Scripture In Schools
Special Religious Education (SRE) or ‘Scripture’ is offered in most NSW government primary schools. This is supported by the Education Act which requires that ‘time is to be allowed for the religious education of children’.
Lighthouse Church is an approved provider of SRE in NSW schools, and partners with other local churches in this important ministry. Each week during school terms our teachers teach the gospel to children at local schools who might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear about who Jesus is and what he has done for them.
Our SRE teachers use the ‘Godspace’ curriculum to engage kids in a fun way as they explore and think on the claims of the Bible for themselves. The stories and activities are appropriate in an educational setting for children ages 5 to 12.
An outline of the three year ‘Godspace’ curriculum can be found at: http://www.godspace.org.au/curriculum
Information includes curriculum scope, topics, sequence and estimated duration of each topic or unit of work, and anticipated outcomes of each unit. Godspace also provides relevant media resources approved for use by teachers. Information is provided to participating schools about the Godspace curriculum. Further information about lesson content can be requested through the school’s SRE contact person, or by contacting email@example.com
Our SRE teachers must:
- confirm and demonstrate a growing, committed relationship with Christ
- demonstrate desirable characteristics of a children’s/youth ministry worker, and
- be a member of Lighthouse Church.
Authorisation and initial training
Our SRE teachers must maintain a current working with children clearance and complete an approved child protection training course.
Teachers receive training and instruction in:
- Lighthouse Church safe ministry policies and procedures
- requirements and context of SRE in schools
- key Department of Education policies and procedures including Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy
- preparing and delivering lessons, including orientation to the approved curriculum
- delivery of the curriculum with sensitivity and in an age appropriate manner
- issues and complaints management procedure.
Teachers complete a period of on-the-job training and assessment with an experienced SRE teacher. This provides an opportunity for practical training in the use of classroom technology (eg smartboards and digital projectors) and classroom management strategies. Teachers receive written authorisation by Lighthouse Church as a person who meets the requirements to teach SRE in schools. Schools are notified in writing of the name and contact details of authorised teachers prior to the commencement of term 1 each year.
Ongoing training and support
Teachers must complete approved child protection training every three years at a minimum. Ongoing training is provided in the form of peer and supervisory support. Our partnership with other local churches also provides the opportunity to share ideas (eg classroom management strategies) and resources. Review of SRE teaching is conducted at least once year. This may involve a variety of mechanisms including teacher self-reflection, student/class teacher feedback, classroom observation, mentor/supervisor feedback. Results of the review process provide direction and focus for further
training and support.
Issues or complaints
If you have concerns about SRE/scripture generally, you should contact the school.
If you have suggestions, feedback or complaints relating to the teaching of scripture in schools by Lighthouse Church representatives, you may choose to raise these directly with the school. In this instance the school will manage the matter in accordance with their usual procedures.
You may also submit your concerns directly to Lighthouse Church by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent by return email, and the information will be reviewed by the senior pastor of Lighthouse Church. The senior pastor may share or seek additional information from the relevant scripture teacher, our kids church ministry leader, or our safe ministry representative. If a complaint is received, Lighthouse Church will notify the relevant school principal.