Starting the SRE school year: advice from volunteer Buddhist teachers

Starting the SRE school year: advice from volunteer Buddhist  teachers 


In New South Wales public schools allow 30 minutes each week for Special Religious Education (SRE) by volunteers from authorised religious providers. The Buddhist Council of NSW is one such provider with a group of 50 volunteers around greater Sydney and some regional areas. Having missed some class time during COVID teachers got together to share tips for going back to the classroom.


It is normal for the first class to be disorganised. Everyone is settling into the routines of the new school year, so you don’t need to be over structured in the first few lessons. It helps to have name tags for each student which you can hand out at the beginning of class. Kindie students will not know what to expect so let them have the floor for a few lessons to settle into a routine.

Many teachers start the year with a reflective question. What have you done to show kindness to yourself and others?  What do you remember doing in class last year?

One approach to sharing is to sit in a circle. Holding a ball of string ask a question like ‘What brings you joy?’. Offer some examples like playing with your dog or running in the park. When you have shared your answer, hold on to the string and unroll it to pass to the next person. At the end of the exercise the individuals in the circle are connected by the string.

Students are excited and curious for the first class. It will help younger children to practice walking calmly into the room allowing them to connect to their breath and body.

Movement can be used to reinforce concepts. To understand the Triple Gem ask students to sit and feel like a Buddha, pose like a candle to understand the light of the Dharma and like a tree to understand how the Sangha offers shelter and connection.



These are just a few examples from the creative minds of SRE teachers as they respond to the needs of their students. Visit our SRE page for more information on Buddhist SRE including the Buddhist Council curriculum. Send us an email if you are interested in volunteering as an SRE teacher or in setting up Buddhist SRE at your school. 

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