Well done to one of our BCC Alumni, Miss Hannah-Kate Procter, for being selected for this years ARTEXPRESS with her sculpture ‘Detachment from her origin’. Recently the Newcastle Weekly caught up with Hannah-Kate to find out more. Read the article here.
Something to brighten your day from our BCC Beginners and Primary school staff and students!
I clearly remember being a teen. My peers were such a big influence on shaping me. Black jeans and a band t-shirt and if it gets cold throw on the flanno. That was a two year phase. Previous to that was baggy pants, cartoon t-shirt and a skateboard. Possibly a one to two year phase and so it goes on. Finding identity then was hard, but now we live in a world that is highly connected, not slowing down or switching off. How and where are our young people finding safety and security and what or who is shaping their identity?
During my Year 9 Health lesson on ‘Stereotypes and Expectations’ I was reminded of one of the greatest gifts given to mankind: the gift of choice. The ability to choose is one of God’s most generous gifts, knowing that if He creates us with choice we could choose to reject Him. I’ve taught this concept of stereotype awareness and how people’s expectations shape our identity previously, but have never made the connection that the ability to choose is extrinsically linked to how we see ourselves and other people.
A dominant message today is that we can choose to be whatever we want to be. Finding our identity is highly encouraged and, when found, is validated by a community that can be found easily in the digital world. Alternately, if you’re chasing a new identity then there is the opportunity to adapt and change – morphing into that new identity.
Jesus spoke very clearly about being the Way, the Truth and the Life. He didn’t condemn the people he met, instead he listened and spoke encouraging words which challenged them to choose life – His way, His truth and His life. True security and identity can only be found in knowing Jesus. This is where true purpose can be found. My deep hope for our College is that in this ever changing landscape, my colleagues and I would be Jesus to our students and encourage our students to choose life, His life.
2020 – It’s not all bad!
Recently I have seen many memes around the theme of ‘fast forwarding 2020 and skipping to 2021’. There has been so much trauma and anxiety on a global scale, with bush fires, Coronavirus and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. I think it’s a year we can all agree we won’t forget in a hurry and has affected many of us on a personal level.
Yet as I reflected on the year so far, it hasn’t all been bad. It’s been a year of new experiences and growth opportunities. Teachers and parents have learnt to make Zoom calls and navigate learning platforms like Seesaw and Google classroom. There are skills we now have that we didn’t even know existed at the start of the year.
For me personally, I have welcomed a niece into our family, taken my dad home to The Netherlands for the first time in 70 years, I have two family members’ significant birthdays to enjoy, the opportunity to celebrate 25 years of marriage and the anticipation of my son’s upcoming wedding.
So whilst there have been some significant low points this year, there has also been new experiences, growth opportunities and things to celebrate. As Richard M Nixon said ‘Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.’ Therefore, I encourage you to pause and reflect on the good things that have happened to you this year. Even though this year has been tough, I’m grateful we are not fast forwarding 2020 and skipping straight to 2021, there are many sweet moments we’d miss.
The Bible reminds us that we have a peace and a hope that sees beyond our current circumstances. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us that we have a hope that is an anchor for our soul, firm and secure. What a comfort as we journey through the remainder of the year.
Year 11 and 12 have conducted themselves exceptionally well over this unprecedented period. As well as managing the stress and anxiety caused by the restrictions associated with Covid 19, they have also continued to endeavour to meet the demands of their final years of schooling! As reports are delivered, I would like to commend our Stage 6 cohort for persevering in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Well done.
For some students and parents, reports can be a time of mixed emotions as plans are either affirmed, re-evaluated or cast into doubt. Even when grades are excellent, high achieving students will often feel the weight of maintaining personal expectations and the pressure of meeting perceived expectations from others. It is easy to be caught up in a sudden flurry of activity to try to fix something, address the opportunities for development or return to maintaining achievement of grades.
One of the biggest issues we all face is busyness. It stops us from reflecting on the sort of person we are becoming and forces us to focus on an outcome rather than the people around us. Corrie ten Boom put it like this, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” In other words, we can become so consumed with the next thing that we lose sight of our values, desires and beliefs.
Therefore, my encouragement to parents and students in Year 11 and 12 is, when you get your reports, please pause. As you read the reports ask yourselves some questions: Why am I here? Why am I striving for a particular grade? What sort of person do I want to be? How will my career aspirations serve my community and others? If you do this, I’m convinced you’ll find a greater drive, purpose and clarity for the road ahead.