New document on religious education from the National Centre for Religious Studies

Poipoia te kakano kia puawai – Nurture the seed and it will blossom.

This year, teachers of Religious Education (RE) in Catholic Primary schools, and Year 7-8 of some Catholic
Secondary Schools, throughout Aotearoa New Zealand will have access to a new curriculum guide provided
by the National Centre for Religious Studies (NCRS).

From term one, NCRS will provide primary RE teachers with the Religious Education Bridging Document
(REBD). The REBD will support teachers in effectively teaching the mandated New Zealand Religious
Education Curriculum in today’s school setting with current understandings of effective teaching and
learning.

The REBD is designed to be a practical, living document that is cohesive and applicable in today’s classrooms.
Introductory sessions on the REBD will be available for primary teachers and others responsible for Religious
Education. This will be co-ordinated by local diocesan RE Advisors.

NCRS Director, Colin MacLeod, said “This document revisits our teaching of RE, placing the person of Jesus at
the centre of what we do. It provides guidance and encouragement for RE teachers and reminds us of the
‘why’ and the ‘who’ (Jesus) which give meaning to RE in our schools.”

MacLeod goes on to say, “the bridging document provides positive guidance for teaching what is currently
a 20-year-old curriculum while the formal, longer process of preparing a new RE Curriculum begins. It is
produced in electronic format only, in response to Laudato Si’ and the digital climate, and is available at
http://www.faithalive.org.nz/the-rebd/ .

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference President, Bishop Patrick Dunn, said, “we welcome this responsive
and accessible guide for what is a central tenet in our schools’ curriculum. The Catholic Bishops of Aotearoa
New Zealand give thanks for all who teach Religious Education in our parishes and schools, we encourage
you in your work, and assure you of our prayers as you participate in nurturing the seed of faith in our young people.”

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