Religious and Faith Life
Our strategic intent is a central pillar of the Emmanuel Anglican College Strategic Plan and it is through this that we will continue to grow in our commitment to, engagement with and realisation of our ethos as an Anglican coeducational school. We want to make student character development central to everything we do, to ensure our graduates are people whose lives are inspired by excellence and adaptability, modelled on the example of Jesus Christ, and who, through courage, creativity, compassion and citizenship, strive to create a better world. To support our community as it strives to achieve this goal, the College has undertaken a broad range of initiatives designed to support, enhance and enrich each individual's journey as a person seeking truth and meaning. The following is an overview of the different realms which support the faith life of the College:
1. Religious Education Program
The religious education program at Emmanuel Anglican College is known as 'Religious and Values Education' in the Primary School and 'Religion and Philosophy' in the Secondary School. These titles reflect the specific aims and objectives of the program at these different educational stages.
The program has been developed to be authentic, relevant and meaningful for students, and enable them to:
- Acquire knowledge and understanding of Christianity, the example of Jesus Christ and other significant religious traditions;
- Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals and communities;
- Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and ethical issues;
- Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; and
- Develop respect towards those who hold views and beliefs different from their own.
All students undertake assessment programs and their performance is reported in academic reports. The program is coordinated by the College Chaplain and delivered by teachers with a genuine faith commitment and an understanding and appreciation of the Christian message and story.
Primary - Religious and Values Education (RAVE)
Students undertake lessons once a week, with the broad aim to introduce the stories, beliefs and values of the Christian tradition and to encourage students to reflect on how Christian values can be lived out in order to create authentic relationships and caring communities. Students will study a wide range of topics including: "Heroes of the Bible", "Fruit of the Spirit", "Who is Jesus?", "Ways People Pray" and "How can we Make a Difference?".
Secondary - Religion and Philosophy (RAP)
Students in Years 7-10 undertake lessons each week, with the broad aim to stimulate thinking on a range of important ethical and philosophical issues that confront young people today. Emphasis is placed on students developing the necessary skills to critically evaluate arguments and articulate values and beliefs in a rational and well-informed way. Students will study a wide range of topics including "How do I know what is true?", "The Jesus story", "Rituals and Rites of Passage", "How do I know what is right" and "Issues of Justice".
2. Prayer and Worship Life
The College has many opportunities for all members of the community to come together for prayer and communal worship. The College Community gathers regularly at St Mary’s Anglican Church for our Whole College Chapel Service. It is a wonderful experience to see students from Kindergarten to Year 12 worshiping along side staff, parents and members of the broader community. The Primary School also come together once a fortnight to worship together at the Primary Chapel Service. Secondary students enjoy Year Group and House based services each term. All staff meetings and school assemblies also commence with prayer. The College also has prayer groups for staff, students and parents.
3. Retreats and Reflection Days
Students from Year 6 through to Year 10 are involved in reflection days that provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop appropriate themes through a Christian lens. In Years 11 and 12 students undertake an overnight Christian retreat experience that provides them with an opportunity to take time out to explore, reflect, share and pray about issues and themes that are significant for senior students.
4. Service and Outreach
Emmanuel Anglican College prides itself on our service and leadership program known as Lighthouse. Many students take up the opportunity to have their volunteering, service and leadership activity acknowledged and rewarded as part of the program. The philosophy of the Lighthouse program centres on the Christian call to service. Students are invited to look for opportunities to serve their school, local and wider community. As students accumulate service hours, they are recognised and awarded.
Emmanuel Anglican College supports a full time Chaplain, Rev Sally Miller, and Chaplaincy team. The role of the Chaplain is to lead the worship life in our school, to serve as an integral part of the College Executive team and a member of the Pastoral Care team. They also assist with the development, resourcing and delivery of the RAVE curriculum in the Primary and RAP curriculum in the Secondary. The Chaplain leads College Chapel Services for staff and students, and is also available for staff, students and their families to support them in a broad range of ways including prayer, counsel and pastoral care.
6. Relationship with surrounding parishes
The College enjoys a wonderful relationship with the Community of St Mary’s Anglican Parish in Ballina. The College regularly visits the parish for Whole College Chapel Services and Rev Matthew Jones is well known and greatly valued by the EAC community. The College enjoys the prayerful support of the parish and regularly looks for opportunities to share in the life of the parish. In recent years the relationship between EAC and the parish of St Barts has begun to flourish, and this has been greatly supported by the efforts of Rev Greg Ezzy and Rev Sally Miller.