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Heartbeat of Our School

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The three R's of Spiritual Formation

More than 100 years ago educationists would begin emphasizing the importance of 'the three R's of academics and schooling' - reading, (w)riting and 'rithmetic. Even today these basic fundamentals are recognized as essential elements of good schooling. At The King's School, our academic programme places enormous emphasis on these basic skills, especially in the Foundation Phase, but also in the more senior grades up to Matric.

Yet our school programme is not only about academics. We also consider Skills, Spiritual Formation and Biblical Worldview as essential components of a well-rounded Christ-centric education. In the area of Spiritual Formation, we realize that God, by His Holy Spirit, is at work moulding and forming his own into an ever-increasing likeness to his Son Jesus Christ. It is our privilege as a school to partner in this process, helping to point children to Christ and encouraging the development of Christian character and values.

Our Spiritual Formation programme may also be said to have three R's as fundamental outcomes of good training.

  • Resilience,

  • Response to authority, and

  • Resource of righteousness

Resiliency is a relatively new field in Social Sciences. It refers to an individual's capacity to 'bounce back' or endure in the face of tough challenges, rather than see themselves as passive victims of their circumstances. In our Spiritual Formation programme, we stress to our children that they are not helpless victims, but that they are children of the most high God, who holds them in the palm of his hand. This does not mean that they are exempt from difficult and challenging circumstances, but it does help them to search for meaning and purpose in those tough times they will inevitably experience, whether those tough times be homework tasks or relationship strain or failed expectations. And then our Spiritual Formation programme aims at enhancing the development of Biblically based values that are faithful and true helpmates to increase our resilience.

Correct response to authority is another fundamental aspect of our Spiritual Formation programme. All of us may have our own 'better way' when it comes to uniform regulations, class rules or code of conduct, but Christ has modeled for us an honoring of authority that we should emulate. When he sees that there might be another way to go, he says "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42 NIV). Jesus understood the importance of obedience, and we need to teach our children this important value.

Our Spiritual Formation programme leads children to understand that they are a resource of righteousness to the community around them. We are created to serve - to be God's hands, heart and voice to a desperate world. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, famous Christian author, says in his book 'Life Together' that people who seek to live for themselves alone inevitably 'plunge themselves into the bottomless pit of vanity, self-infatuation and despair'. God created us for community. He wants us to be active participants in his ministry of reconciliation.

Parents, please partner with us as we train our children for a life of honoring and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).

Ken Langley.

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