Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3: 12-13 (NIV)
The first week of Term 3 at NCS is now completed and it has been wonderful to have all of our students back with us! Schools can be very empty places without students so it has brought the staff great pleasure to hear the excited voices of our students in the playgrounds and to see groups of young people moving purposefully to their various classes.
The week commenced with both Primary and Secondary students attending separate assemblies where they were introduced to an important initiative that will become an integral component of conversations at our school. This initiative centres around the creation of a ‘Respect’ poster. Copies of this poster have now been displayed throughout the school. It has been designed to provide all members of our NCS community – students, staff and parents/carers – with a common ‘language’ that will guide our discussions and help to ensure respectful outcomes. You will find these posters in every classroom and in many other areas throughout NCS. Please click on the link to read more about this vital new initiative and to view an actual poster.
The previous week saw most of our staff directly involved in our Conference Week. This provided a wonderful opportunity for staff, both teaching and non-teaching, to engage in a range of valuable professional development activities and personal preparation time. This was the first mid-year conference that I have had the privilege of attending and I was greatly encouraged to witness the positive attitudes displayed by staff as they enthusiastically participated in the diverse program that was provided. Again, I would encourage you to click on the link provided to learn more about this conference in order to better appreciate how the topics explored will further equip staff to provide a genuine Christian educational program for your children.
During this week, I also had the privilege of accompanying our two secondary school captains, Camille Dewell and Sam Ellery, as they attended a morning tea at the offices of Ms.Ann Sudmalis, the federal member for Gilmore. At this event they were joined by other captains from secondary schools throughout the local area. Ms. Sudmalis welcomed all students and provided them with a brief account of how she had become involved in politics and what her role involves. She then provided an opportunity for students to ask her any questions that they might have. I was greatly encouraged by the depth of thought that these questions demonstrated. We can look forward with great confidence to the contributions that our young student leaders will make to our society when they leave school at the conclusion of this year to pursue careers or further study opportunities.
Sam and Camille have provided the following brief summary of their impressions of this event and I believe that you will be encouraged to read what they have to say. ‘The forum offered the opportunity to engage in conversations on pressing issues ranging from the refugee crisis and relations with North Korea through to the future of public transport and health provision in the Gilmore electorate. This was an excellent opportunity to see what politics looks like behind the scenes and to discover how our region operates at the federal level. We both felt that this experience helped us to build better relationships with the local student leaders and to think about how, as young adults, we can develop our own Christ-shaped view on a range of current political issues. Overall the experience was beneficial and we would recommend that future school leaders make the most of this opportunity if it is presented to them.’
If you read the link relating to the ‘Respect’ posters, you will notice a strong emphasis on living respectfully in community. NCS is our ‘community’ and our focus verses this week provide a wonderful Biblical perspective as to what such a community can look like. This passage was originally presented to all staff by Mr Paul Dickinson, our Board Chair, during a Staff Conference devotional session. If you have the time, I would encourage you to read the larger passage from which these two verses were taken to receive a fuller account of how the Apostle Paul challenged the Colossians to consider how they were to treat one another in Christian love. This account can be found in Colossians 3: 12-17.