From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas
There was a buzz of excitement at Newcastle Grammar last week as students returned from holidays and the 2016 school year began. Our staff and student leaders welcomed Kindergarten and new students on Wednesday with orientation programs designed to make new members of our school community feel a little more comfortable about the year ahead. Kindergarten students arrived with a mixture of emotions – excitement, apprehension, curiosity to name a few. Year 5 were excited to meet their teachers and explore the Hill Campus while Year 7 students chatted about the differences they would experience as High School students. By Friday afternoon, holidays seemed a memory for most as life at NGS settled into a familiar routine. I certainly hope that all members of our school community – whether new or returning – find the 2016 school year a positive and rewarding experience. >Click here to see some photographs of the start of the school year.
Two significant trips occurred over the holiday break and I thank the Music staff who led sixty-two students to Singapore. The students had opportunities to show their skills and develop their musical talents by performing at Sentosa Park (Universal Studios), a variety of public venues and a combined concert with the students from Chatsworth International School. Mrs Rowntree and Mr Carroll travelled to Cambodia with twelve students for a social justice experience. The students took part in activities which included building a brick wall for a housing complex, developing a vegetable garden and the watering system to sustain it. >Click here to see some photos of these international experiences. In other holiday activities, Duke of Edinburgh gold candidates enjoyed the opportunity to trek in Kosciusko and our senior rowers enjoyed their time together in Murwillumbah.
Congratulations to the following students for their achievements over the holiday break. Lorcan Redmond (10) – silver in the second round of the Australian Junior Triathlon Series; Ewan McGaffin (8) – stop motion animation selected to premiere at Flickerfest, Bondi Beach; Andrew Trout(12) – selected to attend the National Youth Science Forum; Karma Randall (10) who was selected to compete in the Farr 40 National Keelboat Championships in Sydney; Jackson Campbell (5) who was selected by Tennis Australia to represent NSW at the Apia International Tennis Tournament at Sydney Olympic Park and Gabrielle Angus (11) who is training as part of the NSW Youth 8 Squad to compete in the Kings Cup Interstate Rowing Regatta in March.
The next meeting of the Parent Committee will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday, 3 March in the Holland Staff Common Room (Hill Campus). All parents are welcome and the first meeting of 2016 will take the form of an open forum. If you would like to attend, please email Glenda (email@example.com) to ensure adequate seating is provided. The meeting will provide parents the opportunity to hear from key staff and meet the new Deputy Head of School, Mr Alan Parsons.
Information for new parents can be found on the website under the Parent section: Information Booklet (https://www.ngs.nsw.edu.au/community/) for new parents.
The newsletter is emailed weekly on a Wednesday. The NGS app also provides access to the newsletter as well as the calendar. You can download it to a smart phone from Google Play or the App Store. We also like to publish good news stories about the School on our Facebook page.
Parent Information sessions for year groups in Term 1 include:
– Year 12: Wednesday, 3 February – students to attend with parents
– Year 11: Thursday, 11 February – students to attend with parents
– Years 5, 6 & 7: Wednesday, 17 February
– Kindergarten to Year 4: Wednesday, 10 February
Students in Years 11 & 12 should wear school uniform.
From the Director of Learning and Teaching
Mrs Lisa Peterson
It was lovely to welcome students back to school on Thursday of last week. They have settled in well to their classes, and should now be settling into a regular homework routine. Now is a great time for parents to help children develop good study habits by encouraging them to set up a designated work area, turning off the social media and asking about their homework. Remember, there’s no such thing as ‘no homework’ – reading is one of the most important activities a student can engage in.
We are very excited to have launched our new Learning Management System – SchooolBox – to students this year. This is a wonderful resource where students can access timetables, student bulletins, due work and their virtual classroom. We encourage parents to ask their children to show them this educational portal, which we intend to open to parents in Term 2.
From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey
Updating Medical Records
All parents/guardians of those students who are currently on our list with existing medical conditions should have received a separate letter with the appropriate Health Care Management Plan Form. This Form needs to be completed and returned to the Student Administration Secretary (Hill Campus) or the Park Campus Secretary (Park Campus) no later than Friday, 19 February.
School Opal Card
Reminder to all parents with children travelling to School via either bus, train or ferry please ensure that you apply online for a new Opal card at transportnsw.info/school-students. This also applies to students who catch our NGS buses (Toronto, Maitland, Swansea). The cards are free and will be of benefit both for to school travel and in some years, excursions. Should you require assistance or direction regarding how to order please contact Mrs McGowan or Mrs Foster. All travelling students will be required to have an Opal card by the end of February.
From Term One 2016, eligible students within the Opal network will be able to travel to and from school with the new School Opal Card.
Most students who already have a 2015 school student travel pass will have their School Opal Card automatically issued and sent to the school.
Some students, including new applicants and students changing school or campuses, updating their personal details, or going from Year 2 to 3 or Year 6 to 7 who have already applied or who need to apply, will have their School Opal Cards posted to their home address. Most School Opal Cards should be received in the first two weeks of Term One 2016.
Students who have been approved to travel on more than one operator or to more than one home address, for example where there is shared parental responsibility, will only receive a single Opal Card.
Travelling in Term One
School students will need to carry their School Opal Card and tap on and off when travelling. A grace period applies until the end of February. Students must be in school uniform or be able to provide evidence (such as a school ID or school books) that they are travelling to or from school during this time.
To report a lost, stolen or damaged School Opal Card, customers should phone 131 500 or visit transportnsw.info/school-students.
In 2016 vaccination will be offered to Year 7 students and any Year 8 student who commenced vaccinations last year and remains incomplete in 2016.
Vaccines offered – 16 February 2016.
Year 7 Students:
– Varicella vaccine (chicken pox) as a single dose for any student who has not been previously vaccinated or had chickenpox disease
– Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) (dTpa) adult vaccine – as a single dose to all year 7 students who have not received a previous adult dose. This should be considered the first adult booster against these diseases.
– Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – in a 3-dose schedule with 2 month gap between doses 1 & 2 and a 4 month gap between doses 2 & 3 for girls.
From the Director of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer
Welcome back to the start of our 2016 educational journey! To our new families, it is a great pleasure to have you join our School. Newcastle Grammar School is a remarkable community that engages with students, parents and staff in our pursuit to make our school the very best centre for education possible. I urge our new families to engage fully with all that NGS has to offer. I am confident that the experience will be a positive one. Welcome back also to our returning families. I trust that you all enjoyed a restful time with your families.
Please may I ask that you make contact with me should you wish to discuss any matters concerning the School. An effective and open dialogue between all parties will facilitate the best possible outcomes for our students. I am excited about what the future will hold and look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree
Welcome back to another great year with a new and full Co-curricular Programme on offer at Newcastle Grammar School.
All students in November last year and some recently have enrolled to partake in a variety of activities some which will commence in Week 3 of this Term. If your son or daughter has registered please attend the first session next week or when the season commences.
Please if you have any questions regarding the activity of your choice please do not hesitate to email the MIC of the activity which you will find on the School website in the Co-curricular handbook.
If your son or daughter wishes to change their choices please email me as soon as possible as these lists need to be finalised ready for the first sessions commencing next week.
>Click here for a list of the activities and the venues.
Year 10 Musical – The Wiz
Mr Stuart Boyd - Year 10 Musical Producer
Rehearsals have already begun for the Year 10 Musical. The dance audition took place last Friday and the song audition happens this Friday. The following week roles will be announced!
As this is a compulsory activity and forms part of the Year 10 Wellbeing Programme, all Year 10 students are required to attend rehearsals every Friday afternoon until 5.00pm for all of Terms 1 and 2. There is also a week of compulsory rehearsals in the last week of the mid year holidays. For parents of Year 10 students, >Click here for more details.
Syntax @ NGS
Mr Andrew Blackwell
Robotics Co-Curricular is no longer
Does your child have a fascination for all things technical? Are they the next Steve Jobs? Do they know who Dr Dianne McGrath is? Did they set up your home computer network for you? Does your child want to save the environment? Well Syntax co-curricular is right for them!
Robotics Co-Curricluar has evolved into three new disciplines: RoboCup, Coding and STEM. Please >click here to see an outline of each discipline.
Ms Sue Bright
Chess at Hill Campus
Ms S Bright - Chess Coordinator (Hill Campus)
Two opportunities are starting in the next few weeks for Chess at Hill Campus.
– Chess Coaching after School on Mondays (Co-Curricular activity). This starts Week 3, Monday, 8 February students should see Mrs Rowntree if they would like to be enrol for this co-curric coaching.
– NGS Chess Championships on Mondays at lunchtime in the Library. This competition will start on Monday, 22 February. Students who would like to enter this competition should see Ms Bright in the Library by Thursday, 18 February to enter. Depending on entries, this competition will be run in various divisions to cater for students of different ages and skill / experience levels. Players with little experience are welcome to be involved.
2015 division Champions:
From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll
Wet Weather on Training Afternoons for Hill Campus Students
If the weather is inclement on Wednesdays a decision on training will be made by 1.00pm on those days. A notice is posted on the Sports Notice Board on Merrick at this time and an alert will be made on the NGS app. If the rain comes after 1.00pm a decision on training will be made as soon as possible, students notified before the end of school and an alert made on the NGS app as soon as possible.
NSW Country and City Schools Cricket Association (CCSCA) Team 2016 – Boys
The 2016 NSW Schools Cricket Association Secondary Open Boys Cricket Championships, will be played from Monday, 7 March to Friday, 11 March 2016, at venues across the Sydney Metropolitan area. Representative Teams from CHS, CCC, GPS, CAS and CCSCA will compete over the week long competition. At the conclusion of the carnival, the NSW Schoolboys Team will be selected.
Any NGS student seeking to trial for the 2016 NSW CCSCA team must see Mr Carroll by Friday, 5 February.
Note: All players selected to attend the trial, at All Saints College on Monday, 22 February 2016, must be available to play the NSW Schools Cricket Association Secondary Open Boys Cricket Championships from 7 to 11 March 2016 at venues across the Sydney Metropolitan area.
Players seeking to trial must have played in the past two seasons, one, or a combination of, School Association Representative Cricket, Local Association Representative Cricket, NSW Country U17/U19 Trials/Carnival, NSW Country Colts Carnival, Cricket NSW Academy Program, Bradman Cup.
HRIS/AICES/All Schools (Secondary) Representative Selection Trials-Upcoming
Trials for selection in various HRIS and AICES representative teams occur throughout the year; however, a number of those occur in the next couple of weeks:-
BASKETBALL – Open boys/girls selection trials will be held on Monday, 8 February in Cooranbong. Students wishing to nominate must see me before the end of school on Wednesday, 3 February.
TENNIS – AICES Open Girls selection trials will be held in Sydney on Thursday, 11 February. Students wishing to nominate should see me before the end of school on Monday, 1 February.
TENNIS – AICES Open Boys selection trials will be held in Sydney on Friday, 12 February. Students wishing to nominate should see me before the end of school on Monday, 1 February.
TRIATHLON – Students wishing to compete at the 2016 NSW All Schools Triathlon Championships, to be held at Penrith on 2 March (individual events) and 3 March (relay events) need to nominate through Mr Carroll by 24 February. This is for individual and relay nominations.
Swimming Pre-Carnival Events: Years 5-12
As is usual each year due to the large number of events held at both the Stewart, Years 5-8 and Berkeley, Years 9-12 carnivals, a number of these events need to be conducted prior to those carnivals.
These events will be held at Mayfield Pool during Weeks 2 and 3 of this term.
Please note the following details:
Wednesday, 3 February: Stewart, Years 5-8, 10-14 years 200m Individual Medley, boys and girls and 200m Freestyle, boys and girls and Open 400m Freestyle events (Year 7&8 ONLY). Events which are not completed on this day will be conducted on Thursday, 4 February.
Thursday 4 February: Stewart, Years 5-8, events held over from Wednesday, 3 February (as per the above).
Wednesday, 10 February: Berkeley, Years 9-12, 14-18 years 200m Freestyle events (boys and girls).
Thursday, 11 February: Berkeley, Years 9-12, 14-18 years 200m Individual Medley events (boys and girls).
Buses on all days will depart School at 3.15pm and return by 5.00pm.
School swimmers must be worn.
Students will nominate for these events through their House Coordinators.
Students should wear their School uniform and change at the pool or, if they have had PDHPE during the day, they may stay in their PE uniform.
Points from all 200m events (Stewart and Berkeley) will go towards both Age and House Championships). The Stewart 400m will be only a trial/selection for times to be sent through for selection in the AICES (Secondary, Years 7-12) Championship and will not have points contributing to Age and House points.
Training for Futsal, Basketball and Surfing will go ahead as usual on Wednesday afternoons, 3 and 10, February; however, those wishing to contest these events should see their coach and let them know that they will be attending the pre-carnival events.
HRIS Primary Basketball Trials
Nominations from Year 5 & 6 students who wish to attend the HRIS Primary Basketball Trials on Wednesday, 10 February at Hunter Valley Grammar School at 3.00pm – 4.00pm are to see Miss Byrnes before close of nomination, Friday, 5 February.
Only outstanding Year 5 or 6 girls/boys who currently play Basketball should nominate.
Park Campus Sport
A busy year commences for Junior School Sport at Park Campus. The following information has been added to the Newsletter so students, parents and friends are aware of important dates and arrangements in Term 1.
Park Campus Sport will be held on Monday afternoons for K-2 students and on Thursday afternoons for Year 3-4 students in Term 1, 2016. Students are asked to wear their blue ‘Sports ‘shirt and sports shorts and have hats at all times.
Park Campus Co-curricular Sport
Information regarding Park Campus Co-curricular Sport options for the Winter 2016 and Summer 15/16 seasons went home last year. Please contact Mrs Rowntree on firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.
Please note that Milo Cricket resumes again in Week 3, concluding in Week 9.
Park Campus Swimming Carnival
The Park Campus Swimming Carnival will be held on Thursday, 18 February (Week 4) 2016 at Mayfield Pool, Mayfield. Students will be required to nominate for particular events prior to the carnival and hand this form to Miss Byrnes or their classroom teacher. Any parent wishing to help at the carnival should contact Mr Taylor at Park Campus Office on (02) 4925 2121.
Year 1 & 2 Swim School
Year 2 will have intensive swimming sessions EVERY afternoon from 1.30pm – 2.30pm commencing on Monday, 1 February through to Friday, 12 February.
Year 1 will have intensive swimming sessions EVERY afternoon from 1.30pm – 2.30pm commencing on Monday, 15 February through to Friday, 26 February.
A note went home in Week 1 about arrangements and equipment needed for these sessions.
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by the Head of School
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Last week, we welcomed students back to School with a few positive changes around the Hill Campus including new artificial grass next to the Hall and filtered water bubblers/taps in Merrick Quad. In addition, work is almost complete and the new outdoor space on the Art Cottage site will be opened very soon!
Trading Hours for 2016
The Uniform shop hours are as follows.
Monday: 8.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday & Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Mon 8 February:
Tue 9 February:
Wed 10 February:
Thu 11 February:
Fri 12 February:
Mon 8 February:
Tue 9 February:
Wed 10 February:
Thu 11 February:
Fri 12 February: