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A Note from Mr Bray - 19 May 2017

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.

On Tuesday of this week, we were all busily smiling for the camera as the official 2017 school photographs were taken. The process began with a staff photograph early in the morning that was followed by a constant procession of students as they were called up in class groups or as sports captains, prefects, school captains, and a range of other roles. Many parents and carers took the opportunity to join with their children for a family portrait. All students and staff also had an individual photograph taken and these will be collated and framed to showcase our entire 2017 NCS community.

Another highlight of the week was the conducting of our Primary Cross Country which was held on Thursday morning. This was my first NCS cross country event and I didn’t know quite what to expect. However, I can assure you that I was both pleased and delighted to have been able to witness such a wonderful event. We were blessed with a gloriously sunny morning and the cross country course was presented in excellent condition. (Special thanks to Mr Hefferan and his team for all of their hard work here!) Students from Kinder through to Year 6 participated in this activity with the length of the course increasing progressively according to student age groups. Students are to be congratulated for the enthusiastic manner in which they participated in this activity. Thank you also to the many parents, carers and grandparents and friends who came along to encourage your children. Your enthusiastic support was greatly appreciated. I would also wish to acknowledge the vital assistance of staff who acted as officials in order to ensure the smooth running of this event.

As always, our students were involved in a wide range of activities throughout this week. I thought that I would mention just two examples to highlight the diversity of programs occurring at NCS. Firstly, Madame Wilkinson’s students have been presenting their French plays to various classes. These plays are the culmination of much hard work that has occurred during recent French lessons. The other activity that I wish to mention has taken three of our talented senior male students well beyond NCS. Jayden Norsworthy, Tyler Watkins and Caleb Mackie have been competing in the National Christian Schools Games, being held at the Northern Beaches Indoor Sports Centre in Sydney. They have earned a place in two NSW volleyball teams that are participating at this elite level. Jayden and Tyler have returned with a Gold Medal and Caleb Mackie a Bronze Medal. Well done boys, this is an amazing achievement! A full report will be in next week's NCS Bytes.

We were also very thankful to receive a visit on Thursday from Senior Constable, Scott Burgess. Scott is a School Police Liaison Officer and he accepted an invitation to come to NCS to directly address all of our secondary students on the very important topic of ‘Safe use of Social Media’. I am confident that what Scott had to share with our students was both very interesting and extremely relevant. Scott also spoke at length with our staff and provided very practical tips as to how school staff can assist students to use social media in safe and appropriate ways. Thank you also to the parents and carers who accepted the invitation to attend a special P/C & F meeting, held on Thursday evening. At this meeting, Senior Constable Burgess again addressed this important issue, providing very practical parenting tips. Parents and carers also had the opportunity to ask questions and Scott was able to provide helpful answers and practical suggestions that were greatly appreciated by all in attendance.

This week also provided an opportunity for us to fittingly farewell Mrs Amy Davey who will be concluding her time as primary chaplain as of next week. At a special morning tea, a number of speakers highlighted the amazing role that Mrs Davey has played as our primary chaplain for over three years now. As a sign of our appreciation, Mrs Davey was presented with a signed card, flowers and a gift. The school leadership team are currently involved in an interview process to appoint an interim primary chaplain for the remainder of the 2017 school year. We would hope to announce the name of the successful applicant in a forthcoming issue of NCS Bytes.

Finally, I would wish to sincerely thank those parents and carers who have already completed the NCS community sentiment survey. Your comments are anonymous and will be most helpful as the Board enter a major time of strategic planning. The good news is that there is still time to complete these surveys as they do not close until 30 May. I would encourage you to find the approximately 30 minutes required to complete this task as we are very keen to consider your input as well.

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