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Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy. 

– Psalm 4:6-7

I have written a number of times about how I’ve enjoyed the chance to meet one-on-one with all of Year 10,11 and 12. I know it sounds silly to say, but students are the reason for school, and it has been a great privilege to hear directly from them. One of the questions I asked Year 10 students was “what changes have you noticed at NBCS in the last couple of years?”. I really appreciated their insights as they reflected on their experiences. This is what they had to say, in their own words:

  • The focus on academics has been really good. I really enjoy having one-hour classes. Enjoy stronger expectation on behaviour, academic success, uniform.
  • Dress code rules are stricter. I feel 50/50 about this. 5 lessons a day – at first, I didn’t like it, now it feels better with one-hour lessons.
  • It used to be a lot looser with rules and regulations but now, focusing on learning, I’m learning a lot more than I did due to the tighter rules, teachers are stepping up their game, it has really helped me.
  • There has been a change in the way the school runs, it’s stricter in a good way, students used to get away with more, now they understand a bit more how to act, I like it, new timetable is good, day goes faster, I understand more, get more out of it. There are not really negatives.
  • I’ve started to strive to knuckle down on the education side. School’s trying to get the best out of us, it used to be more “flairy” in Year 7 but has started ramping up.
  • It’s not as online as it used to be, which is both good and bad.
  • Results have improved, teachers have improved, the work ethic of the school has improved. There have been uniform changes. I don’t like rules, I understand why we have them, but I don’t like them.
  • It’s become more “professional” – collectively, it has helped. It’s more caring about our education, taking more of an interest in it.
  • School’s now more focused on helping students, more control, more disciplined.
  • The quality of learning has improved, I’m now getting teachers I really enjoy, but school is school. The increased resources are helpful for maximising opportunities.
  • Teachers are cracking down, there’s a bit more expectation. It’s helped me, now I feel I’ve got to keep up, that helps. I feel like we’re more following the curriculum, before teachers made it up a bit. Now we’re doing what comes up in the assessment.
  • I’m getting more homework, the change from four to five lessons has had an impact, classrooms are more streamlined and easier to work in. It’s easier to work with the teacher.
  • I’ve enjoyed having Mr Whitington. Also the library, nice to be able to go to it, glad it is set up.
  • Advanced English is now mandatory, which is a good idea. More structure in classes definitely helps and teachers are getting a lot better. Before it was more free flowing, but a bit harder to get work done. For the better for me.
  • Now it’s more focused on education, previous on building. Keep focus on students, on the human side of things.
  • There is more space, more open areas, working together is more common. There are broad changes, teaching is really good now, I’m getting the help I need.
  • Uniform stuff has improved, the timetable is a lot better than before, classes don’t drag on. Changes are positive.
  • Not too many changes, a bit stricter about uniform, which is a bit annoying and nit picking in the way it comes across, like not wearing mufti under the uniform.
  • The new library. I like the splitting of the massive classrooms; they are now easier to work in. The introduction of assembly and chapel, more community driven.
  • The work ethic has gotten better, there’s more motivation to do well, we’re getting older, more serious, we need it. Uniform, classrooms and facilities have all changed since primary.
  • I came in Year 7. The library is a very big change, good one. The change in timetable, five sessions instead of 4, before learning sessions went a really long time, now, it’s just right.
  • Definitely the teachers, the education standard, all the teachers I have now are really good, Canvas is also good.
  • It has been stricter in a better way, uniform, in class, really focused on learning, not as many opportunities to muck around or be distracted.
  • A lot of good changes. It’s more textbook heavy, which has been a real positive, it’s easier to follow the course more systematically, clearer. Library, love it, I love that you can stay back, also looks beautiful inside as well.
  • School has become more academic focused, a good thing, I’m enjoying it here a lot better, new teachers, makes it better.
  • So much has changed, subjects, rules, curriculum, teachers, friends, technology and classrooms, learning facilities are so much better, the way we use technology is much better organised, timetabling, a really important one – more organised, new diaries. One of the great blessings – reading through the library – that thing’s beautiful, a really good change.
  • The campus looks a lot different, the timetable changes, a new principal, so far so good. Not too bad, first I was not keen on 5 learning sessions, but now I prefer it a lot more. There are longer breaks, even though there are fewer of them, it leaves me more refreshed.
  • Library, very much enjoying it. New timetable, I was not sure at first, but now, it’s better.
  • Uniform changes – new style looks really good. The timetable, a really good change.
  • Not too many to be honest, enjoy it here quite a bit.
  • More strict uniforms, a bit more focus on education. Good changes that help set up the future.
  • Lots of uniform changes, classroom changes. I love the dress, the Island classrooms are really good now, they provide a better learning environment. The Library is really good, I love reading.
  • The uniform, the timetable, I like it, it’s better for most subjects. Renovations, I love the library so much, using it, read every night this year, used never to read, now I read only from the library.
  • Timetable changes, five lessons, the library, I love it, a few classroom changes. I go to the Library most arvos, love our new class times.
  • Timetable change – neutral, I can see benefits, but there is no perfect timetable. The one-hour lesson after lunch.
  • Developed a lot, a lot more changes to do with what students can or cannot do, it’s a lot more strict, more disciplined. It’s good, before, it was annoying, people would leave rubbish, now teachers are paying more attention.
  • Learning journals, it’s helping re managing time, I’m more engaged in lessons now, helpful. There’s less drift, nice, condensed one-hour lessons, very easy to be engaged for one hour.
  • Teachers changing, lesson changes – I like the structure now, previously, lessons were a bit long, now I can concentrate for whole lesson. Positive re teachers.
  • It’s really good, the academic focus, really like DEAR, really like school. I like the strictness of it, it makes it easier to work, to be disciplined.
  • I’ve noticed the change in the timetable, also seems that teachers have a better work ethic, the way they care about their students, they care more. With the timetable, shorter lessons work well, you get it done, not as tired, more effective.
  • Stricter, but better, more like a private school, more easy-going, more focused on learning.
  • More strict with uniform and everything. A lot of new teachers, better, younger, more interested in students, show it in the way they teach, they want us to learn rather than just giving us the work to do.
  • We are getting more homework, five lesson change had an impact, classrooms are more streamlined and easier to work in. Easier to work with the teacher.
  • More focused on education. The new uniform items, I’m a bit annoyed, but can live with it.
  • There has been quite a dramatic change for the good, DEAR, not having two recesses, chapel, changed for good. Teachers teach in a better way, with more insight, structure and links to next year. Diaries, using diaries, I like the structure and plan, with teachers assisting, learning to study, pushing us all forward, all trying a lot harder – everyone. It’s really good, the environment of new classrooms, students do their best.
  • The Library, excellent, with an extra aspect, it looks fantastic. Besides teachers changing, classroom splitting – I prefer a single teacher in smaller class, it’s more focused.

Tim Watson