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Christian Edu. in New Zealand

Kathy Pereira (NSW SEO) and Michelle Dempsey have just returned from visiting New Zealand, where they were able to meet and visit schools and organisations, many that sing from the same ‘song sheet’ as us. One of the reasons for the trip was the reconnoitre of a study tour for CEN Principals for next year. Look out for details early next year and an information session that will be held at the Thrive, Executives Conference 2016.

Highlights have included:

• Spending 2 intense days with Kevin Knight and Lois Chick at the NZ Graduate School of Education. The Graduate School is applying a radical intensive approach to preparing graduates for the classroom. Interestingly, many Christian interns are attracted to the course. If you ever have someone who has completed this course apply in your school, you can be assured they have been rigorously prepared for classroom teaching.

• A visit to Middleton Grange Christian School which has grown out of similar Dutch and Reformed roots to many of our CEN schools. It’s an impressive school which is massive. 1200 students plus. It was interesting to learn more about how their funding arrangements for “independent” (integrated) schools work.

• A visit to South Auckland Middle School where they are playing with a different approach to teaching Mauri kids which includes small classes, short projects and an integrated approach. This is all underpinned by Christian values, though we weren’t sure how overt these values were to the students and surrounding community. They also lease their buildings which is interesting.

• Breakfast in the funkiest café in Auckland with Nathan and Luke from the Venn Foundation. Venn is doing some fantastic work in NZ, and exist “to form and support people who seek – out of the gospel – to bring life and flourishing to NZ”. It goes without saying that that was one stimulating breakfast conversation. I am thankful to the Lord for deep Christian thinkers like these guys.

• A visit to Kingsway Christian College where we were welcomed like old friends. They were so keen on our resources and we made some positive connections there. The school is massive, but had quite an intimate ‘earthy’ feel to it. Shoes are optional for kids at break times at this school which was really nice to see.

• A visit to Bethlehem College and the Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (on the same campus) was really interesting. Bethlehem is actually the name of the town, which included street names like “Zion” way and is close to the down of Judea. (I’m being serious!) Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has a new Masters course in Professional Practice which looks great.

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