On our Frequently Asked Questions page below we have FAQs categorised by the following groups:
What is CEIS?
CEIS is a project responding to requests made by parents for their children to receive Christian Education at school. Provisions within the ACT Education Act 2004 allow parents to request religious education (in a particular religion) for their child.
Does CEIS only occur in public schools?
CEIS currently only provides their service to ACT government primary schools. Families of students in a government high-school or college can also place a request for Christian Education (and CEIS will assist in coordinating a provider).
How does CEIS occur?
CEIS can only occur in a government 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 volunteer teams 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 made via the parent request form, which CEIS then directs to your child’s school. Please do let your Principal know in person that you have done this if it is a school that does not yet have CEIS. Requests can be made at any time and this permission remains in effect until your child leaves the school or until you provide an alternative request.
How will I know what is going to be taught?
The CEIS curriculum is available to all schools. Each term a session overview is on the website and can also be emailed as part of the Family Connections page to parents wanting to receive it.
The term themes are:
Term 1: Easter Extravaganza
Term 2: Beyond You
Term 3: Bible Bonanza
Term 4: Christmas Celebrations
Does my child have to have any background in Christianity before we start?
No. 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, with all thoughts and responses respected. Sessions are open-ended for individual involvement and outcome.
Will my child be made to say prayers or read the bible?
No, students always have a choice. Sessions are based on the Bible and may explore relevant verses using various resources. Praying may be discussed in sessions but actual prayer with students is unlikely. On a rare occasion a volunteer might say a short generic prayer that is relevant to the topic, with no requirement that students be involved.
Will my child learn about other religions?
No. CEIS sessions are specifically about Christianity. However, the place for religion in people’s lives is greatly respected and any discussion that might eventuate will be received accordingly.
What strand of Christianity is taught?
CEIS sessions are non-denominational, 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 agreement to the Apostles' Creed, the basic creed of the whole Christian church, and commit to working as a united team.
Who will be teaching my child? Are they trained? Is a teacher present?
Volunteers are from local churches, have been endorsed by their minister, have completed WWVP screening documents and attend training sessions. Each team of volunteers is guided by a teacher-trained CEIS staff member (or on occasion a suitable volunteer leader). A school staff member is also required to be within observation distance of each session.
If my child does ‘seek, question, explore’ where will I find the answers to their questions?
Initially you could speak with your child’s CEIS volunteer at school, contact the CEIS Coordinator or read the summary available through Family Connections. Our website also has links to other Christian websites and a whole section for student exploration. You could also personally arrange to visit a minister at a local church, who would be happy to provide you with more information and help answer your questions.
Who do we contact if a request for Christian Education is made at our school?
Please contact the CEIS Coordinator who will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the regular process for CEIS.
Will our school and parents know what is going to be taught to the students?
The CEIS curriculum is available to all schools. Each term a session overview is available on our website and a Family Connections page emailed to parents wanting to receive it.
Do CEIS sessions take into account students ages and abilities?
Yes. The resources and activities included in the four sessions each year are based on modern teaching practices with consideration given to variations in learning styles and abilities, learning intelligences, discovery learning, investigation stations and student ages.
How often is CEIS and how many students attend a session?
CEIS provides a one-hour session each school term, with groups of 25-30 students at time. If more students are participating then an extra hour will be needed per group. CEIS sessions are scheduled on a day negotiated with each school during weeks 7-10 and are during lesson time.
What does our school have to do?
CEIS does everything it can to make this a smooth process. Your school will need to:
- Distribute information to your school families
- Maintain a list of participating students
- Ensure students are organised to attend on the scheduled day, along with a supervising staff member
- Provide a suitable time and space for CEIS (while regular lessons continue for other students)
- Welcome CEIS volunteers and show them the allocated space and amenities.
How do I volunteer for CEIS?
Any member of a Christian denomination can volunteer (those under 18 can be placed in an assisting role). New volunteers are encouraged to come along to one of our next training sessions or arrange a meeting with the CEIS Coordinator.
What requirements are there for volunteers?
Volunteers are required to:
- Undertake a WWVP check
- Complete relevant documents including a minister endorsement
- Attend a training session each term (or visit a school to view materials)
- Work with a volunteer team under the direction of a CEIS leader
How much time is needed to volunteer?
Volunteers require about 2 hours for training each term (available during day or evening) and 1 hour for each school session they assist with (over 100 hours to choose from). Many volunteers use flex-time or lunch-time to commit to CEIS.
How many volunteers are needed for CEIS?
Ideally each one-hour session of CEIS requires 4 volunteers plus the CEIS leader. This allows a volunteer to be available for any small-group stations or to assist with students as required. Volunteers are very welcome to come along to any session simply to provide extra support or care.
How can our church support CEIS?
Your church can partner with CEIS as an organisation through:
- Organising a CEIS presentation
- Committing to be involved in a local school
- Celebrating Schools Ministry Sunday
- Adding CEIS to your annual budget
- Supporting and promoting CEIS fundraisers
Churches can partner with CEIS by encouraging individual members to:
- Request CEIS at their child’s school or tell parents about it
- Attend the School Prayer Network each term
- Become a personal donor
- Participate or help with fundraisers
- Follow CEIS on Facebook
How can our church connect with a local school?
CEIS sessions work best in schools when local churches commit to regular leading and volunteering. This allows relationships with students and staff to consolidate and student exploration to be well supported. Contact the CEIS Coordinator who will help your church to facilitate this process.
What does a CEIS presentation look like?
CEIS presentations take about 10 minutes and are tailored to suit individual churches. They usually include:
- A brief overview of CEIS
- Information specific to your area
- Highlighting biggest needs
- Celebrating student participation
Presentations can be a mix of verbal, video, power-point, resources and activities, depending on your church preferences and capabilities.
What is Schools Ministry Sunday (SMS)?
CEIS designates the Sunday at the end of week 1 of the new school year as a moment for churches to unite in prayer and celebration for all school ministry. Some churches choose an alternative date later in the year. Information and resources are provided at SMS and CEIS staff are available to make a presentation.
What is the School Prayer Network (SPN)?
The School Prayer Network is simply a gathering of all interested Christians (church members, ministers, chaplains, volunteers, etc) who consider it valuable to pray for children, families, schools and community connections. This occurs on one evening each term with about 30 minutes each for prayer, sharing and learning.
What fundraisers could our church provide or promote?
CEIS hosts the following fundraisers each term:
- Term 1: crowd-funding
- Term 2: Come What May (CWM)
- Term 3: Tulipomania
- Term 4: Fill My Cup
but encourages and welcomes ANY fundraising by ANY church, group or individual at ANY time!
CEIS runs only on donations and directs all funds towards children being able to seek, question and explore God, Jesus and the Bible.