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A note from Mr Bray - 18 October 2019

‘So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.’ John 8:36

A warm welcome back to Term 4 to all of our NCS school families! This final term has only 9 weeks and our first week has certainly raced by! Once again, it was very pleasing to see how quickly students and staff settled back into a productive work routine and by Monday morning recess it certainly was a case of ‘business as usual’.

Before looking more closely at just some of the activities that have taken place during Week 1, I would like to again remind all parents/carers that there is still an opportunity available to complete the NCS ‘Community Sentiment Survey’. (A big ‘thankyou’ is extended to all parents/carers who have already completed this task.) This survey was last conducted during 2017 and our School Board carefully considered much of the information that was provided via these surveys as they carried out a strategic planning review and developed a 10 Year Building Masterplan. We are, once again, seeking the support of all parents/carers and requesting that you find the time over the next week to complete this anonymous survey that should take no more than 20-30 minutes of your time.

Many important events have already occurred throughout this busy first week. On Tuesday evening, many parents/carers took the opportunity of attending our Kindergarten (2020) Information Session. This meeting is a vital part of our Preschool to Kindergarten transition program and we were delighted to welcome many new parents/carers who will be joining our NCS ‘family’ for the first time next year as their children commence Kindergarten. This event is designed to provide important information about Kindergarten programs at our school and to better prepare parents/carers for the exciting ‘journey’ that lies ahead.

This same evening also saw our Board members gathering together as they continue to oversee the governance operations of our school. The agenda contained many important items, including a progress report in relation to Stage 1 of our building masterplan as well as an update from the 40th Anniversary Planning Committee outlining just some of the key activities being organised to celebrate this key moment in the history of our school.

During the week, I was also a member of a panel as we interviewed a number of candidates who had applied to join our teaching team for next year. It is always a privilege to meet with these applicants and to learn more of their educational journeys. I would encourage our parents/carers to join us in prayer as we make important staffing decisions for the 2020 school year.

This week also saw the commencement of the HSC external examination period. The first examination involved our Year 12 students who have all been studying over the past weeks in readiness for their English examination. Before our students entered the examination room, I had the privilege of joining with them and a number of NCS staff as we prayed for the calming of any nerves and for clear minds throughout the examination time. I would encourage our parents/carers to also uphold our students in prayer throughout this busy examination period. (The final examination involving students from our school will be held on Friday, 8 November.)

On Monday of this week, I had the privilege of leading our first staff devotion for this term. The topic that I referred to was ‘freedom’ and my focus verse for this week refers to the incredible freedom that comes as a result of trusting in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. This verse states ‘So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ John 8:36. This focus on the topic of ‘freedom’ was partially a consequence of viewing a great deal of news footage over the holiday period showing protesters in Hong Kong demonstrating in support of maintaining political freedoms from the Chinese government in Beijing. It reminded me that in Australia we still have precious religious freedoms that allow Christian schools such as NCS to present our curriculum from a Christian worldview perspective. I encouraged our staff to share with our students that the greatest ‘freedom’ that we will ever experience is found through the establishment of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only this ‘freedom’ has the power to totally transform our lives.

Before concluding, I would wish to draw to your attention a very important event that will be occurring at our school next Friday, 25 October. We will be hosting a very special assembly as we raise, for the first time, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to fly alongside our Australian flag. Fiona Phillips, our Federal member for Gilmore, will be with us and she will present these flags to our school on behalf of the Australian Government. Local elders, dignitaries and special guests will join with us for this significant event. The assembly will be held in the Church Hall, commencing at 11.00am. Following the flag-raising ceremony, all special guests and parents/carers are invited to remain behind to enjoy relaxed conversation over light refreshments.

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