Special Religious Education is a voluntary program in State Schools in New South Wales. Special Religious Education (or Scripture as it is better known) complements the general education of Greek Orthodox children. Scripture classes focus on an Orthodox way of life and identity.
Special Religious Education is a voluntary program in State Schools in New South Wales.
The details on this page are provided at the request of the New South Wales Department of Education.
Special Religious Education (or Scripture as it is better known) complements the general education of Greek Orthodox children. Scripture classes focus on an Orthodox way of life and identity.
The lessons include much more than Bible knowledge. These are not classes on ethics.
They help develop the religious sense of each child. For instance, they are shown how to pray, how to make the sign of the Cross and the importance of the Sacraments in our life.
Children are taught the hymns of the Church. They are acquainted with the Liturgy and Feasts of the Orthodox Church.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia encourages all its members to be involved in Special Religious Education to enrich local school communities.
Participation is free and entirely voluntary and only at the discretion of the parents or guardians.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is a Department of Education approved provider for 2019 and is also a member of the Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools (NSW).
Modes of delivery
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia authorises trained volunteers to deliver an approved curriculum.
Teachers must have the appropriate Working with Children Check and evidence of their clearance is kept on record in the Archdiocese.
A system is in place to ensure that all special religious education teachers attend initial and ongoing training in classroom management and child protection issues.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has authorised the material and pedagogy used by teachers. This is the curricula of the Pantanassa Monastery. Some details of the curriculum is provided to the public on website: https://web.archive.org/web/20200607230532/http://www.pantanassamonastery.org/scripture-lessons.html (Archived) and https://web.archive.org/web/20200221125628/http:https://web.archive.org/web/20200221125628/http://www.pantanassamonastery.org:80/resources.html (English and Greek text – archived)
There may be minor variations in the delivery of the program across schools due to timetables or combined classes.
Other sites of assistance in understanding curriculum issues are ICCOREIS the Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools (NSW) Inc.
Greek School Lessons
During the 1990s, Pantanassa Monastery undertook an initiative to publish books on topics such as Greek History–Mythology, Ancient Greek History, Modern Greek History and the Geography of Greece. The books were summaries of the OAED school books which were originally offered free of charge to the Greek Afternoon Schools. The summary books were designed to assist and better inform those teaching in our Greek Afternoon Schools.
The writing and publishing of these new summary books was made possible through special funding granted to our School Committee by the New South Wales Department of Education and Youth Affairs – Ethnic Schools Program. This granted covered 50% of the cost and the balance of the funds were provided by our Holy Monastery. Our Monastery also supervised the entire project including authoring and printing. The development, corrections and editing of the texts were carried out by philologists-teachers of the Education Office within the Greek Consulate of Sydney, together with members of our School Committee.
With great pleasure, we now provide these books free of charge to any interested person or organisation who would like to utilise them in the sacred task of TEACHING THE GREEK LANGUAGE to Greek Orthodox Children within our community. This was the only purpose of the entire endeavour, although it was never properly acknowledged by those who were responsible at that time.
We only have one request, that when the materials are used there be an appropriate reference to the origins of the materials.
We pray that the Lord bless all your efforts and sacrifices in this significant field of teaching the Greek language to our children.
May you have a blessed School Year.
THE HOLY MONASTERY OF PANTANASSA
Greek School Lessons (in Greek text) are available here for download.