james an collage - selective school ryde part 1

Selective schools test to find the most capable young students. There are many arguments for and against this. Some arguments question whether or not the more capable student should be put together; some question the selection method.

One criticism leveled at selective schools is that the individual students suffer cultural shock when they realize they are no longer the smartest kid in the class. This is undoubtedly a huge adjustment, but it’s a necessary and humbling one; and something better learnt sooner than later. If a child realizes that there are minds smarter than theirs, as well as minds less capable, then they are getting a realistic perspective. It would be far worse for the student to have delusions and overestimate their ability. This criticism confuses self-esteem with superiority. A child and well-adjusted adult needs to feel valued for being a fellow human being, for achieving goals; not for competitiveness and trying to outdo others. Selective schools are beneficial this way; the child knows there are others at the same level as him/herself, and that this is perfectly acceptable.

A more valid criticism is that the selective criteria for these schools are poor; that the tests cater to coaching and rote learning. While this is true it must be remembered that it is quite difficult to have a completely impartial test. It must also be remembered that rote learning is part of the practical world, and being prepared for exams (coaching) is also a reflection of real world situations. Tests are not just about intelligence, they are about motivation, time management, preparation, and the notion that some things are true even if they defy analytical thinking. If a child can prepare itself to do better, then it deserves some support.

A variant criticism of the test criteria is that the children can be coached to do well. This is partly valid, as coaching is a considerable help for many children. But this is only bringing a child to its potential. If the coached children did well in the entrance test only to fail at the school we would have cause for concern. There is no evidence of this. Academic coaching is like sports coaching in this regard; get the best possible performance from an individual in a specific pursuit.

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PROCESSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – Holy Spirit Background – Part 2

procession of the holu spirit - holy spirit background

The book of Acts follows the story of the apostles after Jesus has finished His earthly ministry; Acts is a loose sequel to the Gospel of Luke. And in the 4th and 5th verses of Acts Jesus tells the disciples to stay in Jerusalem to await the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  This is not the first mention of this- The old testament promised the ‘Spirit of God’; Jesus spoke on several occasions of the Holy Spirit and its part in future ministry; And John the Baptist, who Jesus often refers to when talking of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, also refers to being Baptists in the holy Spirit and Fire [Matt 3:11, Luke 3:16].

John himself was filled with the Holy Spirit; this is mentioned in Luke 1:15. Whether this is the same as baptism in the Holy Spirit is unclear. What does seem significant is that the spirit only ever seemed to be on one person at a time at this stage in history. Elijah (to whom John is often compared) had the spirit much earlier in history; Simeon had heard from the spirit while Christ was an infant [Luke 2:25]. But the moment Jesus’s ministry began John’s ministry was superseded. Christ had the Holy Spirit descend on Him like a dove shortly after John baptised Him [Matt 3:16, john 1:32]. John and his ministry moved into the background after this point.

Many time Jesus talked about His later departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit; these two events are linked, for Jesus claimed that if He did not go the Spirit would not come [John 16:7]. The Spirit is essential for the gospel ministry; it seems to exclusively work through Jesus during His time on earth, and possibly the same with John’s ministry. After Christ’s departure it came to many men and women, including several Gentiles. We seem to have either Jesus of the Holy Spirit.

But what was the Baptism of Fire? Some closely equate this with Pentecost and the flames over the people’s head; possibly it is simply an expression, spirit and fire. But others see this as an alternative for those who do not accept the Holy Spirit. Jesus say only those born of water and Spirit will see the kingdom of God; fire is not mentioned [John 3:5]. Fire may simply be the unimaginable wrath poured out on those who do not repent. This is uncertain, however; surly there will be wrath for the unrepentant, but we do not know whether baptism (immersion) in fire refers to this. The Bible say ‘Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Fire’, rather than ‘or fire’; the matter is uncertain.

Jesus often refers to His truth as ‘living water’ [John 4:14], or the ‘water of life’ [Rev 22:17], the divine answer to what all men thirst for.  How this water reconciles with fire is uncertain, but despite being available to all only the repentant will receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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Music tuition for the advanced learner

To learn how to play music is an absolute privilege. The development of classical music has brought a lot of historical significance; from the musicians in Vienna, to the theatre. To learn an instrument it requires a lot of commitment from the player, but also the teacher. Charisma Music is a music academy in Ryde which specialises in Violin, Guitar and Piano music lessons. The staff are well qualified, all of whom have graduated from music programmes and the conservatorium.

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There are several tests used to assess an immigrants English language skills. IELTS is the most common one used in Australia. It has four components: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Unlike TOEFL, which tests some of these areas in combination, the IELTS test does not use computer assessment; it is all either handwritten or spoken directly to an assessor.

IELTS is run in two streams, an academic and general, with a combined global total of 2 million people sitting it each year. Both streams are designed for language use as it would be encountered by the individual, either as a student or under general employment. Over 9000 international institutions recognise the test as part of their entrance requirements,

The four components of the test are assessed and recorded separately on a scale of 1 to 9, 9 being the highest grade. A minimum of grade of 6 is expected in each component for any individual seeking to immigrate to Australia via the general IELTS test. Potential university or other tertiary students are expected to take the academic strand of the course, and often expected to achieve a 7 or better in each category. Requirements vary largely on the individual course student wish to undertake, and also the institution itself. Most journalism and language orientated courses require an 8.5 or better in every category. Non-language university courses still require acceptable English levels for admission.

It is not unusual for professional practices in Australia to have language requirements above the minimum level needed to immigration. In some cases the language requirement for studying and qualifying in a particular files is not as high as the English language level required to later practice in that same field. Student may need to re-take the IELTS test after graduation in order to demonstrate an acceptable improvement in their language ability.

Tutoring is often necessary for success in the IELTS test, particularity for potential university applicants and graduates who need to improve their rankings. Individuals who learn the language later in life, acquire it as a second language, or who learnt informally, often require some formal instruction for a more comprehensive understanding. This can be of particular use of the written skills lag behind the spoken skills. Students often benefit from instruction that shows the more formal approach needed for written English abilities, and shows where the two aspects of the language differ.

Global Language Academy’s IELTS courses are designed to give a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the English language with 10 hours of class preparation. Like the IELTS test itself the classes are designed for practical use. Undertaking the classes is often a wise move financially as the improved test result outweighs the possibility of failing and being forced to retake the test.

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Social side of Martial Arts Training

Social skills are a complex thing, and the psychologists who study them don’t always agree about what’s going on. We can suddenly develop better skills with people who share a common interest, or find ourselves gravitating towards people similar to ourselves when in a foreign situation. Social skills require little effort under some circumstances, a lot of effort under other circumstances. The situations that work well seem to require the least effort, but it would be too easy to get the cause and effect mixed up here. We only start putting in effort because the situation requires it, and we tend not to enjoy this situation as much.

We tend not to have the same social issues as a child. In kindergarten everybody’s interest was in similar toys and novelties. On some occasions everything was unfamiliar and confusing, so we withdrew; on other occasions everybody was part of the same group. There was no ‘us and them’ at that point in our lives; there were other people who were simultaneously different but not part of a different group. Undoubtedly we learned some of our first social abilities here, though we might have lost some things too; later divisions into ‘us and them’ cost us some common connection with all others. Really balanced, spiritual people tend to more apt at getting on with far more people, not just their own crowd. Perhaps they retained something we lost back them.

Common training can have a positive social influence on participating individuals. We hear about people bonding in the military when they would have had rather little in common under other circumstances. But this ignores the fact that being in the same circumstance is giving them something in common. If people are in a circumstance voluntarily that may well have some common goal or interest beforehand. And it it’s involuntary they may well find they identify with other stuck with the same fate. It still keeps coming back to the idea they have something in common.

Perhaps it’s the rediscovery of our common human situation here. Great literature, great human insights and great proverbs all cross cultural barriers and social classes. If we feel human like everybody else is human then we have a universal common thread that runs through all people, and we are no longer separated because of superficial differences. Barriers to social interactions are inadvertently acquired over time. At least part of improving social skills is the unlearning of misconceptions. We unlearn artificial differences and see the real common ground.

Watching people improve in anything, especially something we are involved with ourselves, gives us some insights into both them and ourselves. It’s a little like seeing yourself in the third person. And if we avoid the trap of dividing the world into ‘our’ exclusive group and others we can form a bond with people in general. This type of training (and the insights we acquire through it) can apply it to every aspect of our life. I tend to think good training strips us back to the fundamentals and rebuilds us the way we would have liked to have been the first time around.

I said earlier that the better social situation requires less effort from us, and I believe we enjoy it more when getting on with others comes easily. But there was some effort; we but the effort in earlier to either learn skills or avoid misconceptions. We learn in advance so things come naturally when the situation requires it. More than one martial artist has supported this type or view. We train now so that latter on we can do more with less effort.

Our first blog post is supplied by United Martial Arts & Fitness Academy. United Martial Arts provides Martial Arts, TKD (TaeKweonDo) courses in Perth. For more information, feel free to visit their website.

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