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    Lismore Heights Primary School

    ©2019 BY NEW HEIGHTS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

    How NHCF actively supports SRE in
    NSW public schools

    New Heights Christian Fellowship (NHCF) supports the provision of Special Religious Education (SRE) Teachers within NSW public schools. It does this in order to achieve the following outcomes:

    • To validate the religious and spiritual identities of children and teenagers who are exploring the world around them and asking questions about their place/s in it;

    • To provide a religious and spiritual resource that supports the questioning and development of children and teenagers. NHCF is a Christian Church, and therefore, is able to provide teaching and support that is informed by reflection on the centuries of Christian scholarship and praxis.

    • To fulfil its mission to be actively engaged in society, and to help and support others.

     

    NHCF achieves these outcomes by working in a combined arrangement with other local Christian Churches in the Lismore district. NHCF is approved by the NSW Department of Education, as an Independent Christian Church, to be a provider of SRE within public schools.

     

    NHCF-endorsed SRE Teachers are supervised by the NHCF SRE Management Team. This team includes a person with teaching qualifications, and a person with theological qualifications. Enquiries can be made to Robert G Lingard (Pastor) (rlingard2000@gmail.com).

     

    The following information outlines the standards and requirements for a person to represent NHCF as an SRE Teacher. The areas that are covered are:

    1. Approval to represent NHCF as an SRE Teacher

    2. Requirements of the NSW Department of Education

    3. SRE Teacher training and review

    4. Curriculum approval and review

     

     

    1. Approval to represent NHCF as an SRE Teacher

    Any person seeking to represent NHCF as an SRE Teacher is expected to work to the highest standards, within a system of high accountability to ensure that the best possible opportunity for class room learning is provided. The following requirements must be met by each person who is seeking to represent NHCF as an SRE Teacher:

    • The person must be a respected member of the NHCF church community, and provide two references from within the NHCF church community to support the application.

    • The person must be willing to work within the Combined Churches arrangement for the delivery of SRE that is operated by the Religious Education Association of Lismore Inc. (REAL).

    • The person must provide evidence of a current NSW Working with Children Check.

    • The person must be known to a NHCF minister for a period of no less than twelve months. The minister will interview the candidate, sight documentation, and complete a written report that documents the candidate’s suitability.

    • The person must meet the requirements set out by the NSW Department of Education, below.

    • The person’s application form and supporting documentation will be kept on file within NHCF records.

     

     

    2. Requirements of the NSW Department of Education

    Persons working as representatives of NHCF who are approved as SRE Teachers by the NSW Department of Education, must meet the Department’s requirements. SRE Teachers must provide evidence that they are:

     

    • In possession of a current Working with Children Check.

    • Completing or have completed the Minimum Teacher Training Standard for the relevant SRE Teaching, through the Christian SRE online course (details below). This will include, prior to any teaching, both the initial and then ongoing training in child protection and classroom management. As of 2019 all training must be fully completed before the commencement of teaching in order to meet with Department of Education guidelines for SRE Teaching in NSW Schools.

    • Endorsed by the local SRE Teaching Co-ordinator to teach SRE under the Combined Churches Arrangement for SRE Teaching in the Lismore NSW area. 

    • Teaching from an approved provider Curriculum, supported by NHCF and the Combined Churches Arrangement for SRE Teaching in the Lismore NSW area.

    • Approved by an authorised NHCF Minister.

     

     

    3. SRE Teacher training and review

    Process of training and review are implemented to ensure that NHCF-endorsed SRE Teachers are well-equipped, resourced, and compliant with all the requirements necessary to be engaged with students. A further purpose of training and review is to ensure that NHCF SRE Teachers are teaching their curriculum with sensitivity and in an age appropriate manner. There are five components included for SRE Teacher training and review:

    a. Online training

    b. Classroom observation

    c. School Principal interview

    d. NHCF pastoral interview

    e. Ongoing support

     

    a. Online training

    NHCF SRE Teachers will complete online training through ICCOREIS Christian SRE Training prior to being engaged by NHCF to teach SRE. It is based upon the ICCOREIS Christian SRE teaching training framework.

     

    Training modules address:

    • Code of Conduct

    • Social media policy

    • Authorised curriculum and scope and sequence

    • Use of classroom technology.

     

    Members of ICCOREIS agreed to cross authorise training provided according to this standard. Completing the six units in this course leads to the production of a Certificate of Completion that can be used to support an application for authorisation as an SRE teacher.

     

    Every three years a SRE Teacher is required to complete the SRE maintenance training to ensure currency of their approval to teach, and must continue to meet the requirements detailed above, and any future requirements or training that may be relevant for approval to teach SRE at that time.

     

    New Heights Christian Fellowship will keep a Training Register to assist in monitoring NHCF SRE Teachers’ current and ongoing training.

    b. Classroom observation

    Peer class room observation is to be arranged in each calendar year by the SRE teacher. The Class room observation will consist of three parts:

    • Peer observation of a classroom lesson. This is to be arranged by the SRE teacher.

    • A de-briefing conversation between the SRE Teacher and the Peer-reviewer.

    • A written report by the Peer-reviewer, with comments from the SRE Teacher, which is included in the SRE Teacher’s file.

     

    c. School Principal interview

    An interview will be sought each calendar year with the School Principal, or appointed representative to discuss the effectiveness of the SRE Teacher within the school. The interview will consist of three parts:

    • An interview with the School Principal (or appointed representative). This will be undertaken by a member of the NHCF SRE Committee, or by a representative appointed by the REAL Committee.

    • A conversation about the outcomes of the interview, to be held between the Interviewer and the SRE Teacher.

    • A written report by the Interviewer, with comments from the SRE Teacher, which is included in the SRE Teacher’s file.

     

    d. NHCF Pastoral Interview

    The interview will be conducted at least once in each calendar year between the SRE teacher and a representative of NHCF. The purpose is to discuss any issues arising for the SRE Teacher for which additional support needs to be given. The interview will consist of two parts:

    • An interview with the SRE Teacher. This will be initiated by a member of the NHCF SRE Support Team.

    • A written report by the Interviewer, with comments from the SRE Teacher, which is included in the SRE Teacher’s file.

     

    e. Ongoing support

    In addition to the prescribed training and review processes, the NHCF SRE Teacher has ongoing access to the NHCF SRE Management Team to address specific training needs, raise matters of concern, or to seek assistance with the role.

     

     

    4. Curriculum approval and review

    Each curriculum is approved by the NHCF SRE Management Team to ensure that it is age-appropriate. That is, it is approved by a team with members with expertise in pedagogy, and in theology.

     

    The NHCF SRE Management Team reviews each curriculum on a 5-year cycle to ensure that the material is up to date and is consistent with best practice. The current curriculum will be reviewed in 2023.