The students were encouraged to consider the spiritual dimension to life and their personal responses to that aspect of the human condition. The Anglican approach is respectful of the autonomy of students in relation to decision-making in this realm of human identity and the broad variety of backgrounds from which the population is derived. Accordingly, a gentle but encouraging approach was used by the Religious Education teachers. Students were encouraged to ask the big questions and respectfully challenge the Christian message and clarify their interpretations of that message. Although core Christian messages were conveyed, an attempt was also made to share the variety of Christian views in relation to issues about which there is debate.
In the Middle School the Year 7 girls seemed to particularly enjoy their exploration of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ through Christian eyes. Opportunities to prepare a chapel service and knit for community service were also popular activities. The Year 8 students enjoyed examining identity from a Christian perspective with the aid of “Alice in Wonderland’ and the Year 9 students benefited from their research into Easter themes.
In the Senior School, the Year 10’s developed their passion for Social Justice and an appreciation of the New Testament emphasis on creating a just, compassionate world. Year 11’s increased their appreciation and respect for a large array of alternative religions and also had the opportunity to examine the historical and archaeological research to substantiate significant Christian claims. At the same time, the Year 12 students studied ultimate questions in relation to pain and suffering and human identity in conjunction with ethics.
Study of Religion (SOR) was taken by a healthy number of the girls in Years 11 and 12. It was immensely satisfying to note the enthusiasm with which most of the students approached the various topics. SOR, allowed the participants to develop their appreciation for a variety of religions and philosophies through a range of topics. Many of the questions which are addressed in SOR go to the very core of the human experience, so that much of the material is intrinsically interesting to the students. The Year 11 excursion to a Buddhist Mosque and Islamic Temple was a highlight; in addition, the Year 12’s appeared to derive benefit from their trip to a local cemetery and interviews in relation to death, dying and the afterlife. This Year 12 task was undertaken in a sensitive, empathic manner and despite the morbid content provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to develop their own thinking in relation to these areas. Arguably, balanced human beings should explore these kinds of topics and a comprehensive education should provide such an opportunity.
The course is comprised of the following units:
How do students study Study of Religion?
This subject offers an increasing level of challenge to students. Through an inquiry process students are encouraged to identify and analyse moral and ethical issues, develop skills in moral decision-making, justify conclusions and formulate ethical positions.
Students will be involved in such learning experiences as; using a variety of media and research techniques to investigate issues, group discussions and debate, reporting, exploring case studies, working independently, site visits and dialogue with the wider community.
How are students assessed?
The criteria of Knowledge and Understanding, Evaluative Processes and Research and Communication are assessed through a variety of assessment instruments, including:
Students complete six assessment instruments each year.
Mr Richard Larsen