Our College Purpose is: To be a caring Christian community that supports families by providing a quality Christ-centred education which develops the whole person for life and eternity.
This reflects our understanding that we play a part in an eternal plan of redemption for our College Community. Christian education must be seen as part of the biblical meta-narrative; it must have a Biblical Worldview. The purpose also recognises the potentially radical influence that young people can have for our world now and for eternity.
Toongabbie Christian College aims to provide students with a twenty-first-century Australian education where a Biblical worldview is integral to learning outcomes. We seek to enable each learner to make connections between God’s purpose in creation and how they might respond in their everyday lives and communities.
The College embraces the understanding that as people made in God’s image, and in the world He made for all to enjoy, everything will fall within the ambit of a single narrative called Christian Schools Australia’s ‘God’s Big Story’.
This is the story of God the creator, a people made in His image, and a world made for us to enjoy in relationship with each other and God. It is a story of rebellion and how its devastating consequences have shaped history. Left to ourselves, we face a bleak future. It is the story of rescue, through Christ’s act of redemption, which could only be initiated by God Himself. A single act in which injustice, pain and abandonment are overcome by sacrificial love: love which makes possible the reconciliation of God and His people — all rebellion has been forgiven. It is the story of what happens next: the restoration of the relationship between God and His people. The bleak prospect of a future without hope is overcome by the promise of a restored creation. Each act of reconciliation in our world is a foretaste and reminder of the ultimate restoration to come. Knowledge of the coming fulfilled kingdom of God, and acceptance that it is only possible because of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, changes everything.
One way of expressing this comes from Christian educator George Knight: ‘All truth, if it be truth indeed, is God’s truth, no matter where it is found’ (Knight, 2006).
If all truth is God’s truth, then what is true, real and of value within the Australian Curriculum/NESA Curriculum is a subset of the bigger truth of God’s overall plans and purposes for humankind. Within this approach, it is implicit for instance that:
- People have inherent worth, equality and dignity because we all are made in the image of God and have a purpose. This will guide our understanding and evaluation of history, sociology, ethics, public policy and so on.
- The world was made by God for people to enjoy and care for as stewards. This, for example, will guide our approach to science and technology (exploring and understanding the extraordinary mysteries of God’s creation), environmental issues (as stewardship), economics (as concerning social justice), engineering (solving problems for the benefit of others) etc.
- All beauty is God’s beauty. This helps shape our appreciation and expression in the fields of music, art, architecture, design and many other forms of human expression.
- All virtue is of God. This helps shape discussions about human dignity, morality and relationships, with all the implications that flow from a careful analysis of God’s ideals for human interaction.
The above are examples of the way in which, if we allow biblical perspectives to illuminate our approach to curriculum, education will be enriched by a bigger narrative in a way that will lead the learner to find meaning, purpose and indeed vocation, within God’s Big Story.
The metaphor of illumination is expressed wonderfully by CS Lewis: ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else‘ (Lewis, 1944).
Jesus of Nazareth put it this way: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12 NIV).
(Source: Connecting Learners with God’s Big Story – Illuminating Curriculum in Australian Christian Schools)