For the Whole of Their Life.

Connecting Through Community: Seeing the Good in One Another

Posted 26th May 2020
By Ellie Rolfe

After a long period of being separated from one another, it is pleasing to have everyone back together again. I really want to thank our incredible staff who did such a wonderful job in providing quality education for our students. And to our parents; thank you so much for your support, your words of encouragement and your willingness to engage with your children in their learning. I think we all agree that our teachers do an amazing job in nurturing the wellbeing of our young people, managing the variety of personalities in the classroom, not to mention the amount of planning and hard work required to provide the quality of education we desire for our young people.

As a Principal I have loved seeing the smiles on students' faces as they have returned to school. I have never heard so many children say they are happy to be at school. The phrase that I heard more than any other was how good it was to see their friends and teachers. We are designed to live in community with one another. Technology allows us to see and speak to each other but there is something deeply significant about being physically present that allows us to connect.


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I am not proud to say that numerous times as a parent I had to use the naughty step as a means of discipline for my children. Why does this work? Because we are made to be with one another and the concept of exclusion hurts. It is not surprising then that two of our College values relate to these relationships — build community and serve one another. As we start afresh after our period of isolation I would encourage all of us to value our friendships, to know that relationships matter and that there is true connection to be found in community.

St Philip's Christian College Cessnock is more than just a school it is a community where we belong; where all of our unique strengths, personalities and experiences are all appreciated as we see the good in one another. As a Christian college, the foundation of this community is the love of Jesus who tells us 'to love our neighbour as we love ourselves'. (Mark 12:31)

Our parent community has been deeply on my heart during the last few months as lives have been heavily impacted financially, with health, with supporting our students learning and with the intensity of emotion that COVID has brought upon us. Please know my door is always open and that I trust you have good supports around you individually and as a family.

I would encourage all of us to take a moment and connect with someone, let them know how important they are to us, that we appreciate them and to express our gratitude for them. Our community matters now more than ever and our wellbeing will be best supported by those around us.

Welcome back to school, school has not been the same without you all. Stay safe, look out for one another and take the time to enjoy and engage with your community. We truly do find connection through community.

Mr Darren Cox


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