The busyness and daily demands of modern life ensure that time passes quickly. No more so is this the case than in schools. Where did the year go? It went with all the successes/failures achievements/setbacks – it went in living, and aren’t we all lucky to live in this wonderful country?
It is important to recognise how important these final weeks of the year are to each and every one of us. Of course the early successes of next year lie in how well we all finish this one. Whilst all staff are busily marking exams and writing reports, they are also putting an equal amount of work into the 2018 preparation. Staffing, timetabling, enrolments – it is a moveable feast that is challenging yet rewarding in the knowledge that the very best for NEGS is the only goal.
Whilst the end of the 2017 school year has certainly arrived in a flurry, there is a great sense of gratitude for what has been a significant year. I am constantly reminded of what a privilege it is to work at NEGS. Far beyond buildings, grounds and resources, these privileges are to be found in the people who make up the NEGS community, most especially our students. To all NEGS’ contributors – who make our school even better than before – it is a heartfelt thanks from myself for all that you do.
As we are about to celebrate the end of the year with our annual Speech Day, congratulations to those students who have set themselves academic goals and achieved them in Semester 2. This is particularly the case for those students whose success has not been recognised with awards. It is the case that for every student who receives an academic award at the end of the year, there are numerous others who do not receive recognition but who always do their best, who cooperate with their teachers and get along with their peers. These are the quiet achievers. It is upon their efforts, as much as it is upon those who receive awards, that a great school is built. Special congratulations to all the quiet achievers of NEGS in 2017.
Our ongoing improvement as a school is very much a result of the professionalism, dedication and care of all the staff at NEGS. They have worked tirelessly and given generously throughout the year to help each girl learn and grow as young women. I convey my sincere thanks to all the staff and wish them well for a much deserved holiday.
As you know, there are some staff who will be leaving at the end of the Term. Some have been here on contracts of varying lengths while others have made long term contributions to NEGS. On behalf of the School I express deep gratitude to you all, who have displayed outstanding commitment and provided generous service in a variety of capacities to NEGS over the past few years. We wish them all well for their future endeavours.
As we all prepare for Christmas – the inevitable gift giving, food gathering, celebratory preparations, it is easy to be distracted from the true purpose of the celebration of Christmas. How we do this is a personal choice. It is up to each of us, in our own way and in our own lives to consider what actions reflect this preparation. I have included for your contemplation this Advent Blessing.
May this Christmas Season God grace your life
With favour on all you do
With compassion to enfold you
With the wisdom of deep listening
With good friends to mirror your blind spots
With kindness to not act from arrogance but out of service.
With the mindfulness of providence that calls you to service others.
With rest and stillness for clarity to be born, and passion and creativity arise,
With graciousness to rise above the fester of small mediocrities.
With space to welcome your own vulnerability, as the ground where healing and truth join.
With integrity, so that the source of goodness will guide you
With wisdom to make your work fit for building God’s kingdom in our world
Go into peace into all that this Christmas season brings.
Go as a sign of faith
And may the face of God be turned toward you
The hand of Christ be stretched out to hold you
And the Spirit be found as wisdom within you.
To everyone in the community, as we prepare for Christmas, may these weeks be times of grace, peace and coming together. I trust that the holidays ahead are a period of rest, relaxation and safe travel for all. With every best wish for the summer holiday.