A HUGE welcome to our new students and families and an equally HUGE welcome back to our returning school family members. The 2016 school year promises to be a year of implementing exciting ideas and designs.

Firstly, to our new staff member, Miss Amy Dearden. Miss Dearden has taught Mathematics and PD-H-PE at our school in the past, but we welcome her back as Mathematics and Science Teacher for Year 7 & 8. Miss Dearden has some great plans to instil a love of mathematics in our Junior High School students.

We have started the year with 216 students, including 18 new Kindergarten students. We also have eight new students in High School along with two new students in Primary. We are continuing our trend of good growth.

Over this year you will hear a lot about this term “excellence”. So that we all have the same understanding of excellence, I need to write what it means to our school.

Firstly, excellence is NOT perfection. Perfection always uses someone else’s “score sheet”. In 1984, the British ice-dancing duo of Jane Torville and Christopher Dean scored a “perfect” six out of six. The judges were sitting there with their score cards marking them against a checklist of items. A few years earlier in 1976 a Russian gymnast, Nadia Comaneci scored a “perfect” ten out of ten for her routine.

The problem with perfection is that it does not allow for individuality or creativity. It has to be done this way, or that way only (remember the movie Strictly Ballroom!). Excellence allows for individuality, creativity and the idea of a personal best. Not what someone else considers to be the best.

So one of our aims this year is to find ways to encourage our students to perform their best. For the student that struggles, it will be helping them gain the confidence so often needed to improve. For the student that is at the top of their class, it will be helping them to go deeper into their subject content.

For our staff, it will be growing a culture of excellence across the whole school. And not just aca-demically. As teachers, and particularly as teachers in a Christian School we have a responsibility to help our students to grow emotionally and spiritually as well as academically.

One change we made last year that will continue is the overseeing of the High School. Mrs Hope will be responsible for Year 7, 8 & 9, while Mr Ballantyne will be responsible for Year 10, 11 & 12. After the class teacher, these two experienced teachers will be the next port of call. Mr Westcott will still retain oversight of the Primary, but he will also have some K to 12 responsibilities.

A Year of Excellence does not mean that we will do everything perfectly. We will do everything to our absolute best ability.

God Bless,