Dear Primary Families,
Welcome to what promises to be an exciting year at Northern Beaches Christian School, and an exciting year for me as the newcomer and as Head of Primary! I hope the Christmas period has provided a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. Warm greetings to our new students and families – it is wonderful to have you as part of the community!
I have had the great pleasure of meeting a handful of NBCS parents at some of the Year group gatherings, held in recent days. I look forward to meeting you all over the next few weeks – please feel free to drop into my office, located near the Primary basketball court. My wife Katrina, and three sons Charlie (Year 5), Sam (Year 3) and Noah (Year 2), are also extremely excited to be joining the NBCS community. (A photo is attached!)
For the past five years, I have held the position of Deputy Head, and at times Acting Head for extended periods, at the King’s School Preparatory School (Years K-6), at Parramatta. My experiences as an educator at the King’s School Preparatory School, Trinity Grammar Preparatory School and in the public sector has also seen me teaching students from Year 1 to Year 6 level, holding the positions of Director of Learning, Housemaster, ICT Coordinator and Outdoor Education Coordinator, as well as coaching to A grade level in cricket and rugby.
The Northern Beaches Christian School celebrates creative and critical thinking, academic excellence and a well-rounded Christian education focused on developing independent learning for life. I am extremely passionate about supporting all students in their learning, so that they can thrive, exceed expectations, reach the potential given to them by God, and be effective agents of service in the community.
The well-known African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, remains a powerful reminder of the importance of partnership in supporting the growth and development of precious lives. We have the opportunity to bring this proverb to life as we welcome many new families to our community.
In his latest book, John Hattie highlights that in studies researching what happens to students when they move schools, the single greatest predictor of subsequent success is whether the students make a friend in the first month (John Hattie, 2012 - Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne).
Those of you who have taken the initiative in organising get-togethers and extending the hand of friendship to our new families, I thank you. I would ask that we all complement the School’s endeavours to support new students and families by looking for opportunities to warmly welcome new members of the community, and to assist the students to connect and develop friendships.
A successful school community is built on the integrity of the relationships of the individuals within it. For the NBCS staff, the perfect model of relationship comes from Jesus Christ and manifests through the fruits of the Spirit. I would encourage you all to be mindful of the importance of a positive relationship as we work alongside each other to support learning. Whether through the tone of email correspondence, discussion with staff or the nature of conversation over coffee with other parents, allow the notion of positive relationship to guide your actions and words.
The Primary Staff at NBCS is an incredibly gifted, passionate and cohesive team of professionals - I am thrilled to have my own three boys in their care. They will be eager to maintain open communication with you to ensure the most complete picture of your child’s needs is provided. Also, the School encourages positive parent involvement in their child’s education as, if delivered in the appropriate way, it has a very powerful impact on learning. On the contrary, overly-demanding, pushy parenting (commonly called helicopter parenting) can have negative effects and foster low self-esteem (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth - Sydney Morning Herald December 6, 2012).
The prospect of exciting student learning opportunities, personal development of individuals, and further growth of community to take place throughout 2013 is certainly mouth-watering. I look forward to our interactions as we work together to nurture precious young lives within the community of Northern Beaches Christian School.
Please find attached a Primary Calendar of events for Term 1 for your convenience. A paper copy will also be sent home via record books today.
Head of Primary