What is Christian Religious Education (CRE)?

Christian Religious Education (CRE), previously known as ‘Bible in Schools’, means learning to understand and appreciate the beliefs by which people live as an aid to the development of a student’s own beliefs and values. While acknowledging that there are other views about life that could have a place in religious programmes, it is appropriate in New Zealand to give particular emphasis to the Christian faith, the Bible, and the life and teachings of Jesus, because of their pervasive influence through our cultural heritage and history, and their continuing relevance.

Key facts about the CRE programme

  • The programme runs for half an hour each week.
  • A typical CRE lesson will include songs, drama, teaching and working from activity books.
  • CRE teachers are volunteers.
  • CEC is responsible for training and resourcing CRE teachers.
  • Every CRE teacher is police vetted.
  • CRE teachers must teach from an approved curriculum.
  • The curriculum is approved by the Board of Trustees in each school where the CRE programme is being offered.
  • CRE teachers must abide by the Code of Expectations.
  • Parents have the right to opt their child out of the CRE programme at any stage.
  • There is no cost to the school or students for this programme.

What models of CRE are offered in state schools?

CRE is usually conducted using one of two models. The model chosen reflects the needs and preference of the school and the availability of CRE volunteers.

  • Model 1 – Classroom

A volunteer teacher is placed in a classroom and uses a curriculum particularly suited to the ages and abilities of the students in the class.

  • Model 2 – Large Group

A Large Group Presenter or a team of teachers combine together to present the lessons. This is typically conducted in a suitable large space such as the school hall. Click here for more information on our Champions programme.