Community Partnerships ~ Berwick Church of Christ

In our liaison we have joined as a force to promote collaborative and cooperative relationships between the school, families and church members. As well as programs supporting the teachers, the following student wellbeing programs have been implemented:

Classroom Helpers- assisting the children with their learning and supporting the teachers.

Lunchtime Clubs- craft clubs of knitting, embroidery, crocheting, tapestry, and woodwork.

Mentoring Program- volunteers mentor children from Prep Year to Year Four under the World Vision: Kids Hope mentoring program.

Berwick Church of Christ loves to make a difference at Brentwood Park Primary School.

In 2012, they run lunchtime clubs on a Tuesday lunchtime in the gym.
The relationship between Brentwood Park Primary School and the Berwick Church of Christ is a proud one!

Many recognise a community as having two main focal points- the church and the school. So, to have these two community institutions join together, is a natural liaison. Both institutions nurture and support people and are about developing resilient, socially competent and responsible community members.
Children and young people learn social competence from the world around them – particularly about how to relate to others, manage conflict, and respect and value differences. They learn from the relationships they form within their families, their school, their community groups, such as the church.
In our liaison we have joined as a force to promote collaborative and cooperative relationships between the school, families and church members.
In the inaugural year of 2002, the team from the church was a formidable force. Church members formed a Garden Club; one member took on the task of making shelves for the classrooms and also making ‘drying’ and ‘light’ boxes for the art room. Other members became ‘Classroom Helpers’, assisting the children with their learning and supporting the teachers. Members provided morning teas for the staff, consisting of scones with jam and cream which proved to be great staff morale boosters. Also the staff appreciated a lovely lunch provided by a church member at her house.

In 2003 the partnership was extended with the concept of Lunchtime Clubs. The clubs took off with the craft clubs of knitting and embroidery and further extended in 2005 with woodwork, crochet and board game clubs.
The volunteers find forming relationships with the children rewarding. Research has shown that resilient students form a relationship with at least one significant adult. These volunteers make a difference in the children’s lives. They get to know them and connect with them. They also support the staff and present as positive role models to the staff.

In 2005 more volunteers entered the school under the World Vision: Kids Hope mentoring program. In 2007, Liz Smith, trained fourteen mentors who mentored children from Year Prep to Year Six. Each mentor works with an individual child on a weekly basis supporting the child’s learning and establishing a valuable relationship with the child.

None of this would have been possible without the foresight of Graeme Cann, a former pastor of the church and the initial guidance of Lyn Pentland, the church/school liaison officer , continued by Liz Smith until the end of 2010 and now Ben Evers.

So, from having a connection with the church initially in 1995 as providing Religious Education instructors we have developed a deeper partnership.
In 2012, the church continues the World Vision: Kids Hope mentoring program. with fifteen mentors working with students ranging from Year One to Year Six. The mentors visit once a week to work with their student. The church has also maintained their participation in Lunchtime Clubs every Tuesday, usually ten volunteers run a variety of craft / hobby groups. Once a term the church continues to provide the staff with a lovely morning tea.
The staff and families of Brentwood Park appreciate the church for its support and for being a generous and caring congregation .