Mr Stirling

Mr Stirling has been the Principal of Rehoboth Christian College (Kenwick) since 2008. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Australia, and a Diploma in Education from Curtin University in 1979. He was a teacher and Head of Social Studies at Rehoboth from 1980 to 1986, teaching English, Social Studies, Ancient History, History and PE. From there, he went on to work at UWA as an Education Research Officer before resuming teaching at Swan Christian College for eight years, where he was the Head of the Social Science Department. For eleven years, Mr Stirling worked at Kingsway Christian College, where he was the Head of the Humanities Faculty (S & E, English and LOTE), Head of Senior School, Deputy Principal and finally Acting Principal. During much of this period, he taught History and Economics.

Mr Stirling has a wealth of experience in Christian Education in different schools in WA, both as a teacher and administrator. He is passionate about the achievement of excellence in schools, and is also very keen on sports (having been instrumental in developing basketball programs both at Swan and at Kingsway, and has been an A grade Coach at SBL level); developing Christian leadership; and in growing a positive school spirit. His interests include: collecting books, philately, art and travel.

Articles by Mr Stirling

What Does Success Look Like in a Christian School?

This is a really good question to ask, particularly in light of NAPLAN testing, exams, ATAR scores, and career counselling, and especially when there is so much attention focused on ranking students, achievement at all costs, being the top of the class, and directing students into highly paid, university accredited professions. Even though we may not believe this is the be all and end all, to what extent has this worldview been absorbed into our thinking as parents and teachers?

I would suggest that success is more closely aligned with growing student’s character traits and attitudes:

being the best that…
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Coping with Transition and Change

Many students will be experiencing some form of transition this year. Perhaps they have moved from Primary School to Secondary School. Perhaps they are now a senior student. Maybe they are trying a new subject or changing levels within a subject. With change, can come uncertainty and anxiety. Whenever we are in a new situation, there is a period where we are learning and adapting. Below are some tips to help students make their transitions as smooth as possible.

Ask Questions

Ask lots and lots of questions. If you are unsure about something, don’t sit there in silence. If you…

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Jason on Top of the World (Again)

Congratulations to Jason Anggadjaja for being this year’s Education Perfect top student in Indonesian in the world (for the second year in a row).

In the overall languages category, Jason finished 7th globally, and was awarded an Elite Award.

Two other students, Rabecca Hulston and Jessica Christoper received Gold Certificates. As a school, Rehoboth finished 1st in WA and 8th in Australia in schools of our size.

In the Social Science Competition these students recieved Gold Certificates:

Rabecca Hulston

Maggie Goiran

Emily Hobday

Jehoni Lukunga

Timothy Ong

Rachelle Winarto

Yonnie Lee

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Keeping Exams in Perspective

You are probably aware that I see the value of exams and the skills learnt through the process of revision. There’s no doubt that exams are an important measure of a student’s academic ability (primarily for university entrance). However, they are just one measure of a child’s academic performance on a particular hour and day, under quite stressful and time pressured conditions. Many other skills and tasks go together to give an assessment of a child’s performance.

Progress is every bit as important as performance.

When we look at it, our measure of success is far broader than an academic…

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Enlarge the Place of Your Tent: Learning from William Carey

I was reading something on the life of William Carey (the missionary to India) the other week and noted that it was a sermon on Isaiah 54:2-3 which gave him his life’s mission. The passage reads:

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.”

In 1792, when Carey preached on this verse, the title of his message was: “Expect Great…

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Addressing the Issues: What Makes the Wise Men Wise?

The story of the wise men is an interesting one.

For one thing there weren’t necessarily three. There were three gifts, that’s why we assume there were three wise men. Secondly, they are invariably pictured on camels. The Bible says they rode, but it doesn’t say on what. We assume they were camels, because they came from the East, but we need to be careful and make sure that our understanding doesn’t come from Christmas Cards, but from what it actually says in God’s Word.

The wise men went in search of a king, and found their way to…

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Addressing the Issues: A Message from a Year 12 Student

Last week, Josiah Kappert, one of our leaving Year 12 students, delivered an address on the final day in a farewell assembly to our Year 7-11 students. I thought that readers might be interested in what he had to say, and I have included most of his address below. For all those who have come to know Josiah over his time at Rehoboth, he is a remarkable young man.

Mr Stirling

Now I come, on behalf of the Year 12s, to present for you something that is very close to my heart. It’s a topic that I believe that students…

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Familiarity breeds Contempt

“Familiarity breeds contempt”. I have always thought that this is a harsh saying. Contempt is a strong word. However, I have also found that there is a lot of truth in this. At the very least, familiarity often leads us to take things for granted. At the very worst, we can ignore or become blind to the things that are right in front of us. It seems like the more we know something, the more we find faults and dislike things about it. Familiarity can stop us from respecting people, and simply dismiss them or their opinions. The Bible has…

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2016 NAPLAN Results: Year 7 and Year 9

It is always important to keep NAPLAN results in perspective. They provide useful feedback for teachers, as they indicate the strengths and weaknesses of students and allow them to focus on areas that need improvement. However, NAPLAN results are often used as a ranking tool for individuals or for each school (as on the MySchool website), and here they are less reliable. No matter how good the results are (or the reverse), it must be remembered that NAPLAN results are a snapshot of one type of assessment, on one particular day. Overall student performance is measured by a variety of…

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Keep Your Heart with All Diligence

The story of the journey that the people of Israel took fleeing from Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, crossing the desert, and wandering for 40 years is retold a number of times in the Old Testament. One of the lessons that comes across to me about this story is that these people (who had been in bondage and slavery for 400 years in Egypt) were turned back from their destiny by their negativity. What they focused on determined their future. Even the cloud by day and fire by night were not sufficient for them in the end. The…

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Supporting Your Year 12 Student with Stress

During the holidays, I have been thinking about the issue of stress.

Not that stress is unique only to Year 12 students, but Year 12 is full of ups and downs which can be a major source of stress for most students. This reveals itself in a lot of different ways. Small issues can become large ones, as emotions can often be exaggerated during these times. Students can find that interrupted sleep becomes a pattern and they feel tired most of the time, or they procrastinate rather than facing the pressure of multiple deadlines, or they find ways of escaping from the…

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The WOW Moments

In Psalm 77, Asaph is going through a low patch and dealing with stress and disappointment. He is troubled and can’t sleep. He had been the music director who arranged musical scores to the Psalms of David and had been there at the building of David’s kingdom, and at its highest point. His role had continued through the leadership of Solomon, and the start of the unraveling of the nation. Then he held that position when the nation was divided into the northern and southern kingdoms under two different kings. Things hadn’t worked out the way he had expected. It’s no wonder…

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