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A final note from Mr Bray for Term 3

As you are reading this article, Term 3 at Nowra Christian School will have come to a conclusion, and what an exciting ‘conclusion’ it has been! So many amazing events have taken place since I wrote my previous Bytes article in the middle of last week. I will now take a few moments to share just some of these events with you.

There is little doubt that educational experiences that are connected to ‘real world’ tasks frequently have the greatest impact on young people. On Thursday of last week, I was privileged to be invited to participate in one of these programs when I was a guest at a wonderful meal prepared by Stage 5 students as part of their Food Technology Restaurant project. I joined with other staff, parents, carers and friends as we enjoyed a range of delicious meals prepared by our own personal chefs. The room was delightfully decorated, with mellow music playing in the background. The aromas coming from the kitchen heightened our sense of expectation and we were all spoiled as an incredible array of beautifully presented meals were ushered out to appreciative diners. On behalf of Mrs Wainwright and me, I would wish to thank Kye Irwin, our personal chef, who delighted our tastebuds with a delicious steak and pumpkin and pine nut salad, followed by homemade apple pie and icecream! Congratulations to all students who took part in this valuable learning activity.

Friday of last week saw the holding of a Years 7-12 Assembly. These are always very special occasions where we are able to receive some excellent teaching related to our Bible theme of ‘Who is this King?’ On this occasion Mr Ian Thuaux was our guest speaker and he certainly engaged our students as he spoke on a passage from Mark 8:27-38. However, I would especially wish to commend the members of the Intermediate Concert Band, conducted by Mrs Lawrence. Many of these students have only been playing a musical instrument for a relatively short period of time and they thoroughly entertained the audience as they presented four polished musical pieces. There is little doubt that the instrumental music program at NCS is alive and well!

Our final week of term certainly began with a flourish as the annual Kindergarten Art Exhibition was officially opened before an appreciative audience of parents, carers and extended family members. We also had the talented members of the Stage 3 Concert Band providing musical accompaniment in the background. I was fortunate enough to have been invited to this opening but no one could have possibly prepared me for the incredible array of artistic talent that I was about to behold! I was simply amazed by the works of art that were on display. I was surrounded by vibrant colours and creative artwork wherever I looked. It was a pleasure to observe the wide smiles on the faces of appreciative guests and to watch as our young Kindergarten artists proudly guided family members around the beautifully presented gallery. I overheard a number of proud parents and grandparents stating that they would willingly pay good money for such amazing works of art! A special thanks to Kindergarten staff, Mrs Longfield, Mrs Noonan and Mrs Norsworthy for all of your timeless preparation for this event. (See image gallery below)

Tuesday evening saw a meeting of our ‘Different Like Me’ families. This is the second time that I have had the privilege of attending and each time I have been greatly encouraged by the positive attitudes to parenting that I see evidenced within this group. This meeting saw the sharing of many excellent parenting tips and it is clear that all participants were encouraged by the time spent together. In some respects I may have been the one providing some ‘entertainment’ at our meeting as I had offered to be the barista for the evening! I had received some basic instructions on how to prepare the ‘perfect’ cup of coffee and, armed with an apron, I embarked on my short career as a barista!

On a number of occasions this year, I have emphasised how important it is to allow our students to both develop and demonstrate their leadership skills. On Tuesday I joined with Mrs Meek and Mrs Dallimore as we took the six members of our 2017 Secondary Prefect team out of school to enjoy a celebratory luncheon. This was a small gesture of appreciation to recognise the wonderful leadership example that these students have displayed throughout our school.

At the same time, planning was also underway to elect the new Secondary Prefect team for the coming year. I was greatly encouraged that some 12 students put themselves forward as candidates for the six available prefect positions. This is a clear sign that the area of student leadership is alive and well at NCS. All students had an opportunity to briefly address a Secondary School Assembly, outlining their reasons for running for this role. It was pleasing to note the clear focus on serving their fellow students and a desire to give back to the school that was evident in all of these presentations. Elections were held on Tuesday and the results were announced at a further Secondary Assembly on Wednesday.

We can confidently say that any of the 12 candidates would have made excellent prefects. However, as a result of the election process, I now have the pleasure of informing our wider NCS community as to the members of our Secondary Prefect team for the coming year. The elected students are Rachel Hill, Elizabeth Curline, Jasmine Dickinson, Lachlan White, Caleb Mackie and Noah McMillan. Please remember to uphold these students in prayer as they set out to fulfil these important leadership responsibilities.

In many ways the focus of our final two days of Term 3 has been on the 17 students who comprise our graduating Year 12 class. Thursday morning began with our Year 12 students providing a delicious ‘Staff Appreciation Breakfast’. This is a very generous way in which these students are able to demonstrate their genuine appreciation for the tireless efforts of our staff as they have supported them throughout their time at NCS. This was followed later in the day by a moving Year 12 Graduation Assembly where our departing students were honoured. Students from Years 1-11 comprised the audience and they had the opportunity to express their gratitude for the leadership roles and excellent examples provided by our Year 12 class of 2017. The Assembly was immediately followed by an afternoon tea attended by our Year 12 guests of honour and their family and friends along with NCS staff members.

As I am writing this article, we are all awaiting the final event of the term which is the Year 12 Graduation Dinner to be held at Gabby’s in Berry. This will be the first such event that my wife Sharon and I have attended and we are very much looking forward to joining with parents, carers, extended family and staff and Board members. I have no doubt that this will provide a most fitting way to recognise and celebrate the contributions that our graduating students have made to NCS during their time spent at our school. I am sure that there will be many photographs of this important event placed on the NCS website over coming days.

Once again, as another term draws to a conclusion at NCS, it would be my prayer that our students and staff will have the opportunity to enjoy wonderful times of rest and refreshment with family and friends. I trust that you will have time to reflect on God’s great goodness to our school community throughout this last term and to give him the thanks and praise for his leading throughout this time.