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Praying for you …

It’s term 4, teachers are under the pump, reports are being written, you are interviewing potential new staff, plans for next year are well under way, the budget has been finalised and the timetable expert in your school tells you that there is no way the timetable is going to work for 2015 (but you know they will find a way as they always do!) Yep, term 4. No matter how much schools plan ahead, there is no escaping the steady, sometimes frantic pace of term 4. Please know that we are praying for you during this time. Why don’t you grab a cuppa and catch up on the CEN eNews.

Michelle (National Coordinator)

Are you doing school differently?

Article contributions are needed for a journal edition focused on alternative approaches to doing aspects of schooling differently. The Christian Teachers Journal (CTJ) is a widely appreciated journal for Christian educators both in Australia and internationally. One of CTJ’s strengths is that it is a journal “for teachers and by teachers”. It relies on – and is greatly strengthened by – contributions from, well, you!

The next edition is featuring alternative approached to schooling and learning; “Doing school differently”.

There are many schools in the CEN community that, in the interest of their students, have developed creative and alternate approaches to learning and schooling. We need your contributions telling and inspiring others about what you have done and are doing.

Is there a staff member that could write about it? Please pass this on to them with an encouragement.

Click here for the Submission Guidelines

Click here for further information about CTJ

Click here for subscription details

To express and in interest in this please contact Chris Parker (editor)


The Cause of Christian Education (new edition)

In conjunction with Dordt College Press we are pleased to announce the publication of the 4th edition of Richard Edlin’s book, The Cause of Christian Education.

Much has happened since the 3rd edition was published in 1999. Biblical principles remain the same, but contextual issues change, technology advances, and cultural priorities alter. Dr. Edlin has extensively revised and expanded this edition of the book to take these realities into account and to make the contents vitally applicable to a 21st century audience.

The book explores the reasons for, and the distinctives of, Christian education at the school and higher education levels. It highlights foundational belief perspectives and shows how these apply in curriculum and related areas such as vision and mission, the place of the Bible, evaluation and assessment, the teacher as mentor, and professional development. This new edition includes a special section for Christians in public school settings, and every chapter is accompanied by a provocative study guide.

Given Richard’s 10 years of service to the National Institute for Christian Education and CEN, readers will recognise much in this new edition that is specifically relevant to the CEN family of schools across Australia. See the reverse side for endorsements of the book by informed Christian leaders – including our own Ken Dickens.

Dr. Edlin, president of Edserv International, is a widely recognized scholar and speaker in the global Christian education community. He writes from a background of 40 years international experience in Christian education. The book, described by a reviewer as a “must read” for anyone involved in Christian education, is an important resource for teachers, pastors and parents, and also for university teacher training and worldview courses.

Click here to order a copy now

How are you?

As a principal, business manager or board member how often do we ask
ourselves “How are we doing… really?”

In Christian schools we have a wonderful responsibility. It’s a responsibility to our parents, staff, students, pioneers and our God. Are you and your team on course? Or, are you drifting and being dictated to by your circumstances? Schools are dynamic organisations. Schools drift. Cultures shift. Priorities change. Every year new families join, and others leave. New board and staff bring fresh ideas. Long term members depart. Increasing levels of compliance, and more hoops to jump through, put pressure on resources. Proactive reviews rarely seem urgent. It is therefore little surprise that principals, business managers and board are eventually forced to ask, often with surprise, or worse, dismay, “how did we get here?”

Budgeting and planning for a regular cycle of reviews can help reduce surprises, or self-deception.

This takes humility. Lowering the barriers and inviting a trusted friend to come alongside you to help is liberating rather than  threatening. Implementing a cycle of reviews creates a school culture that declares you haven’t settled down, or stopped moving forward. As a network of schools developed over 50 years not much surprises us. The team at Christian Education National have seen schools grow, thrive, limp, bounce back, merge, fragment, unite, close and inspire.

When you and your team flourish we believe families in your care will flourish.

That’s our desire. Together let us be faithful with what we have been entrusted.

CEN’s range of reviews and 360 degree appraisals are designed to bring honest and constructive feedback to your staff, principal or board.

Click here for more information on details of specific reviews available

Click here to book a review today

Resources for teachers (ITEC15)

The ITEC15 Planning Committee will be preparing resources that you can use with your staff in the lead up to ITEC15. These materials will provide reflection around the theme and will be based on videos from some of the main speakers. Material will be distributed in December ready for use at the start of the 2015.

Have you registered  for ITEC15 yet?

Are you doing a group registration for your school?

The National Institute Consortium

The CEN National Board wish to express their sincere thanks to those schools that are members of the National Institute for Christian Education Consortium. These members and have contributed to the training of teachers and into research into in Christian education in Australia. Your support is vital and appreciated.

Nominations for board directors

Our board meets together regularly and will be sharing in a video conference this week.  Please pray for the CEN National Board as they continue to set the direction for our organisation.  The board is looking for nominations for new directors.  There may be someone you would like to nominate.  Please stay tuned for nomination procedures.  Please keep in mind that the AGM and National Conference is coming up in May.

2015 AGM and National Conference

Please keep in mind that the CEN AGM and National Conference is coming up in May 2015. We are waiting on the date of the Policy Forum to be locked in so we can also lock in the date for our AGM. It’s now time to be planning who will be going to be joining us at the AGM and National Conference. Those who have come, particularly parents, suggest that it is a wonderful time of growth in understanding and passion for Christian education as well and for skill development in serving their school.

Wonderful NAPLAN cover letter

You may have seen this in the AACS eNews that we sent out recently. However, many of you didn’t and its worth a quick read. An Age article on 12 Sept tells the story of parents at Altona Primary School receiving their children’s NAPLAN results with the following note attached:

The school is proud of its students as they have demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried their very best in the tests. However we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that makes each of you special and unique…They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument, or that you can dance or paint a picture … they do not know you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful … So enjoy your results … but remember, there are many ways of being smart! 

A personal story …

We received the following personal reflection from Margaret at Naomi Valley Christian School and thought that others might find it encouraging:

I am the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 teacher at Namoi Valley Christian School. We have been blessed to be part of the CEN association. Recently I was involved with the Inclusive Education Seminar run by Susan Barter and was encouraged to hear from different points of view, ranging from K to 12 of what teachers do for the integration, learning and care of ALL students. We have 2 and a half teachers at our school so there are not many people, much time or resources for collaborative planning or even sharing.

The Inclusive Education Seminar spurred me on and gave me good scaffolds to write IEPs for children that were needing them in my classroom.  But more importantly just a great reminder that God has made everyone special, everyone is made differently but for a reason and we are to teach all children in light of God’s word with equity so that every student gets what they need rather than giving every student an equal amount of everything. I know for teachers everywhere the webinars might just feel like another thing but it was an encouragement to do the webinar to see we are part of a wider family, to see the different teachers in their different contexts  – all over the web. We have been blessed by other schools within our family as they have invested and released other teachers to help us in our context.

Recently we had Lynne Butler from Covenant Christian School visit us to support us with her Special Needs Knowledge and expertise. And previously we have had Tim White from Covenant Christian School to help us think Christianly when planning. Then we have also visited Dubbo Christian School and Wellington Christian School to learn how they do things in the classroom, observe and be encouraged, particularly as Wellington is a small country Christian School too. In little ways other schools have helped us through giving their time and energy by running service camps up here namely Heritage Christian School and Emmaus Christian School and even donating their Woolworths dockets to us.

It is great to know we are part of a bigger family, striving to serve our Lord and children together.

Margaret Hull

PLEASE subscribe us to your newsletter

We would love to receive your school newsletter! Please add to your distribution list. We would love to be getting a newsletter from all CEN schools that email their newsletter out to parents. Maybe you could forward this to the relevant list keeper person right now. Thankyou.

Overseas study tour

Planning is under way for a CEN overseas study tour for September/October in 2015. The focus of this will be schools and school associations in Canada and the United States. To express interest in this (no commitment) please email Michelle Dempsey or Ken Dickens.

New principal appointments

We are pleased to welcome some new principals into our schools.

Noel Eagling has been appointed as principal at Leighland Christian School, Tasmania and has settled into the role quickly after having been in the role in an acting position for term 3. Many years ago Noel was Principal at Circular Head Christian School in Smithton, so we are very pleased to welcome Noel back!

We also welcome Cameron Nunn to the position as principal of Nepean Christian School. As you may be aware, Geoff Wheaten is finishing at the end of this year and Cameron commences in the new year. Great to have you on board, Cameron.

Recent bequest

Recently, CEN received a bequest from the estate of Mr Van Der Kooij, formally of Holland. We are very grateful for this donation. The money will be channelled into the CEN project that is working on a documented Christian response to the Australian Curriculum.

Order next year’s Welcome Brochures

Thankyou to all those folk who have suggested their appreciation for the Welcome Brochure (and for the exciting stories of the opportunities that have arisen from their use). Have you made your order for the start of next year? Have you got enough to give to all new families who start; all new staff members? Do you use them in your information pack? At open days and school tours? Have you considered placing them in local church foyers and community places like doctors surgeries etc.

NOTE: There is a place on the brochure for you to place a sticker with your school details. We have even prepared a template for you to print these on standard sticker templates.

Click here to view the brochure

Click here to order more brochures

Click here for details about the sticker template