Christian Education at St Andrew’s Anglican College is founded upon the Christian worldview of the Anglican Church.
The design of a Christian Education curriculum, which is both informative and applicable to 21st century life, is a continuous process. Since 2009, there have been several key educators both within the Christian Education department at the College, as well as other Christian colleagues and Ministers who have played either a contributing or consultative role with the curriculum that we have developed at St Andrew’s Anglican College.
We believe in a team approach to curriculum development where cooperation, respect, diversity and collaboration are all welcome. A team approach will result in a more broad and balanced program than any one person can possibly achieve on their own. The curriculum has been strongly influenced by the Anglican Schools Commission ‘Philosophy and Curriculum Framework 2011’ document and the corresponding 2014 ‘User’s Guide’. The curriculum has been structured in such a way as to intentionally address the two Core Components as well as the six Core Elements which are identified in these documents.
Our approach is to be understanding of the culture in which we find ourselves so as to be able to effectively communicate Christ to the College community.
Our belief is that Scripture and the statements encapsulated by the 39 Articles and the Creeds are foundational in understanding a balanced Christian faith.
We are confident that our philosophy of Christian Ministry will inform the intellect, engage emotion and humble the heart towards knowing and trusting in Christ.
Our desire is to help facilitate a balanced, biblical and believable formation of an individual's faith in Christ.
Assumptions and Values
Christian Education has to be intrinsically engaging and not assessment-driven. Students need opportunities to discover answers to real questions about God and His saving Gospel in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The focus is on “living the faith which we believe” and connecting through a focus on relevant, cultural and age-appropriate issues and resources with an underlying Christian and Biblical foundation for reflection.
- Christian Education is integrated into the overall Christian Ministry approach at St Andrew’s
- Christian Education often has links to Chapels
- Christian Education is taught by the Christian Ministry Team, creating links between classroom, worship and pastoral ministry
- We’re not all Christians and we’re not all Anglicans (understanding our context and culture)
- We don’t assume a Christian faith
- Worship is inclusive, real and experiential
- Christian Education classes are inclusive and informative
- Creating opportunities for voluntary growth and involvement - Communion, Alpha, Confirmation and Baptism
Ultimately, when students leave St Andrew’s:
- They will have a clear intellectual understanding of the Christian Gospel message
- They will have enjoyed a positive experience of Christian Education classes which were interesting, informative, interactive, relevant and relational
- They will have enjoyed a respectful and positive experience of Christian Education teachers who were:
- Authentic Ambassadors
- Good listeners
- Encouraging and affirming
- Accepting and not dogmatic
- Living the faith that they taught.
While we try to deliberately incorporate different aspects of the four different organising Foci (Academic, Faith Based, Vardy’s 5 Strand and Fowler’s Stages of Faith), there is a strong underlying belief that ‘a Faith Based approach’ and ‘Fowler’s’ are the models which best addresses the College’s Mission and culture.
A “Faith Based” or creative approach
Some schools acknowledge that while learning about the Christian faith is important, the experience of faith is more important. Features of a faith based approach to the program will include the following:
- There is a direct connection between faith formation and Christian Education
- The classroom focus acknowledges both the cognitive and affective domains
- Activities/ tasks may or may not be assessed – or may be assessed but not graded
- Simulation games, quizzes and personal writing are used to enable the teacher to assess the effectiveness of the course
- If a report is given, it is more general. For example, it may simply describe the program itself rather than assessing a student’s performance.
At St Andrew’s it is our intent within the Christian Education Curriculum to employ:
- Innovative teaching in the Christian Education classroom
- The effective use of technology in the Christian Education classroom
- The effective use of music in the Christian Education classroom and in worship
- The effective use of storytelling as a basis for Christian Education teaching
- The effective use of the internet and appropriate websites for Christian Education teaching
- The effective use of Powerful PowerPoints and other programs that cater for audio and visual learners in the Christian Education classroom
- The effective use of drama and other human movement activities that cater for kinesthetic learners in the Christian Education classroom
- Certain aspects of the Peter Vardy Model where age appropriate
- Compassionate service as an expression of one’s faith
- An awareness and respect for the diverse beliefs of others both locally and abroad
The St Andrew’s Anglican College Philosophy and Curriculum document has been specifically developed to address the culture of the college and to incorporate the following six aspects of learning:
Engage with the Bible
Students will be given the opportunity to read, understand and learn to apply the Bible to their lives and will be introduced to the concepts of Biblical theology.
Know the Gospel
Students will learn about the life and teaching of Jesus, come to appreciate the significance of His death and resurrection and consider their own response to Him.
Examine different worldviews
In a safe and supportive environment, students will be encouraged to question, discuss and evaluate critically, other worldviews and practices.
Learn about their Christian heritage
Students will have the opportunity to learn about key events and people who have impacted history as they have put their faith into action.
Examine ethical issues
Students will be encouraged to identify the relationship between faith and behaviour as they examine a range of personal and public ethical issues.
Have opportunity for personal spiritual growth
Students will be encouraged to grow in their personal knowledge of God and in their worship, trust and obedience in the context of Christian community, as well as through opportunities to serve others.