Woonona Public School has grown over the last few years with new housing developments in the area. The increased number of classes and choices of Combined Christian, Catholic, Ethics and non-Scripture, combined with the school’s preference to have a class teacher present, has led to the need to teach Christian SRE classes to Years 3-6 all together in one half hour session each week.
Over 100 children join us each week in the school hall. We teach from the Godspace curriculum which has all school stage lessons in the one manual. The material includes a focus on a combined/large group format as well as the opportunity to dip into other age group material including start up resources, PowerPoint presentations, memory verses and songs.
Our team includes two men, including our pastor and one of our elders, and two women. We take turns to plan the session and lead the main story. Each week we use the same general run sheet, kicking off with Big Questions.
The children put questions into a Mario -themed question box in the weeks prior. They ask about previous lesson material or things they have wondered about God, but they also like to know things about the teachers. After answering questions we move onto the Lord’s prayer, Bible Timeline chant, an introduction or small group discussion and Bible story. We all have different ways of presenting the story, using strategies like the Bible in felt, slides, drama, chalk talks and more. We try to finish with a memory verse, a fun video and prayer.
We rarely get to know the children’s names and the group is too big to manage bookwork or craft, however the children have received the smaller class SRE experience in Kindergarten and Years 1 and 2 from our other teachers. The team work in the hall makes it fun and dynamic, with each of us jumping up for different parts of the lesson. By taking turns to lead, one only needs to fully prepare the lesson plan and Bible story once every four weeks. This keeps us motivated and energised for the whole year!
We are thankful to God for the opportunity to teach SRE at Woonona Public School despite the slightly unique format we have to work within!
At the time of writing, SRE classes are suspended due to COVID restrictions. Please pray that they will be able to resume safely soon, so that students like those at Woonona Public School can keep learning about God.