We are currently reviewing our website. It is a great experience and it certainly opens a lot of conversations along the way, and prompting good questions; some of which are not easy to answer! It reminded me of when you open up your photo gallery on your phone, or a photo album that you haven’t looked through for a while, to find a photo that you are sure is in there. You think that it will be a relatively short exercise; after all, you are just looking for a photo. Two hours later, you still didn’t find ‘that’ photo, but instead found 10 other great ones! Now you just have to pick the ‘one’!
So we are currently reviewing and revising the various messages, images and layout found on the website, and as is our practice, we will be welcoming your ideas and providing opportunities for feedback as we make some adaptions. Along a similar line, thanks to those who were able to attend the first parent focus group, to discuss our proposed education discussion forum. Your ideas and questions will be collated and used in the second/reviewing phase, of this process. Part of the information we are yet to finalise is how best to access this forum. It may be via the app, an invitation only blog or indeed via the website.
Our research to date has indicated that the website is the most popular way that prospective and new families from outside Orange access OCS for the first time. We therefore will be updating our enrolment pathways and ensuring that we maintain a clear picture of who we are as a vibrant, Christian school community. Next week, we will have some photographic sessions happening to update the website photos and updated information guides are being written by our executive and key leaders.
So I invite you to come and chat with me if you have any particular ideas or insights that you believe could be of value in this process.
Praying that you have a great week and I look forward to seeing you around our school; especially up in our junior playground. Make sure you have a look at the path outside C block. Lots of great ideas for fun play and building balance and coordination. While you are there, check out the climbing wall up in the junior playground. Our children have been loving these wonderful play additions this week. A huge thanks to all our parents, students and staff who came along to PiP last week. We finalised 11 projects which was a mammoth effort. We are blessed indeed with our parent partnership!
Blessings to you and your family
Melissa Brown / Principal
PARENTS IN PARTNERSHIP
Proposed On-Line Discussion Forum
A group of parents gathered last week as a Focus Group, to give their thoughts on our proposed On-Line Discussion Forum. We discussed the questions…
Why have such a forum? and…
Would you use it?
In answer, it was said that:
-the idea is good, to encourage parents to share their thoughts…but is on-line the best way to go?
-we would need to be clear regarding the purpose of the forum, to keep people on on track and to keep them within stipulated guidelines of accepted online behaviour
-is its purpose to give one’s opinion or to have a discussion?
-for parents who can’t be on site it would give them a chance to express their views
-a discussion regarding compressed courses would be useful
-day to day matters are more important to me than the broader academic issues
-9:00am for a Focus Group does not suit working parents…is another time possible for the next one?
I’m hopeful that parents would see this forum as an opportunity to discuss both the day to day issues arising for their child as well as the big picture education questions. At times it is helpful to realise that some issues fit into a broader framework of ongoing academic debate, so that as a community of learners we can gain a broader perspective. These broader perspectives can sometimes serve as a good starting point for discussion.
While clearly our community members need opportunity to express their opinions, discussions arising from the points raised should result in healthy debate. Perhaps such debate will draw responses from OCS community members who don’t usually get involved in such discussions, especially those unable to be regularly on site.
If members of our school community can strengthen their sense of belonging by interacting in discussions online, then the forum will have been successful, apart from any other benefits.
For our next Focus group we will look at holding it after work hours to encourage others to be able to participate.
Many thanks to those who took part in our Focus group and to all who have given feedback regarding our proposed On-Line Discussion Forum. Please contact me…email@example.com if you would like to have your say on this topic.
From our Registrar
Jenni Da Silva
Last year Orange Christian School introduced a new School Stream App which can assist with your notifying the school when your child is absent due to illness. If you use the App attendance notification (under Forms category ), there is no need to complete a written note to the school.
The App will also let you access all notes which are sent home, our Whole School (odd weeks) and Section (even weeks) Newsletters and send you notifications of Reminders for upcoming school events.
I encourage you download the App today and find how user friendly and convenient it is .
From The Board Chairperson
The beginning of a new year is a great time for us to reflect on our journey as a school community and on our own individual journeys with God. It is a time to celebrate how far we have come and to also dream and pray about the year ahead.
It is a great time for us to re-evaluate our lives and to set goals in areas we want to grow in. Certainly my number 1 goal for 2019 is to get a little closer to God, to learn to trust him more and to be more diligent in reading his word and spending time in prayer.
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, but staying focussed on our goals and remaining motivated to reach the finish line is often a challenge. The good news for 2019, and for every year, is that we can achieve greater success & accomplish much more if we learn to rely on God for the strength, inspiration and direction that we need to get there.
In late January, Fiona and I went to see for King & Country in concert in Sydney – who were on their “burn the ships” world tour. During the concert, Luke, who is one of the brothers making up the band revealed that the title song was inspired by a Spanish explorer in the 1500s who boldly landed his ships on enemy shores without any knowledge of what awaited their arrival. To ensure that his men were committed to their mission, he assembled them onto the beach and then ordered them to “burn the ships”. The only way to go was onward; retreat was not an option.
I immediately thought of how that applies to us individually and also as a school community. We should learn from the past but we certainly should not focus on past mistakes or missed opportunities, lest we miss what God has in store for us as we move forward. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Cheers & God Bless
Join Us In Prayer
Thanks God For…
- a well-attended PiP Day last Saturday
- a safe and enjoyable Stage 4 Six Foot track Camp
- a well-received Wontama experience for Year 10
- worthwhile learning through Year 9 Homeless Camp
- continued growth in enrolments
- preparations for the 2019 Fiji Mission Trip
Please Pray For…
- all of our new families to feel like they are an important part of OCS
- Mary Poppins rehearsals and plans
- Read-Aloud Picnic Day to be well-attended
- continued safety for all of our OCS community
- a great time at the Stage 2 Sleep Over
From Our Chaplain
‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…think about such things.’
I recently heard a story of a man who, when about to address a small group of children, asked them, “Am I a stranger?” He was rather surprised to receive the response of “no”. When he questioned this, they said it was because he had smiled at them.
Children can often surprise us with their perspective. Sometimes they conjure up an image of a bad person and they expect a person of ill-intent to have that certain look. Whilst we do not want to create anxiety within our children, we need to educate them about personal safety so that they are not naive or vulnerable. There is a balance and it is often found in teachable moments.
For young children the routine activity of bath time is an opportunity to empower them about their personal safety. Having conversations to help them understand the difference between keeping a “surprise” and keeping a “secret” from parents.
Developing open communication with children is paramount so that they are never concerned about raising a topic with their parents. Being able to ask questions or clarify thoughts is an important element in helping them grow in their understanding of healthy relationships and this ideally starts from the very early years.
Teaching stranger danger is not just about talking to your child about the concerns of being approached by a person who asks for their help from their car, or approaches them in some other situation. Cyber safety awareness is essential for this generation, like no other generation before them. Being active in your child’s digital life is an aspect of parenting that should not be ignored. Not only from the aspect of Stranger Danger, but also to be aware of what they may encounter that can affect them emotionally or spiritually. A good Biblical guideline for online activity for all of us is “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…think about such things.”(Philippians 4:8).
There are many resources available online to equip parents with all aspects of personal safety for children and teens. Some of them are: https://www.safety4kids.com.au bravehearts.org.au
Please contact me through the Front Office if I can be of any assistance with any concern that you may have with your child.
Year 10 Wontama Experience
Congratulations to all of our Year 10 students who did a fantastic job looking after some of the residents from Wontama last week.
Both on Thursday when they visited the residents and on Friday when the residents came to OCS for a morning of wonderful food and entertainment, our students excelled themselves. It was so encouraging to witness our Year 10’s putting the needs of the elderly before their own, as they planned and ran activities especially tailored for them.
Our guests were most appreciative and expressed their thanks enthusiastically!
OCS Swimming Carnival
Zone Swimming Carnival Update
Since the last newsletter we have received the following results:
12-13 years (Primary)
All the students of Orange Christian School swam very well on the day and contributed to our winning team score of 1233. This was 160 points clear of the second place school.
Well done everyone!!!
2020 Swimming Dates
OCS Swimming Carnival – Thursday, 13th February, 2020
Zone Swimming Carnival (to be held at Orange) – Friday, 28th February, 2020
From Our Curriculum Coordinator
Blessings for Primary Industries
Our brand-new VET Primary Industries class has been running for six weeks now and we are loving it! The students have been studying livestock, weather, WHS and fencing, working through their competencies and completing practical skills activities. The unique nature of VET classes mean that the students are participating in real-world workplace events, including ear-tagging lambs, repairing fencing, observing the effect of drought on water sources and looking at how weather patterns influence agricultural processes.
We have been particularly blessed by our OCS school community in establishing this course. During the recent PiP day, a team of hard workers, including some VET students, were able to tear down the old poultry facility, which was no longer usable. From this, we are able to recycle fencing and timber to build a brand-new “chook shed” later in the year as part of our studies. The class is excited about this venture, especially as we can also include the VET Hospitality group, who can use the eggs and dispose of kitchen scraps.
Our most recent blessing has come from one of our OCS parents, Brad Longhurst, and his dad, Wayne. Brad and Wayne have kindly donated over 400 tubestock buxus plants to the school. This is an incredible gesture and a generous gift. The class will be caring for the plants over the next few months as part of their horticulture unit, with the plan of using them in landscaping around our new Hall. The students were also able to tour Brad’s nursery, with Wayne giving them a talk about establishing plants and the facilities needed for the various stages of growth.
Through Brad and Wayne’s nursery, we have been able to obtain a flood irrigation plant bed for the school’s use. This makes it possible for us to grow plants from seed, cuttings or seedlings, sheltering them from sun and cold and providing consistent watering. Not only will the Primary Industries class benefit from this structure, but so will the Stage 4 Technology classes as they begin their agriculture units, and other groups across the school who wish to utilise the advantages of such a set-up. A huge “thank you” to Brad and Wayne Longhurst for their amazing generosity and contribution to learning at OCS.
Coming Up @ OCS
- CSSA Primary State Swimming Carnival – Monday, 11th March @ Blacktown
- Parents Connect – Friday, 15th March @ 9:00am @ Bembooka
- Junior School Assembly – Friday, 15th March @ 9:30am @ Hall
- Junior School Read Aloud Picnic Day – Friday, 15th March @ 10:00am @ Top Courtyard
- Middle School Assembly – Friday, 15th March @ 10:50am @ H3
- Senior School Assembly – Friday, 15th March @ 10:50am @ Hall
- Musical Madness OCS Preschool Event – Tuesday, 19th March Please Note Change of Date
- Stage 2 Sleep Over – Thursday, 20th March
- Parent Forum – Thursday, 20th March @ 7:00pm @ Bembooka
- Parents Connect – Friday, 22nd March @ 9:00am @ Bembooka
- Zone Swimming Carnival – Friday, 22nd Feb
- Primary Assembly – Friday, 22nd Feb @ 9:30am @ Hall
- Secondary Assembly – Friday, 22nd Feb @ 10:50am @ Hall
- CSSA Secondary State Swimming Carnival – Monday, 25th March @ Homebush Bay
- Parent Teacher Meetings – Tuesday, 26th March, 3:30pm – 8:00pm
- Parent Teacher Meetings – Wednesday, 27th March, 3:30pm – 6:00pm
- Easter Assembly – Friday 12th April
- K-2 Sports Carnival – Friday 12th April
Save The Date!
- OCS’s Mary Poppins – Friday, 7th June@ 7:00pm @ Orange Civic Theatre
- OCS’s Mary Poppins – Saturday, 8th June @ 5 :00pm @ Orange Civic Theatre
- OCS Fundraising Dinner – Friday, 28th June @ 6:00pm @ OCS
Every Week @ OCS
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs: After School Learning Hub 3:15pm – 5:00pm
Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri: After School Sport Activities with Coach Mr Snitch 3:20pm – 4:30pm
Mon – Fri: After School Care 3:10pm – 5:30pm
Mon: Worship Band @ Hall 1:30pm
Tues: String Ensemble @ Hall 1:30pm-2:00pm
Wed: Yrs 3-6 Chess Club @ H2 1:30pm
Thurs: Primary Band @ Hall 1:30pm-2:00pm
Thurs: Girls With God (GWG) Yr 5-8 Girls @ H3 @ 1:30pm-2:00pm
Thurs: Stage Band @ Hall 3:30pm-4:30pm
Fri: Parents Connect @ Bembooka @ 9:00am
Fri: Primary/Junior Assembly @ Hall 9:30am
Fri: Secondary Assembly/Senior Assembly @ Hall /Middle School Assembly @ H3 @ 10:50am
Afternoon Sport Activities with Sport Coach Mr Snitch
Mr Snitch will be conducting after school sport training on Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday & Fridays.
Term 1 Coaching Sessions will run from 3:20pm -4:30pm, and are available to all students from Years 3-12.
In term 1 Mr Snitch will be coaching:
– Cricket on Tuesday
– Athletics (Track) on Wednesday
– Stage 5 Touch Football on Thursday
– Athletics (Field) on Friday
Meet after school outside the Learning Hub