On the 16th and 17th of June, Janita, Kim and Chloe from the Understanding Faith team attended the National RE Symposium at the International Conference Centre in Darling Harbour. This conference is organised by BBI-TAITE, The Australian Institute of Theological Education, with this year’s theme of ‘Scripture and RE: Teaching and Transformation’.
This conference saw many RE teachers from both primary and secondary schools, as well as principals, assistant principals, mission and identity leaders, heads of religious education and clergy. The 2 main focuses of the conference were how to better utilize scripture as a transformative agent in the classroom and wider school community, and how to better teach scripture.
Understanding Faith attended as an exhibitor and took this opportunity to interact with previous and current subscribers, and to connect with potential new subscribers who are yet to experience the product. This was taken place during the morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea breaks.
Between these breaks, were keynote speakers and workshops, which the team were able to attend. Archbishop Mark Coleridge spoke about the transforming power of scripture, Professor Anne Graham about accompanying children and young people in their journey towards fullness of life, and engaging their views and experiences, and Dr Patricia Kieran about Scripture in the classroom and some new perspectives. The team attended some workshops ranging from children in biblical narratives, reaching out to young people, exploring the world of the text, focus on pedagogical approaches, the Pauline epistles and using scripture in resources. All of these were very informative, and both affirmed the team that Understanding Faith is providing a diverse range of theologically correct resources and influenced ideas on ways the product can continue to improve.
The team attended the symposium dinner on the Thursday night, which was another opportunity for networking amongst the attendees. They had a delicious meal with karaoke entertainment and took the opportunity to listen to the life experiences of others on their table. On their way back to their accommodation, they even got to enjoy the sights of VIVID across Darling Harbour during one of the last nights of the light show.
The team received a lot of praise and positive feedback about the product, and a lot of interest expressed from those who haven’t heard of or subscribed to the product previously. A competition was launched to win a 12-month free subscription. If you haven’t yet, be sure to complete the form – a prize valued up to $4500!