All human beings understand life through a particular worldview. As a multi-cultural and multi-religious society, the provision of SRE within the NSW State School system recognises this reality and gives freedom to parents to choose which worldview their children will be taught, within which they will make sense of the knowledge they gain from the rest of the school program.
There are families who don't see themselves as active committed church members but who still recognise the benefits of their children being taught the basics of the Christian faith and worldview at school.
Christian SRE gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the basic tenets of Christian faith, explore their beliefs and values, engage with ethical issues from a faith perspective, and discover how people apply faith to life.
“As a child of non-religious parents, SRE was the only place I was challenged to think about, religion and my own worldview. I did not become a Christian until much later in life, but I valued SRE for building my interest in all sorts of questions of faith. As a parent, I chose to send my children to a public school over a faith-based school because SRE exists in NSW schools. My children could mix, learn and grow up in a multi-faith, multi-cultural environment which values choice and religious belief.” John
The rights of parents are recognised by the NSW Department of Education:
(DoE, Religious Education Implementation Procedures, 2016)
The school is responsible to inform parents:
In addition to this, parents are free to request information about the content of SRE lessons. This should be done by approaching the school. It is then the school’s responsibility to contact the providers of SRE to forward this information to parents. SRE providers are required to maintain a program overview, curriculum scope and sequence documents publically available on a website.
“When I was a primary school student, I remember how much I loved SRE. The things I learnt were so valuable. I learnt how to make good choices... to know that God had made me ... that I wasn’t a mistake ... that I was loved. These things had a deep impact in my life.” Nicole
We would often talk about (our religious beliefs) with friends from different groups. We would be challenged to consider what is being told in "places of worship" versus our actual encounters of what it means to believe particular things in our schools and in our community ... thus the designated SRE time taught both intrinsic motivation to learn about yourself, and gave voice to students who would want to question the theologies they have grown up with.Matthew