to the Anglican Schools Office
The Anglican Schools Office exists to support, resource, provide training opportunities and build fellowship between the Chaplains and Religious Education teachers working in its associated schools in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and encourage interaction between the schools and the church.
These past few months have seen a number of new ventures beginning. Work is underway to provide a comprehensive “Christian Contemplation Curriculum” which will be made available to all our schools, free of charge, hopefully from the start of next year. Read more about why we believe this is a valuable alternative to “Mindfulness” in our newsletter (posted under the ‘News’ section of this website). Secondly, a group of chaplains, bishops and theologians have begun meeting to design a new “Theology” course for Middle School. This is an exciting development for many reasons. The whole programme will be enquiry based and will explore a number of worldviews while also honestly offering the Christian understanding of key questions for discussion. The School of Theology at Otago University is working closely with us on the course, and will provide targeted PD for teachers who choose to be part of the course’s pilot group. We have also launched the first “Spirit Port”: a chance for senior students to have a voice in how the various plans growing from the Schools’ Office are developed. We hope to gather similar groups in Christchurch, Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Hamilton.
The other exciting thing is the number of schools who have taken up the offer of Professional Development in our Anglican identity for the full staff of their schools. Some schools have already worked through the first two sessions, and many others have completed the first and have the second lined up. Craighead has even arranged for a similar session to be run with its senior students! It is only one stage in the task of embedding our identity across the whole of school life, but it indicates that the desire of our schools to live that identity with integrity is a genuine one.
This is a theme which will be taken up in more detail at next year’s Anglican Schools’ Conference, which 2017 will be from May 24th—26th. Put it in your calendar now, and again read more about in this newsletter.
Bless you all in your many and varied ministries!