Buddhist RI Information for School Principals

What is BESS?


Buddhist Education Services for Schools is a provider of teachers of Buddhism in government schools in Queensland, representing both of the main Buddhist traditions.
The core program of BESS:

  • Representing Buddhism to government, media and other religious faiths

  • RI teaching in schools

  • Professional development for our volunteer teachers

  • Support and advice for members of our association

Each week RI teachers who are trained and supported by BESS help large numbers of young people to live better lives.


The BESS RI programme has these features:

 

  • The curriculum represents the core teachings of all Buddhist traditions.

  • The professional development of RI teachers is inclusive of all Buddhist traditions

  • The curriculum uses a multi-dimensional pedagogy based on four strands (see below)

  • The curriculum has been accredited by the international panel established by the Multi-faith Peak Body in Queensland.

What is the curriculum?


The Buddhist curriculum is structured into four parallel strands of topics, graduated from yrs 1 through to 10, with age-appropriate topics at each stage.

 

  • Being a Buddhist: The understanding and practice of the Buddha’s teachings from an individual perspective.

  • Buddhism in Society: The context of Buddhism, how it has evolved, how Buddhism and society interact and the forms it takes.

  • Values and Attitudes: The values which underpin the Buddha’s teachings, exemplified by the virtues of the Buddha, such as compassion and generosity.

  • Life Skills: Effective ways to manage life such as managing negative emotions, developing good friendships and being mindful.

How are Teachers Appointed?


Becoming an RI teacher with BESS requires accreditation which includes training in a program developed by a teacher qualified to ‘teach’ teachers, a valid and current blue card, a reference letter on the individual’s Buddhist background and an interview.


How are Teachers Supported?


Buddhist RI teachers are supported in a number of ways:

 

  • Mentorship for New Teachers: After accreditation, a teacher joins the BESS mentorship scheme until they and their mentor are satisfied that they are ready to be allocated their own school and class.

  • In-Service Professional Development: The RI teachers come together four times a year for mandatory updating on current teaching styles and pedagogy. How to teach meditation and mindfulness to the children is guided by firm rules that ensure the safety of every child.

  • Expense Claims: RI teachers are able to claim travel allowance and are covered for personal injury insurance whilst traveling to and from schools.

  • Supervision: Due to the accountability that BESS has for the delivery of Buddhist RU, the BESS team keep in-touch with active teachers and annually audits their teaching.  

What Governance is Used in This Program?


The Buddhist RI Program addresses the following regulatory requirements:

 

  • Accrediting and appointing appropriate volunteers

  • Ensuring that the schools are kept informed of the contact details of authorised RI teachers

  • Meeting the requirements of the Student protection Training

  • Authorising Buddhist RI Program materials and pedagogy used by RI teachers

  • Providing access to the Buddhist RI Program curriculum summary outline for parents and caregivers

  • Keeping schools informed of changes to the provision of Buddhist TI teachers

For further information please either ask the Buddhist RI teacher for details or contact
infobess@gmail.com

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