2021, here we come!

Friday, 26 Feb 2021

Dear parents, if you are new to Tyndale Park Christian School, we want to extend you a very warm welcome. We also want you to know that you are an answer to our prayers: we have been asking the Lord to increase our numbers and believe that God, being the loving Father He is, has inspired each one of you to partner with us for the education of your child(ren). Returning families, you remain an answer to prayer, and it is an honour and privilege to continue partnering with you for your child(ren)’s education.

On 25 May, the school will celebrate its 40th birthday. We are incredibly grateful to God for the way in which He has faithfully led and sustained us the past four decades. Although much has changed since 1981, the reasons for our existence have not. Our motto remains "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Board of the Tyndale Park Christian School Trust measures the success of the school based on the principles in our Trust Board Constitution that are succinctly summarised in our mission statement, i.e., "Tyndale Park Christian School assists parents by providing a Christ-centred curriculum that encourages academic excellence and Christian service to the glory of God".

Assisting parents

The first digital notice to parents via our school app and mailing list for 2021 stated, "Your child(ren)’s teacher would love to meet with you ...", and I want to assure you that we take this seriously and really mean it. As the staff reflected on the impact of the growth God has brought to our school, our school roll exceeding 160 students this year, and learn how to deal with the added daily stress of a worldwide pandemic, we have had to create a bit more structure around how these meetings occur. Some of this structure may take some time to get used to, but I want to assure you that our commitment to assist parents have not changed at all. We love to have parents at our school (as our prospectus clearly states).

To better serve you and improve the quality of the instruction we offer to our students, we kindly want to appeal to parents to follow the visiting schedule below if you want to briefly touch base with your child(ren)'s teacher.

·       Parents are welcome to touch base with our teachers without prior appointment on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesday and Friday afternoons, unless the classroom teacher makes a different arrangement with you. We will endeavour to put signs on classroom doors to clarify teachers' availability during the week.

·       When you stop by for an informal catch up, please be mindful of other parents that may also want to see your child(ren)'s teacher.

·       Please do not be offended if a teacher needs to cut a conversation short to attend to other parents or make a final preparation for the first class of the day. If this needs to happen, you will be invited to make an appointment with your child(ren)'s classroom teacher at another time.

·       The reason staff members are not necessarily available on Monday morning and afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning is that these times are usually needed for staff meetings and other commitments that are difficult to schedule for another time and play a significant role in the quality of the education we are able to offer.

·       If it is impossible for you to catch up with a teacher during the times teachers are available without prior appointment, we invite you to make an appointment via our school secretary (or with the schoolteacher) for a different time. I cannot emphasise enough that our commitment to partner with parents has not changed. We can serve you better if we know in advance that you have a specific concern about your child and you want to meet with us about it.

·       Lastly, we may need to continue to tweak how we best serve your needs, and we ask that you will be patient as we work out a solution that is in the best interest of students, parents and teachers.

Christ-centred curriculum

We endeavour to offer a curriculum that will introduce students to their Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to His teachings, as He instructed, i.e. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, ... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you ..." (excerpt from Matthew 28:18-20). We believe students that understand Whose they are, and that their lives have purpose and meaning in Christ, will go into the world and transform the communities they find themselves in as they use the talents that God has blessed them with for the glory of God.

The staff have started to teach our students what it means to be a community that exhibits the values of Colossians 3:12-17 in everything that we do. These values will be visible in our classrooms as well as certain areas around our campus in the weeks ahead, and we will encourage our students to live it out consistently. Perhaps you want to study this passage as part of your family devotional time as well?

Academic excellence

The teaching staff are always looking for ways to improve the quality of our academic programme. This year we will specifically look at ways to improve students' writing. Writing improves students' literary understanding and it gives them skills to retell God's story in a convincing way.

We will also try to start addressing any gaps in students' learning due to the two lockdowns of 2020. Remote learning, totalling about 7 weeks of the academic calendar last year, limited the breadth of the academic programme as well as having varying degrees of impact on the depth of the academic programme we were able to offer last year. It became abundantly clear that although there were students who relished the opportunity to engage with their work from home, most students and their families found it very challenging.

Most of our high school students confirmed what researchers knew about how teenagers learn: their academic achievement benefit from a social context, such as a school, due to the accountability structures available to them and the healthy social pressure they experience there. When a learning-focused social context can be mimicked during remote learning, it is easier for high school students to make progress like being at school.

Christian service

Research by Barna has shown that students who are given opportunities to actively live out Jesus' teachings through service are more likely to remain active in their church as adults. Their findings don’t come as a surprise, since the Bible teaches that "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17).

We are taking steps to improve the way we realise this important aspect of our mission statement. In addition, we encourage you to find as many opportunities as possible for your child(ren) to serve at home, in church and in your community. Not only will it enable them to better understand the Scriptures, but it will also develop their character - especially gratitude, humility, and resilience.

In conclusion

We look forward to partnering with you this year for your child(ren)'s education. We want to thank every family who was able to attend our first parent-teacher event of the year, the Parent Orientation, on Thursday evening 25 February. It was great to spend time with you and to get to know you better.

If you have been unable to make it, please contact your child(ren)’s classroom teacher so that they can explain how you can support us with your child(ren)’s learning – we are in partnership!

Barend Blom – Principal

Tyndale Park Christian School - 40 years old this year

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