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A note from Mr Bray - 4 August 2017

Focus verse: 8: 9 ‘O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!’

There is a well-known saying that goes ‘What a difference a week makes!’ In many ways this could be applied to the world of NCS because every week I see your children having the opportunity to be engaged in so many amazing learning experiences and this week has been no different!

My week began by joining with the primary students, and a number of parents/carers, at their Monday morning assembly. We sang the National Anthem, said the Lord’s Prayer and celebrated those having birthdays. It was also a time where the new ‘Respect’ poster was further discussed in a very creative way.

Monday afternoon saw all secondary staff making their way to the MPC for Parent/Teacher Interviews. These are very important events where parents/carers and teachers can have meaningful discussions about the progress that our students are making in their various subjects. These are special occasions that further strengthen the important partnership between home and school. A second round of Parent/Teacher Interviews was again held on the Tuesday afternoon. I was pleased to attend on both afternoons for a period of time.

On Tuesday, we held the second of our Kindergarten Open Mornings. We were pleased to host a number of families who have recently enrolled for the 2018 school year and a number of other families who are still considering which school they might attend next year. The young children who attended had a wonderful time joining in with our current kindergarten classes whilst their parents had a tour of the school and an opportunity to ask questions of our staff.

Tuesday was also the day when the ICT Steering Committee met. This committee has been working steadily behind the scenes for a number of years now. The members of this committee have the responsibility of ensuring that NCS is well placed to provide quality ICT services to all members of our school community.

On Wednesday I accepted an invitation to visit our talented HSC Design and Technology (Wood) students as they are all busily working on the completion of their major projects. I thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with each student as they thoughtfully explained the design history behind their amazing constructions. I marveled at the incredible variety of products that were nearing completion, all of which used various types of wood in imaginative ways. Students also have to document each stage of the process and they do this via the development of a written portfolio.

At the conclusion of the day, I joined with the members of the Primary ‘KidsMatter’ Planning Committee. This committee comprises both staff and parents/carers. I was greatly encouraged by the range of projects being considered, all of which are aimed at enhancing the mental health, resilience and well-being of our students.

Thursday saw an early morning start as I transported Camille Dewell and Sam Ellery, our two Secondary School Captains, to Cedars Christian College in Wollongong to participate in the ‘Synergy’ student leaders’ breakfast. Our captains joined together with student leaders from three other Christian schools and each leadership team presented thoughtful reflections on what they had learned as a result of their leadership journeys. Please read more about this event in my article on our website.

Friday provided a fitting conclusion to our busy week with many activities taking place. At the start of the day I was able to farewell some 16 students from Years 9 & 10 as they prepared to board a bus which will take them to a location where they will commence their two day hike to Wog Wog, accompanied by teachers Mrs Edwards, Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clarke. I also had the great pleasure of visiting our Kindergarten children for a short time as they enjoyed the excitement of their 100 Day Party. The children had come wearing costumes that represented the number ‘100’ in some way. It was a delight to join with parents, carers and extended family members as we watched each child parade in their outfits down the ‘catwalk’ to the applause of the appreciative audience.

Today at our Friday assembly, we welcomed our special guest, Aunty Janelle to help celebrate NAIDOC week. We heard about how God has created different languages in different cultures, and this year the theme for NAIDOC week was "Our Language Matters". Mr Petts told us that there are 250 original languages, and only a fraction are regularly used today. We need people to continue to record and translate the gospel into these languages. Mrs Stewart also shared an Aboriginal art work from My Mob My Story book published by the Bible Society. It was clear that many Aboriginal artists understand and have been transformed by the gospel which is evident in their art.

We also prayed for Mr & Mrs Smith as they are heading out with Mercy Ships to Cameroon on the 18 August. You can read about their interview with South Coast Register here. These are their prayer points:

  1. Pray for the Ship and its crew as they arrive in Cameroon and set up ready for the 10 month service.

  2. Pray for safe and smooth travels as we leave home on Aug 18 and board the Ship on the 20th.

  3. Pray that we will quickly settle into our roles and form good relationships with other crew members and patients.

  4. Pray that patients will experience both physical and spiritual healing during their involvement with Mercy Ships and its people.

Yes, ‘what a difference a week makes’ at NCS!

Recently, I listened to the amazing words of Psalm 8 being read out at a church service. This is a psalm of David and it conveys a deep sense of awe and celebration as David considers the amazing God that he serves and knows personally. This is the same God that we delight to present to your children as they attend NCS and study a curriculum that is deliberately designed to present a Christian worldview perspective. I would encourage you to read this entire psalm together with your children. It reminds us, once again, that we serve a wonderfully generous God who has placed us in His amazing creation to utilise its resources responsibly and with great thankfulness.

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