From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

In Assembly this week I spoke briefly to the Hill Campus students about the difficulty of understanding the many complexities that lead to terrorist events. Many felt the events of the weekend in Paris and media reports were confronting and have openly spoken to their teachers about this. I reminded them of the importance of feeling safe within our community, the role played by many in the hope of peace and the strength we have in caring for each other. A number of staff were also interested and commented on the Four Corners Program ‘Our Kids’ on Monday evening. Quentin McDermott reported on the anxieties felt by 12-19 year olds in a program about “Why are our kids so stressed?” If you did not see it you may be interested in the program. It tells us that one in four young people worry about the future and outlines typical concerns: >

Earlier this year I highlighted in a blog an article for parents to assist when talking with their children about confronting events. You can find the article at:   >Helping children deal with traumatic events in the media

We are pleased to once again be supporting the work of the Samaritans at Christmas. Please donate toys – Park Campus students have been asked to bring Lego, students on the Hill Campus can place a gift for someone of their age or younger, under the Giving Tree in the Library. We are also collecting donations of Christmas decorations for the Samaritans Christmas lunch and these can be handed in to either Mrs Foster at Park Campus or Mrs McGowan at Hill Campus.

I am pleased that our new Deputy Head of School, Mr Alan Parsons was able to join us this week and I introduced him to the students at the Hill Campus Assembly. At the end of this year, Mr Merv Filby will retire after 17 years of service to the School. To replace him, Mr Philip Fielden from Hills Grammar School in Sydney will join the Executive team as Director of Studies. The role covers curriculum and student subject selection amongst many other things. Ms Lynne Walker is stepping down from her position as Director of Wellbeing and returning to a role she loves – teaching Science. I thank both Mr Filby and Ms Walker for their professionalism and their contribution to the leadership team at Newcastle Grammar School. Staffing for K-6 next year is nearly finalised and Mrs Dyer will communicate directly with parents outlining class allocations for their son or daughter before the end of the school year.


Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey

Rehearsal and Speech Day Arrangements 2015

The Great Hall – The University of Newcastle
Tuesday, 1 December and Wednesday, 2  December 2015

The following are arrangements for the Speech Day Rehearsal on Tuesday, 1 December and Speech Day on Wednesday, 2 December.  Notes with complete details will be sent home with the relevant students.  Prize winners’ parents from Park Campus will be notified by email on Monday, 30 November. Years 5 through to Year 11 students will be notified by email on Monday, 30 November.

Rehearsal Day – Tuesday, 1 December 2015. All students Year 7–11 are to bring blazers to school. 

From 9.30am – Prize winners, Orchestras, Choirs, SATU will travel to the Great Hall for rehearsals.  All students will be back for normal dismissal from School. Choir and orchestra members are asked to make sure they have the correct uniform (check socks and blazers) at the rehearsal. SATU will go with Mr McKensey during the morning. Food and drinks need to be brought from home.

SPEECH DAY – Wednesday, 2 December 2015. All are requested to be seated by 9.45am.

All students must wear correct summer uniform with blazers.  If girls who are prize winners have their hair tied back, white ribbons must be worn.  All girls (choirs and orchestra included) must wear regulation white ankle socks as sold in the uniform shop.  Boys must wear grey uniform socks.  Hair must be in accordance with the School Code. Only students with correct uniform will proceed to receive their prizes.

Please note this is a compulsory School activity and rolls will be marked at School and the Great Hall.  All students should bring something to eat and drink for recess in disposable containers.  This is to be consumed before entering the Great Hall.

Students should not bring their school bags on Speech Day.  There will be no Canteen facilities on the day.

All students are to arrive at School at normal time.  Berkeley to meet on Merrick, Stewart students are to meet on the Courts area and Park Campus on Assembly Area at Park Campus.  Rolls will be marked and recess eaten.  All students will then travel by bus to the Great Hall. Park Campus students may sit with parents at the Great Hall.  All other students will sit in designated areas.

At the end of proceedings students are to remain in their seats and the Director of Operations will direct students to leave.  Park Campus students with parents may leave straight away.  Buses will transport those students not going with parents, back to Hill Campus where they may make connections home. Those attending After School Care will travel to Park Campus by Port Stephens Coaches.  This coach will return to Hill Campus before travelling back to Port Stephens making its usual run. No other buses will be running from School.  Finish time is approximately 12.30pm. The Tyrrell Library on Hill Campus will not be open after the Speech Day ceremony.

Please purchase your ticket from one of the machines in the carparks and display it on your dashboard. Leave enough time to park and purchase the ticket to be seated by 9.45am.

Opal Card

Opal relates to applications for next year and onwards. Basically all applications are now done online (unfortunately this will not be on the website until next week), the informations is retained by TfNSW, the applicant prints a copy of the form and submits it to their school and the school endorses the application. I do not know how the application is endorsed (possibly online). New applications are only required for new students, students changing school, students changing address (from 2016 and onwards) and students entering Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 7. The website for applicaions is

The SSTS eligibility criteria is still the same. Transport operators will not be issuing Term Passes or Replacement passes next year. Ineligible students can still pay a fare per trip or purchase a child/youth Opal Card (visit ).

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From the Director of Wellbeing
Ms Lynne Walker

From the Director of Wellbeing image

Year 8 Dinner

The Year 8 Dinner, which formally acknowledges the transition of our Year 8 students from Stewart into Berkeley, will be held at Sala’s on Thursday, 26 November at 7.00pm.

This is an official School function and it is anticipated that all Year 8 students should attend with their parents or carers. We look forward to sharing this wonderful evening with you.

If you have been unable to RSVP for the Year 8 Dinner, it is not too late to do so. Please contact Catherine Gomez at Reception. PH: 4929 5811 or email

Growing Up Online

Last Monday, Susan McLean spoke to all students from Years 5 through 9 about their online world. She focussed on the three ‘R’s:
– Respect (for themselves and others)
– Responsibility
– Reputation

On Monday evening she presented an informative session for parents and guardians. Susan has encouraged us to contact her via email if we would like to ask any questions – or to access the links on her website for information which may be of use

Links for Parents:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexting
  • Problematic internet use
  • Common internet acronyms
  • Internet safety tips for teachers, parents and carers
  • What can I do if my child is being cyber bullied?

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From the Macquarie House Coordinators
Ms B Patel & Mrs V Dart

We have just received correspondence from The Wall of Hands, thanking us for our contribution to their literacy programme. We should all feel proud of our efforts to connect with others in a meaningful way.

Here is an excerpt from that letter:
100% of the funds raised through the Wall of Hands appeal goes to delivering literacy programs to remote communities in Australia. So far the Wall of Hands has helped reach hundreds of children in Tennant Creek, Mungkarta, Elliott, Ali-Curung, Groote Eylandt, Indulkana, Mimili and Palm Island. The funds raised by Newcastle Grammar School will support the remote communities of Indulkana and Mimili, located in the APY lands about 400km south of Alice Springs. The traditional languages spoken on the APY lands are Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, and the communities are passionate about their language and culture.

The ALNF has the specialised programs needed to overcome the many health, developmental and social hurdles faced by children in remote Indigenous communities. We work to make education engaging, give parents and community members the tools they need to introduce meaningful home literacy practices and to break the cycle of trans-generational illiteracy. We are working with family members, carers, assistant teachers, teachers and approximately 150 amazing kids in these communities to improve school readiness, attendance and English literacy and language competence.
It is this whole of community approach that allows us to deliver effective programs and create sustainable, long-term change.

We can’t thank you enough for your support NGS, which is helping these children write their own futures.

Kind Regards,
Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation

Congratulations everyone and thank you for your generosity.

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From the Head of Park Campus
Mrs Alicha Dyer

Lights Camera Action!

Last Wednesday evening was a wonderful occasion for the Year 4 students and their families. We celebrated the learning achievements and experiences that they have encountered in their first five years of Schooling. The highlight of the evening was definitely their musical performances including ‘I Was Born To Try’ and ‘Friends Forever’. We also enjoyed a trip down memory lane as the students demonstrated their favourite memories spanning from their time in Pre-school through to Year 4. Special thanks to the staff and our Year 3 parent helpers for their contribution in making the evening a success.

From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

This week some of our new families for 2016 came to Pre-school for a visit. It was lovely to meet the children and also lovely to see our children from this year being so grown up and welcoming. The play morning went very smoothly and we look forward to the next one on 19 November.

We are also busy finalising children’s developmental records and observing them in their play and in structured group situations. It is pleasing to see how independent and sensible the children have become in their play and learning. We are witnessing lots of positive negotiating and sharing with many of the children ‘using their words’ to communicate their feelings and, importantly, listening to each other so that a positive outcome is possible. Although we sometimes still need to remind children about limiting their boisterous play, many of them have started to do this on their own accord. The block constructions during indoor play have become quite elaborate and the associated creative play around these constructions has also become more complex and imaginative.

Secret children’s business has also commenced at Pre-school with rehearsals on the stage under way in preparation for the end of year concert/party. The children have taken to the stage like professionals – it is amazing how at home some of them are on the stage. It might also have something to do with the elves that have been spotted looking in on the rehearsals – just noting who is listening and ‘doing a good job’ and reporting back to Santa! Cuteness and charisma’s… the countdown is on.

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Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree

Head of Co-curricular image

Co-Curricular Nominations

Last week and this week has seen all Year 5 through to Year 11 students complete their nomination forms for their Co-curricular activities for 2016. Please take the time to talk to your children about their selection as we will be spending time over the holidays ensuring adequate staffing for all the various activities. Please let me know before the end of term if your child can not undertake an activity that they have signed up for as some payments for activities will be charged at the beginning of the 2016 year.

From the Director of Music Performance
Mr Kevin Young

From the Director of Music Performance image

Music Rehearsal Day – 25 November

This year’s rehearsals for Speech Day and the Carol Service will be held on Wednesday, 25 November. Students in Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Grammarphones and Chamber Choir are involved in sessions throughout the day. The schedule for the day has been loaded to all groups on MBC and sent by email. Please check the schedule carefully.

An Afternoon at the Proms 2015

This wonderful event will be held on Sunday, 22 November in the Sandi Warren Performance Centre. Once again, our guest conductor for the event will be Mr George Ellis. The afternoon will now commence at 4.00pm which is a change from the staring time in the 2015 School Calendar. Tickets can be purchased from the both School offices or at the door. Family $25, Adult $15 and concession $10. The afternoon will commence at 4.00pm with Music and BBQ on the veranda of SWPC. Come along and enjoy the performances of our talented students from across our School with our guest conductor Mr George Ellis.

Rehearsal for Proms
This Friday, 20 November, there is a rehearsal for all members of the Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra at SWPC Park Campus. The choir will be required from 4.00pm to 4.30pm and the orchestra will be required to 7.00pm. Students are to make their way to SWPC on the Toronto Bus from Hill to Park Campus.

Dress for Proms
Tour Students:
– First half: Tour Performance Shirts, black bottoms (no jeans please) and shoes as directed in your tour brief.
– Second Half: Long sleeve black shirt for lads and long sleeve top for girls. No singlet or round neck tops. Must be collared please.

All other students: Long sleeve black shirt for lads and long sleeve top for girls. No singlet or round neck tops. Must be collared please.

We still need some muso’s to busk in the 4.00pm – 5.00pm timeslot. We only have a few volunteers at this stage. Please see Mr Young if you can help.

NGS Carol Service

Our Carol Service will be held on Saturday, 28 November in Christ Church Cathedral commencing at 6.00pm. All musicians are asked to be in the Arts Space at 4.15pm please to help with equipment and set up. Dress is full school summer uniform please.

Adjusted rehearsal Schedule This Week.

Please check the details below for rehearsal changes this week.

Lunchtime: Chamber Choir with rhythm section
After School: Tour Rock Band till 4.15pm

Lunchtime: Symphony and Stewart Strings Proms Rehearsal. Rock Band Studio 2
After School: Combined Concert Band and Orchestra Rehearsal 3.20pm to 5.00pm. Stewart Strings as normal. Tour Orchestra 5.30pm to 7.00pm

Lunchtime: Tour Choir Rehearsal with rhythm section
After School: Orchestra and Chamber Choir at SWPC 3.30pm to 7.00pm for Orchestra and 4.00pm to 4.30pm for Chamber Choir.

Proms commences at 4.00pm.

Tour Concert Orchestra Rehearsal Reminder

The Concert Orchestra rehearsal for the tour is on Thursday, 19 November from 5.30pm to 7.00pm in the Arts Space.

Term 4

Sunday, 22 November: An Afternoon at the Proms  4.00pm SWPC  *** time change.
Saturday, 28 November: NGS Carol Service 6.00pm Christ Church Cathedral
Tuesday, 1 December: Speech Day Rehearsals
Wednesday, 2 December: Speech Day
Thursday, 3 December: Tour Rehearsal Day (Schedule to be emailed)
Friday, 4 December: Final Morning rehearsals finishing at midday.
Sunday, 6 December: Depart for Singapore

Singapore Rehearsals

Some rehearsals have been changed or added. Please note: All tour students must be at the rehearsals on Thursday, 3 and Friday, 4 December as required.

19 November: Concert Orchestra, 5.30pm to 7.00pm (Arts Space)
20 November: Concert & Symphony Orchestra, 3.30pm to 6.00pm – Proms Rehearsal (SWPC)
22 November: Concert Orchestra & Choir, 5.00pm Proms (SWPC)
23 November: Rehearsal Day for Carols & Speech Day, Separate Schedule – TBA
3 December:  9.00am Rehearsal Day, Separate Schedule, (Arts Space)
4 December:  9.00am Pack Up, (Arts Space)
6 December: Tour Commences

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Year 6 Ensemble Rehearsal

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Grammarphones Performing at Chapel

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Year 6 Empowerment Program
Mrs R Chamberlain

Year 6 students will be participating in a compulsory program of activities from across the curriculum from 24 to 27 November 2015. Normal classes will be suspended at this time.

The Year 6 Program incorporates two off site excursions. The summary details for each of these are shown below.

1 – Thursday, 26 November 2015: Bike Safety, Police Community Centre, Palmdale
Buses depart Newcastle Grammar School 7.45am and return to Newcastle Grammar School 3.15pm. Students are to wear full School sport uniform which includes the School sport hat. As there are NO canteen facilities students are required to provide all food and drink required for the day. Although the facility has a limited supply of bike helmets it is advisable that students bring their own if they have them

2 – Friday, 27 November: Surf Education Day, Newcastle Surf School
Students will be walking to Nobby Beach, leaving School at 9.00am and returning at 3.00am. Students are to wear School sports uniform with the School bathers and School hat. A protective sun shirt, sunscreen and towel is also required. Students will also need to provide adequate food and drink, including a full water bottle, for the day as there will be no canteen facilities available.

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Return of Book Hire and Library Books
Ms S Bright - Coordinator of Library Services, Teacher Librarian

Book Hire Texts and Library Books to be returned by Friday, 20 November please.

All of these resources should be returned to the Library by the end of this week.  We greatly appreciate Parents / Carers assistance with reminding students to return their resources according to the dates below.  Next week Library staff will be sending letters to families re any resources which still are not returned.  If your child will be absent from school on their scheduled return day, please ask them to return the resources to the Library beforehand.

Ms Bright has sent reminder emails to all students with the resources listed that they have borrowed and need to return.

Return Schedule:
Year 12 (2015) students should have returned all their resources. If this has not been done, please have all resources returned by Friday, 20 November.

Year 11 (new Year 12) students have been asked to return resources either in Study Periods, or before school, recess or lunchtimes by Friday, 20 November.

Year 10 were scheduled to return resources last week. If students are on Work Experience and cannot return them this week, please return all resources next Monday morning (23 November) before Empowerment.

Year 9 scheduled to return resources during Period 1 & 2 on Friday, 20 November

Year 8 scheduled to return resources during Period 3 & 4 on Thursday, 19 November

Year 7 scheduled to return resources during Period 5 & 6 on Thursday, 19 November

Year 6 scheduled to return resources during Period 3 on Friday, 20 November

Year 5 scheduled to return resources during Period 4 on Friday, 20 November

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image


Good luck to all rowers competing at this weekend’s Independent Schools Championships, this event is one our premier regattas for the season, all students will race in year groups against hundreds of other school students. Race well!

ISRA Regatta- Saturday, 21 (Travel) and Sunday, 22 November. This weekend – details have been emailed out.

CDRA Sprints – Sunday, 29 November. All rowers including Year 6 have been entered (unless the Rowing Coordinator was notified) at the CDRA Sprint Championships to be held on Sunday, 29 November at Throsby Creek.

Reindeer and NSW State Sprints- Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 December. As this is a State Championship Regatta we will only be taking a select number of crews away to compete at this event. If you are in Year 9-11 and are unavailable for this event (Family Holidays or School trips) please notify the Rowing Coordinator ASAP as this will effect crews invited. Year 7 will not be attending, Year 8 Boys and Girls 1st quads may be invited.

Mrs S Ellis – Rowing Coordinator

HRIS Primary Invitational Touch Gala

Congratulations to both the boys and the girls Primary Touch teams who played outstanding Touch last Wednesday at the HRIS Primary Invitational Touch Gala day at Wallsend Touch Fields.

The Boys team played quality Touch, only losing one game all day to finish in second place behind St Columba’s Anglican School from Port Macquarie.

Team members were: Lachlan Carey, Carter Everett, Ben Henderson, Nicholas Marlette, Eoin Turner, Jett Robinson, Stanley Leung, Dominic Leishman, Leo Hasdarngkul, Max Duffy Smith, Harry Chung, Ethan Myers.

The girl’s team won 4 games, lost one and drew one, also finishing in second place behind St Phillips Port Stephens.

Team members were: Lauren McLardy, Eliza Guest, Isabelle Oakley, Sophie Franks, Vivien Kuru, Maddison Montgomery, Isobel Harbury, Emma McGrath, Isobel Prince, Brilee Stubbs, Ciara Loong, Skye Simpson.

These amazing results are reward for the effort put into the Touch program that these students are in during the summer competition

A huge thank you to Mr Sean Stevens for coaching the boy’s team on the day.

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Well done!

Ms C Byrnes-Stewart Sports Coordinator.

Touch Football

Co-curricular Summer Touch
Last Tuesday the Lightening and Seals U12 girls’ team played off against one another in an NGS clash. Both teams played great Touch with the NGS seals eventual winners 5 -0.

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Photo: NGS Seals and NGS Lightening after the game last Tuesday.

Please be reminded that students should be at the ground 15 min prior to games and if there earlier must be supervised by an adult.

Round 8 – Tuesday, 24 November 2015
8 Girls: NGS Divas – 4.15pm, Miss Aimee Hill
8 Boys: NGS Roosters – 3.45pm, Mr Daly/Miss Aimee Kerr
10 Girls: NGS Swifts – BYE, Miss Natasha Robards
10 Boys: NGS Power Pugs – 5.45pm, Ms Byrnes
10 Boys: NGS Marshalls – 5.45pm, Mr Newling
12 Girls: NGS Seals – 6.15pm, Ms Byrnes
12 Girls: NGS Lightning – 6.15pm, Mrs Bright
12 Boys: NGS Buttercups – 6.45pm, Mr Joe Ryan
12 Boys: NGS Bolts – 6.45pm, Mr Daniel Abulfia
14 Girls: NGS Magical Moustaches – 7.45pm, Miss Lucy Judd
14 Girls: NGS Sugar Babes – 7.15pm, Ms Byrnes
14 Boys: NGS Skinny Baboons – 7.45pm, Mr Stevens

Ms C Byrnes – MIC Touch

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The Blog
By the Head of School

Uniform Shop
Trading Hours for 2015

The Uniform shop hours are as follows.

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

Christmas Holiday Hours

The Uniform Shop is open the usual business hours until Wednesday, 2 December.

For all Uniform Fittings beyond this date you can now book an on-line appointment.

Go to
Enter the Event Code: LEC5J

On-line Bookings are available from:
Monday, 7 December 2015(running for 1-2 weeks depending on demand)
Monday, 11 January – Thursday, 14 January 2016.

Avoid the rush and book your appointment now.

If you are unable to make these allocated times, please phone reception on 4929 5811 prior to the holidays to arrange an alternative fitting date.

Mrs K Fischer
Uniform Shop Manager

Smart Phone App

The new NGS App is now connected to the NGS website and should allow you to read events in the calendar, alerts and the newsletter in a format that should prove more convenient.  It can be downloaded from the >Apple Store or >Google Play.

Canteen Duties

Hill Campus

Mon 23 November:

Tue 24 November:
Jacquelene Doran

Wed 25 November:
Monica Mamonto

Thu 26 November:
Marnie Coulton

Fri 27 November:
Emma Brown

Park Campus

Mon 23 November:
Sam Avery

Tue 24 November:
Alette Schot

Wed 25 November:
Derani Clarke

Thu 26 November:
End or Year Picnic

Fri 27 November:
Amanda Folpp
Felicity Prior