May 30, 2020

 ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ Hebrews 13:5(b) (NIV)

Well, it is actually three weeks since I wrote my last Bytes article and a great deal has happened in the world of education since that time. On that previous occasion, we had just completed Week 2 of this term and most students were still working off-site, participating in an online lesson delivery program. However, our HSC students had just returned to school to complete a three day week. I wrote a letter to parents and carers at this time, indicating that the transition back to on-site learning appeared to be underway as a result of announcements that had just been made by our NSW Premier.

This transition back to school for all NSW students certainly gained momentum very quickly. This week at NCS has seen all of our students from K-12 back at school and engaging in full-time teacher directed learning. What an amazing contrast we have witnessed across these first two terms of 2020 in relation to student atten...

May 9, 2020

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Two weeks of Term Two have now been completed but we are unable to quite say that it has been ‘business as usual’! The first two days of term were designated as being ‘Pupil Free Days’ and, during this time, all of our teaching staff members were very busy as they were further preparing online lessons. I mentioned that it was not exactly ‘business as usual’ because, during these past two weeks, many of our students have continued to work from home, accessing their online lessons. Of course, school has remained open for the children of parents who have been unable to provide supervision at home for a variety of reasons.

Nevertheless, we did see signs of the potential for the beginning of a return to some degree of ‘normality’ in that our Years 11 & 12 HSC st...

March 28, 2020

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. Psalm 16: 8-9

When we contemplate the word ‘school’, the images that usually come quickly to mind are of groups of students in classrooms, on sporting ovals and seated around the grounds under the direct supervision of one or more members of the teaching staff. During the past week, this definition of ‘school’ has undergone a huge transformation throughout our nation’s educational systems. For many Australian schools, including Nowra Christian School, this past week has seen the vast majority of our students located at home, engaging in an alternative educational delivery program. By Friday, we had 79.5% of our students participating in the off-site delivery mode. (Of course, it is important for us to acknowledge that schools in NSW have remained open in order to cater for the children of parents/carers who have work comm...

March 15, 2020

Focus verse: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.’ Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV)

This fortnight brings us to the conclusion of Week 7 of this term. Many significant events have occurred during these past 14 days but, without doubt, one of the absolute highlights has been our Secondary School production of ‘Oklahoma!’. I trust that you were able to join with us as members of the audience for one of our four performances (three evenings and one afternoon matinee). If this was not the case, you have, unfortunately, missed out on a very special theatrical event.

On behalf of the entire Nowra Christian School community, I would wish to heartily congratulate everyone involved in this production. Whether you were a member of the cast or orchestra, worked as part of the back stage crew, assisted with lighting or sound, helped to design costumes or sets and props, or were involved as make-up ar...

February 29, 2020

Focus verse: ‘I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ (Psalm 139:14 NIV)

I am writing this article on Thursday evening and feeling somewhat amazed that we are nearly at the conclusion of the fifth week of this term. This past week has been a very important one at our school because it is Open Week (from Tuesday through to Friday). This is the time when we advertise to our wider community that our school is ‘open’ each day between 10.00am and 2.00pm for any families who would like to have a guided tour of Nowra Christian School. These tours are usually conducted by either our Year 6 or Senior School student leaders and we have been greatly encouraged by the many positive comments that our visitors have made about the excellent way in which our student leaders have both welcomed and informed them.

A successful Open Week!
We have had numerous families visiting us throughout this week and, once again, I would wish to sincere...

February 14, 2020

‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said ‘I am the light of the world.’’ John 8:12(a) (NIV)

This past fortnight has seen the arrival of the final members of our NCS school ‘family’. It was a very exciting morning on Wednesday, 5 February when our Kindergarten 2020 children and their parents/carers and many extended family members arrived for this very first day of ‘Big School’. I am delighted to say that our Kindergarten children have done a wonderful job of settling into the routines of school life. I took the opportunity to visit both of our Kindergarten classes on this first Wednesday morning and I was amazed to see how well they were working and how carefully they were paying attention to their teachers. I was also greeted by a heart-warming chorus of ‘Good morning, Mr Bray’ which was a very special moment for me!

The Nowra Show was held on 7-8 February and it seemed an irony that, after all of the heat and drama of the recent bushfire threat, it was steady rain that forced us...

January 31, 2020

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ Philippians 4: 6 (NIV)

What a pleasure it was to welcome back our school families on Wednesday of this week. Quite fittingly, we commenced with our ‘Welcome Back’ Assembly, held in the church hall. We were delighted with the large numbers of parents/carers and extended family members who accepted our invitation to attend this event. Of course, it will not be until Wednesday of next week that all members of our school ‘family’ will have returned to us for the exciting 2020 year that lies ahead. This is the day when our Kindergarten students arrive to begin their ‘big school’ journey!
I am very aware that this holiday season has been dominated in many ways by the dramatic images associated with the bushfire crisis. In last week’s edition of NCS Bytes, I did focus closely on this topic and indicated that, as parents and carers, there are many ways in which you ca...

December 13, 2019

Focus verse: ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’ Matthew 1: 21 (NIV)

As I am writing this Bytes article, the final week of our 2019 school year at NCS is rapidly drawing to a conclusion. In fact, the past fortnight has seen an incredible variety of activities as students and staff have been working busily to complete all remaining tasks.

On Tuesday, 3 December I met with our builders and architects for the second of our site meetings. As previously stated, these are planned to occur every three weeks as we carefully monitor the progress of our Stage 1 Building Program. We had the opportunity to visit the actual site and to inspect further pleasing progress that had taken place.

On the Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of joining with a number of our school parents as we
celebrated the conclusion of the year for our ‘Different Like Me’ group. We had a shared meal
together and took the opportunity to ref...

November 30, 2019

'Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.'  Psalm 105: 1-2 (NIV)

Are you like me and asking the question, ‘Where has the 2019 school year gone?’ This is my second last NCS Bytes article for this year. When I am due to write my final article in a fortnight’s time, the 2019 school year will already have concluded for your children and they will have enjoyed the first day of their Christmas school holidays. As, I stated before, ‘Where has this year gone?’

Well, that was a rather ‘dramatic’ opening to my article and I would like to reassure all of our parents and carers that all the necessary planning is taking place in order to ensure that we have a very smooth and appropriate conclusion to our 2019 school year. I know that our teaching staff have been very busy ensuring that all assessment and reporting processes are drawing to a conclusion so that student reports...

November 15, 2019

Focus verse: ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ John 15: 13

I am confident that all members of our school community will remember this past fortnight for many years to come. It is a very unusual event to close a school completely in mid-term and, of course, this is the decision that was made on Tuesday of this past week as a result of the fire rating level in the Shoalhaven district reaching ‘catastrophic’. We can more fully understand the scope of the bushfire threat facing our state when we realise that NCS was just one of more than 600 schools and TAFE centres who made the significant decision to close on this day.

I would wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all parents and carers for your understanding and cooperation throughout this challenging day. Thank you also to those who faithfully prayed for safety for our firefighters and emergency service personnel. Although it was a very confronting time for many people living in the...

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