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A note from Mr Bray - 19 February 2018

‘Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.’ Psalm 20:7 (NIV)

As previously announced, it has now been a fortnight since our last NCS Bytes and much has happened in the life of our school during that time. I would like to share with you just some of the many events and programs that have taken place.

Firstly, I have been delighted with the way in which our 95 brand new NCS students have settled into their new school. 39 of these students commenced their ‘big’ school journey on Wednesday, 7 February which was the first day of our Kindergarten program. This is always a very special day for both the Kindergarten children and for their parents/carers. I was pleased to have the privilege of joining with our Kindergarten staff to welcome our very special arrivals on Wednesday morning. In no time at all, the children were inside the classrooms, thoroughly engaged in a range of stimulating activities. Eventually the time came to guide our parents/carers from these classrooms to the courtyard where we enjoyed a morning tea and some shared conversation. And, yes, we did have a supply of tissues on hand, just in case a few of the adults felt a little teary as they said farewell to their children!

Monday, 5 February was a very exciting day for the wider Nowra community as many people gathered to welcome the arrival of the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay. All of the schools in the local area had been given an invitation to ‘adopt’ a particular section of the Baton Relay route. The idea was for as many children and adults from each school as possible to all dress in blue and to wave specially decorated flags and banners to add atmosphere to this event. I would wish to thank the many children and their parents/carers who came along to gather at our designated NCS site. As a school, we certainly demonstrated our support and enthusiasm for this important event.

On Friday, 9 February I had the pleasure of joining with 10 of our Year 12 students as we travelled to the University of Wollongong (UOW) to participate in a ‘Discovery Day’ program. Our students joined with over a thousand other students from many different schools to learn much helpful information about the many courses and great facilities that UOW has to offer as many contemplate their future tertiary pathways. This was a very practical day and each student was able to follow an individually tailored program designed to cater directly to their specific career interests. I would wish to thank Mrs West, our Careers Adviser, for the excellent role that she played in ensuring that our students were able to engage in this very valuable activity.

As many of you would be aware, the Nowra Show was held Friday and Saturday, 9 and 10 February. Many of our students had accepted an invitation to exhibit some of their work, ranging from wood craft through to Lego constructions and a variety of art work. As I wandered around the pavilions with my wife on the Saturday, I was encouraged to be able to personally admire many of these fine pieces of creative design that our students had completed, usually as part of their school programs. It was also exciting to note how many of our NCS students had received certificates recognising the excellent quality of their creations. I am thankful for the tireless efforts of Mrs Stewart, our Art Teacher, who both inspired and encouraged many of our students to enter their works.

This past week has also been an extremely busy one which began on Monday with our House Swimming Sports for all students in Years 3-12. We were blessed to be provided with glorious sunny weather which made a day at the Nowra Pool a most enjoyable one. These events are always a great occasion for our whole NCS community to come together to enjoy a day of participation and friendly competition. I was able to spend a few hours at the pool and I was most impressed with the way in which our students participated. I would especially wish to commend those students who went in events that they were not particularly confident about but did so to earn points for their House. Thank you to the many parents and carers who came to the pool to share this day with us. I know that your support and interest has been greatly appreciated by students and staff.

Tuesday of last week was another very significant day in the history of our school. This was the day that saw the first Secondary classes occurring in our new classroom complex, located at the back of the Multi-Purpose Centre (MPC). This is an exciting development for NCS and one that was necessary as our school population has experienced healthy growth this year. We also had the opportunity to show families the new classrooms and adjacent courtyard at the Twilight Picnic.

The final highlight for the fortnight was our very first Twilight Family Picnic. The event was very well attended and provided a wonderful opportunity for NCS families to come along and enjoy a relaxed meal on the lawn area outside the MPC building. It was a delight to be able to chat to a lot of families in such a relaxed environment. We praise God for the wonderful weather that he provided as we all enjoyed good food, coffee and relaxed conversation.

I said at the beginning of this article that we have had an amazing past fortnight at NCS and this is just a taste of what is in store as we embark on another year of learning and growing at our school. The focus verse for this week that I have chosen comes from Psalm 20, verse 7. It was shared with all staff at one of our morning staff devotion sessions. As we commence this year at Nowra Christian School, it provides us all with a timely reminder that the God we proclaim throughout our curriculum and the God that we discuss in our classroom conversations is a trustworthy God on whom we can depend absolutely. This is the God that our staff have continued to share with your children during this past fortnight at NCS.

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