A Christ-centred education fosters resilience

Friday, 28 Jun 2019

Dear Parents

In a recent article in Nurture, a parenting and Christian schooling magazine published by Christian Education National, Paul Arundell writes,

As a young teacher at a Christian school in the 1980s, I noticed several families who had exceptionally resilient children. Inspired, I would ask those parents, “What is the secret of your parenting?” The answer that inevitably came back was, “Unconditional love”. … Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Take a child, add unconditional love, and voila, instant resilient child. Of course, there are many and varied factors that combine to help children to thrive – such as proper nutrition, good role models, regular exercise – and unconditional love sounds simple and almost intuitive: but it is not. The problem is that we live in an incredibly conditional world and often it is not the way we were parented. How many of us have repeated statements like, “If you clean your room you can have an ice cream”, or, “If you pass your test we can go to the movies”? … So when children learn that their worth is conditional upon making their parents happy or look good, then it can open them up to the tyranny of perpetually seeking approval or self-worth from their actions and talents – never understanding, therefore, that their value is actually defined by the fact that God created them to be His image-bearers, deeply loved by Him, and adopted as co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

The highlighted statement above echoes what we believe about each child who attends Tyndale Park Christian School. What does that look like here? TPCS provides a Christ-centred education because the identity our students develop when they understand and accept who Jesus Christ is, enables them to become resilient adults – as Paul Arundell writes so eloquently above.

We deliver a Christ-centred education by loving our students unconditionally as God has loved us. It means that we encourage them to do things that glorify God and benefit their fellowman. In addition, we teach our students that part of unconditional love is forgiveness. God promises us forgiveness in His Word, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And Jesus encourages us to extend others forgiveness in His model prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Although we will hold our students accountable and there are consequences for good and poor decisions, we do not hold their poor decisions against them. When God remove our transgressions from us, He takes it away as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) – so we must forgive and work hard to forget!

We aim to teach our students that part of unconditional love is walking the talk and accountability. Students demonstrate their love for God and others by their actions, i.e. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). Students are held accountable because all actions have consequences.

In conclusion, it is our hope that the students who leave Tyndale Park Christian School will have the resilience needed to be creative, critically thinking disciples of Jesus Christ who not only know how to communicate God’s truth to others but have the character to be citizens who will make a positive impact in God’s world as well – with humility to know when and how to do this with the help of others.

It has been an honour and privilege to partner with you this term for the education of your children. The staff at Tyndale Park Christian School are committed lifelong learners and most of them will be attending the New Zealand Association of Christian Schools Teachers’ Conference from Thursday 4 July to Saturday 6 July. The rest of the holiday we will be resting and preparing for all the exciting learning opportunities ahead of our students in Term 3!


Barend Blom - Principal


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