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A note from Mr Bray - 6 September 2019

‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

As you would be aware, every school in New South Wales must be appropriately registered in order to continue to operate as an educational provider. NCS was informed late last year that our school’s registration was due for cyclical inspection. Accordingly, we were visited by a NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Inspection Panel during June. The inspectors carefully examined requested curriculum material and various policies and procedures. I am pleased to inform our school community that NCS has been granted re-registration and accreditation certification (see certificates below) that are current until 31 December, 2024. This certification allows us to operate as a Kindergarten to Year 12 school in order to provide courses leading to the award of the ROSA and HSC certificates. We are thankful to God for this very pleasing outcome.

Thank you to Mr McLennan (Head of Primary) for writing our last NCS Bytes article in which he explored the topic of ‘care’ as we see it lived out in our NCS community. Of course, ‘care’ is one of our three NCS key values.

Whilst Mr McLennan was writing this article, I was representing our school at the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) Annual Leadership Summit. This year the Summit was held in Western Australia and it was a great privilege to gather with approximately 250 leaders drawn from Christian schools located all around Australia. There were also quite a few representatives from a number of overseas Christian schools. It provided a rich forum to hear keynote speakers presenting on new strategic initiatives in the world of Christian education. Numerous opportunities were also provided to engage in workshop sessions and to meet in small discussion groups with current colleagues and to make many new acquaintances.

As always, many exciting events have been occurring at NCS during this past fortnight. I will refer to just some of these in my report but would encourage you to read the many other articles that are contained in this edition of NCS Bytes.

I was disappointed that my time at the CSA Leadership Summit coincided with Book Week back at NCS. This is always a wonderful week at our school where we celebrate the joys of reading in a variety of age-appropriate ways. I usually take the opportunity to read some storybooks to a number of our Primary classes. However, our Stage 3 teachers were very kind to me and they allowed me to read to the three Years 5/6 classes when I returned to school the following week. We had a delightful time reading a very informative book titled ‘Searching for Cicadas’.

Following closely on the amazing success of ‘Jungle Drums’, our Primary Production, my wife, Sharon and I also had the great pleasure of being members of the audience at the ‘In Tune’ concert, held at the Nowra School of Arts building on 27 August. This is the second time that this event has been held and it sees our talented NCS Concert Band student musicians joining with the members of the Shoalhaven City Concert Band. What an evening of wonderful musical entertainment we were treated to! It brings great delight to see our students using their musical gifts and talents in such a creative way! I would wish to extend a special ‘thankyou’ to Mrs Lawrence and Mr Hodge for the important roles that they play in ensuring that this event comes to fruition.

On Wednesday, 28 August, NCS held another of our Kindergarten ‘Open Mornings’. Mr McLennan (Head of Primary) and I greatly enjoy these events as we get the opportunity to meet with new families who are contemplating joining our school in the coming year. It is always encouraging to hear these parents/carers relate the stories of how our school has been highly recommended by current members of our NCS school ‘family’.

Thursday, 29 August was also another especially busy morning at our school. This was because there were lines of eager students, queuing up to collect their orders at the Fathers’ Day stall. There was an amazing range of lovely gifts available for our students to purchase and I certainly overheard a lot of excited chatter when I visited this stall. This annual event is organised by our Parents/Carers and Friends (P/C & F) group and I would wish to give a big ‘thankyou’ to those parents/carers who were able to assist us at this special event. I trust that these gifts helped to put a big smile on the faces of many of our dads on Fathers’ Day morning as they were presented, along with hugs and kisses, by your children.

When Kindergarten or Stage 1 are responsible for presenting our Primary school assemblies, we always know to put out a lot of extra chairs in the church hall because of the many parents/carers and extended family members who are guaranteed to come along. It was our Stage 1 assembly on Friday, 30 August and, once again, we had a very large and enthusiastic audience for this event. All Stage 1 children are to be congratulated for the wonderful manner in which they conducted this assembly. Many children took leading roles, welcoming our audience, opening in prayer and introducing items throughout the assembly. We were treated to songs, plays and PowerPoint presentations of sporting events and some students also displayed their amazing sock puppets. Many excellent student performances were publicly recognised as we presented athletics ribbons and Blue Merit awards.

I hold many enrolment interviews in my office and one of the things that gives me great pleasure is to point out the amazing student artwork that I have displayed on my office walls. Prospective parents/carers are always very complimentary in relation to these artworks. We have so many talented student artists and you will find labelled works of art displayed throughout our school. Every so often, Mrs Stewart, our Visual Arts Teacher, arranges for new art works to be placed in my office. Recently, I caught up with sisters, Mackenzie P (Year 4) and Dakota P (Year 6) to congratulate them on the quality of their artistic contributions that presently hang in my office.

As many of you would be well aware, our HSC students are rapidly approaching the conclusion of this year’s courses. (In fact, our Year 12 Graduation Dinner is scheduled to be held on 27 September which is now less than one month away.) By the time that you are reading this edition of NCS Bytes, our HSC students will have just finished a very busy and demanding week when they will have been completing their HSC Trial Examinations. Please remember to continue to uphold our HSC students in prayer as they head towards their final External Examinations that officially commence on Tuesday, 17 October.

My focus verse for this edition of NCS Bytes comes from the book of Philippians. Leading up to this verse, the Apostle Paul had been reminding those who belonged to the church at Philippi that he had learned to be content, regardless of his physical circumstances. He stated that he had experienced times of plenty as well as times of great need. However, what he had discovered was that trusting in Jesus was always enough. That is why he was able to confidently conclude that ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ Phil 4:12. I trust that this will be our prayer for our HSC students as they approach the conclusion of their courses of study and begin the process of preparing for their final examinations. May they know that they can look to Jesus for comfort, strength and support as they commence their study and revision period.

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