SRE

Special Religious Education (SRE), also known as ‘Scripture,’ is BJE’s largest educational program across NSW government schools. BJE teachers travel to nearly 60 schools across NSW to teach foundational Jewish knowledge in once-a-week SRE classes which are provided for free by BJE.

SRE students learn about Jewish culture and values whilst having the opportunity to connect with their Jewish peers. These inclusive, interactive classes feature a brand-new curriculum that engages and inspires students to create a personal connection to their Jewish identity.

The program accommodates all backgrounds so that students can connect with Judaism in the way that works best for them and their family.

BJE is the sole authorised provider of Jewish SRE lessons and teachers in New South Wales government schools.

FAQs

In New South Wales, legislation requires that all government primary schools provide one lesson of Special Religious Education or SRE (popularly known as ‘Scripture’) to its students each week (some high schools also provide SRE classes). Schools provide a number of Special Religious Education classes to reflect the religious composition of their student body, with parents nominating the faith group which their child will attend during SRE. Schools also provide a ‘Non-Scripture’ option for parents who prefer that their child not receive religious instruction, and, recently an Ethics option has been added in some schools.

BJE is the sole authorised provider of Jewish SRE lessons and teachers in New South Wales government schools.

SRE lessons take place during normal school hours. The day and time at which SRE takes place varies between each school. Please consult your local school for details of their timetable.

BJE provides a structured curriculum for students in Jewish SRE classes. Students are encouraged to feel positive about being Jewish. They learn about Jewish holidays and values. Older children also explore ethical aspects of Judaism and areas of Jewish history.

More detailed information about what students learn in SRE lessons may be found in our Scope & Sequence documents. For primary school students, please see our Primary School SRE Scope & Sequence, and for high schools please see our High School SRE Scope & Sequence

Please contact your child’s school to enrol them in SRE.

If there are sufficient students interested in attending a Jewish SRE class (a minimum of 3 students per class is required), then approach the school and request that they contact BJE to arrange for a Jewish SRE teacher to attend at the school. If you are uncertain how many potentially interested students there are, the school may be able to assist you e.g. by placing a notice in the school newsletter asking interested parents to contact you.

Please note that despite our best endeavours, it is not always possible to provide an SRE teacher to every school as logistical considerations may make it difficult to find a suitable teacher.

If BJE is unable to provide Jewish SRE classes at your school, you can join our correspondence program. For more information, please contact BJE.

Absolutely not. BJE is inclusive and welcomes everybody.

There are no fees or costs for attending SRE. These are free classes provided to your family by BJE.

BJE’s SRE curriculum is written and reviewed by staff with professional teaching qualifications and experience.

The curriculum has a 3-year cycle, with age-appropriate aims and activities for each year group. For more detailed information about the content of our SRE curriculum, please see our Scope and Sequence document.

Teacher feedback is sought at the completion of teaching each unit in the curriculum, including how the students responded to the unit and the various activities in it.

The unit is then reviewed, taking into consideration the feedback received, and the unit is modified appropriately before being deployed back to the classroom.

Resource materials, such as videos and story books, used in conjunction with SRE lessons are also reviewed by curriculum staff to ensure suitability, both in terms of content and age-appropriateness.

BJE requires its SRE teachers to comply with the following:

  • Hold current WWC (Working with Children) certification;
  • Successfully complete a Child Protection online course through the Department of Education portal;
  • Successfully complete a Code of Conduct online course;
  • Before commencing teaching for BJE, they must complete a teaching professional development session. After this, they undertake a Practicum and are observed by senior BJE staff when teaching classes. Only after successful completion of this process are teachers allowed to teach lessons unsupervised;
  • Only BJE-approved curricula and materials may be used in lessons. The curricula and materials are developed and approved by our professionally trained staff;
  • Allow periodic observation of classes by senior BJE staff to ensure standards continue to be met. As part of the process, teachers are asked to complete a self-reflection of their role as a teacher. This gives the teacher and BJE an opportunity to discuss any issues, and allows feedback to be provided about the lesson to be provided. All observation records are collected and signed by all parties and are kept in the teacher’s file held by BJE;
  • Teachers undertake ongoing professional development sessions provided by BJE; and
  • BJE also has a teacher mentor available to all our staff to work one-on-one with them and provide classroom support.

To find out more about your child’s learning experience in SRE, please complete our online SRE Enrolment Form. This provides us with your contact details and allows us to send you information about what your child is learning in SRE. (Although your child’s school of course has your contact details, the school is not allowed to send these to BJE for privacy reasons. Completing our enrolment form in addition to enrolling your child through their school ensures that we have your contact details and so can update you about what your child is learning).

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook @BJENSW and Instagram @NSWBJE for more updates.

Please email us at info@bje.nsw.edu.au with details of your concern or complaint. For information about how we handle complaints, please see our Complaints Procedure page.