2019 in review

Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

Dear parents and students, God has blessed us with a truly amazing year, and it has been such a privilege to partner with you. Here is a quick summary of 2019 ...

Growth in partnership

We end the school year with a school roll of just over 130 students, the most students we have had enrolled in a number of years, and, God willing, we will start 2020 with just over 140 students. We praise the Lord for the growth because not only are we able to offer a Christian education to more students but an increase in student numbers also enables us to continually improve the quality of the education that we are able to offer as a smaller school. Can I encourage you to continue to bring the school before God in prayer? We want to enable as many families as possible to partner with us, but we need God’s wisdom to know how we accommodate the growing number of students on our school’s waiting list.

It has been great to see parents at the variety of community events we hosted this year, such as the Parents’ Orientation, Fathers’ Day Breakfast, Tyndale Park Christian School Open Day, Keeping Your Child Safe in the Online Jungle Evening, Working Bee, Parakai Springs Family Trip and Thanksgiving Assembly, as well as offering your support during our field trips and sport trips.

Striving for excellence

We praise God for His favour! Our students have achieved academic and sporting success in a number of areas this year. Here are some reminders. Our primary chess team managed to win the local cluster tournament and went through to the Auckland regional tournament, where they represented the school well. Our Auckland Christian Schools’ sports teams did well this year, often placing in the top three of their respective divisions. Our students took part in a number of national Olympiads, based on their areas of strength, like the New Zealand Spelling Bee and the Great Kiwi English, Science and Maths Competition, with some students being awarded Merit and Excellence for their efforts. We were proud of all of our primary classes and the intermediate students’ science fair projects. Room 3’s project was recognised with an Auckland Mayoral Award for the best School Project in Howick Ward’s Pest Free Category, and David Narayanan’s project was honoured with a second place in the Secondary Consumer Science Category of the NIWA Science and Technology Fair for the Manukau region. Our Year 5-6 and Year 7-8 Vector EPro 8 Engineering Challenge teams again did well in their respective regional competitions.

Through partnerships with community organisations, we were able to offer our students a variety of special training opportunities to extend their sporting knowledge and skills. Room 3 participated in the Community Swim Programme. A number of our classes across the school learned the basics of golf from SNAG Academy and cricket from Auckland Cricket.

Students were offered a number of educational experiences outside of the classroom as well, e.g. Port of Auckland Discovery Cruise, Eye on Nature Field Trip, Murphys Bush Discovery Trip, Science Road Show, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra Mousike Ensemble and Kiwi Kapers Concert, High School Careers’ Expo, Film Crew for the Interface Xpo 2019, Chelsea Factory School Tour and the Confident Christianity Conference.

Our older students made history by taking part in the first-ever Indigitous Ed High School Hackathon. The purpose of the day was to create a digital retelling of Jesus’s healing of the paralytic man (Matthew 9: 1-8, Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:17-26) using a Māori soundtrack. We praise God for the opportunity our students have had to be part of a project to make the Good News of Jesus Christ available in another language using one of the major communication media of our time.

This year the staff specifically focused on improving our school’s literacy programme. Many parents choose our school because our New Entrant Phonics Programme has enabled many students to decode text successfully for more than two decades. So how do you improve something that works so well? After some initial testing, we realised that the staff need to find more ways to extend students’ comprehension of text and we are excited about the improvements we have seen in our students' ability to truly read.

Practising Christian service

Our students are given daily opportunities to practise Christian service in the classroom. However, we also want to mention some of 2019’s extraordinary service. Our seniors blessed our community with a well-organised, fun-filled Fathers’ Day Breakfast and our annual Working Bee had the highest turnout in a number of years! Some of our older students helped the Trust Board host a pastors’ morning tea at our school and our Year 8 to 13 students did a stellar job during our Senior Service Day the past week to clean out and reorganise some of our storage spaces and classrooms.

Grateful for your generosity

We want to thank you for your generous donations in 2019. It has made a visible difference, enabling us to have a specialist complete the final levelling and planting of our sports field. The field was finally opened at the start of Term 4, after years of sacrificial commitment and many hours of work by an army of volunteers. Our students are loving their new space and we are looking forward to the sporting possibilities the field will offer us in the future. Auckland Cricket already used the field this term to teach our students basic cricket skills. Sport is an essential component of a balanced academic programme.

Your generosity has also enabled us to purchase a number of new classroom resources as well as library books, and we hope to renovate the library during the autumn holiday in April 2020.

Conclusion

I am sure you will now understand why the staff and I are so grateful to God for a most blessed year. If your family has a tradition to remember the birth of Jesus Christ this time of year, may Christ bring light to your Christmas celebrations. He said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:32).

The staff and I hope that you will be able to make lots of great memories this summer holiday. It has been an honour and privilege to serve you this year.

Barend Blom

Principal

Cricket on 11 December 2019

p 09 274 9771   e admin@tyndalepark.school.nz   a 206 Murphys Road, Flat Bush, Auckland 2019