Whole School Newsletter

Term 4 Week 5

Parents, Students and Staff…Working Together

Deputy Principal’s Press 


Glen Gray

Having a less vocal personality means that I am not energised by the thought of writing articles for newsletters, but every now and then it is good to be able to share some thoughts about what has and continues to inspire me to not only be a dad and grandfather to my own family, but to minister in a role that calls me to interact with many other families.

Sometimes we hold on too tight and other times too loose. What things really matter and where do we need to allow others the freedom to take responsibility for their choices? How do we raise leaders if we insist on never giving them the opportunity to lead? I can still remember two of my my boys saying in stereo, “Daddy you are holding on too tight and hurting my arm”, as we waited to cross a busy Sydney street. I also remember positioning myself at the back in their early cycling days so that I could warn them of traffic approaching from behind and watch them take turns in leading their brothers (and me) as we explored the neighbourhood. They grew to understand the length of a cricket pitch as we managed that initial 2O metres of trust that grew to become the length of a football field. Every now and then I reflect on how I felt when my dad first asked my advice to solve a problem he had been struggling with, so I have deliberately asked my sons for advice particularly during their teenage years, when undertaking a challenge that fitted into their areas of interest or gifting. Today I very much appreciate the wisdom they can share with me from their experience and perspective.

As a teacher I have learned a lot from the many students I have taught over the years as I have endeavoured to share insights and give instruction to them. While I have found it both challenging and rewarding to have been involved with so many young lives and wrestle with the question of when do I need to keep it tight, when do I stay close to support young decision makers, and how do I encourage growth through experiences that develop leaders? The interconnectedness of parenting and teaching makes involvement in Christian Education sound so logical and worthwhile.

Our PIP days are great examples of what we can achieve when we all interconnect; witnessing the way in which an idea, when not held too tightly can be enhanced by the input of others. I love the way in which God brings his communities together from a range of backgrounds and experiences, with such a variety of gifts. Our choice is to criticise, or to compliment. Complimentary actions and attitudes are able to achieve so much when, while still holding tight to our core values, we let go of the reins and release the creative juices in others who can take a simple idea and progress it to the next level.

I was once told that I am resistant to change after I disagreed with a former colleague’s suggested change that I believed served no purpose, but would cause a lot of disruption. I actually love to see growth. To have watched members of our first Prep class progress through their years at school, and complete their HSC, having been joined by a number who have come and gone along the way, has made 2018 a special year for me. To witness such growth as little children become young men and women is a real blessing and needs to remain that spot on the horizon as we navigate the ups and downs of the journey from Prep towards HSC.

Let me close by encouraging all who are part of the Orange Christian School community to continually look for ways in which we can invest in the lives of others, caring enough to give appropriate correction and embracing the opportunities to celebrate milestones and achievements along the journey.

God bless,

Glen Gray

Deputy Principal




Great Community Effort @ PiP Day…and What’s Next??

Peter Cooper

Thanks to all who worked so hard on our last Practical PiP morning. Your efforts made big difference around our school.

A special thanks to the parents who have been involved in the planning for our playground revamp: Louise Halliday, Leonie Green, Liz Rumbold and Alex McFadden, and to those who have helped them. It got off to a great start last week…but there is more to come. After lots of planning and discussion between school and parents, here is the long term plan – from Alex:

‘Our long term  plan is to add a new area  @ each PIP day in 2019 and add additional activities that staff feel may be beneficial to their students and classroom management.
Listed are other areas around the school where these activities could be added. The goal would be to add 2-3 activities each PIP day in 2019 and to work closely with teachers to see which activity and space should take priority.

Below are the possible spaces to be completed at each PIP and possible ideas for each:

First PiP Day of 2019 Term 1
Alternating these activities the length of each walk way

From this…                                               …to this!



2nd PiP Day, Term 2 

Target games to improve hand eye coordination

From this…                                                                            …to this!                                                                                                                             and this!

3rd PiP Day, Term 4

The line markings in front of Kinder and Stage One classrooms… Update them and perhaps make them a bit fun!

From this…                                                                …and this                                                        …to this!

In Conclusion
At our Association Meetings this year there has been a real focus on strengthening parent partnership. This is a project where we won’t be telling the school what we are doing but will be seeking guidance and ideas that teachers believe will be most beneficial to their students. This will be a parent driven project with people who are passionate about making OCS the best it can be, and we believe these small additions, as seen above, are a way achieving this.

We’ve talked about a growth mindset in and out of the classroom. We need to encourage families to get involved in that vision and we believe this is one way of doing that.’


Thanks so much to Alex and the team of parents who have worked so well together and with the school, to bring about these exciting changes for our children. 

Thanks for putting ‘Parents in Partnership’ into action. We all look forward to your plans unfolding over 2019.

Any families who would like to become involved with this great project, please contact Alex or me @ school…and if you have some thoughts about further improvements or ideas, that you would like to be involved in @ OCS please contact me. pcooper@ocs.nsw.edu.au


From our Board Chairperson

David Coleman


Thanks to those who joined together to pray last week for our school, students and families and to give thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for his goodness and all that he has done for our school.

We are a praying community, and it is wonderful to see what God will do when we come before Him in prayer. Watch out for further opportunities to pray together.

Tuesday, 20th November is our Association Meeting. Come along to be part of what God is doing @ OCS!


Business Matters…from our Business Manager

Car Park Safety

Stephen Griffith

Thank you for your continuing support for safety around the front of the School and the School’s parking facilities.

I seek the support of all members of the School community to:

  • observe the posted speed signs.
  •  not use the bus bay at any time.
  • park in allocated parking spaces.
  • use the marked pedestrian pathways at all times.
  • use the marked pedestrian crossings.
  • be respectful of other users.

This will result in a safe environment for all students and vehicle users.

I thank you for your continued support.



Healthy Living…with Cherie Rivas

Blog #4: Be a Lunchbox Legend!

Cherie Rivas

OCS Partner in Health & Wellness


 Just because that fancy new lunchbox has got 5 or 6 tricky little compartments in it, doesn’t mean you have to fill each and every one of them for your child’s lunch each day.

While it’s true that children learn better when they eat well, ‘portion distortion’ (over-estimating serving sizes), and generally overeating (even when it’s nutritious food), is a contributing factor to our childhood obesity crisis.

So what makes an ideal lunchbox? Aim to include a range of appropriately portioned foods from all the food groups:



Why Examples Recommended Daily Intake

(2 – 11 yrs)

Fruit Loads of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and natural sugars for energy. Fresh fruits where possible or tinned fruit in natural juice (not syrup).

Dried fruit in small portions only.

1 – 2 serves per day

Packed full of vitamins, minerals & dietary fibre Snack size pieces such as cherry tomatoes, capsicum strips, snow peas, carrot, celery and cucumber sticks. Salad vegetables for sandwiches. 2.5 – 5 serves per day
Grains & Cereal

Carbohydrates to fuel the body and brain. Opt for whole grain where possible: breads, flatbreads, rice, pasta, crispbreads, crackers, pretzels. 4 – 5 serves per day
Dairy (& vegetarian alternatives) Calcium for growing bones. Cheese, yogurt, unflavoured milk. 1.5 – 3 serves per day
Lean meats, fish, poultry, egg, nuts and legumes

Protein for growing bodies. Cold meats or chicken. Tinned fish, tofu, boiled eggs, baked beans. 1 – 2.5 serves per day.




So be a Lunchbox Legend…. enjoy a range of appropriately portioned foods from all the food groups…. your body will truly thank you for it!




Join Us In Prayer

Thanks God For…

  • a productive and fun time at the recent PiP Day
  • further new families who have recently joined us @ OCS
  • a positive response by our students to their HSC exams
  • the high take-up of our School Stream App among our community
  • our families who are so keen to partner with OCS in their children’s education


Please Pray For…

  • our Yr 12’s as they safely celebrate the end of their schooling @ OCS
  • the challenge of Growth Mindset Thinking @ OCS for students, staff and families
  • continued growth in enrolments in all areas of the school
  • 2019’s Strategic Plans to bear great friut in our school



Preparing for Armistice Remembrance at OCS

Making Poppies to help us Remember…

Our Junior School students made poppies in preparation for our OCS Remembrance Service held on Monday morning.

Thanks to all for helping us to keep alive the memory of those who gave so much for us.

Lest we forget.

From Our Chaplain

Have you seen our Sensory Garden?

Jann Osborn

Twelve months ago the Sensory Garden at our school was a concept…and now it is becoming a reality. The idea was to create an area that used different materials and textures, combined with carefully selected plants to produce a garden that appealed to the senses. The core design intention of this garden was to fashion an area that would be tranquil and relaxing. A space that could be helpful for students’ wellbeing, particularly if feeling overwhelmed and in need of some quiet time. It also had to be an area that would be functional during busy playtime.

Through the efforts of parents, staff and students , mainly on our PiP days this year, the garden has been taking form. It has been a bit of a slow process and the design has been a bit fluid, but it is developing into an appealing place.

The elements used have largely been recycled materials. The rustic sleepers were gathered from the school’s old Ag plot area, along with an old concrete tub and a wooden gate (which is yet to be erected). Other pieces have been donated, and it was timely that the Year 12’s could see the arch and climbing roses that they had gifted to the school, incorporated into the garden.

Future plans are for:

  • A tree with circular seating
  • Water feature (massive rock has been moved but yet to be erected)
  • Stepping stones to arch
  • Checkerboard pavers, with dwarf plants in between
  • Addition of scripture quotes

Next time you are at school check it out. We hope that it will become a great asset to our school for the years to come.



From our Careers Advisor

Kath Berry


Our Year 12 students have now finished their HSC exams and are preparing for a nervous wait for their results, which are released on 13th December (ATAR is sent out on 14th December). Now is a time that many are seeking casual work for the holiday break or searching for a full-time position, including apprenticeships and traineeships. Some are finalising plans for their “gap” year, including mission trips or ministry training, and there are those who are waiting to see if they have made it into their chosen university course.

For the students seeking work, whether they be in Year 12 or younger, here is some advice that might help:


Tips for finding part-time Christmas work

  • Focus on retail and hospitality first – these are industries that are in-demand at this time of year.
  • Look at larger chains and apply online if possible – this will save you time.
  • Be as available as possible for work hours – this makes you more employable.
  • Apply for as many positions as possible – obviously this increases your chance of getting something!
  • Think outside the box – a job doesn’t have to be in retail during the Christmas rush. Delivery and courier companies are also busier at this time.
  • Focus on skills, not experience – make sure your résumé reflects your skills. Even if you have never working in retail before, many of the skills you have are transferable.
  • Get in early! Start now and keep trying right up to Christmas.

OCS students are able to include a “referee” from an OCS staff member in their résumé, as long as they have permission from that staff member.

(Based on https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/careers/top-tips-for-getting-a-christmas-job/)



Our Sporting Life

Aidan @ CSSA State Tennis Gala Day

Louise Child


Aidan Smith represented the school at the CSSA State Tennis Gala Day held in Wollongong last week. He won his first five matches and made it to the playoffs. After a very long and hard match in the playoffs, Aidan went down in a tiebreaker 5-7. These results mean Aidan is eligible to be selected in the 2019 CSSA National Christian School Team. Well done Aidan!




Change to 3-12 Thanksgiving Service Start Time

3-12 Thanksgiving Service to begin @ 6:00pm!

This year we have decided to begin our Yr 3-12 Thanksgiving Service at the Orange Civic Theatre @ 6:00pm. The service will be held on Tuesday 11th December, and we hope that the earlier start will make it more accessible to our families.

This service is a major event on our OCS calendar, where as a whole school community we have the opportunity to come together to give thanks to God for the year past and to celebrate and honour our high achievers.

As usual there will be no charge for tickets but these will need to be booked through Ticketek for all those attending, except for award recipients and performers.

Notes regarding award recipients and performers will be going home soon.

NB. The Prep – 2 Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday, 10th December @ 6:00pm in the OCS Learning Hub…No tickets required.


Coming Up @ OCS

Week 5:

*Mon 12.11.18 Year 7-10 Exams

*Tues 13.11.18 Year 7-10 Exams

*Wed 14.11.18 Year 10 Celebration

*Thurs 15.11.18 Rite of Passage Camp

*Fri 16.11.18 Rite of Passage Camp

*Fri 16.11.18 Friendship Games

*Fri 16.11.18 Parents Connect @ 9:00am in Bembooka

*Fri 16.11.18 Junior Assembly @ 9:30am in Hall


Week 6:

*Mon 19.11.18 New Compressed Courses Start

*Tues 20.11.18 Association Meeting @ 7:00pm in Bembooka

*Fri 23.11.18  Parents Connect @ 9:00am in Bembooka

*Fri 23.11.18 Primary Assembly @ 9:30am in Hall


Coming Up:

*Tues 27.11.18 Stage 3 Information Night @ 7:00pm @ OCS Learning Hub

*Fri 30.11.18 Year 12 Graduation

*Mon 10.12.18 P-2 Thanksgiving Service @ 6:00pm @ OCS Learning Hub

*Tues 11.12.18 Year 3-12 Thanksgiving Service @ 6:00pm @ Orange Civic Threatre

*Tues 11.12.18 Students’ Last day of School

*Fri 7.6.19 OCS’s Mary Poppins @ 7:00pm @ Orange Civic Theatre

*Sat 8.6.19 OCS’s Mary Poppins @ 5:00pm @ Orange Civic Theatre


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 Joel 3:20pm – 4:30pm (see below for details)

Mon – Fri: After School Care 3:10pm – 5:30pm

Mon: Worship Band @ Hall 1:30pm

Tues: String Ensemble @ Hall 1:30pm-2:00pm

Wed: Hip Hop Dance Class @ Hall 1:30pm-2:00pm

Thurs: Primary Band @ Hall 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



Afternoon Sport Activities with Sport Coach Joel

Term 4 Coaching Sessions will run from 3:20pm -4:30pm, Tuesdays – Fridays and are available to all students from Years 3-12.

Tuesdays: Touch Football

Wednesdays: Cricket

Thursdays: Ultimate Frisbee

Fridays: Beach Volleyball


Orange Christian School