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A note from Mr Bray - 30 November 2018

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Psalm 3: 3-6

The completion of the 2018 school year is certainly gaining momentum and this is clearly highlighted by the fact that planning for our Thanksgiving Service, to be held at the MPC on the evening of Wednesday, 12 December, is now well advanced. I trust that you will secure a seat for this event as our NCS family comes together to celebrate God’s goodness to our school throughout another amazing year!

During this past fortnight I have again been reminded that NCS is a vibrant K-12 learning community where educational opportunities present themselves in a wide variety of formats. Monday, 19 November was a very significant day for all of our Stage 6 HSC students as they commenced their Foundation Studies program via the Focused HSC model. This also saw the advancement of Year 10 students into Year 11 and Year 11 students into Year 12. For this first day of the program, all of our HSC students remained together to participate in a special introductory program, designed to prepare them effectively for the ‘journey’ that lies ahead. The day concluded with the holding of our well-attended Stage 6 Parent/Carer Information Evening which was designed to provide relevant information, especially for parents and carers whose children are undertaking HSC for the first time.

The following evening found another group of parents and carers gathered in the Library for the second of our Years 7-12 BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) information sessions. These sessions have proven to be very helpful with parents receiving practical advice about the key aspects of the program, especially in relation to the purchasing of a suitable device. Two further sessions were held on Thursday, 29 November, one in the afternoon and the second in the evening as part of the Year 7 Parent/Carer Information Evening. I trust that you were able to attend one of these sessions and that you now have a very clear understanding of the advantages of this exciting new program.

Friday, 23 November saw the holding of a very important event at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre. This morning tea was held in support of the White Ribbon Program. The primary aim of this program is the prevention of men’s violence against women and children in our society. Two NCS staff members, Mrs Ellery and Mrs Thompson, attended this event and we are delighted to announce that two of our students were prize winners in the inaugural White Ribbon Video Competition. In an earlier Bytes article, I mentioned that our Stage 5 Drama students had been very busy using their creative skills to develop short video clips that are designed to convey the central message associated with White Ribbon Day. Libby Y won first prize and Micah P was awarded third prize. This is a wonderful effort, especially considering that this competition was open to students from all schools in our local area.

Whilst the White Ribbon event was taking place, I felt very privileged to have been invited to attend the Stage 1 ‘Chinese Feast’ that was held in the MPC. This sumptuous Chinese meal had been organised to mark the completion of a history and geography unit on China that our Stage 1 students had been actively engaged in.

Monday, 26 November was a very significant day for all of the nearly 140 CSA (Christian Schools Australia) schools that are spread throughout our nation, including NCS. On this Monday we were encouraged to participate in a National Day of Prayer for Religious Freedoms. Prior to this day, all current NCS families were individually emailed an information letter. This letter outlined why this event was being held and why it was so important for all members of our CSA Christian school communities to become personally involved. The key aims were stated as being the protection and promotion of the importance of Christian education and the associated religious freedoms within our Australian society.

On the same day, on a lighter note, but still in support of a very important charity, being the Movember Foundation, NCS staff member, Ross Tasker, publicly shaved off his moustache at lunchtime in our school grounds. Prior to this, Ross had raised funds via donations that have now been sent to the Movember Foundation in support of research into men’s health issues. (I will let you decide whether he should have left his moustache on!!??)

Staff at NCS are continually engaging in professional development activities in order to further develop their qualifications. On Tuesday of this past week, I had the pleasure of presenting Erica Noonan, one of our Primary teachers, with her NESA Proficient Teacher Certificate.

Last Thursday was another especially busy day at NCS and a particularly exciting one for all of our current Year 6 students. I say this because we held our Year 7 (2019) Orientation Day. This day saw all of our current Year 6 students, along with a number of other students from various local Primary Schools who will be coming to NCS next year, joining together to participate in a stimulating program of activities. In all, a total of 40 (including 6 new) students will be commencing their Year 7 journey at NCS next year. The major idea behind this day is that it provides students with a series of ‘taste and see’ activities that represent typical components of a Year 7 program. In the evening, it was the turn of our parents and carers who came along to learn important details about what this transition from Primary to Secondary school will involve. (This also included a further opportunity to hear about our new BYOD program.)

I began this article by stating that the year is rapidly drawing to a conclusion and this is apparent as organisation for our Thanksgiving Evening is well underway. However, just this last Tuesday, I was present at a final meeting of the committee that is planning the Worrigee Community Christmas Carols. This is a joint initiative of Nowra Baptist Church and Nowra Christian School. This exciting event, that will include tasty food, games and entertainment, a wonderful carols program and that will culminate in a fireworks display, is even closer than our Thanksgiving Evening and will occur next Saturday evening, 8 December. This is designed to be a genuine Worrigee community event and I would urge you, not only to bring your families along, but also to consider inviting others, especially those residing in the Worrigee area.

My chosen focus verses this week are taken from a psalm written by King David when he was facing persecution and affliction from those who were opposing him on all sides. David exhibited great faith in his God and a belief that this very same God could deliver him from the hands of those who would wish to do him harm. I trust that David’s example can provide each one of us with great encouragement as we respond to those who actively desire to remove or restrict the religious freedoms currently enjoyed by Christian schools such as NCS. David’s God proved to be powerful and true to his word and this is the very same God that we proclaim through the educational programs being provided at each of our CSA schools.

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