What does a 16 year-old want for their future? That was answered by students in Year 10 with some responses that were really encouraging. I trust that just as encouraging for them was the responses shared about what Christian education provides graduates.
Student responses included – confidence, options for jobs, skills for life, a good ATAR and, of course, friends.
The Cardus Education Survey - surveyed more than 4 million Australians from more than 10 000 schools who graduated between 1998 and 2011 and shows that Christian education delivers great results. Here’s some of the key points:
Around 75% of graduates believe that their school emphasised:
- academic excellence
- leadership development
- character development
- preparation for academic success at university
- finding a sense of meaning, purpose or direction in life
There are expectations by parents and students for all schools in these areas and these results are very encouraging.
In relation to results of prioritising relating with people and contributing to the community:
- 67% felt somewhat or very prepared by their school for dealing with personal relationships
- Significantly higher involvement as an active member of a sports/leisure/culture group, church/religious group, business/professional association or a political party
- Highest rate of volunteering in the community
- Highest rate of donations to charities or causes
- Graduates are more likely to get married and stay married
What is shared within contexts of Christian education brings real impact in individuals and then into communities. It is also worth noting that a much higher proportion of graduates maintain and build on their faith (based on the results regarding their view of God as well as attending church, praying or reading the Bible in the last 12 months).
In concluding, the report says, “Each Australian high school graduate is not merely an individual but a member of a community that cannot be said to be flourishing if one of its members is not.”
I was so impressed with what was produced by the students in Year 10 over their three-week period of Senior Summit. They designed websites and apps that assist people with their emotional and social wellbeing. But more than that, they showed genuine maturity as they listened to perspectives about personal and collective goals and showed skills and attitudes that will be very beneficial into personal and professional adult life.
Education at Norwest Christian College helps young people far beyond the classroom and for much longer than just their years with us, but reaches into eternity.