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 are uncomfortable asking the teacher directly, then ask a friend or ask the teacher after class. But be aware, there are probably many other students with the same question and they will probably be thankful that someone asks the question they also have.

Find a Buddy

It is much easier if you have someone to talk to about what you are both experiencing. This is someone you can check things with, even just someone to listen to you when you want to moan and groan, or celebrate. You don’t have to specifically say “let’s be buddies,” but look out for a like-minded person so that you can help each other along the way.


When you are learning new things, or have lots of new information heading your way, it’s important to take time to consolidate. This could be explaining what you are learning to someone like your parents, or it could be writing a short list or summary of what you have been told so you don’t forget it.

Positive Attitude

Your attitude can make a world of difference to the type of experiences you have during any transition. Start noticing your thoughts. Are they negative or positive? You can start to take control and direct the way you think about a situation and this in turn will change how you feel.

For example, if something goes wrong and you notice you’re thinking something like, “What an idiot, I can’t believe I did that,” catch yourself and say, “Everyone makes mistakes. At least now I know what I need to do for the next time”. Eventually you can start to have a more positive reaction to things. Look for the good in situations. Develop the habit of positive self-talk, rather than running yourself down.

Aim for Your Personal Best

Don’t compare yourself to other people. Aim for your own “personal best”. Strive to do the best you can, to learn, to grow and develop.

We all have different skills and strengths and sometimes these aren’t always evident in the school situation. So just focus on being the best student you can be and celebrate your strengths and gifts – whether they show up in the school arena or in your outside life.

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 Things from God; Attempt Great things for God”.

Looking at this verse, it occurs to me that “Enlargement” is an encouragement to think big, dream big and get a bigger perspective.

When a black dot is put on a screen, this always becomes the focus, rather than the big white screen. We need to make God bigger, not the small issues of life. God is bigger than opposition, crisis, disappointment, health, financial problems, or whatever it is you’re dealing with.

In what do we place our hope? “Stretching” involves getting past our current limits (“I press on…” says Paul), which operates like making a muscle stronger.

“Do not hold back” involves overcoming fear. There are times when we need to do things that make us afraid, and break the hold it has over us.

“Lengthen” is to go further in output and effort. Going the extra mile is extra, not normal.

“Strengthen” involves the development of character, which enables us to deal with the things that come. If we are not strong on the inside, we will be moved from our path when trials come.

Image: Wikicommons

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 an amazing story to tell on this topic.

Mark 6:1-6 says:

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

We can just as easily fall into the same trap. It is all too easy to become a judge of the Sunday morning service, or the Church, or our College, or to show a lack of respect for those in authority. This lack of respect can easily grow into criticism and even ridicule. We can miss the beauty of the things around us, or the value that they really have. It is interesting to note that when the people of Nazareth allowed their familiarity with Jesus to breed contempt, they lost out and deprived themselves of a great opportunity. The result was that Jesus chose to take His message and His blessings elsewhere!

So what can we do to prevent this from happening?

Give honour to one another

Sometimes we are not very good at giving honour. Even if it is difficult to honour the person, it is always possible to honour the position.

Appreciate what we have

We are amazingly rich in this country and have fantastic opportunities, educationally, economically, socially, and politically. We are in the top 5% of the wealthiest people in the world, just by living in this country. In biblical times, when the rich are referred to, we must remind ourselves that we are those people. The freedom that we enjoy is amazing.

Matt 13;44-46 reminds us:

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

We have a pearl of great price. Do we treasure it? Is it a privilege to be the adopted sons and daughters of the King of Kings? When I write this article, is it a chore, or an opportunity to plant a seed for the kingdom. A lot depends on my attitude and how I look at things.

Be grateful

How often do we thank our parents for provision, for the boundaries they put around us, for loving us unconditionally, and for praying for us? Thinking back, I am not sure that I did a lot of this. I took it for granted. How often did I express my feelings and show appreciation, or did I just expect that they knew it in some way? There will come a day when you will no longer be able to do this. And how often do I thank God for the simple things? God is present in all the details of life. He is not just there for the crises. Or do I take each new day, every sunrise or blue sky, my friends and family, my health, or my work and colleagues for granted?

Be quick to apologise when we get it wrong

We are all human, fallible and make mistakes. So why is it so difficult to apologise when we do. As teachers (and parents), we often fall into the trap of being the expert and having all the answers. The truth is that we do our best, but we do get things wrong. Will we lose faith in someone if they get something wrong? Or will we in fact grow in our respect for them if they take responsibility and admit their mistakes? Imagine if politicians acted in this way. We often grow by reflecting on what has gone wrong, and learn to do things in a better way. Isn’t this a way that we learn?

I am blessed to work at Rehoboth Christian College, and to work with a dedicated Staff who strive to do their best for the students. Our students are also amazing. Yes, they are works in progress, but aren’t we all. Students continually surprise me, and I have been doing this for a while. The parents I work with are patient, committed and caring people who want the best for their children. They want the school to be the best that it can be – so do I. I love the fact that we get to work with each other in partnership. We are growing and developing each year and are on a path of continual improvement. Every year, we are planning new things, looking at ways that we can add to our programs, and are excited about the future. At the same time, our purpose is not about size, nor programs nor reputation. It is to make Jesus famous in everything that we do.

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 miracles they had seen were soon forgotten. Complaints replaced amazement.

At the end of the journey, 12 spies were sent into the promised land. The evidence for all 12 of the spies was exactly the same, but the conclusions were entirely different. Caleb and Joshua gave a completely different report, though they did not dispute the facts. They saw the same giants, they saw the same walled cities and the things that had to be overcome. But they came to a different conclusion. 10 spies saw the things they couldn’t overcome – Joshua and Caleb knew that PLUS GOD, they had the majority. However, when the people heard the conflicting reports, fear took over and the 10 versus 2 ended up becoming 3 million + 10 versus 2, as the nation of Israel believed the evidence of the 10.

Christian aren’t spared giants and walled cities. Two people can experience exactly the same thing and come to completely different conclusions – it is a choice as to what you will believe. Our attitude is important when it comes to the outcome. And, by the way, the majority aren’t always right. The same crowd that was yelling “Hosanna!” when Jesus entered into Jerusalem were probably the same ones yelling “Barabbas!” and “Crucify him!” days later.

A strange thing about human nature is that once we believe something, we begin to assemble the facts to prove it. We shouldn’t deny the facts (sometimes Christians fall into this trap), but we do need to be careful about what comes out of our mouths.

A good report takes faith into account:

  • It sets you apart from the crowd. Great things are often done by the minority (think of Martin Luther and the start of the Reformation), NOT the majority.
  • It sustains your life. Joshua and Caleb are still standing and raring to go, while all the others died.
  • It keeps you in the will of God. Consider the example of Joseph, who makes the best of every situation, and remarkably is never recorded as complaining.
  • It keeps your mind at peace. All the water in the ocean can’t sink the boat, but only the water that gets in to the boat. The storm outside never destroys as much as the storm inside. Hence, keep (guard) your heart with all diligence (above all), for it is the wellspring of life’ (Proverbs 4:23).
  • It causes our heart to overflow (Psalm 45:1). Our tongues are writing the next chapter of our story. What is coming out of our mouths? With God there is always another conclusion.

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 pressure. As stress runs down the immune systems, headaches can become more common, and students can catch whatever illnesses are going around. If there isn’t hope or a plan injected into the situation, depression can result.

Rehoboth Christian College Coping with Transition and Change  If it results in action, or a plan to move ahead, stress can be dealt with much more positively. Teenagers need to be listened to at these times, and given the time to talk through their concerns, without being judged. Many Year 12s try to cope by working harder (because this has worked for them before, but this is more difficult in Year 12 due to the volume of work that there is to do). But what happens if working harder does not achieve the improvement that students desire? In researching what we can do, I came across the following article from Beyond Blue, Surviving Year 12, that was addressed to parents, which includes some practical suggestions and advice.

It talks about finding a balance between school and other activities such as sport or music as well as time with family and friends; the benefits of developing a study routine and having a study-friendly home environment; of making time to study; and that exam results aren’t the only thing that determines your future. The article also talks about how to deal with results that weren’t quite what your student hoped for, and do’s and offers lots of don’ts on how parents can help – to which I would pray WITH them and FOR them every day.

More information is available at Beyond Blue or by contacting their Support Service: 1300 22 4636 or email and chat online.

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 that he spent some time reflecting on the ups and downs he had experienced.

In Psalm 77:1-9 Asaph writes:

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: ‘Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favour again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?

What turns Asaph around? He begins to remember what the Lord has done. He takes his focus off the issues before him and reminds himself of what God had done and who God is. He reminds himself that God is good, that He is powerful, that He has done mighty deeds. Asaph goes on to write, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.”

We all have moments when we are disappointed and disillusioned. This isn’t due to a lack of faith, but sometimes we just can’t see what God is doing (or God is not doing what we would like him to do). Sometimes stuff goes on around us and we can’t see or hear God in that situation. Many Bible stories describe people who make exactly that kind of journey and experience the tough times. Even Jesus struggles in the garden of Gethsemane.

What do we do at these times? We need to acknowledge that God is our Father, and wants the best for his children, but He is not like a “fairy godmother” that magically removes all obstacles that come into our path.

We need to remind ourselves of those incredible WOW moments when we see God’s hand at work.

This can be in God’s faithfulness to us in our past. Or in how He answered prayers that we spoke. Or in the evidence of the miraculous that we may have witnessed. Or by reminding ourselves of the amazing promises in His Word. Or when we witnessed His power and artistry in a sunrise or sunset. In Psalm 7, David writes “You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour.”

If we learn to look up at the macro picture, the skies give us a sense of awe and wonder at what God has made. When we look down at the intricate detail of living things we see an intelligent design that blows our minds – if we have eyes to see.

I recall when one of my sons was born at King Edward Hospital, the moment arrived when he was about to be born. I heard in the background the word being passed, and several running steps. Three faces appeared at the side of a curtain. These were three midwives who wanted to be there at the very moment of birth. I looked at their faces, which glowed with excitement. Now I guess they must have seen hundreds of births this way, perhaps more. They were delighted that everything had gone normally. But it was more than this. It occurred to me that they were addicted to this moment because they were witnessing God’s miracle right before their eyes. The shame was that they probably didn’t even realise it was the Creator’s design. They stayed for a few moments while our son was born, congratulated us, and left.

When we think about it, life has lots of WOW moments – if we have eyes to see them. There are lots of things to be thankful for, but we need to remember that we are not God, and He does not do the things that we would plan and do. Often we try to understand God that way, and it doesn’t work because His ways are not like our ways. Let us celebrate the WOW moments, and not beat ourselves up when we think we’re not worthy or that we lack faith. God thinks we are so worthy that He sent Jesus to die for us!

10 Tips for Maintaining Your Privacy

Rehoboth Christian College Coping with Transition and Change  Children are spending more and more time online to connect with friends, to learn, and to be entertained. Online environments give children the chance to express themselves and build an online personal identity. Sharing personal information online can be risky and it’s important to educate your children on how to make good decisions and limit those risks.

Your children need as much support online as they do offline. As parents, we teach children to take precautions in order to learn to safely cross the road. In the same way, we need to discuss how to take online precautions with them. The following ten tips will help parents and children protect their privacy when they interact online.

1. Start the privacy conversation

To help your children protect their personal information – and their privacy – it is essential that you talk to them about what privacy is and why it is important. Privacy is about protecting information about who they are, what they do, what they think, and what they believe. Make sure your children understand how privacy relates to their online behaviour, the steps they need to take to protect it, and encourage them to report anything suspicious, like unknown people contacting them or unexpected notices.

The key message your children need to understand is that they can protect their privacy by protecting their personal information. Personal information can include your child’s name, address, telephone number, school, and date of birth.

2. Get involved

The digital environment is constantly evolving. It is important to keep yourself up to date with the devices, apps, and platforms that your children are using and how they use them. You can better support and advise your children if you are well-informed on the technologies they use and can understand the digital environment from their perspective.

Join in with your youngest child and play their favourite game with them. Keep the lines of communication open with your older children and teens – it’s better to talk to them in person if you have concerns than to post comments publicly.

3. Read privacy policies and collection notices

The Privacy Act was first introduced in 1988, and since then practically all organisations are required to maintain a privacy policy that explains how and why they are collecting your personal information (among other things). It is really important that you read privacy policies and collection notices – even Rehoboth maintains a Privacy Policy. These will help you understand what information is being collected about your children, and how it will be used and protected. Involve your children in this process. Checking the privacy policies and collection notices of the websites, games, and apps they use will help them think about what they’re swapping their personal information for and whether it is worth it.

4. Tailor privacy settings

Privacy settings are an important privacy tool for people of all ages, as personal information can often be collected in ways you don’t expect. Parental controls can also be a good option for younger children. You need to make sure you, and your children, control the personal information that webcams, microphones and cookies collect, as well as what is collected by websites, apps, and internet based games and software. You should also use this process to teach your children about the importance of tailoring their privacy settings according to their age, the platform they are on, and the type of information they are sharing. For example, you and your children could work together to tailor the privacy settings on their social media accounts so that only their friends can view their photos, updates and information.

5. Develop good password practices

It’s important that your children understand that good password practices are an essential security measure to keep their personal information safe. It is also important to stress that passwords should not be shared with anyone, especially at school or online.

Passwords should use a random combination of numbers, letters, and punctuation and be over eight characters in length. Avoid using birth dates, your name, or the name of a family member or pet. Passwords should also be changed regularly and should not be used across multiple accounts. Working with your children to help them develop their own password controls will help them develop good password habits.

6. Discuss their digital footprint

Social media presents a number of benefits and opportunities for children, including increased connectivity to their friends and exposure to new ideas. However, children need to know that their digital footprint can last forever. They also need to understand that every piece of content they consume, share, upload, and download leaves a digital trace.

Work with your children to develop some fundamental principles they can use when interacting online and using social media. These principles could include that they only interact with people they know and that they only share another person’s personal information with that person’s permission. Children who understand the potential consequences of their online behaviour are more likely to make better decisions about how they share their personal information.

7. Teach your children to think before they share

Make sure your children know the difference between the kinds of information that may be appropriate to share online and what should be kept private — there are many online situations where your children should not need to give out any personal information.

It is also important that your children understand that the more personal information they share online, the greater the risk their privacy will be compromised. This is particularly important in regards to sharing their phone number, address, school, and social plans. Your children need to understand that sharing information about their location may allow people to follow them. They also need to understand that posting photos or including hashtags that can be subsequently shared by others means their personal information may be used without their knowledge. Work with your children to adjust the privacy settings of their social media accounts to limit how much and who they share their personal information with online.

8. Encourage safe and smart mobile use

Mobile devices have become a common tool for children of all ages. As children store a lot of personal information on their phone, it is important they use security measures to protect this information. Ensure your children’s mobile devices have a pin lock or passcode. Make sure they understand how easily someone could gain unauthorised access to everything from their social media accounts to their personal photos if they don’t have one.
Disabling geo-location services when they are not needed is another key security measure.

You should also encourage your children to consider the personal information they share via mobile apps. Ensure they only download apps from reputable sources, especially if they are sharing location or financial information.

9. Be aware of online advertising

Online advertising can take a number of forms, including direct marketing and online behavioural advertising. Companies can build a detailed profile of your children just by compiling data of their online behaviour. It is therefore important to manage how much personal information is collected. Controlling cookies and the use of add-ons and ad-blockers are good tools you can use to do this. Companies are obligated to provide a means of opting out or unsubscribing from any direct marketing, so look to see if their website or communications include this.

10. Emphasise that help is always available

Make sure your children know that they can ask for help if they have a problem online, whether from you, from their school, or from government services. Reassure your children that you’re there to support them, you’re there to listen to things that may have arisen, and that you’re not going to automatically disconnect them from their online world if a problem arises. If your children experience cyberbullying, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (OeSC) may be able to help and has information on a range of popular games, apps and social networking sites including instructional advice on how to activate privacy settings. Most social media sites also have their own complaints systems.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) can also help you if you have a complaint about how an entity covered by the Privacy Act 1988 has handled your children’s personal information. If you are concerned that your children’s identity information may have been compromised, iDcare the national identity support service can provide advice and support.

Don’t forget…

Your online behaviour affects your children’s privacy too. The information you share about your children, especially on social media, contributes to their digital footprint. Remember that once you share information, it can be used in ways you did not expect and cannot always control. Before you share any information about your children, ask yourself: “Have I ensured my children’s privacy is protected?”

Copyright is also a serious issue. There is a school in WA currently being sued as their students were illegally downloading material via torrents through the school’s network.

God in a Box

Rehoboth Christian College Coping with Transition and Change  A great statement of faith is confessing that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour. We are pretty good at knowing what Jesus saved us from and what He saves us to, but we don’t talk about His Lordship as often.

Colossians 1:13-18 says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is Lord of all. We cannot divide things into God’s box and the rest. He is Lord over everything, not just worship and Church, but over our workplaces, our relationships, our thoughts, our leisure time and so on. This is one reason why we are committed to distinctly Christian education. Jesus is Lord over our children’s education, just as much as He is Lord over our families, our future, or our eternity.

It is important to understand that our children are our disciples. They are certainly the ones we spend most time with. What seed are we sowing into their lives? Do we stop and pray often and regularly? Do we read God’s word together? What kind of a model am I? What words are coming out of my mouth? What things am I watching on television? Am I allowing fear to rule my life… or faith? What do my words reflect?

All truth is God’s truth, and God’s Word sheds light on our path. Education is not focused on possibilities but on the certainties found in God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 6:5-8 instructs us to provide children with a godly education 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

My problem is that I act as though Jesus is concerned only about the big things of life, rather than the little things as well. If I have this perspective, then I tend to see circumstances and situations through my eyes. And out of that I try to work out a solution to any problem or situation myself. How often do we go round in circles trying to find our way and the solution to a problem? It’s in these times that we can easily put God in a box, and leave Him out of the equation. Somehow we think, if God does see the solution why isn’t He telling us, or doing anything about it? What it often comes down to is that we believe that God thinks like we do.

It is good to remember that God is Almighty (Peterson, in The Message, interprets this as the “God-of-the-angel-armies”), and that, even though things may not be clear to me, they are to Him. God alone knows the beginning from the end, and every detail of the middle too. We need to stop putting God into the box of our own thinking and allow Him to be the Lord of every situation and circumstance.

Just Who is on the Throne in Our Lives?

Rehoboth Christian College Coping with Transition and Change  Once we have committed our lives to Jesus, we know that God is sovereign and is on the throne of our lives. But do we live like this in practice, and how does it influence our thinking and our actions?

The choice to be independent is one of the virtues encouraged by our culture. But cutting ourselves off from people, responsibility, and families leads to increasing loneliness, which has become one of the greatest social problems facing our society. The parable of the lost son is fascinating. The son only thinks about himself and his agenda, causing him to ask for his inheritance. He wants what he believes he is entitled to, so that he can go and “enjoy life”. He seems to be suffering from a “fear of missing out”. An amazing part of this story is that the Father gives him what he wants. The son goes off thinking he knows best, trusting in himself – and we all know how that story turns out.

Just who or what am I putting my trust in?

So often, I am encouraged to put myself first, and to trust in my abilities, my experience. My wants and desires become pre-eminent. If I have this mindset, am I expecting God to fit in with what I think, answer my prayers the way that I want, and giving me the desires of MY heart? The plain fact is that God knows what is best – I don’t.

It is good to be clear about what is our job, and what is God’s job, so that we stop trying to take on a role that is not ours to take. I would suggest considering the following:

God’s Job
Our Job
To meet the need (according to His riches) To answer the call – to go, to be Jesus’ hands and feet
To provide the vision To communicate the vision
To give the blessing/provide the resources To receive the blessing and pass it onto others
Power, Healing, Forgiveness Faith
Provide seed to the sower Sow the seed
Answer the prayer Pray… and take action (sometimes we are the answer to our prayers)
Receive Worship, praise, give, be generous, be thankful
Love people Love God
Justice, Forgiveness, Excellence, Abundance Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8)
Give good gifts to His people Give a testimony
Eternity Act in the here and now
Creation Stewardship
Lead Follow and serve (we are the followers)
Be obeyed Obey


Much of this comes down to the idea of my feet, but his fire. What on earth does this mean? It refers to combining our effort with His direction. If we step out and are willing to walk in God’s direction, then we position ourselves to be blessed, and to be a blessing to others. His plans are different from ours (Jeremiah 29:11). When we work with God we put ourselves in a place where God can talk to us about what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go, and what we need to do in the Kingdom.

We can’t manipulate God into doing our will, no matter how noble or just or how good that might seem. Trust involves believing God, whatever (or despite) what it looks like. We pray… “Thy will be done”, but are quick to complain when what we want is not happening, or not happening quickly enough to fit into our agenda.

What is my default position? If someone listened to the words that come out of my mouth, what would others say is my default position (when things go awry)? It is good to remind ourselves that God is on the throne, not us. And if we are Christ’s followers, we need to be about the Father’s business – which is focused on building His Kingdom, not our own.

How Does ATAR Work?

Rehoboth Christian College Coping with Transition and Change  One of the areas that I regularly get questions about is the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, or ATAR, and how it works. What follows are some answers to a number of the most frequently asked questions:

  • The ATAR – How does it work?
  • What is the TEA score?
  • How does the TEA score convert to an ATAR?
  • What is moderation and scaling?
  • What is the UWA bonus?

If parents or students want to seek any further clarification, please ask Mr Stirling or Mr Vasquez.

The ATAR – How Does it Work?

Year 11 and 12 subjects are divided into ATAR and General (and foundational subjects), where Units 1 and 2 are studied in Year 11, while Unit 3 and 4 are studied in Year 12. The ATAR score (which is used for university entrance) only relates to the score in the Unit 3 and 4 ATAR subjects, which are studied in Year 12. Year 11 does not contribute to the ATAR score, but Unit 1 and 2 provides the foundation for these units. Both Year 11 and 12, however, do contribute towards the WACE Certificate.

An ATAR reports the student’s rank position relative to all other students, and therefore ranges between zero and 99.95. It takes into account the number of students who sit the WACE examinations in any year and also the number of people of Year 12 school-leaving age in the total population. The ATAR is calculated on the basis of a TEA score which is then converted to an ATAR, which tells you where students are ranked relative to other students. If students have an ATAR of 70.00, for example, it indicates that that they have achieved as well as or better than 70% of the Year 12 school leaver age population.

TISC (Tertiary Institutions Service Centre – visit TISConline) is responsible for the ranking of students for university entrance. The ATAR is calculated using school assessment and WACE examination results. TISC calculates the ATAR based on the school and exam score provided.

Rehoboth Christian College Coping with Transition and Change  The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) provides TISC with school and WACE exam results. Each course result is based 50% on school assessment and 50% on the examinations. Statistical adjustments are made to these results, the best 4 of which are added together to calculate a Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA). The section on ATAR Examinations explains how this is calculated. TISC then offers university places based on the ATAR ranking.

What is the TEA Score?

From 2008 the TEA (Tertiary Entrance Aggregate) replaced the TES (Tertiary Entrance Score). The TEA is calculated by adding your best four scaled scores plus 10% of your best Language Other Than English (LOTE) scaled score, based on the following rules:

  • For the best four scaled scores, you may accumulate scaled scores which contribute to your ATAR over five consecutive years, with no subject or course counting more than once.
    There are unacceptable course combinations whereby scores in both courses/subjects cannot both be used.
  • A LOTE bonus of 10% of a LOTE scaled score is added to the aggregate of the best four scaled scores. From 2016 Year 12, LOTE scaled scores must be from current or the previous four years. If more than one LOTE has been sat, only one (the best) LOTE scaled score can be used as the LOTE bonus. You receive the LOTE bonus irrespective of whether your LOTE course was counted as one of the best four.
  • The maximum TEA score is 410.
  • The subjects used to calculate the ATAR must include a List A (arts, languages, social sciences) subject and a List B subject (maths, science, technology) irrespective of whether you are in the top four. An English or Maths subject does not have to be included.
How are TEA Scores Converted to an ATAR?

The following table (based on 2015 data) gives an indication of the minimum Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA) required to achieve at least a particular Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

ATAR Minimum TEA for ATAR 

30.00 131.0 75.00 234.3
40.00 152.6 80.00 247.1 (min UWA entry)
50.00 175.4 85.00 261.8
55.00 186.4 (min ECU entry) 90.00 279.6
60.00 199.1 95.00 304.5
65.00 210.2 98.00 329.9
70.00 222.1 (min Curtin and Murdoch entry) 99.95 390.4

Note: Many university courses specify that certain subjects must be undertaken by students in Year 12 as background knowledge is needed to be able to apply to enter their particular course.

What is Moderation and Scaling?

The raw school and raw WACE exam marks are not final. Statistical moderation is a process that adjusts the school marks of students at each school so that the school marks are on the same scale in all schools to try to ensure that fairness is achieved. All students should expect some adjustment of their school marks. Statistical moderation adjusts the set of school marks for a course/stage at each school so that they are all put onto the same, common scale. The common scale used in statistical moderation is the scale of the standardised examination marks for the particular stage of the course. This examination is marked by an independent panel of expert markers using a specific marking key. Therefore, the standardised examination marks can be used to compare students in different schools.

Statistical processes are used to ensure that within a course the marks are on the same scale, but this is unlikely to be the case between courses. Inter-course scaling takes account of the ability of the students undertaking the courses. Able students generally undertake the more difficult courses, hence scaling aims to ensure that students are not disadvantaged if they choose a difficult course or advantaged if they choose an easy one, e.g. Specialist Maths and Physics are usually scaled up the most as they are considered the most difficult subjects.

As the impact of moderation and scaling are difficult to predict and varies from year to year, it is wise to disregard their potential effect. Students may think that it is advantageous to choose courses which are usually scaled up. This is not true, and choosing courses on this basis may actually result in a lower scaled score than they might have otherwise achieved. If students choose a course that they are not very good at, simply because they expect it to be scaled up, the scaled score will be a lot lower than what they could expect to receive in a course which they are good at and which interests them. The mark may be scaled up, but it is unlikely that the scaled score will be any higher than if they had chosen a more suitable course, even if marks for that course were scaled down.

What is the UWA bonus? (Broadway Scheme)

The Broadway Scheme allows eligible students from WA schools to receive an ATAR adjustment if the school at which they completed their final WACE examinations are located in metropolitan Perth and have a three-year average ICSEA score at or below the WA median. This includes Rehoboth. Students with an ATAR of 75.00 to 79.95 will receive an adjusted selection rank of 80.00 to allow them to receive an offer into the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design, or Bachelor of Science, subject to their TISC preference order, if they meet the selection criteria. Students with an ATAR of 80.00 or above who meet the selection criteria will also receive a positive adjustment (between 2-5%) to their selection rank.

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