Around the world there is a wonderful diversity of Christian schools. This blogsite includes articles and promotional videos for, and about, Christian schools. The inclusion of material is not an endorsement.
Hopefully these articles, videos and examples from around the world will help parents better understand the different visions of Christian schools. The goal is for parents to be better equipped to ask questions. It may help Christian schools evaluate what messages they are sending out to their community.
Catholic Schools are the largest providers of non-Government education in most countries of the world. This video does not promote a single Catholic Schools but rather the whole movement. It is a clever "life story" told in 60 seconds. There is family, chivalry, a romance, serving people. It simply highlights what is important about life. It doesn't over promise. I like it.
St Edwards College in Gosford on the NSW Central Coast chose to let their students create the promotional video for the school. It means the video is more likely to appeal to other students. This is a great idea. The video has no voice over but a combination of video and photos of classes and sport in action with text on the screen.
Interestingly the students only mention of their faith is in the statement "Proudly Catholic" with a photo. Otherwise the video could have been made for any school - state, independent or Catholic.
The promotional school video was made by students and staff in 2006, and pitched at Year 6 boys. All prospective students receive a copy of the video to take home. It is a good example of what can be created. It is certainly more likely to be watched and enjoyed by year 6 boys than a prospectus.
Here is a Catholic School Mass with a difference. On April 18th, 2010 Sacred Heart College in Geelong Victoria Australia celebrated their 150th Anniversary, with an outdoor mass for 5,000 people, and a day of festivities.
The flashmob dance certainly generated some interest. The entire school community of 1500 students and staff got behind the idea and learned the dance, keeping it secret from family and friends. It was performed twice - in the morning after the mass, and again in the afternoon during the festivities.
Emmanuel College is a Co-ed Catholic School in Warrnambool Victoria Australia. This video gives you a good insight into the life of the school. It may sound a little scripted but I like how it reinforces the idea that students belong to a faith community where they are known, cared for and valued. The video shows that the Catholic faith and practices are a natural part of the school life
Catholic Church schools are in many countries the largest non-government education system. In exploring the internet you will find a lot of interesting articles about Christian Education. As educators it is good to continue learning and being challenged. An encyclical of Pope Pius XI in 1929 is included on the Vatican’s website.
Here is an extract... “...since education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man's last end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, who alone is "the way, the truth and the life," there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education.”
While the language in the article may be different for many readers the heart and vision of the message is the same. Christian education is about the big picture of life. Removing the big picture from schools delivers a poorer education. Christian educators should not feel that they have ever arrived at delivering a “perfect education” but it doesn’t stop stretching towards this goal.
Another quote I liked was “With good reason therefore did St. John Chrysostom say, "What greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young?"
This video starts with a clever collage of kids sharing the vision and mission of St Thomas Aquinas School. This school is a Catholic school. A parent and teacher explains “I wanted My faith and my God integrated throughout their whole curriculum. I want them to embrace in everything they do that God is the purpose for their being”. The school doesn’t just accept but encourages parent involvement. I like the father who says of his children they “know how to make wise choices.”
A great quote for parents to consider is “If you think about the fact that your children are at school for 8 hours a day five days a week I think that it is absolutely critical that you can find a partner in a school that is going to facilitate and reinforce the values you are trying to teach at home.”
This video is not on the Why Christian School DVD. It’s inclusion on this blogsite is not an endorsement of the school. The video is simply included to help parents hear from a variety of staff and parents involved in Christian Schools around the world. If you know of other suitable videos please let us know.
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Why choose a Christian School? It's a question every Christian parent should be willing to ask... and prepared to give a considered answer. This website and videos are designed to help you consider your own beliefs on the role of both education and schools.