A Baby Born in a Barn
From the National Office, we say well done for (almost) finishing another year serving the Kingdom of God through offering Christ-centred education to the students in your schools. It is such a privilege to be opening up the world to these young people, showing them that the starting point and end point of all knowing centres around a baby born in a barn 2000 years ago. May you have a relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating Christmas as we celebrate what Jesus has done and look forward to the renewal of all things when he comes again and restores His kingdom.
We have been particularly saddened this week as we received news that Peter Pereira the vivacious husband of our wonderful NSW State Executive Officer, Kathy, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday 14th December. Please remember Kathy and her children and grandchildren in your prayers. Peter is well known by a number of our staff and NSW Principals. The celebration of Peter’s life will be held at the Springwood Uniting Church on Thursday 18th December at 2.30pm.
Further to this news, many of you would be aware of Martin Hanscamp’s cancer diagnosis. Martin is remaining very positive in the light of this challenge and has even spent a few days in the office this week. You can keep up with Martin’s progress through his blog. Please keep praying for our mate!
Click here for Martin’s blog
Christian Education Around the World
Ken Dickens recently made these observations.
“I have recently had the opportunity to glimpse the scope of global Christian education. Christian schooling is small but growing in Europe. Dutch schools appear to be recapturing their original vision. Post-communist Eastern Europe is experiencing a new found freedom in Christian education. I spoke to an hungarian principal whose school started in the 16th Century after the Reformation! His school, like others, had been taken over by an anti-Christian government but now given back so that what was started in the 16th Century can continue. There are many different kinds of Christian schools in the UK with different degrees of funding. Schools most like ours receive nothing from the government and are subject to strong public prejudice. Staff are paid significantly less than their counterparts in state and ‘free’ independent schools.
Australia is indeed blessed in the area of Christian schooling. We need to make sure that government funding makes us neither complacent nor unaware of inappropriate control. However, while we have many Christian schools, we lag behind many other countries in the area of Christian tertiary education. There are many Christian universities in Africa, Asia, and especially the Americas. We can learn much from these places and perhaps seek partnerships as we tackle this exciting challenge here. It’s not so much about protecting our young people from the world but preparing them to engage intelligently and confidently in it.”
Consider a School Review
Can we remind you as the year closes and we wind up for a new start, of the CEN school reviews. This year 15 schools have found at least one of our reviews of help in improving he richness and fabric of school life and the Christian education they are offering their community.
Click here to explore review possibilities with Michelle Dempsey for next year
Review options include: 360 degrees for a principal, business manager or executive team. The board governance self-reflection survey is also popular!
We are are really looking forward to this event. It is always wonderful when our national family comes together but it is even better when we are joined by others from Australia and overseas. The venue and program look great and we are expecting a capacity attendance. The recent funding formula has meant that some schools have received an unexpected windfall. There are always many things that extra funds can go to but can I suggest you consider investing in more staff/community members attending ITEC. Some schools may also want to consider sponsoring delegates from countries not as well off as us. I have already had enquiries about possible support.
Attention Art Teachers: Art @ ITEC15
Please forward this on to your art teachers, now. The ITEC15 Planning Committee invites art teachers to lead their students to submit art work which interprets the theme of ITEC15; “Reading Word and World – Memes, themes and biblical dreams”.
Click here to download Art @ ITEC15 – The Brief
Professional Development Resource
This week principals would have received professional development resources for use in staff meetings. This forms as an introduction to the main ITEC15 speakers and has video clips and discussion and small group questions. A DVD version of this will be forwarded each school in time for the start of the school year. Have you registered your staff for ITEC15 yet?
Board Chairs Conference 2015
Although our National Conference and AGM in Canberra is a good place to do some training around board governance, it is our joy to announce a new conference being launched in 2015 specifically for board chairs/board presidents (deputy chairs and other directors are welcome to attend, however the rigorous focus of the conference will be effective governance for the chair of the board/president). This will be held from the 15th – 17th October in NSW.
Click here to register your interest in attending this conference
Response to the Australian Curriculum
For some time now a team of curriculum leaders from across Australian CEN schools have been working on a set of resources for use by teachers in our schools. This curriculum project has 3 parts:
1. A suggested model for Christian curriculum development;
2. 4 subject-based papers that offer responses to the Australian Curriculum – English, Maths, Science and History
3. A background paper that addresses questions about engaging with and critiquing the Australian Curriculum.
This set of resources is planned for release next year.
National Office Closing Dates
The CEN National Office will be closed from and including 24 December and will re-open 7 January. We look forward to serving you again in 2015!