Heathdale flower 05th June 2024

Introducing Big Kid's Table

We are proud to launch our partnership with Big Kids' Table, who are addressing the urgent need for Biblical teaching, open dialogue and safety in body safety by providing essential guidance for our young people of faith in navigating today's culture.

Heathdale flower

This week we have had Big Kids Table present to staff in a staff meeting and parents on Wednesday evening to explain to our community this new and helpful program.

Big Kids' Table (BKT) have found that there is a major lack of biblical teaching, open dialogue, safety and basic sex education within the modern church in Australia. Young people of faith are receiving very little direction and space for exploring. It is clear to every parent that the sexualisation of today’s culture continues to put pressure on our youth.

BKT was born out of a desire to change this.

BKT address these issues through a Biblical lens. They believe all people are made in the image of God. They believe marriage is the place for sexual intimacy where it is good, true and beautiful – stepping outside of this can lead to painful consequences. It is important to note these BKT sessions don't cover gender and sexual diversity.

There are some difficult statistics surrounding the safety of our children. In the UK by age 9, 10% of a sample of 1,000 young people had seen pornography, 27% had seen it by age 11, and 50% of children had seen it by age 13. A survey with young people in the US found that 1 in 8 (13%) 9-12-year-olds have shared a nude image with an online-only contact. In Australia, around 5% of youth aged 14-17 reported having sent a nude or nearly nude image or video of themselves in the past year, while 15% reported having been asked for an image or video (52% of which requests came from an unknown person). An Australian survey of online safety experiences conducted with more than 3,000 young people aged 8 to 17 years showed that 25% of youth had been contacted by a stranger in the previous 12 months, and 10% had been sent inappropriate content online.

While we do not want to believe as parents this will ever happen to our own children – it does – and we need to educate them to be discerning children of Christ.

My hope is that you came to the recent presentation night – however if you didn’t, please take some time to look at the Big Kids' Table website.

BKT addresses online safety, body safety, safe and unsafe behaviours, worthiness and changes as we are growing up. Workshops with BKT will begin with the children from Years 1-6 shortly. It would be very helpful for you to talk to your children about this and give us any feedback. Some suggested questions are:

1. BKT is a new program at school – what did they talk about?
2. Did you learn anything new from BKT today
3. Was there anything in the BKT workshop you didn’t understand and would like to chat about more?

In addition to BKT in our Primary school, we also teach Bravehearts – a holistic approach to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, and Peacewise – Biblical peacemaking education to help bring peace in times of conflict.

At Heathdale Christian College, while every staff member is a safe adult for children to approach, we have our student wellbeing team and eleven dedicated Child Safety Officers who children can speak to should they feel unsafe at any point.

If you have any questions about any of our programs, please do contact your homeroom teacher. It is important that we partner together in such sensitive issues.