From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

At the end of another busy term I congratulate our staff and students on their hard work and their achievements. Year 12’s final week has begun well and this week is an opportunity for the group to end school positively and share this occasion with their cohort and families. Year 11 students have nominated for the position of Prefect and voting will take place for Years 9-12 this week.

Over the course of this term students have enjoyed camp; worked with Shortland House on the School value: Service; enjoyed a wide range of co-curricular opportunities; been involved in HRIS activities such as the Cultural Festival and Athletics; had opportunities with HRIS, HICES/AICES and CIS; enjoyed Footloose the Year 10 Musical; Performed in the Co-curricular Performing Arts Concert in August; experienced parent teacher evenings; trialled NAPLAN online; met My Huong Li and listened to her story and hosted Chinese students. A lot of academic work has also been completed over the Term. What an education rich in opportunity.

The tennis season ended last weekend and it was a pleasure seeing our students finish the season well. In a tightly fought final, Emily Lilleyman (Year 5) and Hunter Rowntree (Year 6) were winners in Division 7. William Jeffery and Willem Dun (Year 5) were victorious in Division 6 and Aditya Deshpande and James Lilleyman (Year 10) won Division 2. Well done to our tennis players who have worked to improve their skills and competition play this season.

Our staff have furthered their professional learning journeys by working with each other in Professional Learning groups and sharing their resources and ideas. I wish the staff a relaxing holiday and I thank those who are part of the Year 12 holiday revision programme. Many of these staff have given sessions each holiday period this year to help Year 12 students achieve.

There are several holiday programmes being held at NGS. Students from across the Hunter will be at our school as part of the NIDA programme. Congratulations to the following students who were successful in winning scholarships to these workshops: Matilda Dickinson Year 11, Vincent Unie Year 10 and Stuart Ditton Year 10, Olivia Martin Year 9.  The Broader Learning group is running a coding holiday programme on Hill Campus from 1-5 October and the Lions’ Mattara Eisteddfod will be held at Park Campus in the Sandi Warren Performance Centre from 1- 5 October.

Students are to wear summer uniform in Term 4. Please check over the holidays that uniforms are clean and are at an appropriate length.

I wish all our families a safe and refreshing holiday and look forward to seeing you when school resumes on Monday, 9 October.


  • Sabrina Kliousis (Year 12) who was awarded a HRIS Exceptional Commitment Secondary Award for her contribution over six years to Athletics in the region.
  • Blaine Stubbs in Year 10 who received the Long Tan Award from the Australian Defence Force for his commitment and service to the SATU.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

I would like to share with you the words of our two School Captains, Charlotte Thomas and Zachary Perry, who have both been exemplary role models, mentors and leaders for our School community this year. Zachary and Charlotte have spoken at the school assemblies, reflecting on their years at NGS and what their schooling has meant to them. Both write with a sense of humour, gratitude and kindness and focus on the powerful benefits of being fully engaged in the opportunities presented to them. It has been my privilege to work with these two fine student leaders this year.

Charlotte – End of year assembly speech

Reflecting upon these past 13 years, particularly in the past few days has made me realise a lot of things. Most prominently, it has made me realise how there really isn’t time in life quite like the time you spend at school.

At school, opportunity is served to you on a silver platter and all you have to do is take it.

At school, friends are in excess; be friendly, be kind and keep an open mind.

At school, teachers work tirelessly to help you succeed and all you have to is try, and you will succeed.

From classroom activities, to co-curricular sport, music and cadets, the music festival, gala days, house days, carnivals, school camps, public speaking – and the list goes on, you are able to make your time at NGS anything you want it to be and completely unique to yourself.

At Year 9 camp, I learnt that when mountain biking, one should not aim straight for a tree but rather follow the track. I also learnt that when you push yourself outside your comfort zone you will discover that you can succeed in much more than you may have thought possible.

In Year 10, I learnt that I can neither sing nor dance nor act. Despite this, the Year 10 musical is one of my favourite memories from school. Covered in baby powder, our year group bonded to the songs of the Addams family and made friendships that won’t be lost anytime soon.

And throughout Year 12, ironically, I think we have all learnt that there is so much more to school than academic education. This year has taught us how to wake up and get ready for school in record times and squeeze into car parks only just as long as our cars around the obelisk. It has also taught us how to work together so that everybody can achieve their goals. It has taught us to manage precious time and that persistence can make anything possible.

So, whilst sometimes, you may wish you were anywhere else rather than sitting in that classroom learning trigonometry, or sitting in this hall listening to me, I urge you to embrace school. Let’s face it. You are here for however many more years, so it can be a very fun and rewarding time if you choose it to be, or it can be a trek, but that is only contingent on your mindset.

The more of yourself that you give to anything, the more that it will give back to you, and that is definitely true for school. Because in 10 or 20 years’ time when you look back at your time here, you will be remembering all the experiences you had and the friendships you made as a result.

When the opportunities arise, take them and when you’re slightly outside your comfort zone, chuck yourself in the deep end. Embrace your ambitions, and your fears and your time at NGS will help you become somebody you are proud of.

On behalf of Year 12, thank you all for being a part of an amazing schooling experience.

Zachary – End of year assembly speech

Good Afternoon Mrs Thomas, Staff and Students.  As Year 12 start their second last week of school ever today, Charlotte and I thought we would come and speak to you all about our time at NGS, and perhaps give you some advice for the years which lay ahead for you all.

Before I start, can I just get a show of hands for all those students who were knew to NGS this year?  Thank you.

Well, like all of you, I too was once knew around here.  It was 2012, I had just moved interstate, and I was sitting in this very hall awaiting to start high school, dressed in winter uniform which my mum had said was the normal dress code.  Aside from this embarrassment, I knew no one and decided to keep it this way for quite a while.  It got to the end of first term and I still didn’t really have any friends.  Truth be told, I never actually tried to make any friends, and any generous offers that did come my way, I always let go.  So, going into second term, Mum told me that by the end of the first week back, I needed to make at least one friend.  I made several, and that has shifted me from a stagnant constant to an ever changing trajectory.  The first piece of advice that I can offer to you is that, apart from wearing a jumper to your first day at your new school in the middle of summer, always listen to your mum.

These first, and what may seem to some of you as small steps, opened up many opportunities to me which my previous self could not have imagined.  Throughout my time here, I have had so many wonderful experiences which will forever stay with me.  A few of these include, snowboarding, mountain bike riding, kayaking, hiking, an overseas trip to Cambodia, academic competitions, rugby, flying a plane, a theatrical play and even ball room dancing.

Now as someone who was once very shy, I know hard it can be to go outside of your comfort zone and to go off on a limb away from what everyone else is doing.  Chances are however, they are scared to do it too and they just need someone to follow.  And had I not taken these sensible risks, I would never have grown as a person, nor would I have had such amazing experiences.  So, my second piece of advice is to grab every opportunity as it comes, even if that means leaving your comfort zone and following the behaviour of others.  As the final lines of a Robert Frost poem states, “I took the past least travelled, and that has made all the difference”.

In addition to this, my third and final piece of advice would be to never lose the common touch.  If you are able to remember the friendships and experiences you have had with the people around you, even when you are apart, you cannot lose humility and faith in those around you.

And so, before I hand over to Charlotte now, I would like to remind you that you must be willing to take sensible risks to inspire change and live a truly fulfilled life, or, as author Neale Donald Walsch states, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

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From the Head of Learning & Teaching
Mrs Lisa Peterson

From the Head of Learning & Teaching image

HSC Holiday Workshops

We know that the holiday period before the HSC Examinations can be quite difficult for students, particularly as they try to regain their motivation following a week of fond farewells. It is important that students demonstrate grit and determination and remind themselves of the end goal and strive to finish their educational journey in a way that gives them great personal satisfaction. One of the most effective strategies for these two weeks is to maintain a routine. Following their school timetable is certainly one method that has proven effective for many students. The Library is open to students between 9:00am and 3:00pm on weekdays through the holidays, and we are holding a range of holiday workshops to provide students with that last minute advice and reassurance as they stride towards the finish line.

HSC Holiday Workshops

Week 1
Monday, 25 September
9.00am – Physics

Tuesday, 26 September
9.00am – Chemistry
11.00am – Modern History
1.30pm – History Extension

Wednesday, 27 September
9.00am – Biology

Thursday, 28 September
10.00am – Music 1
10.00am – English

Friday, 29 September
9.00am – English (Module B)

Week 2
Tuesday, 3 October
9.00am – Mathematics

Wednesday, 4 October
10.00am – Music 2

Thursday, 5 October
9.00am – Physics

Friday, 6 October
9.00am – Biology
11.00am – Drama

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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

As I reflect on the last 10 weeks of learning I can’t help marvelling at the obvious delight revealed from the faces of the students I see every day. The atmosphere of inquiry learning continues to strengthen and become even more contagious. I see it in our K-6 students who with the support of their teachers have made great gains in further developing their inquiry skills.

Inquiry-based learning is more than asking our children what he or she would like to know. It’s about triggering curiosity. And activating a student’s curiosity is, I would argue, a far more important and complex goal than the objective of mere information delivery.

Our students’ satisfaction in inquiry learning this term has been obvious in the global connections made in every year group. Every student in every classroom has presented their findings on a single, simple aspect of the content whilst comparing their findings to student experiences in another country. This opportunity has assisted our children to learn deeper and wider than ever before.

The power of their questions has helped drive the research, the writing, and their presentation. Continuing to teach our students how to question has helped motivate them to become experts in their self-described field. The more often we continue to give our students this opportunity of what it feels like to be an expert, in however small a concept, the more they will want that feeling later on in life.

Parents often ask me how they can support our passion for inquiry learning and I always reply “It all starts with finding your own enthusiasm, your own excitement, and your own curiosity. Trigger your and you’ll be heading towards supporting your child’s love for inquiry”.

I would like to also express my gratitude for the many parent volunteers throughout Term 3. Your continued support for our Primary School is very much appreciated and valued. I’m  amazed at the incredible capacity amongst our parents and the Primary School has benefited from suggestions made throughout the term.

Have a wonderful school holiday and I look forward to seeing everyone return safely for another exciting term of teaching and learning.

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From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

It’s the last week of Term 3 and pre-school is gearing towards the holidays. We had a very successful Low Waste Lunch Week and I would like to thank all our families for supporting our sustainability policy. This week we are giving children a bit more choice about their day and revisiting what we have talked about this term. For example, today the Shakers chose where they would like to sit at lunch time (an interesting exercise which inspired us to have one long table at afternoon tea time) and which book they would like to listen to at group time (“Kitty Princess and the Frog” which generated a discussion about the children’s favourite toys and games.)

In the Groovers’ room, children have also been listening to their favourite stories as well as talking about all the shapes and colours they have been learning about this year – which brings me to the ‘School Readiness’ reports that are being distributed this week.

The reports cover the eight developmental areas the staff have been observing in relation to each child throughout the year – emotional, social, cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, language, self-help and creative – as well as indicating whether children are demonstrating the skills identified in the five learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework. These reports are a culmination of lots of observations, discussions and activities and will be a useful tool for you to assess how your child is travelling in terms of school readiness.

In retrospect, we have all had a very busy and productive term. We wish all our families’ safe and happy holidays and look forward to what is going to be a very busy and productive Term 4!

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From the Coordinator of Creative and Performing Arts
Mrs Tonia Martin

From the Coordinator of Creative and Performing Arts image

frames of reference – The 2017 Annual Exhibition of Students’ Artworks

On Wednesday evening, 13 September 2017 the Opening of the Annual Exhibition of Students’ Artworks – ‘frames of reference’ was held in Holland Staff Common Room, Holland Building, Hill Campus.

The evening was a wonderful success with those gathered treated to the artmaking of all Elective Visual Art Students from Years 9, 10 and 11. The exhibition was visually engaging, highlighting the diversity and talents of the Visual Arts Students at Newcastle Grammar School. Art forms displayed included paintings, drawings, printmaking, sculpture and photography. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to display the artmaking of our elective students – supported enthusiastically by the School Community.

Our guest for the evening was Mrs Marilyn Sainsbury. Mrs Sainsbury retired from NGS as the Head of Drama Teaching a number of years ago. She is currently teaching Primary Ethics at Newcastle University, is a Member of the Board of Newcastle Youth Orchestra and volunteers as a Guide at Newcastle Art Gallery .

Mrs Sainsbury spoke encouragingly of the quality of the artworks and the opportunities available to the students – encouraging them to enjoy and immerse themselves into their artmaking. Her passion for creativity and The Arts was clearly conveyed to the Parents, Friends, Students and Staff present. The focus and commitment of the students was acknowledged and encouraged. Their ability to engage in higher-order thinking skills and communicate their ideas successfully to their audience was clearly on display in the exhibited artworks. The maturity and technical skills of the students also impressed the audience gathered for the evening.

As established through tradition, our guest for the evening is given the task of choosing a range of Commended and Highly Commended Awards, and also selecting the Annual Student Acquisition Prize.

Congratulations to the following students:

Commended Awards were presented to:
Year 9: Abbey-Rose Everingham and Joy Ragaruza

Highly Commended Awards were presented to:
Year 9: Lillian Williams
Year 11: Ricky Park, Margot Roberts, Ella McConnochie

The Student Acquisition Prize for 2017 was awarded to:
Emerson Lees, Year 11; for her Mixed Media Collage Series “Untitled (Barbara)”

Congratulations to Emerson. Her work will now be purchased by the School and become part of the School’s Collection.

I would like to thank the Visual Arts students who have worked so hard this year to produce the stunning artworks that we were fortunate to be able to display. Thank you to the members of the School community who have conveyed their positive feedback and congratulations to us.  Thank you to the String Quartet – Natalie Beasley, Alana Lumley, Rhett Boden and Nickson Raftos – who provided the music for the evening.

I would also personally like to thank Mrs Owers for the support given to me and for all the extra work she has undertaken to ensure the success of the exhibition.

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Speech and Drama
Mrs Jo Jones and Mrs Ishbel Beadle

Abermain Speech & Drama Eisteddfod

Term 3 has been very busy in the Speech & Drama Department – preparing for our exams in November. And then, a handful of students took the extra challenge to enter into the (100th year) Abermain Speech & Drama Eisteddfod.  I am very, very proud of all your achievements and I am very fortunate to have such committed young people (and parents) to work with.  It has been such a delight to watch you all grow in confidence and poise over the past year.

The results are as follows:
Kindergarten: Hadley Arthur (2nd) Character in Costume; (2nd) Humorous Verse.

Year 1: Shannara Stephen (HC) Restricted Verse; William Meads (competed); Kupa-Lilli Rowntree (competed).

Year 2: Kensington Steele (2nd) Open Set Verse, (3rd) Open Verse, (HC) Humorous Verse, (HC) Championship; Scarlett Van Dyck (1st) Restricted Verse.

Year 3: Charlotte Jones (1st) Restricted Verse, (2nd) Duologue; Ivy Heslop (2nd) Open Verse, (2nd) Duologue.

 Year 4: William Bird (1st) Open Verse; Fionn Spencer (competed).

Year 6: Alex Koshy (1st) Restricted Verse.

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

CIS Primary Athletics Championship

On Wednesday, 13 September, Newcastle Grammar School had three athletes compete at the CIS Primary Athletics Championship at Homebush. The weather on the day was a challenge with very hot winds and over 33 degrees in temperature, but all athletes gave their best effort and showed determination and grit whilst running and jumping.

Mary Dundas-Sharrad competed in the 12/13 Years Girls Long Jump where she finished in 26th place.

Kalen Routley competed in the 11 Years Boys 200m event where he made the final finishing in 9th place with a time of 30.13 seconds. He then competed in the 11 Years Boys 800m where he finished in 9th place with a time of 2.46.23.  He then finished the day competing in the 11 Years Boys High jump where he finished 16th with a jump of 1.25m.

Hunter Rowntree competed in the 11 Years Girls 800m where she finished in 3rd place with a time of 2.39.88. Hunter has been selected in the Combined Independent School team to compete at the Primary Schools Sports Association State Championships in late October. We wish Hunter well with her ongoing training in the lead up to this event.


Registration Notice

It’s not too late to register for rowing. Please go to Student Reception or SchoolBox to collect a registration form. 

A reminder to current rowers your registration forms are due by Monday, 25 September.

We look forward to a fantastic season.

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The Blog
From the Head of School

Centenary Archive Display

In preparation to Newcastle Grammar Schools Centenary celebrations next year, NGS would like to ask the school community for any items that may be of interest to include in a display of old school memorabilia.

There are two ways to add to the display:

Donate Items- These items will be added to the NGS archives and be used in any future displays and therefore not be returned. Items can be dropped off at Hill Campus Reception, or alternatively, sent to Newcastle Grammar School, PO Box 680, Newcastle NSW 2300. Donations should be made prior to the end of the School Year (Wednesday, 6 December), so that we know what information we will have for the display. 

Copied Items – For items you don’t want to part with, but interesting enough to be included, we will hold collection days on Monday, 16 October & Tuesday, 17 October 2017 at Hill Campus, for you to bring in any articles, photographs or items so that we can copy them and return it to you the same day.

We are also happy to take any electronic versions of anything you may have that would be of interest. These can be emailed to

We thank you for your continued support of NGS and look forward to the celebrations next year.

Centenary Celebrations - Collective Memoir
Contributions required prior to Monday, 16 October 2017

In 2018, Newcastle Grammar School is excited to be marking its Centenary. This will be an important time for the School and the wider community to reflect on the rich history of the past 100 years and to celebrate the School now and into the future.

One of the many exciting projects that are underway is the creation of a special publication. We would like this publication to act as a collective memoir of NGS’s past and present and we encourage contributions from the School community.

We are now reaching out to you all and asking for contributions of written work in the form of anecdotes, memories, letters, musings, poems, reflections, stories or any other form in which you feel compelled to express yourself.

We welcome parents, teachers, and students, past students, staff, and community members to contribute. This is a unique opportunity to express what the School has meant to you and your lives, record memories or moments you hold dear.

This could be a beautiful thing for our community to pull together and create so please take a few minutes to reflect and contribute and encourage others to do the same.

We have compiled a variety of examples to inspire you, your children and your friends. These can be viewed >here and contributions can be made by emailing prior to Monday, 16 October 2017.

Thank you for your continued support in working with us to make this School, the vibrant and dynamic place it is.

Uniform Shop

Summer Uniform Changeover Date

The wearing of Summer Uniform will commence Day 1, Term 4: Monday, 9 October. All students are required to wear full Summer Uniform from this date onwards.

Uniform Shop Opening Hours

Monday:  8.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday:  10.00am – 4.00pm
Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm

If you would like to place an order via phone or email, please phone Kerrie at the uniform shop on 4908 4035 or

New Slouch Hat for Pre-school – Year 6

A new wider brim hat is being introduced for Pre-school to Year 6. The new ‘slouch hat’ will replace the existing bucket hat.

A phasing in period will occur from Term 4,  2017 and Term 1, 2018. Throughout this period students may wear either the existing bucket hat or the new slouch hat.

From Term 2, 2018 the new slouch hat will totally replace the bucket hat.

The girl’s panama hat will remain unchanged.

New Sports Cap for Years 7-12

In the near future a new sports cap will be made available to students in Years 7-12.

This cap, along with the new slouch hat (as outlined above) will replace the existing bucket hat.

Upon arrival  of the new sports cap (date to be advised), a phasing in period will occur during Term 4, 2017 and Term 1, 2018. Throughout this period students may wear either the existing bucket hat, the new slouch hat or the new sports cap.

From Term 2, 2018 the new slouch hat and sports cap will totally replace the bucket hat.

The girl’s panama hat will remain unchanged.