Communication Changes

I am pleased to announce that from the beginning of Term 3 we will be transitioning the Calvin Newsletter to a direct email format.


In recent weeks we have been conducting a review of our communication to the community. The importance of our weekly newsletter was affirmed. I am pleased to announce that from the beginning of Term 3 we will be transitioning the Calvin Newsletter to a direct email format. This will allow parents to read the weekly newsletter within their email. This will reduce the number of screens to navigate through and remove the necessity to visit our website and then download a PDF file. I hope that this makes for a more convenient encounter. 

There will also be a number of changes with the format. The appearance of the regular first page, ‘From the Principal’, will change. The opening lines of the article will be visible and by clicking ‘read more’ the remainder may be accessed. This article will also be available in full length as a communiqué via our website

In addition, there will no longer be a regular article by our Deputy Principal – Head of Primary, Mr Nash. This information will be offered as content within the magazine, or as part of our Facebook feeds, or when Mr Nash authors a front-page article. The Deputy Principal – Head of Secondary, Mrs Moroni will also contribute a front-page article from time to time.

If you have any feedback about these changes I invite you to complete a feedback form available in the Parents section of our website

These changes bring our school into line with industry best practice and we are confident that this will improve your experience with our communication.

Staffing News
I want to express my appreciation to Mrs Alison Whiteley for her work this term as the Acting Head of Students during Mrs Carmichael’s long service leave. Mrs Whiteley has fulfilled the duties of this role with energy and competence. She has provided effective leadership to the Heads of Year as well as making valuable and insightful contributions to the meetings of the school’s Senior Leadership team. Mrs Whiteley will return to her accustomed role as Careers Officer and Head of Year 12 just in time for the busy period of subject selection, career planning interviews, and the journey with our Year 12 students to examinations.

Reporting News
At the conclusion of the semester we issue a formal report to summarise the academic progress of students. I am delighted to observe that students are engaging in developing their learning habits and orientation to progress their grades in a more universal manner. It is my opinion that the contribution of the work that has been done in the Primary School around the theme Attitude Matters, and around goal setting in the Secondary School, has been significant in this shift. As is my preference, I have just written a remark on every student’s report from Year 4 to Year 12. From this perspective, there is a noticeable difference from previous years. 

Again, I affirm the importance of parents, students, and teachers connecting at the parent/teacher evenings in the Secondary School at the commencement of next term. 

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all families the best for the school holidays. I am well aware that many parents and carers work through this time, or have to take leave. In light of this, I am appreciative of the challenge that some families experience with the extra week of break that affords us the opportunity to have a concentrated time of professional development with our staff. The initiatives that we are able to undertake in this week directly affect the safety and educational quality of the offering at Calvin. In addition to the activities of the third week, which is compulsory for all staff, a dozen or so teachers are attending the International Christian Worldview Conference in Adelaide in the second week.

Iain Belôt - Principal

Building Character

We advocate that character is built in all venues and arenas. We reject the notion… that the classroom makes no contribution to character development.


Ten years after the Battle of Waterloo, while watching a cricket match at Eton, the Duke of Wellington was overheard to say: ‘The Battle of Waterloo was won here’. Of course, the man who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo did not literally mean that old scholars from Eton College actually had won the battle. He meant merely that the games and sports at British colleges developed qualities in men that made them good soldiers. This original utterance was polished up and made famous as, ‘The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton’.

Christian character is our business at Calvin.

We advocate that character is built in all venues and arenas. We reject the notion implicit in the Duke’s statement that the classroom makes no contribution to character development. 

Christian character is our business at Calvin.

Our approach is holistic. We desire and plan to focus on the whole child: body, soul and spirit. Thus, our academic and co-curricular activities in their entirety make a direct contribution to building character. The ideal involvement by a student is a holistic one. It is ideal that students become involved in classrooms, sporting fields activities (for both their house and school), academic extension activities, debating, chess, service programs, and other initiatives. We are multifaceted people and the involvement in a broad range of initiatives is critical to develop our full persona and attributes. Jim Dailey writes that

"[t]he fires of trial not only test our faith but also refine our character. Scripture is clear that we are never exempt or pre-empted from that. There is no such thing as a victory without a battle. Often people dream of “the victorious life” as being some secret that we arrive at by so completely mastering every circumstance that there are no longer such things as trials. That simply isn’t true.”


This is a point that I am regularly making as I write on the reports of every student in Year 4 to Year 12. The battle is a test of commitment, and our response is a method of developing character. It does not matter in which arenas we experience trials. It matters that we experience as many trials as possible. These learning opportunities build our emotional resolve, resilience and ability to problem solve, and assist in our understanding the reality that our future lies beyond our comfort zone. 

It matters that we experience as many trials as possible. These learning opportunities build our emotional resolve...

Providing the opportunity to build Christian character is the vital purpose to the construction of the curriculum and co-curricular program at Calvin. Involvement is wonderful. Improvement in maturity, skill and temperament is precious. 

The most recent contribution to personal growth at Calvin in this regard is a systemic emphasis on setting goals. All students in the secondary school consciously set academic goals in the first few weeks of Term One. Students in the primary school set an expectation through the adoption of the goal, ‘Attitude Matters’. These aspirational targets recruit the best of use. Generally, they enable us to discover and/or fashion better parts of our nature than we knew existed. 

The feedback at the conclusion of this semester will no doubt present challenges. The act of setting goals and determining the approach to achieve them is the necessary element to foster the development of Christian character. 

Everyone in the school is likely to find some Waterloo moment in their reports. It is an opportunity to grow Christian character. 

 Iain Belôt - Principal

Traditional Values


Traditional values are alive and well in this modern world. 

Prospective parents are expressing with increasing clarity which features attract them to consider Calvin Christian School for their children. Four reasons predominate: 

  • Being a Christian school;

  • Having a reputation for both academic standards and duty of care;

  • Having a holistic approach; and,

  • Upholding traditional values.

These families have conducted their research and are articulate on the school’s prominent standing in all four of these areas. 

They express their belief that the clear link between all of these outcomes is a value-driven approach around traditional values of a disciplined environment. It is beyond clear that parents are strongly favouring a values-driven approach that they perceive as being eroded in the modern world. Preserving values from generation to generation is a difficult task. However, it is vital for the health of our families, school, community and society at large. The preservation of respect for individuals and authority are two contested value positions. 

The challenge for parents and teachers is that the values we are teaching are all too often very different to those of contemporary youth culture. It is valuable and proper that each generation has its own identity. This is best demonstrated and identified through the generational connection to different genres of popular music. Mozart might be timeless, but the sound of the 1970s is vastly different to the that of today. Classics are timeless, but hits may be popular for a time only. Differences in generational values were once a slight variation on a theme. Changes we once witnessed were only a shift of emphasis around a common thread of generational values. It now is tempting to consider that the core values are altering. For example, honesty was always the best policy. Now, ensuring loyalty and alignment to friends has become paramount, regardless of veracity.

So, I pose the question, ‘What do we and our children have in common with a frog and a fish?’

The answer is provided by two old philosophical chestnuts. 

Question: How do you boil a frog? Answer: Place it in cold water and raise the temperature gradually until the frog is boiled. It will not notice the temperature change. 

Question: Does a fish know what it is like to live in water? Answer: Probably not as it doesn’t know anything different?

Each year Beloit College in the USA releases the Mindset List, which was originally prepared by Ron Nief, Director Emeritus of Beloit College Public Affairs; Tom McBride, Professor Emeritus of English; and Charles Westerberg, Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology. The purpose of the list was to remind teachers that they must adjust their cultural references in their explanations.

For example, the students commencing their first year of university this September in the USA are mostly 18 years of age and were born in 1999

  1. These students are the first generation for whom a phone has been primarily a video game, direction finder, electronic telegraph, and research library.

  2. eHarmony has always offered an algorithm for happiness.

  3. There have always been emojis to cheer us up.

  4. It is doubtful that they have ever used or heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.

  5. Whatever the subject, there’s always been a blog for it.

  6. Women have always scaled both sides of Everest and rowed across the Atlantic.

  7. Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.

Their cultural soup is of a very different flavour to that of their parents. 

Traditional values can be lost in the passing of one generation. Our position, and the Christian position, is to maintain these values as fundamental to the tradition that has Christ at the centre. Calvin has a reputation for fostering traditional values. So, let us continue our vigilance and be careful to notice subtle changes over time. Let us consider the cultural and social environment within which we live, not allowing distractions and shifting societal norms to cause us to lose track of our Christian principles. Let’s continue to faithfully encourage and instil these values in the next generation.

Iain Belôt - Principal