Heathdale flower 22nd August 2019

​Christian Education: What’s the Difference?​

It’s easy for us to throw around terms such as Christ-centred education, God’s kingdom, and Christian teachings, but what does it all really mean?

Heathdale flower

Having spent most of my educational career in state education, I’ve been pondering why Heathdale Christian College has a completely different feel to most other schools. It’s easy for us to throw around terms such as Christ-centred education, God’s kingdom, and Christian teachings, but what does it all really mean? Over the past 18 months I’ve noticed a few factors that contribute to the College’s points of difference.

I see teachers here focus on what it means to have our hearts, hands and minds based in the goodness of Gods creation. Many schools’ primary goal is to deliver the content and skills outlined in the Australian curriculum, so students ultimately gain good grades. While this is important to us, too, we see our main purpose as guiding each student to discover their own meaning and place in the world. We call children to respond to how they can be responsible in our school and be life long learners.

I see teachers here actively promote loving your neighbour as yourself. They consciously ask children ‘Who have you helped today?’. We look to Christ as the perfect example of how we should care for others. Schooling for us is not a preparatory exercise where we deliver a perfect child at graduation! The skills we are working on are for now and the future.

I see teachers here teaching your children to learn for understanding (to explore every piece of learning they are given); to learn for appreciation (to focus on the enjoyment of Creation and all that we have); to learn for action and service (to make sure we use our learning to do the right thing). Our teachers continually develop their craft. They develop teaching strategies that transform the classrooms to be arenas of learning. Finding joy in building our curriculum.

I see teachers here teaching in a way that shows what Christian education is about, which is: all of the child, embracing an all-round education, across all the subjects and fields, in conjunction with all of the community, for all of life, and all to the glory of God. We live together in the larger picture of God’s story but with a distinctive view of education that develops relationships with students, parents and staff. We embrace the uniqueness of everyone and nurture their gifts, abilities, needs, interests, hopes and aspirations.

Just like a family sometimes we will get it wrong, or there may be things we do that you don’t agree with. We trust you as parents to spend time with us, get to know our hearts, trust that we will always have the best intentions for your child. Most of all we thank you for the privilege of having your child in our school, so we can partner with you in their education.

For those who have always worked in Christian schools or attended Christian schooling this may all seem normal. However, we are truly blessed to be in a place that doesn’t conform to the way of the world but know we have strength and purpose in God.