North Sydney Public School

Towards the highest

Telephone02 9955 2822

Religion and ethics

NSW schools offer special religious education and special education in ethics. Approved providers deliver these, where available.

Write to the school if you wish to withdraw your child from special religious education, sometimes known as scripture. Special education in ethics is an option for your primary-age child if you withdraw them from special religious education. For more information, visit Religion and ethics.


Special Religious Education classes are offered one lesson per week by local religous groups. These groups are responsible for the content that is taught during the class. A class teacher will be in the classroom for supervision only. Children not attending scripture or ethics are supervised in groups by a classroom teacher and take part in quiet activities.

At the Dem we can offer Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Baha'i, Hindu and Islamic classes.  Some of these groups are dependent upon SRE teachers/volunteers being available, so not all groups may be on offer at all times. The following short descriptions have been supplied by each group for your information.


These classes aim to contribute to the awakening and development of the spiritual nature of every child who attends. They are based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. The teachings emphasise the unity of religions and the diversity of the human family as well as such principles as the oneness of humankind, equality of men and women, importance of education for all and the harmony of science and religion. Classroom activities encourage the understanding and use of universal moral values or virtues and the development of those unique qualities of each individual so that they in turn will have strong self-esteem and compassion for others. Children in the classes learn through prayer and meditation, music and song, games, craft, role play and stories, brainstorming, discussion and cooperative learning.


Hindu classes provides the opportunity for students to connect with their rich spiritual and cultural heritage in a way that is both deeply meaningful and relevant in modern Australian life. A major focus of Hindu SRE is to provide a supportive environment for students to experience the benefits of Hindu Meditation. Meditation has innumerable benefits for students, helping to promote increased well-being, better social skills and greater academic skills.  Hinduism fosters the positive values of respect, tolerance, empathy, resilience and service to others and encourages a healthy, balanced and meaningful life in harmony with God, our community and the natural world.


Carrying the noble Islamic tradition of seeking knowledge and teaching, ISRE is an educational program dedicated to providing Islamic education to Muslim students in NSW Public Schools. ISRE is a project offered through the Islamic Council of NSW (ICNSW) and has been running since the early 1980’s. ICNSW is an approved Special Religious Education provider with the Department of Education and Communities. The ISRE lessons provide a specifically tailored Islamic education program for Muslim students from kindergarten through to year 12. The program is designed to teach Muslim students the basics of Islam, nurture them to develop a strong sense of identity and purpose and inspire them to lead productive lives by contributing positively to themselves, their communities, their society and the world. The ISRE program is non-sectarian and is provided to all Muslims students, regardless of their sectarian groupings. The aim of ISRE is to teach students to love, learn and live Islam.


Students are encouraged to feel positive about being Jewish and to identify with the Jewish community. They learn about Jewish holidays, values, synagogue basics and Israel; older children also explore ethical aspects of Judaism and explore some areas of Jewish history. Basic Jewish prayers are incorporated into each lesson. Where possible, lessons are also enriched with activities such as demonstration Sedarim for Pesach (Passover), hands-on experiences, craft activities, guest presenters and visits from Jewish youth groups.


Protestant Scripture refers to the non-Catholic Christian denominations such as Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Uniting Church. Sensitive to the diversity in each class and appropriately trained in loving communication and child protection, our scripture teachers aim to help the children engage with the Bible and understand the basics of the Christian faith, in an age appropriate way. We use a curriculum called Connect, published by Christian Education Publishers. Particular focus is given to Easter and Christmas each year, where we usually combine with Catholic classes in an assembly, with some classes presenting items.

Roman Catholic

Welcome from the Parishes of Our Lady of the Way; North Sydney, Lavender Bay and Kirribilli! What happens in Catholic Scripture? We have a dedicated team of Parish volunteers, including some Dem parents. Our Scripture teachers use curriculum materials produced by the Archdiocese of Sydney. At the core of the curriculum is our belief in the dynamic presence of our loving, forgiving God, who invites us into relationship.  The sessions involve sharing our faith with music, drama, stories, discussion, art and craft activities. We pray in different ways to help the students develop their personal relationship with God and find a way of prayer which best suits them.  We aim to develop the key Christian values of respect, understanding and love of God and all God's creation.


Ethics classes support children to develop a lifelong capacity for making well-reasoned decisions about ethical issues. Through the give-and-take of reasoned argument students learn to disagree respectfully, to challenge ideas and to support their arguments with considered evidence rather than according to habit or peer pressure. Our volunteer Ethics teachers, who are trained members of the school and broader community, use detailed lesson materials which present a range of stories, scenarios and questions to generate discussion. Ethics teachers are trained to impartially facilitate student discussions, helping students develop their critical thinking and collaborative inquiry skills. Ethics teachers support student learning by:

·     modelling the inquiry process – by asking questions and encouraging discussion

·     showing genuine curiosity and interest in the questions being discussed

·     staying neutral – ethics teachers are trained to keep their own views out of the discussion

·     creating a positive learning environment – by allowing students time to think, and encouraging students to share ideas and give reasons

The Special Education in Ethics program is provided by Primary Ethics.  To enrol your child in Ethics, please make the request in writing to the school via the school email.

If you are interested in becoming an Ethics teacher, please contact the volunteer Ethics Coordinator at the Dem via email at or to find out more information about the program, please visit the Primary Ethics website.