SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Special Religious Education is a voluntary program in State Schools in New South Wales.
The details on this page are provided at the request of the New South Wales Department of Education.
Special Religious Education (or Scripture Classes as it is better known) complements the general education of Serbian Orthodox children. Scripture classes focus on an Orthodox way of life and identity.
The lessons include much more than Bible knowledge.
These are not classes on ethics.
They help develop the religious sense of each child. For instance, they are shown how to pray, how to make the sign of the Cross and the importance of the Sacraments in our life.
Children are taught the hymns of the Church. They are acquainted with the Liturgy and Feasts of the Orthodox Church.
The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand encourages all its members to be involved in Special Religious Education to enrich local school communities.
Participation is free and entirely voluntary and only at the discretion of the parents or guardians.
The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand is a Department of Education approved provider and is also a member of the Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools (NSW).
Modes of delivery
The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand authorises, trained volunteers to deliver an approved curriculum.
Teachers must have the appropriate Working with Children Check and evidence of their clearance is kept on record in the Metropolitanate.
A system is in place to ensure that all special religious education teachers attend initial and ongoing training in classroom management and child protection issues.
The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand has authorised the material and pedagogy used by teachers. This is the “Orthodoxy ABC” curriculum.
A summary of the curriculum for primary and high school can be found here.
There may be minor variations in the delivery of the program across schools due to timetables or combined classes.
Other sites of assistance in understanding curriculum issues are ICCOREIS the Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools (NSW) Inc.
Parents and caregivers are very welcome to view the lessons that their child is taught by consulting their local priest.
For more information contact the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand or your local parish.