Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is CEIS?
CEIS is Christian Education In Schools, a project responding to requests made by parents for their children to receive Christian Education at school. Provisions of the ACT Education Act 2004 allow parents to request religious education (in a particular religion) for their child.
Does CEIS only occur in government primary schools?
Yes, CEIS is a service for ACT government primary schools. Click here to see which schools have current CEIS programs.
How does CEIS occur?
CEIS can only occur in a government primary school when a parent requests it for their child. Once a request is placed CEIS assists the school in organising the sessions and informing the school community. This also involves liaison with local churches to organise a volunteer team, that are trained and coordinated by CEIS.
How do I request CEIS?
CEIS may be requested by speaking directly with your school principal. Requests can also be submitted using the online request form, that CEIS will direct to your child’s school. However, please do let your Principal know in person that you have done this if it is a school that does not yet have Christian Education. A request for your child can be made at any time and this permission will remain in effect until your child leaves the school or until you provide an alternative request.
How often does CEIS occur?
CEIS provides one one-hour session each school term. Each session creates opportunities for students to explore the term theme in small groups, using interactive resources and an inquiry/discovery approach. NB: Some schools in the ACT have long-established programs with other Christian Education providers that vary from this model.
How will I know what is going to be taught?
Schools can be provided with an overview of the current session or it can be viewed on the parent page. The term themes are:
• Term 1: Easter Extravaganza
• Term 2: Beyond You
• Term 3: Bible Bonanza
• Term 4: Christmas Celebrations
Does my child need to have any background in Christianity before the sessions start?
No. The CEIS sessions are open to all students of any age with no prior understanding required. The sessions are designed for children with different levels of understanding and ideas, and these differences are encouraged. Each session highlights several key Christian understandings to assist students.
Will my child be made to say prayers or read the Bible?
No, students always have a choice. Each session is based on stories from the Bible and will involve exploring relevant verses in various ways, which may include reading, a game or activity. Sometimes an interactive prayer is included in the session, where participation by the children is offered, but there is no requirement that they be involved. Sometimes one of the CEIS volunteers will say a brief generic prayer that is relevant to the topic only.
Will my child learn about other religions?
No. These lessons are specifically about Christian education. However, the place for religion in people’s lives is given great respect and any discussion that might eventuate will be undertaken with a sense of acceptance and courtesy.
Which strand of Christianity is taught?
The Christian Education sessions are ecumenical, representing the Christian church as a whole. The basic festivals and messages of Christianity are presented, with volunteers coming from a range of Christian denominations. All volunteers sign an agreement to the basic creed of the whole Christian church, the Apostles’ Creed.
Who will be teaching my child Christian Education? Are they trained? Is a teacher present?
Volunteers are from local churches, have been endorsed by their minister, have completed screening documents (including WWVP) and attend training sessions. Each team of volunteers is guided by the CEIS Coordinator and assisted by a Network Leader. A school staff member is also required to be within an observation distance of the session.
If my child does ‘seek, question, explore’, where will I find the answers to their questions?
Initially you might like to speak with your child’s CEIS volunteer or read the Session Summaries on our website. You might also like to visit our links to other Christian websites.
You could also arrange to visit a minister at a local church, who would be happy to provide you with more information and help answer your questions. You are also welcome to contact the CEIS Coordinator for a chat.