Fort Street High School

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Telephone02 8585 1600

Ethics & Religion


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.

In accordance with Department of Education policy, Special Religious Education (SRE, previously known as Scripture) takes place at Fort Street High School every Thursday from 9:00am – 9:40pm. We currently offer three SRE options (see below). In Year 7, students who do not participate in SRE are supervised in independent reading or school work in the school Library. Students are not permitted to use devices during this time

Option 1: Christian SRE

Trained and authorised teachers from Petersham Anglican (All Saints) and Petersham Presbyterian (Joshua Tree) Churches seek to engage, guide, and equip students in their understanding of the Christian faith. The curriculum for Christian SRE comes from Christian Education Publications and is called Think Faith

We focus on the things that are common within Christian traditions and encourage the students to raise issues that are real to them. We believe it is important for gifted children to explore issues of faith, theology and Christian living at the level of their secular studies and are very excited to have the opportunity to do this at Fort Street. We hope you can encourage your child to participate.

Option 2: Hindu SRE

The Hindu Council of Australia was founded in 1998 with an aim to create a strong and unified Hindu community in Australia. Our SRE program provides students with an opportunity to connect with their rich spiritual and cultural heritage. A major focus of these classes is to create a supportive environment for students to experience the benefits of meditation and to explore the Vedic scriptures, such as the Bhagavad-Gita, in a way that is both deeply meaningful and relevant in modern Australian life. The Hindu SRE curriculum can be found here:

Meditation is a valuable life skill, which can help students to successfully manage their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing. From a spiritual perspective, meditation provides students the opportunity to develop a deep and fulfilling relationship with God and experience the sacred connection between themselves and others.

Hinduism fosters the positive values of respect, tolerance, empathy, determination, resilience and service to others and encourages a healthy, balanced and meaningful life in harmony with community and the natural world.

Option 3: Special Education in Ethics (Years 7 and 8 only)

In 2021 Fort Street participated in a pilot ethics program, provided by Primary Ethics, the approved provider of SEE to NSW Department of Education public schools. Following the successful conclusion of the pilot program, the school is able to offer SEE classes to students in Years 7 and 8.

Ethics classes support students to develop 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. Trained volunteer ethics teachers, 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.

You can find out more information about Primary Ethics by visiting the Primary Ethics website (; the Year 7 and 8 curriculum can be found here: