Shell Cove Public School

Sailing the Sea of Excellence

Telephone02 4297 2247

Religion and ethics

NSW public schools offer special religious education and special education in ethics, delivered by approved providers wherever available.

During enrolment, you can choose a special religious education option for your child from the school’s available approved providers. You can withdraw your child from special religious education by selecting alternative meaningful activities, or special education in ethics if it’s available.

You can update your preference by writing to the school or through the online form available at participating schools.
Visit the department’s website for more information about religion and ethics. 

The Education Act 1990 states 'in every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion'.  Special Education in Ethics (SEE) is offered as a secular alternative to special religious education. 

For more information visit Religion and Ethics at:

Special Religious Education (SRE), quiet often referred to as Scripture, is education in the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion.  SEE is a program in ethical decision making, action and reflection within a secular framework.  At Shell Cove Public School, we currently offer the following SRE classes as well as the SEE course provided by Primary Ethics;


SRE has been a regular part of the public education system in NSW for over 130 years.

Christian churches are committed to working with the NSW Govt. and Dept. of Education and Communities to ensure that well trained and resourced SRE teachers deliver sound programmes that enable parents to confidently choose Christian SRE for their children.

Here at Shell Cove Public School, authorised leaders and volunteers from the local area come to teach Protestant SRE from K-6. Their approved programs are available on the above website.


“Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future”

“Take the utmost care to give children high ideals and goals so that once they come of age, they will cast their beams like brilliant candles on the world”- Bahai Writings.

Bahai Children’s Education addresses the spiritual and moral aspects of children’s development, to enable them to acquire positive qualities of character and high ideals which are essential for fulfilment in life.

Spiritual truth is universal. The Bahai teachings recognise that all of the world’s great religions emanate from the same Divine source and that they share common universal values. Childhood and youth are the best time in life for forming character and developing spiritual qualities. Intellectual training is most effective when balanced with moral education and spiritual development. Our classes work towards creating that balance.

Bahai Children’s Education is based on the teachings of the Bahai Faith and focuses on the knowledge and love of God, on the Bahai principles which promote unity and spiritual happiness, and on personal virtues such as honesty, love, trustworthiness, kindness and cooperation with others. 

Here at Shell Cove Public School, authorised leaders and volunteers from the local area come to teach Bahai SRE from K-6. Their approved programs are available on the above website.

Roman Catholic:

Catholic SRE teachers (also known as Catechists) are authorised by the local parish and trained by the Diocese of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic SRE curriculum is approved by the Bishop of the Diocese in liaison with religious education experts.  Lessons include activities that are fun and inclusive for students, whilst also providing them the opportunity to critically explore in depth their faith and to pray and reflect.  

Please attend Church and discuss the sacramental program with the Parish Priest (after the service) as this is not part of the Scripture lessons at school. Children’s liturgy is held on Saturday Evening Mass – 5pm as well as Sunday at 9am.

Here at Shell Cove Public School, authorised leaders and volunteers from the local area come to teach Catholic Scripture SRE from K-4. If you would like to volunteer to be the Stage 3 (Year 5/6) Scripture teacher please contact the local parish office. Their approved programs are available on the above website


Students gain knowledge of Islamic principles, values and life skills.  Students are supported and nurtured to develop a positive sense of their identity as Muslims and are guided towards becoming model members of their communities.


Children not attending either SRE or SEE undertake self-directed activities, i.e. no work is set by the classroom teachers during this time. 

Students not attending SRE or SEE are provided with supervised 'alternative meaningful activities'. These activities do not compete with SRE/SEE and are not lessons in the curriculum. Suitable activities may include reading, private study or other activities as considered to be appropriate by the school community. Students in non scripture will be part of the Community Carers which involves helping to beautify the school.

Primary Ethics:

Ethics classes provide an opportunity for children to discuss ethical issues with their peers. Classes are inquiry based and are impartially facilitated by our trained volunteers using approved lesson materials. Children explore a range of stories and scenarios, discussing what we ought to do, how we ought to live, the kind of society we should have and what kind of person each of us should strive to be.

In ethics classes, children develop skills in: Critical thinking - developing and evaluating arguments, using logic and reason, evaluating evidence, giving reasons and carefully considering views that are different to their own. Collaborative inquiry - listening to each other, taking turns to speak, building on others’ ideas, respectfully disagreeing, respectfully challenging each other’s thinking, helping each other express ideas, articulating values and principles, putting a counter view and asking questions. Classes support students to become critical thinkers with a strong capacity for questioning and inquiry. The overall aim of ethics classes is to help children develop a life-long capacity to identify and make well-reasoned decisions about ethical issues. The Special Education in Ethics program is provided by Primary Ethics. 

Here at Shell Cove Public School, authorised leaders, parents and/or volunteers from the local area come to teach Ethics (SEE) for students from K-6. Their approved programs are available on the above website. This year we need 2 more volunteers, please contact the school for more information on applying as a volunteer. 

For more information visit Religion and Ethics