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Christmas Greetings

I’m guessing that by the time you read this enews, your community is in the last days of the 2016 school year. You are probably sighing with relief of yet another ‘big year’ over. You might actually have your head on your desk!? Why does every year seem bigger than the last? Is it the rising levels of compliance, is it the educational demands of doing it ‘better’, is it the pressure of parents to accommodate their child…or is just that we work in the complex space of people (lots of them) and personality? Whatever it is, we collectively identify that we can’t do this alone. Praise God that we don’t have to!

In the lead up to this beautiful festive se ason of celebrating the birth of Christ and the h oliday that surrounds this time, my prayer is that you would be able to find time to rest. Deep, satisfying rest. The kind of rest that means that you can go for endless walks and read that pile of books. The rest that allows time for catching up properly with friends, neighbours and family. The kind of rest that allows God to speak deep into your soul. May the words of Mary’s song be your experience this Christmas, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour”.

I look forward to connecting with you in 2017.
Michelle


Some things to pray for

How wonderful to be able to pray for each other as member schools. Will you join us in praying for the following things:

  • Praise that the Illawarra Christian School students injured in the bus accident a few weeks back were able to be back at school within a week of the accident.
  • Transitioning of a number of Principals in schools across Australia (Rob Bray, Doug Peck, Simon Matthews, John Metcalfe, Paul Arundell and Steve McAllister)
  • Thanks for the Governance conference in November which was a wonderful time of sharing, networking and learning
  • Healing for a Canadian friend in Christian education, Mr Doug Monsma who is recovering from surgery following a brain tumour. Doug is the teaching and learning director for the Prairie Centre for Education in Canada and is the inspiration behind the ‘threads’ in our Transformation by Design book.
  • Thanks for the work of Simon Matthews (TAS) and Louise Hansen (WA) in their respective State Executive Officer roles.
  • Praise for the defeat of the Victorian Equal Opportunity, Religious Exemptions bill. This has been a major concern for our Victorian schools and would have had national repercussions. See AACS enews for more details (and celebrations!)
  • Please pray for our smaller schools, some who are struggling with stabilising numbers. We have a number of smaller schools in the CEN community that are very precious to us. It’s tough when numbers don’t remain consistent.

Update from the National Institute for Christian Education

It has been a busy time for the National Institute for Christian Education. The summer semester recently commenced and we are very excited to have a record number of enrolments in post graduate study over the Christmas break. Semester 3 is fast becoming a popular time to study with the Institute as there is more time to read, ponder, and consider how it will impact classrooms.  Take note that Semester 1 enrolments are now open for 2017.

Click here for a full list of postgraduate subjects and study options

Click here to apply or enrol

The Institute looks forward to Dr Beth Beech officially taking up the role of academic dean in January 2017. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr Beech for the excellent work she has done as registrar over the past 12 months. The Institute is currently advertising for a part-time (2.5 days) tertiary registrar to join the team in 2017.

Click here for the role and how to apply

January and February is also a very busy time for the Institute with many schools investing in professional development courses to commence the school year. Chris Parker and Alice Mustin will lead the PD training.

Click here for more information and to book your school in for a training day

2017 is fast approaching and the Institute prayerfully looks forward to partnering with schools in the pursuit of Christian education to the glory of God. May the Christmas season be a time of rest, reflection, and praise as we joyfully celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour.

David


New State Executive Officer for Tasmania

The State Council of Tasmania is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Vos (Mike) as the State Executive Officer for our Tasmanian schools.  Mike will be commencing in January. We are thrilled to have him on board.  We would also like to acknowledge the generosity of CST in past years by allowing Simon to serve as the SEO (as well as maintaining his

Click here for the formal announcement.


National Office farewells

As the year draws to a close, we are also farewelling some precious people from our National Office team. As you would be aware, Ken is finishing at the end of this year and will be formally farewelled at our AGM and National Conference in May. Ken’s contribution to Christian education has been remarkable and we will continue to celebrate his gifts in various ways (including the hope that a book or two might emerge from his pen!)

Ingrid Jeffries left our office at the end of last year to commence maternity leave with the pending birth of gorgeous Ben. Ingrid has decided to not return to our office next year. Ingrid has served our Institute well. Her patience and tenacity marked her approach to work and the many hours she spent coaching and supporting students was appreciated. We wish Ingrid all the best in her future endeavours.

Luke Pereira joined our team over a year ago to commence work as the executive officer of CEPA. Luke competently managed a detailed review process as well as the rebuilding and launch of the new CEPA website. Luke is moving on to pick up theological study through the Sydney Missionary and Bible College. We are grateful for his work and will miss Luke being on our team. Look out for the presence of our new Institute Director, David Gray as a moderator on CEPA.


Date confirmed: CEN National Conference (and AGM)

The dates are now confirmed – 20-21 May 2017 at the Mecure Hotel Canberra, Limestone Avenue, Braddon. The CEN National Conference (and AGM) was a wonderful time of encouragement and inspiration this year. We are hoping that you can join us next year.


Date confirmed – National Policy Forum

Now that the parliamentary sitting dates are locked in, the NPF date has also been set for the 22nd – 23rd May at the Hyatt H otel, Canberra.


New Teaching and Learning Conference

We are excited to announce that a new conference planned for 2017 will be running in parallel with the Developing Leaders Conference in Darwin.The T&L space is a vital one for Christian schools (CS) as they seek to be an authentic expression for Christian education. This is why the Transformation by Design resource has been so helpful to schools. It’s captured the broad thrust of what Christian education is about in ‘teacher-friendly’ explanations and shown that it’s quite possible to work in conjunction with prescribed curriculum (whatever version of the AC that your state is using).

Increasingly CS’s are placing more leadership resources into the T&L area as they recognise the need. To date there hasn’t been a specific forum or network for T&L leaders across CEN schools. Some have been involved in CEPA and Institute training but providing specific input and drawing these leaders together has been our desire for some time. We’ve got good news. Running alongside the Developing Leaders Conference in Darwin, Sept 4-7, 2017 is the opportunity for all CEN and other CS T&L leaders to gather and look at:
Showcasing helpful and insightful contributions
· Where’s TbD at? The next stages
· The need to do more distinctive thinking and work in the pedagogy space.

This is a need and network that’s earned it’s place. So stand TALL and ensure that every CEN school has at least one T&L leader coming. It’ll be invaluable. If the Darwin flight sounds too much for your Principal (who’s weighing up the PD budget) explain to him or her that it’s only an extra $200 or so on top of a flight to any of the eastern capitals. Don’t miss this vital and foundational conference…


Dr Kevin Knight visit in 2017

Many of you will remember Kevin from our Thrive Conference earlier this year. Those who participated in the study tour were appreciative of Kevin’s insights into teacher development and his 8People review tools. Kevin will be visiting Australia in February 2017.  During this visit, he will be conducting an intensive at our National Office around the 8People program from Monday 20th – Wednesday 22nd February. The cost of this will be around $400 per participant and will include Lunch and morning and afternoon teas.  Accommodation is not included.  Please email Michelle Dempsey as soon as possible if you’d like to participate in this event.  Spots are filling fast! michelle.dempsey@cen.edu.au


Affordable God’s Story 3m Banner

The popular 3m and 6m God’s Story banners are hanging in a number of schools and churches. To make it affordable for schools to get more copies of the 3m version for classrooms, we have now sourced a material that we believe will be just as durable with the same quality (or better) printing. This version is also lighter weight and easier to hang. It still comes with the full user guide. Cost is now reduced to $150 (from $428).

We again recommend this well received resource for teaching Biblical literacy through the themes, key events, and key people of God’s Story (the Bible).

Click here to view banner and for more details 

Click here to purchase

 


Christian school vacancies

Don’t forget to check out the job vacancies listed on the CEN website. There are plenty of teaching and leadership opportunities in schools from the NT to down in Tassie.