianity SRE is provided by Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. For more information about Christianity SRE, including the authorised curriculum scope and sequence, please visit: www.newcastleanglican.org.au
High school ethics classes are available for Year 7 students. SEE is provided by Primary Ethics, the single approved provider of SEE to the NSW Department of Education public schools. For more information about SEE, including the authorised curriculum scope and sequence, please visit the Primary Ethics website (https://primaryethics.com.au/high-schools/).
Further information about Special Education in Ethics (SEE)
Ethics lessons support students to develop 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, who are trained members of the school and broader community, 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 and encouraging students to share ideas and give reasons.
You can find out more information about Primary Ethics by visiting the Primary Ethics website.
Further information about Special Religious Education (SRE)
These procedures define respective responsibilities and emphasize the need to implement special religious education in a flexible way based on consultation and cooperation. Discussions with the NSW Department of Education and Communities Consultative Committee for Special Religious Education have also been considered. Special religious education is education in the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion by authorised representatives of that persuasion.
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 through the school curriculum. Religious persuasions must have the approval of the Minister for Education to deliver special religious education. The provision of special religious education is not government funded.
The principal is not responsible for, and does not disseminate details of, lesson content for special religious education, but will provide the name and contact details of the approved provider or their local representative.
It is the responsibility of an approved provider to:
· authorise the materials and pedagogy used by special religious education teachers
· provide an annual assurance to the NSW Department of Education and Communities that authorised teachers are only using materials and pedagogy authorised by the provider
· make lesson content accessible on a website or at least provide a program outline and curriculum scope and sequence documents
· provide information about the content of lessons when requested by parents/caregivers/principals.
Students not attending special religious education
In the times set aside for special religious education, students not attending are located in a separate physical space from special religious education classes.
Schools provide meaningful activities with appropriate care and supervision. These activities neither compete with special religious education nor are they lessons in the curriculum. Suitable activities include reading, private study and completing homework.
Provision of special religious education
Principals allow time for special religious education where authorised representatives of approved providers are available.
Special religious education is an integral part of school activities, taking place in school hours and under the jurisdiction of the school.
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.
Timing of special religious education
Special religious education is organised by negotiation and agreement between the principal and the approved religious providers.
On average, not less than 30 minutes and not more than one hour of meaningful teaching time per week should be allocated for special religious education.
Student behaviour management
Principals and teachers retain duty of care for students and intervene in cases where it is necessary to maintain good order and conduct.