Prep teacher praises religious teaching program for its holistic benefits for students



St Luke’s School Capalaba Prep teacher Aaron Christenson says he has changed how he teaches religion since completing a Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) accreditation program. 

Accreditation to Teach Religion in a Catholic School, also called REAP (Religious Education Accreditation Program), is a four-day religion in-service accreditation program designed for graduate teachers or teachers returning to BCE who do not hold undergraduate qualifications in Religious Education or Theology.  
Aaron says he is now on a mission to bring Religion to the forefront of his classroom teachings, incorporating it into all subjects.  
“Sometimes Religion can be one of those subjects that can get tucked away behind English and Maths,” says Aaron.  
“But the REAP In-service program really brought to light the importance of Religion in the classroom and how it can make a big impact on the lives and wellbeing of students. 
“It also provided me with a huge confidence boost in the classroom and the students really are enjoying my new way of teaching Religion - they are flourishing with this new approach.”  
Aaron says he uses key Bible passages and words to help the students “understand how they are able to better themselves, better others, and the world around them.” 
Students are “kinder to each other, more relaxed and ready to be learners” when Religion is embedded across all classroom teachings, says the teacher.  
“As a Prep teacher, I’m aware I might be the students first encounter with Religion, and I want this experience to be positive,” he says. 
“I also realise some students may be hearing the word of God for the first time.” 
Aaron says he wants to make a big impact in the lives of his young students. 
“I love teaching Prep, it’s their first structured learning environment, and I want to ensure they love coming to school,” he says. 
“Building relationships with the students and their families is integral to the rest of their education journey.”  
Aaron says the Prep milestones like watching a student hold a pencil correctly for the first time is  
“a big deal to me” and “makes it all worth it.” 
St Luke’s School Principal Denita Castley described Aaron as a teacher who is developing “innovative and inspirational practices.”  
“Aaron is one of those teachers who is shaping our students not only into assessment capable learners but also learners who are well-rounded and active global citizens,” she says. 
“He is creating compassionate learners, who not only understand their own needs, but also those around them. 

“He has such a calm nature, and this rubs off on our students and on our school community.” 

REAP In-service is the preferred study pathway for Brisbane Catholic Education teachers seeking Accreditation to Teach Religion in a Catholic School. It is offered through a series of lectures, workshops, and seminars over four days and completion of the REAP Program provides 28 hours towards maintaining Accreditation to Teach Religion in a Catholic School.  

For more information about St Luke’s School Capalaba and to enrol click here. 

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