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A note from Mr Bray - 22 March 2019

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

Firstly, I would like to say a big ‘thankyou’ to Mrs Meek, Head of Secondary, who provided our previous NCS Bytes article. Amazingly, another fortnight has now raced by and we find ourselves at the end of Week 8 of this term with only three weeks remaining before holidays commence.

One of my highlights for this term has been the opportunity that I have had to meet individually with each of our HSC (Years 11 & 12) students. We have a total of 39 HSC students and by the end of this term I will have held half hour meetings with every student. I regard this as being a special privilege and I have been most impressed with the attitudes and character attributes of our students. One of my key messages has been to challenge each student to give their ‘personal best’ in every area of endeavour and this expectation is clearly highlighted in our whole-school ‘Choose Respect’ posters. I have particularly focused on academic performance. At NCS, we do not compare one student’s ‘performance’ against those of other students. Instead we encourage them to use their God-given gifts and talents to the best of their abilities. Sometimes, with the full knowledge and agreement of individual students, I have contacted specific classroom teachers to gain further feedback that I have then shared with these students at a brief subsequent meeting. If you have a son or daughter undertaking HSC this year, you might also like to speak with them about how they feel that they are currently ‘travelling’ in their various subject areas.

As usual, these past two weeks have been a very busy time of teaching and learning for staff and students at NCS. Our fortnight commenced with the holding of our Year 7 2020 Parent/Carer Information Evening and we were very pleased to have a number of parents in attendance from various local Primary schools. These parents had also brought their children along to NCS on the previous Friday to participate in the Year 7 ‘Taste ‘N’ See’ Program.

On Thursday, 14 March, we celebrated ‘Pi Day’ at NCS. Mrs Meek has reliably informed me that Pi is a unique number that is not limited to a specific number of digits. One of the challenges on the day was to see which student could memorise the most decimal places in the Pi number. This honour went to Kent E who is a Year 5 student at our school. Kent was able to accurately recite the Pi number to an incredible 523 decimal places. Well done, Kent on an amazing performance! On this day, the school canteen also sold delicious pies and apple turnovers as a special treat that seemed appropriate in recognition of this event. As you can see, our Secondary Maths staff also dressed up for the occasion.

As stated in a previous edition of Bytes, NCS chose to join almost 6,000 schools around our nation in taking a stand against bullying and violence. Friday, 15 March was chosen as the ‘National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence’. NCS held a Primary Assembly on this day to mark this event and Primary student leaders recited a pledge that indicated that they would be taking an active stance against bullying. (Our Secondary student leaders had taken a similar pledge at their assembly held one week prior to this occasion.)

However, at NCS we made the decision that we would hold a number of events that focused on this important issue over an extended period. One of the major activities was held on the morning of 13 March when students from Kindergarten, all the way through to Year 12, joined together with staff on our school oval to spell out the statement ‘Bullying. No Way!!’ An aerial photograph was taken and we have already displayed this on our school website and it has also been shared in the South Coast Register newspaper. Other activities are still occurring, including the making of a large ‘Hands’ mural by all Primary students. This mural will be displayed in a prominent position around our school.

Tuesday of this week saw NCS hosting another very important event. Senior Primary students from NCS and three other faith-based schools came together for the specific purpose of participating in the FIT (Followers in Training) Day. Trained facilitators from the Crusaders organisation presented a stimulating Bible-based program designed to equip these students to better understand how to lead from a Godly perspective. I would especially wish to thank Mrs Thuaux, our Primary Chaplain, for organising this event.

As I am writing this article on the Thursday evening, we have one more very busy day to come. This Friday will see the holding of a Secondary Assembly and the week will still not have concluded for our NCS Defence Families who have been invited by Mrs Varga, our DSM (Defence School Mentor), to attend a ‘Pool Party’ to be held at HMAS Albatross. I have also been invited to attend and am very much looking forward to this event.

During this past fortnight, I have continued to be challenged as a result of our daily morning staff devotions. On one such occasion, a staff member shared with us an area of the Year 7 curriculum entitled ‘A Sense of Self’. This topic is taught in schools throughout NSW and has a tendency to present a very humanistic view of what ‘Self’ refers to. This curriculum outline includes statements such as ‘you have control of your life; live for you and not anyone else; meet your own needs’. Of course, having a healthy self-image is important but I was greatly encouraged when I learned that, at NCS, our teachers specifically inform our students that we have been created in the image of God. Consequently, our true sense of self-worth can only be found in knowing Him and seeking His will for our lives. When we understand this, we will look to the example of Christ for guidance and direction. We see this clearly demonstrated in Philippians 2: 1-11. My focus verses for this week have been taken from this passage and they provide us with a totally new way of looking at this topic of ‘Self’.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

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