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A note from Mr Bray - 1 September 2017

‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…’ Ephesians 5: 19 (NIV)

This year at NCS continues to gain momentum and we now find ourselves with only three weeks of Term 3 remaining but these three weeks will be action-packed as has been the case throughout recent weeks. I would wish to thank Mrs Meek, Head of Secondary, for writing the Bytes article last week during my absence at a CSA (Christian Schools Australia) National Leadership Retreat in Queensland.

Mr Jeff Fairbairn, NCS Accountant, and I had the privilege of representing our school at the three day CSA National Leadership Retreat held last week. This significant event saw nearly 200 leaders from CSA schools located throughout Australia coming together to discuss a wide range of important educational topics. The agenda contained a mixture of keynote addresses and workshop opportunities as well as the ‘launching’ of a number of key CSA initiatives. It also provided valuable networking opportunities for school leaders to meet informally together as we discussed key features of our respective school communities. Such discussions proved to be very helpful indeed.

I would wish to commend CSA’s new CEO, Daniel Pampuch, for the excellent manner in which he is strategically leading our national family of schools. Together with his Executive Team, Mr Pampuch was able to present a number of new initiatives that will be of great benefit to all CSA schools, including NCS. These included the launch of a completely re-designed CSA national website, the presentation of a comprehensive Christian Studies Program and the provision of a revised ‘God’s Big Story 2.0’ Curriculum Development Framework.

One of our keynote speakers was Dr Glen Schultz, who is the author of a book entitled ‘Kingdom Education’. All delegates were provided with a copy of this book and Dr Schultz presented a series of four addresses throughout the conference covering such topics as ‘Understanding God’s purpose for education’ and ‘Excellence and the Christian school’. These topics have provided much ‘food for thought’ for all school leaders as we now find ourselves back in our respective school communities.

I stated earlier that this last week at NCS has been a very busy one with students at all levels engaged in a wide variety of activities. (You can read further about many of these events throughout this edition of Bytes.) I would particularly wish to mention our HSC students who commenced their Trial HSC Examinations today. Please uphold these students in prayer as they study hard for these trial examinations. Pray that they will remain calm and be able to clearly demonstrate all that they have learned throughout this year.

Some of our HSC subjects involve a production component and my wife, Sharon and I had the pleasure of joining with many parents, extended family members and friends of students on Tuesday evening of this week to attend the HSC Showcase Night. The evening began in the MPC foyer where our Industrial Technology (Timber) students had displayed their amazing major projects and the design portfolios that accompanied them. These major works had been externally marked by examiners earlier in the afternoon and we had the privilege of viewing the incredible variety of projects on display ranging from a hand-crafted guitar through to pieces of furniture housing an aquarium and a snake enclosure!

At the conclusion of our viewing, and after enjoying a delicious light supper, we all adjourned to the Music Room where we were again treated to an amazing demonstration of musical talent from the eight student members of the HSC Music 1 class. The program provided all students with the opportunity to present some of their major pieces to a live audience before the final external assessments that will occur in the near future. Our students are to be commended for the professional manner in which they presented their items. The variety of gifts and talents on display was amazing! Students demonstrated their mastery of the guitar, drums, clarinet, keyboard and the bagpipes. Two students also confidently presented vocal pieces. You can read a more detailed account of this amazing evening here.

I would wish to publicly commend HSC teachers, Mr West (Music) and Mr Lawrence (Industrial Technology), for the skill and expertise that they have demonstrated whilst working tirelessly with our students to enable them to produce pieces of such a high standard.

Finally, I would make mention of another group of people who met on Monday evening of this week to carry out very important strategic business on behalf of our school. This group included three members of our school board, the senior executive team and our communications and media manager. Paul Campey, from Resolve Consulting, again acted as the facilitator for this group. Their important task was to work towards the completion of the NCS Strategic Plan. I am pleased to say that much progress has now been made and it is anticipated that a draft plan will be presented for the consideration of the full board at their next meeting.

Once the strategic plan has been finalised, the next important step will be to engage an architectural firm to work with the board and school leadership on the development of a school building masterplan. These are certainly both exciting and strategic initiatives in the life of our school and, once again, your on-going prayer support for our faithful board members will be greatly appreciated.

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