SRE Ku-ring-gai Program 2017
The aim of the SRE (Special Religious Education) program at Ku-ring-gai is to enable students to identify, explore and examine the values and beliefs, and the purpose and meaning that can constitute life. By addressing these and incorporating various learning and life skills, the curriculum is designed to add value to the wide range of subjects studied throughout school.
The program provides students with the opportunity to assess their own values and beliefs as well as to understand and be able to work with others who have very different perspectives. It interweaves National Curriculum outcomes as it enables students to view their lives from a holistic perspective, helping to ensure that they are looking after their wellbeing holistically as well as to think deeply about spirituality and life. This is in keeping with the Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008):
8. Educational Goals for Young Australians and SRE: Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion. Schools share this responsibility with students, parents, carers, families, the community, business and other education and training providers. In recognition of this collective responsibility, this declaration, in contrast to earlier declarations on schooling, has a broader frame and sets out educational goals for young Australians.
SRE at Ku-ring-gai primarily creates a space for students to explore and examine Christian ideas and values, as the nation of Australia is founded on these beliefs, while still incorporating the many religions found within Australia’s multicultural society. SRE is a course endorsed by the local churches of the Ku-ring-gai Christian Education Association Inc. (KCEA).
An overview of the topics taught can be found below for each Year (Year 7-10), as well as the overall framework which the curriculum is based on and the overview for the lunch time group program for Year 7-12.
SRE Curriculum Framework
JAK - (Interschool Fellowship Group)
JAK (Jesus at Ku-ring-gai) is a lunchtime group that is an optional group designed for students who are interested in specifically exploring matters of faith around Christianity. Students meet together to discuss issues around Christian values, faith and beliefs, to pray and play games. A permission note is required to attend this group and any extra curricula activities that are run throughout the year with other local groups. An overview of the curriculum can be found below.
General Capabilities Outcomes:
Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding and Intercultural understanding
(For more information on these outcomes: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum )
Principles, Values, Purposes and Humanity
Within any set of beliefs or religion four overarching themes can be identified: principles, values, humanity and purpose. How these are defined can be very different for each set of belief systems. By identifying these and using that language in the curriculum, students are enabled to examine and investigate other frameworks that are found throughout the world. Even within Christianity itself these four themes although major building blocks for faith, can also have their own variations. This curriculum aims to introduce and explain the importance of these and focuses on the commonalities held between denominations while also discussing and being open to differences. Principles addresses the knowledge and learning that occurs, the judgements that are drawn from this and help to show how the universe is then viewed through them. Values specifically identify four common ones found throughout Christianity: equality, truth, coherence and justice. Humanity is designed to specifically address what it means to be human by exploring the qualities of humanity, what it means to be wholly human, and then integrates these by addressing what the response to these definitions should be. The final theme of purpose is based around the story of creation and involves order, creativity, relationship and future.
Cognition, Perspectives, Investigation and Application
Contained in the four themes are four strands: cognition, perspectives, investigation and application. These are used to strengthen the teaching and learning of students, are based in educational theory and strongly linked to the General Capabilities identified by the Australian Curriculum (See above). Cognition requires the students to be analytical, critical, to synthesise and be innovative within whatever theme is being focused on within a topic. Perspectives distinguishes the boundaries of various perspectives and classifies them into the past, present and possible future ones. Investigation involves identifying the four major questions of what, how, if and why. Application focuses on how individuals live out their beliefs and how these can be translated to the classroom, societies and the world. While some of these components can be identified with one theme and act as its foundation, all of these components can be interconnected with each major theme, particularly application.