‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers , your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.’ Nehemiah 4: 14 (b) – (NIV)
Just 14 days ago, I began my first Bytes article for 2019, by stating ‘Well, I guess that it may come as a surprise to realise that school holidays are about to conclude and plans are well underway to commence the 2019 school year at NCS.’ Holidays are now well behind us and these ‘plans’ have now become a reality and I can assure you that we have ‘launched’ into 2019 with great energy and enthusiasm!
Our school year began on Tuesday, 29 January with our Years 1-12 ‘Welcome Back’ Assembly. This was held in the Church Hall which was packed to capacity with staff and students and a very pleasing number of parents, carers and other family members who accepted our invitation to join with us for this event. This assembly provided an excellent way of bringing our entire school community together (apart from our Kindergarten children) to begin our year with prayer and praise to God through music and song. We were also able to warmly welcome new staff and new families to our NCS ‘family’. Following this assembly, a number of our guests took the opportunity to stay behind to enjoy a morning tea and relaxed conversation.
I am pleased to report that, immediately after this assembly, our staff and students very quickly settled back into a productive school routine as teaching and learning programs commenced. By period 3, it was ‘business as usual’ and I would wish to commend everyone involved for the part that they played in ensuring that our school year had commenced so smoothly!
This first week of school was a particularly significant one for our NCS Secondary students and staff as it marked the official commencement of our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program. Once again, the implementation process for this important innovation in learning styles was carried out in a smooth and efficient manner. This was largely due to the careful planning that happened last year that included numerous helpful information sessions for parents and carers.
However, our NCS school ‘family’ is never quite complete until we have our Kindergarten children back with us. I am pleased to say that this occurred on Wednesday of this week when 42 eager Kindergarten children began their ‘big school’ journey at NCS! It was an exceptionally busy scene outside the Kindergarten rooms as mums and dads, carers and other extended family members, also came along to mark this ‘milestone’ occasion. Of course, there were a few tears as farewells were made and parents and carers waved goodbye to their sons and daughters who suddenly looked rather ‘grown up’ in their brand new NCS school uniforms.
On Friday, I, along with approximately 170 students, attended the Nowra Show. Most were Primary students from Years 1/2 and 5/6 as well as the Year 9 Geography class. As I viewed the wonderful exhibits in the pavilion, I was delighted to see that Nowra Christian School students were exceptionally well represented. We should be greatly encouraged as a result of the willingness of our students to share their gifts & talents in this way. Congratulations also to the many NCS students who were given ribbons & certificates recognising the excellence of their entries.
I would wish to sincerely thank our Visual Arts teacher, Mrs Alison Stewart, for the many hours of work that she has put into the organisation of a wide variety of NCS student work to be displayed in the pavilion area at the showgrounds. These creative pieces include woodwork, ceramics, lego constructions, paintings and colouring-in entries, graphic design, photography, floral decorations and research assignments. NCS students from a wide variety of year levels have worked enthusiastically to complete these amazing ‘masterpieces’! I am very much looking forward to viewing these works of art when I visit the pavilion tomorrow.
I thought that I might take a brief moment to share some details about just one of these many artistic areas where our students have been hard at work. Some girls in Year 7 expressed an interest in entering floral arrangements for the Nowra Show. With the assistance of Mrs Stewart and the expert skills of Mrs Loretta Federici, a parent of one of the girls, our students have now entered many amazing floral creations. The chosen categories were ‘arrangement in a novelty container’ and ‘arrangement in a shoe’. I have included just three of the many entries for your viewing pleasure and we certainly wish our students well as the judges view their contributions.
Once again, I would like to remind all parents and carers about our Twilight Family Picnic that is now only one week away. All NCS families are warmly invited to join with us next Friday, 15 February, on the lawns outside the MPC from 5.30 – 7.30pm as we enjoy a relaxed picnic tea and friendly conversation. This event, held for the first time last year, was a great success and it provides a wonderful opportunity for new NCS families to come along and meet other friendly faces. You can read more detailed information elsewhere in this edition of the Bytes that refers to food and drinks that will be available for purchase on the night. You can also enjoy the talents of some of our students as they provide background music at various times during the evening.
As I have often stated in the past, one of the things that I value most about being a staff member at NCS is the opportunity to begin each day with a devotional session. These devotions are presented by various staff members on a rostered basis. I am always encouraged by the amazing variety of rich topics that are both challenging and uplifting and designed to provide us with spiritual refreshment.
My focus verse for this week comes from one of these devotional sessions. It particularly focused on chapters 3 and 4 of Nehemiah, one of the books of the Old Testament. We were reminded of Nehemiah’s determination to lead the people of Israel in the important task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after they had been destroyed at an earlier time by invading armies. The staff member presenting this devotion reminded us that, as teachers at NCS, we have a similar calling to help build into and to strengthen the lives of your children as you entrust them into our care. As was the case in Nehemiah’s time, there are many other ‘voices’ in our world today that might wish to distract or confuse your children. However, we are called to speak the truth and to present an educational program that will provide our students with firm foundations on which to build their lives. We can only do this by ‘remembering the Lord who is great and awesome’.