As parents considering a Christian School there are important questions to ask yourself.
- Does your child’s school help you to fulfil your God-given parental responsibilities?
- Do they uphold the Christian values and principles you have in your own home?
- Do they provide well-qualified, skilled, Christian teachers who are positive role models?
- Do they encourage your child to think critically from a Biblical perspective?
- Do they nurture, care and pray for your child?
- Do they challenge your child to reach his or her God-given potential – academically, spiritually, socially, creatively and physically?
- Do the parents of your children’s friends and peers share similar family values to yours?
As parents we need to recognise that all schools are faith based. Some schools are Christian, some associated with a particular religion, and others supposedly “neutral”. Yet the absence of a religious faith does not mean the teachers and staff are neutral. All teachers are people. Therefore they all have personal beliefs and values. It is natural for these to be expressed in their role. We believe it is important not just to have all of our staff with a strong Christian faith but for them to teach deliberately from a Christian worldview. The motto of Heritage Christian School is “Faith and Knowledge”. These two are inseparable.
The Christian believes that there are no neutral facts, that everything is related to God and has significance beyond this life. Christian education, therefore, has to do with every subject of knowledge. Adding a few courses in religion and Bible study to a school curriculum, or holding religious exercises and chapel services, does not make a school Christian. Christian education requires a Christian point of view for the whole curriculum; a God-centred program in every department. A Christian school seeks to be Christian every hour of the school day.
What is the difference between a ‘Christian’ school and other independent ‘Church’ schools?
This school is not run or supervised by a particular church. Heritage is a school established, maintained and directed by a society of Christian parents as a Christian community.
The School sees itself as an extension of your Christian home, and the Christian church; a school that is in harmony with the values and attitudes that parents would want to encourage in their children.
To that end, all staff in the school must be practising, committed Christians. In at least 60% of families associated with the School, at least one parent must be a practising Christian.
The teaching staff commit themselves to being part of a learning community which attempts to develop a broad and challenging curriculum that is distinctively ‘Christian’ in its approach. Not in a contrived or ‘forced’ manner, but as an expression of a Christian community which sees all of life as a gift from God to be explored and enjoyed. The Bible is taken seriously as the source of truth and a guide for all of life.
Are children at Heritage ‘closeted’ from the ‘real’ world?
Well “Yes” and “No”.
“Yes”, in the sense that Heritage has a nurturing, supportive, informal culture where strong relationships are built among students and staff. At Heritage other parents of your children’s friends are more likely to share your own family’s values of right and wrong. At Heritage, Christianity, even in all its diversity, is seen as normal.
“No”, in the sense we aim to prepare students for life. The educational environment is open, questioning and ecumenical in its approach. The students come from a wide variety of Christian homes and from different social and ethnic backgrounds. Many of our students move on from Heritage to University or some other tertiary institution and the experience of our graduates is that they are well prepared for their future places serving in society.
What does this Bible Based education mean in practice?
Teachers prepare much of their content running parallel with the state syllabus. The content is programmed from a Christian perspective. We endeavour to teach children how to think Christianly about each subject.
Biblical Studies is a prominent subject. Our program aims to teach children how to understand the main message of the Bible. We hope that students will be able to see the faithfulness of God, despite the continued unfaithfulness of humanity, especially in the person and work of Christ.
Each staff member is a committed Christian. Every staff member believes the Bible to be the authoritative word of God and seeks to live a life that brings glory to Christ.
Devotions are a daily feature in each classroom. Bible reading, shared prayer points, discussing issues, reading Christian literature are all a part of what happens in a typical day.
Heritage caters for the whole child. Whether your child excels or struggles academically, socially, physically or spiritually, programs and opportunities exist for each requirement.
The Bible is not used as a textbook. We do not use the Bible to study, say, Grammar. This is not its purpose. To do so would be counterproductive.
Not every lesson will have an overtly Christian theme. At times it is inappropriate to add a Bible passage to a lesson. A degree of sensitivity and discernment is required here.
Children are not forced to believe. Indoctrination is not a part of the way we teach, although we do hope that each child will come to love and obey Jesus Christ.
The children are not perfect. Discipline is still required from time to time and is actually seen as a part of the education process.
Children are not sheltered from the real world. There comes a time when it is appropriate to deal with the issues children face. Teachers will note this occasion and deal with issues sensitively.