Vision & Mission
In Christ Our Best.
"In partnership with parents, Strathalbyn Christian College aims to make known the Lordship of Jesus Christ through excellence in education to equip students for works of service".
In partnership with parents...
In a college, which deals primarily with children, why would our Mission Statement begin by talking about parents? Parents receive their children from God. He entrusts parents with the complete care of their children. Parents are responsible to clothe, feed, love, protect ... and educate their children. One day God will require an account of the way parents have brought up their children. This parental responsibility is huge! Thankfully it is comes with many joys and blessings as we see children grow and mature.
When children are enrolled in our College none of this responsibility is taken away from parents. Assistance is pledged in the task of educating children. It is like a group of home schooling families coming together and employing expert teachers and administrative staff, having well established grounds and develop curriculum. Parental input is encouraged in the running of our College through such channels as the Association meetings and Parents Club, through policy discussion and by talking to staff.
When the founding parents started our College they formed an Association. This Association has the legal and final authority in the running of our College. Parents can choose to be full members of our Association. The Association (parents) votes to elect a Board of Directors. These Directors meet each month and oversee the direction of the College. The Board employ a CEO to make sure the day to day running of the College occurs within the legal and moral framework that the Association sets. In a very real way the oversight and governance of our College is controlled by the parents who send their children to the College. This is a unique and amazing model of governance in education.
Parental control does not mean that a parent can walk into a class and tell a teacher what to teach, or demand that a book be included or excluded from the Library. It does mean that parents can have input into the policies which govern how we operate.
Strathalbyn Christian College aims to make known the Lordship of Jesus...
In a College, which deals primarily with education, why would our mission statement talk about the Lordship of Jesus? Our society has grown up with the common belief that ‘faith’ is a personal matter that concerns morality and personal salvation of the soul.
Our College stands as a testament that there is another, more Biblical, way of understanding faith.
The phrase ‘Lordship of Jesus’ expresses an understanding that everything, physical, emotional, social, academic … falls under the authority of God. The false categories of secular and sacred do not exist. All things exist for His glory. Too often we compartmentalise life into things which belong to God (or the spiritual, ethical, moral realm) and those things which are common (physical, intellectual, practical, every day). This division of the world is a false and ultimately devastating view. It separates the Creator from the creation.
If we try to separate God from any area the result is a deformed, dim reflection of its intended purpose. If we take God out of the workplace we see the result of endless toil, a chasing after the false dream of financial security and dehumanisation. If we take God out of the arts we see the perversion of fame, the twisting of truth and the destruction of beauty.
Our College was established to bring education under the Lordship of Jesus. When we proclaim Jesus as the Lord of our learning, see things through His eyes and value what He values:
- Writing becomes the tool for valuable, honouring communication,
- Maths and the Sciences become tools for exploring his creation,
- The Arts become vehicles for expressing our God given creativity and forms of telling truth, and
- History is seen as an unfolding story of God’s presence in the world.
It is often said that education is the key to solving many of today’s woes. Education is not the key. Education can (if devoid from God) simply create clever criminals. Without an understanding of the Lordship of Jesus, knowledge becomes an autonomous ‘monster’ which can maim as well as cure. The joy of fireworks and the destructive force of a bomb both come from the same knowledge, however their purposes clash completely. Fireworks bring community together, enhance celebration and bring joy (all of which can reflect the Lordship of Jesus), bombs destroy, cause pain, suffering and destruction.
It is our desire that the education offered at Strath will be used in ways which bring Glory to the Creator.
through excellence in education ...
The practical outworking of the rest of this Mission Statement finds its expression in this line. We are a College. We have teachers and students and we are involved in education. Not just any type of education but ‘excellence’ in education.
Excellence can be defined in many different ways. Our College has received many awards and through the history of the College has many examples where students have been rewarded for achieving excellence. The College’s TEE ranking for Year 12 student performance in 2006 placed us above any other secondary school in Geraldton and we only just missed out in being in the top 20 in the whole state. Some may certainly count this as a measure of academic excellence. Our students perform exceptionally well in the arts with the prestigious Shakespeare Scholarship being won by one of our students in 2006 (this is the second time our College has been selected for this national award). The achievements of our swim team at the statewide Catholic championships may certainly be a demonstration of excellence.
These are measures of success and should be celebrated as a community. Yet I believe excellence is not something which can be determined by output. Excellence, simply put is ‘doing your best’; pushing yourself to achieve the very best that you are able. Excellence is a deeply personal desire to push yourself past the point of ‘average’ to strive toward the very best possible. This type of desire is not something which is typical in our Australian culture. Our quality of life, peace, economy and laid back attitude unfortunately hinders the spirit of excellence. Geraldton is one of the nicest places to live, life here is relaxed and generally easy. With the current mining boom and low employment rates it is easy for our students to get the impression that ‘things will be okay … why we should worry about anything more than a 50% pass? Our Mission Statement compels us to attack this spirit of mediocrity. We must encourage ourselves and our students that we aim to do our best because that is what is required of us by our God. He has entrusted us with many gifts, some academic, some physical, some financial. We are responsible to nurture and grow these gifts for His glory.
to equip students for works of service ...
It is in the final line of our Mission Statement that the outworking of the other three lines finds fulfillment. The end product of education at our College is action - action that serves others. Education is not an individualistic, selfish act of ‘getting as much knowledge as I can, so I can get the best job, so I can earn lots of money’ type of activity at Strathalbyn Christian College. Education is a communal journey of learning and equipping so that we can serve others with our new found gifts and knowledge. It is through service to others that we as individuals find fulfillment in our education. It is the desire of Staff for students to see learning as a privilege. However with privilege comes responsibility. The more we learn the more we are responsible to help others. The Bible says in Luke chapter 12 that ‘From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required…’ In this context everything we learn actually adds more responsibility to serve others with increased knowledge.
Our College has numbers of ways in which we show works of service. Each week of the year one student faithfully bring the rubbish bins back from the curb after they have been emptied; this is their way of serving the College community. Year 8 students go to the Arboretum next to our College during Term three and weed the imported grasses and help look after this area; this is their way of blessing the community of Strathalbyn. The Year 10 students go on a Mission Trip to places like Tom Price and Karratha and bless these communities with the skills they have learned in Dance, Drama, Music and other works of service. This element of service work has been an important part of our College culture for many years. It is interesting to note that the Government has recently introduced a compulsory element of works of service for all students. In order to graduate from every school in WA, students will soon be required to complete a set number of hours of service work. It’s great to know that once again Strathalbyn Christian College is in the fore-front of educational direction.
To summarize on our wonderful Mission Statement:
The end result of education at our College should see a student who knows they are in community with other people, who knows their true identity in Jesus Christ, who is striving for excellence in all they do and who uses their skills to bless those around them.