Parents have the right to choose what is best for their child. This is especially important in relation to what (if any) religious beliefs you as a parent are happy to allow your child to learn about. We appreciate that religious belief is a deeply personal matter, and in no way do we want to mislead parents as to the purpose of our programme. It is therefore fundamentally important that parents have clear and accurate information in relation to the CRE (‘Christian Religious Education’) programme that we offer to State primary schools.
The important features of the CRE programme that you as a parent need to know about:
The programme is provided by volunteer CRE teachers: CEC ensures that CRE teachers attend our training programme, that they are police vetted and endorsed by their local Church. They are then observed leading a lesson before becoming an ‘accredited CRE teacher’.
CRE teachers teach a selection of Bible stories: including the stories of famous Bible characters that include – David & Goliath; the story of Elijah, David’s rise to become King of Israel; the story of King Saul; Abraham’s story and the stories of some of the disciples of Jesus such as Peter, Matthew and Luke.
Certain parts of our curriculum reinforce the values as outlined in the New Zealand curriculum: It is important to emphasise that along with teaching Christian beliefs and Bible stories, we also teach the values outlined in the New Zealand curriculum, such as: excellence; equity; relating to others; participation; respect and integrity.
CRE teachers teach Christian beliefs: The Christian belief that Jesus is God’s Son - at Easter CRE teachers teach the Christian belief that Jesus died on the Cross and rose again and the Christian belief that because of what Jesus did at Easter people can become friends of God. CRE teachers teach Christian beliefs about Jesus and use Bible stories such as Jesus healing the leper; Jesus walking on the water; and Jesus reaching out to people who were marginalised (because of their poverty; or other condition (such as leprosy). CRE teachers are trained to use language such as “Christians believe…” or “The Bible says…”.
What CRE teachers must not do: CRE teachers must not teach about Hell or place pressure on children in any way, shape or form to ‘become Christians’. CRE teachers are not to use this opportunity to engage in evangelism; CRE teachers are simply there to educate students on Christian beliefs through a fun and engaging 30 minute CRE lesson.
A typical CRE lesson: will include songs, games, drama, teaching, working from activity booklets and sometimes the use of multimedia.
You have the right to opt your child out of the CRE programme: Depending on the method of delivery and timing of the CRE programme in a particular school, it will either be run as an opt-out programme or an opt-in programme. If you do not wish for your child to participate in the CRE programme please click here for the template opt out form.
More information can be found in our 'What is CRE?' Brochure