Why a Small School?

Berowra Christian School has always been a small school and it is something that sets us apart from the other schools in our area. While some may see size as a negative, the staff and community of BCS see this as one of our strengths and what makes us so special.

Being a small school doesn’t mean small on opportunity. In reality being a small school means that students have lots of opportunities that they wouldn’t necessarily experience in a larger school. Berowra Christian School is part of CSSA (Christian Schools Sports Association) which provides opportunities for students to compete in a range of sporting competitions. And being a small school a large proportion get to represent our school at the ‘Zone’ level for swimming, athletics and cross country.

Being a small school also means that each child is known. Each teacher, whether teaching 5-6, Kindy or working in administration knows each child. They know the child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, quirks and any particular need that they have. This means that you can be sure that your child is being looked after, cared for and that their learning is being adjusted to ensure they are being as engaged as possible in the life of the school and classroom.

Other opportunities that the school provide beyond sport include:

– Art (taught by specialist),

– Music (taught by specialist),

– Choir,

– Band,

– Inter-school debating competitions, and

– Leadership Program for all Year Six students.

 

 

Below are some of the questions or concerns that often get raised and our response to them. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us and we would be happy to discuss.

 

1. Your playground is quite small. Does this limit student play?

2. How do students from a small school adjust to high school?

3. What’s the connection with Berowra Baptist Church? Do I need to be a Baptist or Christian?

4. Being small limits children’s social development. 

5. Do composite classes allow for each child to be engaged in learning?

 

1. Your playground is quite small. Does this limit student play?

Being a small school means we don’t need large amounts of space. The size of our playground is actually not unusual for many schools, especially considering the establishment of many new schools in already developed areas. We find that students still run, skip, hoola-hoop, play tip, and organise games of soccer and handball as you would find in any other school in the area. We do however, understand that there are benefits of playing on grass. We are fortunate to be very close to Berowra Oval and every Tuesday our students have an extended lunch in which they get to go to Berowra Oval to play. Students also regularly use the oval for school sport on Thursday and it is not an uncommon occurrence for classes to walk to the oval for addition activities and games.

 

2. How do students from a small school adjust to high school?

We have found that our students make a very smooth transition to high school, with a significant proportion going on to become captains, prefects and other leaders in their school. There are several reasons for this.
One of the reasons is that during Year 6, all students have the opportunity to be part of our Experience Leadership program. This allows students to lead assemblies, morning lines and to take roles of responsibility in many other events. This enables students to develop leadership skills and to develop self confidence which is important for embracing the changes and challenges of high school.
Another reason why our students experience success in high school is that due to being a smaller school our students naturally engage with students that are both older and younger than themselves. Through the school’s partner system they learn to relate to other students who are a different age and have different interests.

 

3. What’s the connection with Berowra Baptist Church? Do I need to be a Baptist or Christian?

Berowra Christian School started as a ministry of Berowra Baptist Church over 30 years ago. Over the years it has kept close ties with the school; however, it has established its own identity and character. The staff at BCS come from a variety of different churches and denominations but all share a common faith and hold to the schools statement of faith.
Likewise, the school community is varied and diverse in their backgrounds and faiths. Many of our families attend a local church, however this is not a requirement. What is a requirement is that families respect and support the Christian ethos of the school.

 

4. Being small limits children’s social development.

 We love the social interactions that develop and occur at BCS on a daily basis. BCS is special in that students interact and engage with all the students in the school. In larger schools students will tend to only socialise with those in their class or year which limits the chances to develop wider social skills. At BCS is is wonderful to see senior students playing with the younger and the encouragement, support  and sense of belonging that this creates.

 

5. Do composite classes allow for each child to be engaged in learning?

The simple answer is, no. Whichever class your child is in across Australia there will be a large range of abilities in all subject areas. There is always likely to be some working at a higher level and some at a lower level and it is the teachers role to ensure that all students are receiving instruction at their particular level. This in no different in a composite class. Students who need extending are able to be extended and those who need extra support are able to receive it as they work with peers with similar understanding.
One aspect of composite classes which can be of particular benefit when used well is that students are able to be inspired by the work that the older students are creating. It helps students see where they are going in terms of learning. Likewise the older students are able to reflect on how far they have come. It is of great encouragement for students to be able to see how much they have learnt by looking back and seeing where they started.