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A note from Mr Bray - 16 November 2018

Focus Verse: ‘How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all: the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small.’ Psalm 104:24-25 (NIV)

As I am writing this article on Wednesday evening, I have just realised that this day represents the halfway mark of Term 4! It really doesn’t seem possible that there are only 21 more days for our students to attend school for 2018. And yet our school calendar indicates that these final weeks will be packed full of stimulating programs and activities.

I suppose that I shouldn’t really have been surprised when I remembered that during this past week I have been directly involved in some of the organisational arrangements for the Worrigee Community Christmas Carols event that is scheduled for Saturday, 8 December! This will be an occasion not to be missed and I trust that it is one that you have circled long ago on your calendars.

This past fortnight has also been a very important one for our HSC students as it has seen the conclusion of the HSC Examination program. A number of NCS students sat for the Drama Examination, held on Friday, 9 November, the very last one for our students. Our Year 12 students have now completed their school ‘journeys’ at NCS and, for some of them, this has seen a 13 year association with our school. (Of course, this ‘association’ will continue as they now become NCS alumni members.) They are now enjoying a well-earned rest as they await their final results and contemplate the new pathways that lie before them. We hope to see as many of these students back with us at our Thanksgiving Evening, scheduled for Wednesday, 12 December, as they participate in their very last ‘roll call’ as students at NCS. Thank you to the many parents/carers who have faithfully upheld our HSC students in your prayers throughout this examination period.

There was yet another clear indication that the 2018 year is drawing to a conclusion that occurred on the evening of Tuesday, 13 November. For the majority of our NCS community, this event will have passed unnoticed but I had the privilege of being in attendance. This evening saw the holding of the final NCS Board meeting for 2018. I was again greatly encouraged to have the opportunity of joining with our faithful Board members – parents and grandparents - who work quietly behind the scenes to ensure that our school continues to be well-governed. As always there was a busy agenda with one of the highlights being a presentation from Mr McLennan, our Head of Primary, who provided an informative overview of key developments that have occurred in the Primary Department throughout this past year. (Mrs Meek, our Head of Secondary, presented her report to the Board during the first half of 2018).

So, what exactly has taken place over the past fortnight at NCS? Well, I will provide you with just a sample list of some of these events and programs. Once again, numerous sporting and outdoor activities have occurred that have seen groups of NCS students travelling well beyond our school grounds. These activities have ranged from Rugby 7’s all the way through to stand-up paddle boarding! We have held a Primary School Orientation Day for students (and parents/carers) who will be joining us next year; Senior Prefects attended a ‘Synergy’ Breakfast at Southern Highlands Christian School where they learned more about how to be effective Christian leaders; our Primary students held an outdoor Remembrance Day Service on the lawn beside our flagpole; Amanda Findley, our Shoalhaven Mayor, came to present certificates to 7 NCS students from Years 5/6 who were finalists in the ‘Threatened Species’ Competition and the Year 10 Celebration Assembly, marking the successful completion of the journey through Junior High School for our students, was held last Friday.

You can, of course, locate more detailed information, including an array of colourful photos, about most of these events, and others as well, as you read through the many articles contained in this edition of the Bytes.

However, I thought that I would conclude by focusing on just one of the events mentioned above in a little more detail. This was the ‘Threatened Species’ Awards and we were delighted that our Shoalhaven Mayor was able to attend and to present our students with their certificates. (It was also pleasing that many of the parents (and even grandparents) from the families of our award-winning students were able to attend and share this important occasion with us.) This event was a powerful reminder that, whilst we do live in an amazing part of Australia, surrounded by magnificent natural beauty, our actions do have a significant impact on our native flora and fauna. Competitions such as this one are excellent examples of ‘real-world’ educational programs, designed to engage, challenge and train future generations of Australian citizens to understand the vital importance of living in an environmentally sustainable manner.

As I joined the audience for the presentation of these certificates, I was once again powerfully reminded that we serve an amazing Creator God! Our God has provided us with a natural world that is full of beauty, colour, creativity and incredible intricacy. There are numerous Bible passages that speak in wonder about the beauty of God’s creation. Psalm 104:24-25 is my chosen focus verse for this fortnight and it provides us with a very relevant reminder that the world of nature is a gift to us from a generous Creator God. However, we are also clearly reminded that he has given each one of us the challenge of ensuring that we are responsible stewards of this creation and the ‘Endangered Species’ Competition helped to emphasise this sense of responsibility in a meaningful way for our students.

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