To the Big Picture!

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The Big Picture is a monthly publication from the Principal and senior leadership of Emmanuel Christian School. The Big Picture aims to provide an overview of the school and the direction we see it going in line with our mission and vision. It’s a place where you can also learn more about how the school runs on a day to day basis. 

You’ll hear from our thought leaders about what they think is important and why. It’s a place for careful engagement with the world and our wider community. It’s a place to sit down and read long-form not just in short sound bytes. We hope that you enjoy learning more about your school as we seek to open your child’s mind to life’s possibilities.

This month we hear from;

Christian Education Powers On… by Scott Winkler

Christian Education Powers On

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
— James 2:1

Emmanuel Christian School’s Purpose and Mission are wonderful, guiding statements. In case you have not read them in a while:

Our purpose is to prepare and equip students for life by providing the highest quality Christ-centred education.

Our mission is to educate and nurture our students within a Christian worldview that embraces each person as valuable and unique.

A strength of the four schools under the Christian Schools Tasmania banner are the annual Staff, Parent and Student satisfaction surveys. We had a reasonable representation of families contribute to the surveys. 

Our Christian impact comes out specifically in the School Culture section. Some of the results from families are very encouraging. A selection of them include these excerpts:

  • The school encourages the development of faith in its students — 4.1 out of 5

  • The school’s Biblical basis and faith understandings are  effectively integrated into the school’s curriculum — 4.3 out of 5

  • The school’s Biblical basis and Christian vision are well understood by students, staff and parents — 4.3 out of 5

I am encouraged by these results. We use ‘4’ as our goal, and in these areas, families rated us highly. In fact, all of the School Culture section responses were over the ‘4’ benchmark.

We will not take these results for granted and intend to do all we can always improve. As God tells us through the book of James, which I started with, our faith, our Christianity, is shown by our deeds. We cannot just say we are a Christian School. It has to be obvious in all we do. It is wonderful to live out our faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Primary Production, titled Forty, is a wonderful reflection of the last 40 years or Christian Education at Emmanuel Christian School and the many cultural themes that have come and gone during our years supporting and equipping students. Even though there are constant changes around us, strong Biblical standards and teaching through a Biblical lens will never cease to be a strong foundation for our young people as they prepare for a productive and rich adult life.


 Scott Winkler — Principal

Growth and enrichment

The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.
— Exodus 18:18-19

A strength of Emmanuel Christian School (and all Christian Schools Tasmania schools), are the annual satisfaction surveys. The 2019 round has just been completed. As you are probably aware, we run three surveys simultaneously - one for parents, one for staff and one for students from Grade 5 to Grade 10.

The surveys are important documents that speak directly into the planning processes for the school. They are a series of documents that bring together the whole community, including our CEO and feed into strategic planning from the classroom to the Board.

The student surveys last year were followed up with a series of meeting with students, Mr Roberts, Mr Gillman, our CEO, and myself. One of the key outcomes from these meetings was a greater opportunity for student voice in the school. Initially, a student newspaper was suggested by students. This idea grew into the Media Crew under Mr Roberts’ guidance.

This group produces, amongst other things, a website and has featured in a number of important events which included the Gold and Founding Members event.

Staff and Parent Satisfaction surveys have contributed to the Master Plan development as we prepare to modernise classrooms, redo the courtyard and prepare for continued enrolments. Staff have been setting goals around enhancing academic standards and guiding students into Grade 11 and 12 subjects.

The Bible verse I started with from Exodus related to Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law giving really important advice that transformed the management and leadership of the Israelites. The effort gone into the surveys has a similar impact here at Emmanuel Christian School. Proverbs 15:22 says, ‘Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.’ 

Let’s continue to work together to see growth and enrichment in all aspects of school life in this precious place.


Scott Winkler - Principal

Drama: To teach or not to teach…

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This term my whole brain is taken up with our Primary School production. It is called ‘Forty’ and is based on our school’s fortieth year celebrations. I have been dreaming songs from forty years ago, shows, bible stories and costumes and witty lines and the logistics of having 120 children off and on a stage. Quite a job.

It has got me thinking ‘why?’ Why do we bother? Why do I bother? Why spend hours writing and casting and directing and practising and practising and practising…? To tell you the truth, NOT having the production is a lot easier on myself and the teaching staff. So why do we do it?

My mind immediately jumps back to the Finale of Esther two years ago. 120 children were singing their hearts out, with arm actions; I am royalty, I have destiny, I have been set free, I’m going to shape History (Jesus Culture: The Anthem). It still sends tingles down my spine. Our awesome children declaring their faith in God and belief in a future shaped by Him.

But it’s more than that. I love seeing children grow, see them take on the challenge of learning lines, defeat the fear of performing in front of an audience, find ability within themselves that they didn’t know was there, to sing, act, perform, shine, make others laugh, be part of a huge team, listen for cues, support each other, so many things!

If I think about the idea of a Growth Mindset that Mr Astronaut, I mean Mr Roberts, has been writing about. Drama, and therefore the production, is all about embracing a Growth Mindset and giving students an opportunity to practise it. As Drew said;

‘individuals who possess a Growth Mindset believe that their skills and abilities can be cultivated through effort and perseverance. These individuals view tough situations as challenges and are willing to apply multiple strategies or seek assistance to solve the problem’.

Dancing, acting, staging, singing, learning lines and characters, are all skills that require effort and perseverance. This last week I have watched 37 Grade 5/6 students struggle with learning, ‘The Nutbush’ dance and all dance together on the stage. Some refused at first, then struggled, then pushed through and finally, all of them were laughing and performing together. Some vocalised that they were struggling, and so others came beside them and helped. Now I smile when I’m on playground duty and I see groups of children dancing and practising together.

So the production is about the performance, but it’s also about students stretching, growing, failing and learning new skills, feeling a part of our wonderful and encouraging community, knowing they have a place, that they are seen and valued, not only by us their teachers and parents, but also by their creator God who looks on them with such love and pride.

Please come and support us September 25th and 26th. Prepare to be amazed! 

Annie Joy - Primary Coordinatior