At Illawarra Christian School we believe that parents are called to raise and educate their children. It is the parents’ responsibility to “train their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4) and to equip them to live for God’s glory. Our purpose as a school is to partner with parents in this important task.
Genuine partnership involves reciprocal accountability and support. Parents respect the training and expertise of teachers, and the school involves parents in genuine decision-making about the governance, life, practice and outcomes of the school. Parent involvement is not limited to fund-raising or reading in the classroom. In genuine partnership, parents share the mission and vision of the school, support school policies, contribute to building school community and culture, ensure they meet their moral obligations in relation to the school regarding communication and finances, and actively seek to promote the school in the wider community.
Engage is our parent partnership program. It consists of a number of different key events and networks that will help facilitate meaningful partnership between parents and carers and the school.
SEQTA Engage is the online learning management system we use to communicate between staff and students, and between staff and parents. It enables parents to engage with the learning activities of their children, to be informed about their children’s progress, and to communicated effectively with school staff.
This is a key way for us to communicate with our school community. We send home a newsletter each term, and we post frequently on our pages on Facebook and Instagram. Our social media platforms, particularly, provide parents with a glimpse beyond the school gate and enable them to interact with us and each other about day-to-day life at Illawarra Christian School.
Class social networks
Being involved in the social networks which exist within your child’s class or year group is a key way for families to support each other throughout the school journey.
We encourage families to participate in year group activities as a means of forming friendships with other families within the school community, including the parents of their children’s friends. Class parent representatives play a vital role in building our community.
The School Association
All Christian parents are encouraged to become members of the Association. Illawarra Christian Education seeks to be a vibrant, healthy, mutually supportive community working together. By joining, you can have a say and provide direction for the ongoing vision and mission of the school. A strong association membership ensures our school continues to teach from a biblical perspective. The Association has several roles, one of which is to elect a board.
Engage afternoons and evenings
Engage events are held regularly throughout the year. These events will provide workshops and information sessions for parents to support their children’s learning and development. These will include subject selection information evenings, study skills sessions etc. In addition, Engage events will provide opportunities for parents to meet with staff to discuss their children’s progress. Parent-Teacher conversations play a vital role in maintaining communication about student learning and development. It is an expectation that parents will make every effort to attend Engage events.
Our school cafe, With One, is run by parent volunteers on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The first Thursday of the month, at 9am, the cafe will host a small information session for parents on matters of interest to the school community, while parents enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate. The third Thursday of the month, With One hosts a prayer meeting with the school principal at 9am.
There are many areas in which parents can directly support the work of the school by serving as a volunteer. This can include providing assistance within the classroom context, parents helping with reading in K-2, coaching sporting teams, helping in the office or libraries, going on excursions, and more.
Every family is required to attend one working bee a year. Families ought to attend the working bee aimed at their youngest child’s cohort. Working bees help to build community but also to maintain our school facilities. Families in attendance enjoy morning tea and complete a range of helpful jobs around the school grounds.
The ICS committee
The ICS committee is a sub committee of the board. The committee helps build the community within our school and to raise funds for school projects. Parents are strongly encouraged to be involved in the activities organised by the committee, including the annual Twilight Fete, fundraising activities and community events.
A parent handbook is produced each year to assist families in knowing some of the day-to-day practical aspects of school life.
Special events are held throughout the school year. These include graduations, dedication services, special assemblies, morning teas and more. We love to see parents at these events as well as at our regular assemblies each week.