From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Last week a number of staff attended an evening lecture at Newcastle University by Professor Yong Zhau from the University of Oregon. The theme of his talk was “What Makes a World Class Education?” Professor Zhao’s argument centred on the idea that in a world where automation is changing the nature of work, students in the educational system today need to be creative problem solvers who are capable and independent thinkers. He used both international and local data to explore the forces that are shaping the future and describe the need to engage students in real life problems, improve their critical thinking skills and understand the need to adapt to change. Yong Zhau is an engaging speaker and if interested you can find out more about his work at

We welcomed visitors to both Park and Hill Campuses yesterday for Open Day. It was terrific to see the interest in the School and questions asked revolved around class sizes (the average class size across the school at present is 22), co-curricular offerings and well-being programmes. On Hill Campus, Year 10 students did an excellent job guiding families around the School and I thank them for their enthusiasm.

It has been a very busy week in sport – HRIS secondary hockey and swimming; Cross Country and Rowing Nationals to name a few. The Friends of Rowing organised a fabulous fundraising dinner last Saturday night and I thank them and all who supported this event for their efforts. The first of our Music Scholars concerts took place last Thursday night – the second one will be held this Thursday evening.

I remind families that Before School Care at Park Campus operates from 7.15am each morning. Before School Care is not suitable for Preschool children and all children who attend must have breakfast at home. Parents are asked to walk into the school with their child and sign their child in with the staff member on duty. Bookings for After School Care should be made through the Park Campus Office. The Library on Hill Campus opens until 5.30pm each day. Any student not in an organised activity after school must sign in to the Library.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Building Resilience in our Youth

More than ever before our students are being exposed to a world that may appear to some to be filled with confusion, fear and a sense of isolation. In a school such as ours that is focusing on developing in our students their learning skills and hence academic achievements, leadership abilities and emotional intelligence, the opportunity exists for us to provide an environment that will enable them to continue to increase their resilience. It is this resilience that will allow our students to overcome adversity and obstacles in their lives now and as they grow into adulthood.

The work of Rutter, Maughan, Mortimore and Ouston in Britain shows that a significant source of protective factors can be found in the school. “Young people are more likely to demonstrate resilient characteristics if they attend schools that have good academic records and attentive, caring teachers. Studies conducted in the U.S. have also shown the important role that individual teachers can play in resilient adolescents’ lives” (Geary 1988; Werner and Smith 1987; Coburn and Nelson 1989). The research indicates that opportunities to join and belong to supportive groups contributed to individuals’ resilience.

This resilience contributes significantly to the ability of adolescents to reject involvement in such risk taking behaviour as becoming involved with illicit drugs. Two risk factors identified by Geoff Munro, Centre for Youth Drug Studies at the Australian Drug Foundation within the scope of schools are lack of success at school and lack of attachment to school. If schools provide an environment in which students feel valued and valuable, in which they can participate and achieve success, schools can be confident that they are working to reduce drug use and drug problems.

In promoting resilience, Sue Howard and Bruce Johnson of the University of South Australia identify four factors: Personal factors, Family factors, School factors and Community factors. They describe School Factors as follows:

Schools that are safe, positive and achievement-oriented help adolescents develop a sense of purpose and autonomy and promote connectedness. They can also teach valuable life skills such as social problem-solving as well as social competence. Perhaps most importantly, schools can ensure that every student develops the foundation academic competencies needed for further learning and the development of positive self esteem. In these ways schools can ‘teach for resilience’ by promoting academic competence and attending to the social and emotional needs of students.

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From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey

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Opal Card

This year, Transport for NSW and transport operators have allowed eligible school students to travel without a School Opal card for the first seven weeks of the school year, provided they are in school uniform or can provide evidence they are attending school (i.e. school student ID card or copy of class timetable). Please contact me if you have any questions.

As most students have now settled in to their new travel patterns for the year and have received their School Opal cards, the grace period will end on Monday, 21 March 2016.

From the Director of Studies
Mr Philip Fielden

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Year 12 Half Yearly Examinations

In Weeks 9 & 10, our Year 12 students will be completing their half yearly examinations. This is an important part of their internal assessment programme and I’m sure that the students will be working hard on their preparations.

I have already published the Examination Timetable and the relevant Rules and Regulations on SchoolBox. Students have been given the chance to comment on the Timetable and I’ve been able to make some changes a result. Also, I have been through the regulations that cover these exams and it is vital that the students abide by these.

In addition, last week Mr Parsons, Mrs Peterson and I have spoke to all of Year 12 at a recent assembly about both the examinations and the high level of support that the School offers them. We wish all students every success in these exams.

From the Director of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Director of Primary image

Our Kindergarten Beach Fun Day

Kindergarten arrived at School very excited this morning and we were blessed with beautiful weather for our Beach Fun Day at Park Campus.

We began the day by sitting safely between the red and yellow flags as we listened with great interest to an informative talk about safety at the beach. Four fantastic Lifesavers (Harry Smith, Ryan Campbell, Tan Hasdarngkul and Sophie Cominos) from Year 11 visited us to discuss and demonstrate some very important steps on what to do if one needs help in the water, or gets stung by a bluebottle. We also learnt that rockpools are fun to look in, but we must leave the sea-life alone in their homes rather than pick up live animals. We all sang and danced to our favourite ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek n’ Slide’ sun safety jingle together with our new lifesaver friends. It is always special to see students teaching students and great to see Kindergarten making connections across the School.

We then made our very own 3D beach models with some very good examples of rough water conditions using playdough. We made sure our jelly baby ‘swimmers’ were safely swimming between the red and yellow flags with a soft jube ‘floaty ring’. Other jelly babies were seeking shade as they lay on their towel under the umbrella. We even hid some buried treasure in the sand!

Then it was time to go to the Kindergarten Beach. So we gathered up our beach bags and set off with buckets, spades and sand toys for some time in the sandpit. The cubby house quickly became a beach house and there were also many wonders with water. Will this sink or will it float? How long will the ice take to melt? Some ‘sun bathers’ even spread out their towels in the shade to chat with their friends or rest with a hat over their faces.

Another highlight of the day was sharing beach stories and games together. We also stopped by the aquarium to say ‘Hi!’ to Big Daddy Blue, the yabby.

After lunch it was time to relax and watch Octonauts. This was a great way to end a hot and busy day at the Park Campus Beach.

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Year 2 Excursion to Hunter Valley Zoo

In class, in our Inquiry Unit, we are learning about living things. On 8 March, we travelled to Hunter Valley Zoo to learn about all the things animals need to keep them healthy. When we got to the Zoo, the Zoo Keepers gave us a bag of special food to feed all the farm animal and Kangaroos. The animals were very happy to see us and some of them were very greedy and snatched the food bag out of our hands.

The Rainbow Lorikeets loved eating ice cream cones we took into their aviary. They were very tame. They sat on our arms and shoulders, and some cheeky ones even sat on our heads.

We loved seeing lots of different animals like meerkats, maned wolves, alligators, emus, echidnas, blue-tongued lizards, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, wombats, wallabies, fennec foxes, koalas, a lion cub and  monkeys.  We got to pat the Koalas and they felt very soft. We loved watching the Capuchin monkeys. They were funny and playful and the Mummy monkeys carried the babies on their backs.

The most interesting animal we saw was called a Malaysian Tapir. It looked like a mix of an elephant, a panda and a rhinoceros.  Its name was Birani. He was nearly blind but he was also very smart because he worked out how to find his food and he couldn’t even see it.

The Zoo Keepers told us lots of interesting facts about the zoo animals. We had a fantastic day learning all about different animals and what they need like food, water and shelter.

Thank you to Mrs Unsted and Mrs Martin for taking using to the Zoo. Thank you to our parent helpers who came with us, Mrs Richardson, Mrs Wright, Mrs Heslop and Mrs Du. They were very kind and helpful and thank for you for the ice blocks at the end of the day.

By Year 2 Students

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From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

A big week at Pre-school with Leanne from Newcastle City Council coming to talk about recycling – both at home and at Pre-school. At Pre-school we re-use lots of boxes and materials for our construction and collage activities and have a (yellow top) recycling bin in each of the rooms for paper which is collected and emptied by Year 4 students each week.

Another highlight of the week was seeing butterflies hatch. Miss Amber brought in three silver chrysalises over the week which hatched into beautiful black and white butterflies. The children were able to see the whole process which generated lots of butterfly stories, including the old favourite “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, as well as paintings, drawings, collage and playdough butterflies and caterpillars.

Finally, two more jokes from our Groover comedian…..

“What wobbles and flies in the sky?” Answer: A Jellicopter

“Why did the starfish laugh?” Answer: He saw the boat’s bottom.

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Park Campus - Chess Club
Mrs Simone Muddle

Each Wednesday lunchtime, Mr Behne-Smith has been visiting our Park Campus lunchtime clubs to provide Chess coaching. Mr Behne-Smith is a multiple country champion and has a wealth of experience coaching children at all levels of Chess. We welcome any students who would like learn more about Chess to our Wednesday lunchtime chess clubs, regardless of their current playing ability.

Additional chess coaching is available with Mr Behne-Smith through our Chess co-curricular programme on Tuesday afternoons from 3.00pm-4.30pm at Park Campus Library.  Anyone interested in representing the School in the Interschool Chess competition later in the year is encouraged to take advantage of one or both of these sessions. Students from Years 2 to 4 who show intermediate skills and good sportsmanship will be considered for the School teams to join the Hunter Region Interschool Chess Rookies Competition.

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Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree

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With most co-curricular activities well underway may I please remind all parents that for activities that occur off campus or at Park Campus it is very important that you come into the venue to collect your son/daughter instead of asking them to come out to the street.

May I remind parents that if your son or daughter is not collected by the allocated time at an external venue they will be transported back to Hill or Park Campus for collection.

If a student at Park Campus is not collected on time, they will be escorted to the After School Care Room.

If the student is not collected by 5.15pm at Hill Campus they will be escorted to the Parnell Library where they need to be signed out on collection by 5.30pm.

From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

Hockey Champions

Congratulations to our Senior boys and girls Hockey teams which contested the HRIS Championships last week. Both teams participated very strongly, with the girls finishing in 3rd place and the boys winning the overall Champions trophy in 2016.

The NGS Senior boys team comprised: Matthew Wiseman, Steven Howell, Ben Boyle, Jaydon Bisson, Mitchell Bisson, Ryan Droop, Ethan Spiers, Sam Roy, William Scott, Aden Luker, Ben Taylor and Conrad Talbot.

The boys:
defeated St Columba Anglican School 11-1
defeated the Barbarians (invitational side) 2-1
drew with Calrossy Anglican School 2-2
defeated Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College 16-0

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The NGS Senior girls team comprised: Sophie Cominos, Mia Bullock, Molly Broad, Rosie Hunt, Tia de Silva, Elizabeth Duffy and Ellie Carter, Georgia Peterson and Leike Schot and Paige Peterson.

The girls:
defeated Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College 3-0
defeated Lakes Grammar-an Anglican School 3-0
were defeated by the Barbarians (invitational side) 0-2
were defeated by St Columba Anglican School in semis 0-1

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Representative Honours

Congratulations to the following students who were selected in HRIS representative sides to contest the AICES Championships later this term:

Georgia Ferguson – HRIS U16 girls’ side
Ben Boyle – HRIS Open boys’ side
Mitchell Bisson – HRIS Open boys’ side
Jaydon Bisson – HRIS Open boys’ side
William Scott – HRIS Open boys’ side

Newcastle Grammar School Cross Country

Congratulations to all the runners who competed in the NGS Cross Country for 2016.

A full list of results will be published in next week’s Newsletter due to certain age groups still having to complete the course this week.

Presentations of Age Champions and House Champions will be done at next week’s assembly.

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Isabelle Colbert, Olivia Fraser, Isabella Ida, Mary Alexander, Madeline Guest, Lucia Clarke, Ruby Robinson and Katherine Wang

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Lachlan Rae strides out in the 17 years boys division.

HRIS Primary Girls Hockey

Any girl in year 5 or 6 who is currently playing hockey at a high level and is interested in trialling for the NSWCIS Primary Hockey team please see Miss Byrnes in the PDHPE Staffroom.

HRIS (Secondary) Swimming Championships

Congratulations to all NGS students who competed so well at last week’s HRIS Division 1 Swimming Championships at Lambton Pool.

Although NGS finished in 6th position on the day, it was great to see so many good performances and also great to see students so willing to slot into events when others were injured or sick on the day-this is a real credit to those students.

Individual Age Championship Top Ten Results
Tamsyn Burley: 3rd in the 12 years girls
Isobel Harbury: 8th in the 12 years girls
Jack Fensom: 8th in the 12 years boys
Oscar Jeffery: 2nd in the 13 years boys
Angus Tait: 5th in the 13 years boys
Hamish Bell: 4th in the 14 years boys
Jadon Routley: 8th in the 14 years boys
Kirsty Rochow: 9th in the 15 years girls
Connor Henderson: 5th in the 15 years boys
Sam Barnett: 10th in the 16 years boys
Seraina Danuser: 6th in the 17 years girls
Alice Bright: 8th in the 17 years girls
Caleb Agostino-Morrow: 2nd in the 17 years boys
Monique Bower: 7th in the 18 years girls
Bronson Elsley: 2nd in the 18 years boys
Nathan Young: 8th in the 18 years boys

Top 3 Age Group Results
2nd in the 12 years girls
1st in the 13 years boys
2nd in the 14 years boys
2nd in the 17 years girls
2nd in the 17 years boys
2nd in the 18 years boys

A team will now be selected to represent HRIS at the AICES Championships to be held at Homebush on Wednesday, 30 March. NGS members of that team will be announced later this week and appear in next week’s Newsletter. An information sheet will be distributed to all members early next week.


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Friends of Newcastle Grammar School Rowing
Casino Royal Ball

The Friends of NGS Rowing Casino Royal Ball held last Saturday was an outstanding success raising in excess of $25,000!

More than 105 Friends of Rowing and their guests mingled amongst feather adorned Croupiers while enjoying the fun filled evening.

Thank you to all our sponsors and guests for making this event such a memorable evening.

Auction Winners
– Joy Flight over the Hunter as donated by the Kuru Family: John Rosauer
– 8 Rounds of Golf at Cypress Lakes as donated by Cypress Lakes: Jim Papadoplous
– Interior Design Package: Kerrie Kerr
– 10 Driving Lessons by Drive Smart as donated by Circuit Italia: Bonnie Young
– Dinner for 10 by chef Timothy Montgomery: Matthew McDonald
– Bottle of 2002 Vintage Grange as donated by Julienne Vickery: Richard Earp

Raffle Prize Winners
– Golf Packs as donated by NGS Sports Dept: Rob Newton and Dave Oakley
– Chivers Regal donated by Coulton Family: Brony Scott
– 10kg of Angus Beef donated by Bland family: Ivan Bonus
– Dinner at Lotus donated by Michelle Smith: Kath Leishman
– Dinner at Six Degrees donated by Michelle Smith: Kuru Family
– 2 Rings donated by Ilona Leibrandt: Donna Morrin & De Kock
– Office Chair donated by Experienced Office Furniture (Wildschut family): De Kock

300 Club Winners
1st Prize of $10,000: Michael Reynolds
2nd Prize of $1,000: Tarryn Gardner
3rd Prize of $500: Kellie Wright

Tyrrell House Crazy Hair Day - Hill Campus
Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tyrrell House Crazy Hair Day - Hill Campus image

Sonnet Stroll

Sonnet Stroll image

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The Blog
by the Head of School

Uniform Shop
Trading Hours for 2016

The Uniform shop hours are as follows.

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

Canteen Duties

Hill Campus

Mon 21 March:

Tue 22 March:
Alette Schot

Wed 23 March:
Aznive Beesley
Julieanne Vickery

Thu 24 March:

Fri 25 March:

Park Campus

Mon 21 March:
Rachel Galettis

Tue 22 March:
Rachael Heslop

Wed 23 March:
Nerida Gray

Thu 24 March:
Derani Clarke

Fri 25 March:

Minor Outbreak of Whooping Cough in NSW