Matariki gratefulness activity by Jennifer Macleod

Religious Studies

For the first time, Year 7-9 students completed one of the ‘Theology in Schools’ units that are produced by the Anglican and Presbyterian Schools’ Offices. This enquiry-based unit had the framing question ‘Is God Male?’ Students considered the nature of metaphors and the scale of time. They engaged with a range of images of God, including a shepherd, a spring of water, a warrior, a hen, a rock and a forgiving father. Classes considered the similarities and differences between a person and a force, and discussed which might give a better picture of God. We viewed artistic depictions of Jesus from a range of cultures and looked at images of the Holy Spirit.

The Middle School programme also included an introduction to the Bible in Year 7, and reflecting on what the Bible shows us about our humanity, value and purpose in Year 8. Students in Year 9 made a timeline of biblical events and reflected on key stories in the Old Testament. In the Year 10 module, students learned about some of the teachings and parables of Jesus.

Middle School students were regularly encouraged to write the things they are grateful for.

At appropriate times in the year, Middle School students covered the Easter story and participated in a gratefulness activity during Matariki. They prepared Christmas gift boxes to be given to children through Presbyterian Support, and made Christmas cards for residents of aged-care facilities. During the August lockdown, Middle School students learned about the history of Saint Columba and completed activities that focused on wellbeing.

Senior students have Religious Studies once per week, as an eight-week unit rotation. The Year 11 unit on World Religions was taught by Rev. Andrew Barlow, and the Year 12 unit on Church History by Mr Joseph Chambers. The Year 13 unit on Ethics was taught by Dr Jennifer Macleod.