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Term 3, 2018 Tyndale Park Christian School

Dear parents, at the start of the term I thought we were going to have a “quiet” winter term. I couldn’t have been more wrong: this was probably the busiest term this year! We can testify that we serve a God who is “full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15): He gave us strength and equipped us for every challenge this term. Here is a snapshot of some of the teaching and learning highlights of this term.

The Great Kiwi Spelling Bee

A number of our students took part in the Great Kiwi Spelling Bee aimed at Year 5-6 and Year 7-8 students. It is run by The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring and the University of Canterbury. We want to congratulate Wiehan van der Linde who received the highest possible award, “Excellence”, in his category. We also want to commend Bailey Wallace, Daniël Blom, Jade Narayan and Selah Aiono for achieving the second highest award, “Merit”, in their respective categories. Our students’ achievement is testimony to God’s goodness, our students’ areas of strength, our teachers and parents’ dedication, and the rigour of the TPCS curriculum.

Science Fair

Dr Lehan Stemmet, one of the judges at this year’s science fair, commented that the quality of this year’s projects showed a marked improvement over last year. We want to thank students, teachers and parents who have invested the extra time in raising the level of excellence of the event. Many thanks to Mrs van der Linde who contacted various businesses to sponsor our prizes. We are grateful for the generous contributions of Fulton Hogan and Yellow Chili.

We entered our winners of the respective year levels in the NIWA Manukau Science and Technology Fair. We are proud of Lisa Bracefield whose project not only won first place in the Year 9-13 Secondary Consumer Science category but was also awarded a prize for being the Best Year 9 Project. We hope her success encourage our other students that they can also achieve at the NIWA Manukau Science and Technology Fair next year.

We hope to build on the success of this year’s science fair by taking bold steps to make enough time in our schedule for scientific inquiry, using our school property, e.g. the bush, fruit orchard and raised vegetable beds, as a context. God has blessed us with amazing facilities to develop students’ curiosity.

Father’s Day Breakfast

Our senior class hosted our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers for a Father’s Day Breakfast on 1 September. The staff and I are actively looking for ways to encourage the development of Christian service in our students.

The Word teaches us to “honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12) and the “Lord Jesus … said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The Father’s Day event has proved to be an excellent “training ground” for this aspect of our school’s mission. Everyone who managed to attend the event had a great time and were appreciative of the efforts of our students, Mrs Oosthuizen, Mrs Elazegui, Mrs Blom and the other staff members who made it a memorable event.

Marimba Festival

We encouraged as many of our Year 6-10 students as possible to take part in the annual ONZA Marimba Festival that was held in the Barfoot and Thompson Stadium in Kohimarama on Saturday 1 September. Mrs Robyn McQueen, our music teacher, is the president of ONZA. A large number of schools from all over the North Island took part in the event. Every school learned a number of music pieces at their own location in the preceding months. An hour before the official concert everyone came together to form a mass orchestra and practised these pieces for the first time! The resulting concert was inspiring and it was a great educational experience for the students. You can watch a short video of the event by going to the School News section of our website or visiting our school’s Facebook page.

Learning music develops skills our students can use to worship the Lord, i.e. “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals” (Ps 150:3-5), and taking part in a community event, under our staff members’ supervision, enables us to represent Christ - the apostle Paul writes, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” (1 Corinthians 9:22b-23).

ACS Cross Country

A number of our Year 5 to 9 students represented the school at the annual Auckland Christian Schools Cross Country race. We were encouraged by our students’ positive attitude to train and be prepared for the race in the weeks before hand. It definitely helped them because the race was on a tough course with very steep hills. Lisa Bracefield managed to place third in her race, and Daniel Bracefield and Christiaan van der Linde’s efforts in their respective races were commendable. It is great to see our students using their God-given gifts.

Vector EPro 8 Technology Challenge

We entered two teams in the first round of the EPro 8 Challenge, which is a competition, and an engineering and problem solving race. Every year over 9000 students from 800 schools from throughout New Zealand take part. Teams compete to build large sized structures, solve practical problems, engineer using pulleys, motors, gears, wheels and axles, invent, machines that can complete simple tasks, undertake unusual and fun experiments, construct basic electronic circuits and solve interesting problems using practical maths. Our Year 6 team placed second in their round and our Year 8 team narrowly missed a third place. Both teams have qualified for the semifinals in November. We praise God for the result and hope to work with the two teams next term to prepare them adequately for the next challenge.

Vector EPro 8 Technology Challenge 2018

Looking ahead

The Trust Board recently approved 2 Timothy 2:15 as the official profile of a Tyndale Park Christian School student: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. In the next newsletter, I will discuss how this statement will help us be more focused in preparing our students properly for their future and fulfilling our school’s mission statement, i.e. “Tyndale Park Christian School assists parents by providing a Christ-centred education that encourages academic excellence and Christian service to the glory of God”.

I hope you and your children will be able to spend great, quality time together over the next two weeks. The staff will aim to do the same, as well as get ready for Term 4 - a teacher’s work never stops!

Barend Blom – Principal

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