New Document on RE Curriculum from the National Centre for Religious Studies

Poipoia te kakano kia puawai – Nurture the seed and it will blossom.

This year, teachers of Religious Education (RE) in Catholic Primary schools, and Year 7-8 of some Catholic Secondary Schools, throughout Aotearoa New Zealand will have access to a new curriculum guide provided by the National Centre for Religious Studies (NCRS). 

From term one, NCRS will provide primary RE teachers with the Religious Education Bridging Document (REBD). The REBD will support teachers in effectively teaching the mandated New Zealand Religious Education Curriculum in today’s school setting with current understandings of effective teaching and learning.

The REBD is designed to be a practical, living document that is cohesive and applicable in today’s classrooms. Introductory sessions on the REBD will be available for primary teachers and others responsible for Religious Education. This will be co-ordinated by local diocesan RE Advisors.

NCRS Director, Colin MacLeod, said “This document revisits our teaching of RE, placing the person of Jesus at the centre of what we do.  It provides guidance and encouragement for RE teachers and reminds us of the ‘why’ and the ‘who’ (Jesus) which give meaning to RE in our schools.”

MacLeod goes on to say, “the bridging document provides positive guidance for teaching what is currently a 20-year-old curriculum while the formal, longer process of preparing a new RE Curriculum begins. It is produced in electronic format only, in response to Laudato Si’ and the digital climate, and is available at

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference President, Bishop Patrick Dunn, said, “we welcome this responsive and accessible guide for what is a central tenet in our schools’ curriculum. The Catholic Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand give thanks for all who teach Religious Education in our parishes and schools, we encourage you in your work, and assure you of our prayers as you participate in nurturing the seed of faith in our young people.”

Ko te Huinga Pīhopa o te Hāhi Katorika o Aotearoa (NZCBC) te kāhui whakahaere o ngā mahi whakapono a-motu me ngā rōpū minita o te Hāhi Katorika. Otirā ngā rōpū mātauranga, tika me te pono, kaitohutohu Māori, whakapaoho whakawhiti whakaaro me te toro atu ki te iwi nui tonu, ritenga o te Hāhi, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā Hāhi, matatika koiora, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā whakapono, mahi minita ki ngā whareherehere me ngā hohipera, oti atu.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) is the assembly of the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand coordinating national activities and ministries of the Catholic Church. These include education social justice, Māori advisory, communications and engagement with the public, liturgy, ecumenism, bioethics, interfaith relations, pastoral work in prisons and hospitals, and more.