Mr Bray's final note for 2018
Focus verse: ‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ - 2 Corinthians 9: 15 (NIV)
The final two weeks of our 2018 school year seem to have rushed by at an incredible pace! No doubt, this was because these ten days were packed full of so many significant events as teachers and students at every level worked together to complete their learning programs for the year.
These two weeks also provided us with a number of opportunities to appropriately recognise and celebrate the performances and achievements of all members of our school community. We were able to do this at our Year 6 Graduation Assembly on Friday, 7 December and at our Awards Assembly Day on Monday, 10 December. Then, of course, the entire NCS community came together in the MPC to witness our very special Thanksgiving Evening Program (see image gallery) on Wednesday, 12 December. I trust that you were able to join with us for some of these special occasions. I was certainly delighted with the large numbers of parents/carers and extended family members who set aside time to ensure that they were in attendance. We received many positive comments in relation to a number of changes that we made to the format of these celebratory events and I trust that you also found them to be a fitting way for us to reflect on the 2018 school year at NCS.
In the middle of these two weeks, another very special event was held on the evening of Saturday, 8 December. Of course, I am referring to the holding of the Worrigee Community Christmas Carols. The weather was perfect for this event and we estimate that over 1,000 people came along to enjoy an evening meal and various activities, specifically designed to appeal to younger children. As the light faded, the carol program began and we were treated to a number of delightful performances, including from the NCS Primary Choir and the NCS Concert Band. Those gathered joined together to enthusiastically sing many well-known carols designed to convey the true message of Christmas. The night concluded with a fireworks display that left the audience feeling both amazed and delighted.
I mentioned earlier that the final two weeks were packed full of activities. Just some of these included the finalisation of which students, out of so many excellent candidates, would be chosen to be our Primary and Secondary School Captains and Prefects for 2019. The students who would represent the school as House Captains and Vice-Captains were also decided. I can confidently state that student leadership is in wonderful hands as we look forward to next year.
On Wednesday, 5 December, I had the privilege of spending most of the day with the talented members of our NCS Concert Band as we visited three locations in Nowra. The first occasion saw the Band setting up in an outdoor location on the site of the Wesley Centre in the heart of Nowra. Many people passed by on foot and in vehicles as our students enthusiastically played numerous well-known Christmas carols. The Band then relocated to Clelland Lodge Residential Care facility in North Nowra where they again presented their program of Christmas carols to an appreciative audience of residents. The final location for the day, saw our students setting up in Jellybean Park at the back of the shops in Junction Street. By this time there were students with dry mouths and sore lips as a result of playing for such a long period of time but they all stayed focused on the task and many people, including young children, stopped to enjoy the stirring rendition of carols. All of our students were a credit to NCS as they used their musical gifts and talents to bless many members of our wider Nowra community.
On the following day, I was a member of a panel of four as we interviewed four applicants for the NSW Premier’s ANZAC Memorial Scholarship. Each candidate submitted an original creative piece in the form of a poem, short story or video clip and each were also asked a series of probing questions designed to uncover the reasons why they desired to represent NCS on this major international trip. Successful students, from 20 schools throughout NSW, will explore the battlefields and other significant WW1 Western Front historical sites in Germany, France and Belgium during September and October in 2019.
Our Kindergarten students enjoyed an excursion to the Graham’s Maple Ridge Goat Farm on Tuesday, 11 December and all of our Secondary School students were involved in a day of community service at various locations throughout the local area on Wednesday, 12 December. The final day for all students was Thursday, 13 December. Traditionally this is Beach Day for all Secondary students and our Primary students divide into two sections to enjoy Picnic activities. Due to inclement weather, two of these activities needed to be cancelled and alternative programs occurred back at school. It is a credit to both staff and students that these alternative programs, developed at short notice, were able to run so smoothly.
As you can clearly see, our 2018 school year came to an energetic conclusion! Now I would like to conclude this final Principal’s Bytes article for the year by drawing our attention to my chosen focus verse. It comes from 2 Corinthians 9: 15 and simply, but profoundly, states ‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ This ‘gift’ referred to here is, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ and it is this gift that we celebrate at Christmas time in the form of the baby Jesus who is the ‘reason for the season’. I trust that this gift of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour will not be hidden by all of the frantic Christmas advertising that constantly surrounds us and decisions about what we should be cooking for our Christmas dinner.
Finally, I wish to convey my personal gratitude to each one of you for your interest in, and support of, our school. This has been demonstrated in so many ways throughout the 2018 school year. When school and home work consistently together in effective partnership, great educational outcomes occur that directly benefit every student at our school. On behalf of the NCS Board and staff, I would wish all of our school families a safe and blessed Christmas holidays. We trust that there will be many opportunities for rest and refreshment and we look forward to meeting with you again when school commences for all students in Years 1-12 on Tuesday, 29 January, 2019.