Cedars Christian College: Shaping Future Changemakers by Breaking Educational Stereotypes

Cedars Christian College
Cedars Christian College

While strong academic performance is admirable, it represents just one facet of a student’s capabilities. A truly well-rounded student exhibits intellectual curiosity, adept problem-solving skills and a genuine passion for learning that transcends mere test scores. An ideal education encompasses scholastic achievements and nurtures the resilient character necessary for students to confront the progressing challenges of the world. This amalgamation ensures students are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of advancing society.

Driven by a commitment to defy educational stereotypes and foster resilient students, Cedars Christian College has earned the trust of parents by providing the ideal school environment for their children. It is a visionary institution striving to establish itself as a pioneer in education. Rather than viewing students as mere statistics or outcomes, the college recognizes and respects each student as a unique individual.

At Cedars Christian College, the student voice holds significant importance, and the institution aims to remain relevant to this generation while upholding its core values. This commitment to a progressive yet values-driven approach sets Cedars Christian College apart in the educational realm.

Committed to Student Future

Cedars Christian College’s prestige stems from its commitment to advancing each child’s education and, consequently, their future. Its holistic curriculum and innovative educational practices are foundational to propelling students forward, ensuring they’re well-equipped, resilient and empowered.

The success stories of Cedars alumni serve as a vivid testament, inspiring current students with real-world examples of where a Cedars education can take them. Its facilities including the state-of-the-art Vision Centre, coupled with innovative programs such as the new Teacher Trainee School and Leadership Development Programs, highlight its dedication to developing not just students, but visionary, forward-thinking leaders who are prepared to make a meaningful difference in the world.

In an educational landscape that often settles for the status quo, Cedars Christian College distinguishes itself by spearheading an educational movement rooted in timeless values. Rather than conforming to conventional norms, Cedars is committed to cultivating a learning environment that prioritizes enduring principles and beliefs. Its holistic curriculum and facilities like the Vision Centre are physical manifestations of Cedars’ drive to think ahead, preparing students to navigate a world increasingly in need of resilient, empowered individuals.

Enriching the Educational Journeys

Cedars has celebrated numerous achievements, from its exceptional NAPLAN results to the opening of a new Vision Centre, the launch of the Teacher Trainee Program, Alumni Presentations and the inclusive Cedars– ASPIRE initiative, all reflect its commitment to excellence, faith and character—foundations of a Cedars education designed to establish students on all that they value for the future.

Partnership with the Quality Teaching Academy out of Newcastle University ensures teachers are constantly improving practice and delivering a quality pedagogy for their students.

Cedars Christian College offers a suite of unique programs that enrich the educational journey of students. The robust Leadership Programs are designed to develop skills and character from a young age, seamlessly integrating into all levels of education. The Middle School Model specifically caters to guiding students through the pivotal transition from Junior School to Senior College, providing a supportive environment that fosters academic and personal growth.

The Teacher Trainee School is a result of its innovative approach, giving future educators the opportunity for hands-on learning from the onset of their careers. Moreover, weekly Chapel sessions and a distinctive Awards Recognition Program further contribute to a nurturing and inspiring educational experience.

Prioritizing Accessibility and Equity

Cedars prioritises diversity and inclusion by fostering a supportive community where students from various backgrounds, feel safe, supported, and valued. The Assisted Enrolment Program for Refugee Families exemplifies Cedars’ commitment to accessibility and equity. Additionally, the establishment of a new ASPIRE school demonstrates the college’s inclusive ethos, offering students with intellectual impairments and those on the autism spectrum the opportunity to thrive within a quality Christian education framework.

The educational practices are deeply integrated with technology and innovation, reflecting in its comprehensive adoption from Junior to Senior College levels. Students begin in kindergarten with dedicated Chromebooks and interactive classroom tech, evolving into a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment in later years. Middle School harnesses contemporary tools to captivate and educate ensuring a vibrant, tech-enabled learning journey.

Cedars’ commitment to leading-edge practices was recently recognised when the Head of English was invited to speak on a panel about the future of AI in high school education, underscoring Cedars’ role at the forefront of technological integration in learning.

Developing a Sense of Community

Cedars supports holistic student development through a strong Well-being and Pastoral Care Program, with School Psychologists and Counsellors, a Chaplain, and specialists focused on mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Training staff to build resilience and belonging, alongside counselling services that address personal challenges ensures each student feels equipped and confident to succeed in all life’s areas. The college holds regular chapel assemblies for all year groups and this year’s focus is on amplifying Student Voice.

Additionally, Cedars’ tradition of students praying for and encouraging each graduate exemplifies its nurturing of spiritual growth and community support. The college also holds parent workshops on wellbeing for students—this year Cedars is hosting Clinical Psychologist and renowned author Dr Judith Locke to lead workshops for parents on student wellbeing

Encouraging Excellence in All Aspects of Life

Cedars cultivates a culture of excellence by recognising student achievements in various domains through Awards Assemblies and providing a wealth of leadership opportunities. Students connect with successful alumni, serving as inspiring role models and enjoy state-of-the-art facilities like the Vision Centre and dedicated study spaces.

Cedars’ Gifted and Talented programs, along with an extensive range of Co-curricular activities, cater to diverse interests and abilities across all sub-schools. The year culminates in a communitywide assembly where the college honours the accomplishments of students in every field, reinforcing its commitment to nurturing excellence in all aspects of student life.

Cedars Christian College actively pursues collaborations and partnerships to broaden the educational experiences of students. It has several students who participate in the FRC First Robotics Competition with training held onsite, nurturing future tech leaders. The students engage in entrepreneurial pursuits through the Zig Zag Club, with a Cedars student clinching the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022.

The college also partners with the University of Wollongong for Uni Labs, participates in Future Problem Solvers, hosts the Kidz Lit Competition and engages in the Da Vinci Decathlon and external Chess Competitions. Additionally, students compete in the prestigious Australian Mathematics Competition.

Cedars’ community engagement extends well beyond the classroom embodying its vision of making a tangible impact on society. Initiatives like Social

Justice Day and supporting the Red Shield Appeal are just the beginning. The students, staff and families of Cedars unite in actions such as World RefugeeWeek, World Autism Awareness Week, Compassion programs, and local service projects like the Lighthouse Community Kitchen, Nursing Home Visitation, International Women’s Day and Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. This outward-looking approach is a core aspect of Cedars’ holistic education, fostering personal and spiritual growth.

In the relentless pursuit of Excellence, Cedars has expanded its Co-Curricular Music and Performing Arts programs for 2024. Responding to the growing

interest and enthusiasm of students, a dedicated Creative & Performing Arts team has amplified the range and depth of offerings, providing many opportunities for artistic exploration and growth, for our Junior School students all the way through to our Year 12 students.

From the exciting Drama Club and Theatre Sports, from the melodious Choir and Vocal Groups to the captivating Bands and Ensembles, Cedars’ students now have an array of avenues to explore and showcase their talents.

Cedars is continuing to cultivate our value of Excellence, where every student is encouraged to embrace their unique gifts and talents.”

Forward Thinking Mindset

Cedars Christian College’s approach to addressing challenges and adapting to change is anchored in a forward-thinking mindset. The college ensures continued success by being proactive in educational research and adopting evidence-based teaching practices.

Cedars Christian College’s Strategic Master Plan led by its visionary Principal anticipates future educational developments, enabling the college to adapt while maintaining the principles that define the institution. The college blends innovation with tradition ensuring that as the educational landscape advances, students are equipped not only with cutting-edge knowledge but also with timeless values that will guide them through life.

The educational philosophy at Cedars is deeply rooted in Christian ethos where fostering excellence, faith and character takes precedence. The college aims to cultivate a generation that is not only intellectually prepared but also spiritually discerning, ready to lead with integrity in a continually progressing world.

Character development is central to Cedars’ mission, as it equips students to make meaningful contributions, valuing their intrinsic worth beyond achievements. In a society focused on outcomes, the college prioritises the profound question of ‘Who are you going to become?’ ensuring students grow to embody the Christian life to the fullest and navigate the 21st century with a firm foundation in their faith and values.

Cedars’ students possess:

  • Faith in God
  • Respect
  • Self-discipline
  • Compassion
  • Resilience
  • Humility
  • A Spirit of Excellence

Fostering Supportive Environment

Cedars embraces a comprehensive approach to student well-being and mental health, emphasising a supportive and collaborative environment. Its Wellbeing Team including School Counsellors, Health and First Aid Officer, a Chaplain, and therapists, ensures each student feels valued and resilient.

The college engages families and encourages student voice, intertwining well-being practices with academic performance, all driven by evidence-based interventions to enhance the holistic Cedars school experience.

Cedars’ Pulse Program is a way the college can check on each student from Year 5 – 12. A weekly online questionnaire allows students to answer questions about how they are ‘doing.’ Cedars is running a new program called Wellbeing Wednesdays—secondary students are spending time each Wednesday in Pastoral Care groups learning about wellbeing, social and emotional coping skills with the goal of building resilience and improving self-care.

Navigating Future Pathways

The Vision Centre boasts a dedicated full-time Career Advisor committed to providing guidance and inspiration to senior students. Situated within the Careers Department, this advisor’s door is always open to students seeking direction for their future pathways.

The Career Advisor at Cedars Christian College is proactive in designing programs that support seniors in their journey towards a rewarding career post-graduation. From organizing Year 10 Work Experience and offering continual support during that week, to assisting with university entrance schemes and early entry programs, conducting career education classes, and providing personalized assessments and coaching, the focus remains on empowering students to navigate their future with confidence. This commitment reflects Cedars’ passion for guiding students towards fulfilling careers.

Nurturing Future Changemakers

Cedars Christian College prepares students for future success by instilling a vision and purpose that goes beyond academia, empowering them through leadership programs, Careers Programs, mentorship and a deeper faith in God to embrace their future with resilience and character that define a Cedars graduate.

Cedars is dedicated to shaping future changemakers with a forward-thinking mindset focusing on character, leadership and innovation in education. Its expansive vision involves enriching inclusive education programs and enhancing facilities, guided by the Building Master Plan.

The visionary leadership at the college is well-versed in evidence-based pedagogies and supports this vision ensuring that the faculty—selected for their educational prowess and alignment with the Christian ethos—upholds its high standards. By providing clear avenues for leadership development and further education, Cedars is poised to continue its legacy as a top educational institution in the Illawarra, fostering a community of learners prepared to lead with integrity and purpose.

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