Success, Safety and “Real” Schools
With this issue, we begin an occasional series we’re calling “Be Distinct”. We ask Rehoboth’s leaders and senior staff to choose three of the frequently asked questions we receive, and to give us their views. We encourage you to read through their answers. They’ll help to explain some of characteristics that make Rehoboth distinct and will deepen your understanding of Christian Education. They’ll also provide useful information whenever you might be discussing Rehoboth with family and friends.
I want the best for my children – how will Rehoboth ensure they succeed?
I have four children with different gifts given by God. Some of those gifts are academic; however, most of the gifts I see in my children are those not necessarily “tested”, but which can be developed at school. Gifts such as hospitality or music are very much encouraged and many opportunities are available for our students to serve and glorify God.
I want my children to be servants in their churches and influencers for Christ in whatever career they choose. Whether they are hairdressers, pharmacists, dental technicians, or tradespeople is a secondary concern. Their eternity is much more important to my husband and I than what they do for the relatively short time they are on earth.
Is a Christian school like Rehoboth a “real” school?
If your definition of a real school is a school which complies with the State and Australian curricula, then yes.
If your definition of a real school is the public school down the road, then the short answer is no. The Rehoboth distinctive is to deliver Christ-centred education.
The teachers at Rehoboth take the assigned curriculum and pull it apart to use in their teaching and learning programs using the following questions:
- How did God intend this subject or concept to be “in the beginning,” or prior to sin?
- How did the Fall, or sin, affect this subject or concept?
- How can we, as redeemed people, influence this subject or concept?
- How can we help the student to “see Jesus” through this subject or concept?
We believe that without asking these questions, we would look exactly like the school down the road, and there would be little point to a school like Rehoboth.
I expect a Christian school to be a safe place, but is it an overly protective environment? What about the real world?
In the Primary setting, a place of protection is exactly what the parents I interview want for their children. The sad news is that, while we believe that Rehoboth does offer a high level of protection for children, we are a school that enrols sinners and employs sinners.
The difference at Rehoboth is that we are delivered sinners. We have Christ to redeem us and the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide and transform us.
While our children are young, we do seek to protect them from worldly influences. We want our students to be challenged in their thinking at age-appropriate times rather than bombarded with images and ideals that are not in tune with the Bible when they are too young to understand. We believe that students need to be confronted with the cultural context they will one day be immersed in, but not until they are ready.
One way to look at it is that we are in the business of preparation, rather than protection. We hope to show students a Biblical framework to help them navigate difficult situations, rather than re-actively choosing an idea because it is popular. It is a huge task and part of the reason we endeavour to partner with parents.
Two passages of scriptures come to mind when contemplating this question:
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” – Proverbs 22:6
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known…” – 1 Corinthians 13:11-12