From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Congratulations to Year 10 for their production of The Wiz last week. The energy, talent and coordination on stage was a credit to these students and I know they are proud of what they achieved together. Thank you to the many staff involved in this production who have given up a considerable amount of time over the last few months to guide Year 10 in this unique year group activity. >Click here to see some photos of The Wiz.

Year 12 are reaching the end stages of their schooling and begin their Trial Examinations next week. These examinations are used to both assess students at this stage in their programs and to give students a guide to what the HSC will be like. The examinations will take place over two weeks and students will be sitting a range of two or three hour exams in each subject. We wish Year 12 well for the Trials. At last week’s Information Evening we reminded students that the examinations were an important part of consolidating their learning to date and that they should be confident that they will continue to improve over the coming months.

Tomorrow we hold Open Days at both Park and Hill Campuses and look forward to welcoming visitors to the School. A reminder to Year 8 parents that your Parent Teacher interviews will be held tomorrow evening 4 August. These interviews are held in the Holland and Parnell Buildings. Your son or daughter is invited to attend with you.

Thank you to the parents, particularly Catherine Raftos, Julie Kosy and Jenny Bell who have been involved in organising the Breakfast at Tiffany’s Ball for Friday evening. We appreciate the support for this event shown by the School Community and it was terrific to see that we were able to sell all the tickets. The Ball is a key fundraising event for the School and our target is to be able to improve the flooring and lighting in the Horbury Hunt Hall.

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From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Claim the date:

Parent Presentation

On Tuesday, 23 August commencing at 6.00pm in the Horbury Hunt Hall, Newcastle Grammar School will be presenting Ms Claire Madden, MA, BA in a very special presentation to parents, following an afternoon workshop session with our Year 12 students.

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Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator, keynote presenter, TEDx speaker, business consultant and founder and director of the strategy and communications agency, Hello Clarity.  Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends and assisting business leaders to strategically respond to them. With academic qualifications in communications and postgraduate studies in leadership, Claire brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting.  Claire is on the board for a financial services company and on the Advisory Board of UTS Business School.

In addition to delivering keynote presentations at conferences in Australia and overseas, Claire is booked to conduct training days for corporate and not for profit clients, facilitate panels across an array of industries and deliver workshops across diverse generations. Claire is uniquely placed as an expert on social trends, organisational culture and generational engagement. From her role on TV, radio and in print as a media commentator, to delivering keynote presentations at business conferences, Claire is in demand as a social researcher who is also an engaging communicator.

Claire’s presentation/workshop session with our senior students and evening session with parents will be based on the theme: “Future-proof Your Career.” In this session, Claire will outline the key generational, educational, financial and global trends redefining careers, including:

  • Demographic and workforce changes and emerging sectors
  • Which tertiary courses are growing and what are the new opportunities
  • Global workforce flows and the new global careers
  • Attracting and retaining top talent – what the best employers look for
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation – why these characteristics are key for all employees
  • Technology trends and dead-ends – what you need to know!

I would strongly urge all parents, particularly those with children in the final few years of school, to attend this evening session.  Please note, this presentation is free of charge to all NGS Parents, please phone Reception on Ph: 4929 5811 to reserve your seat.


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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

Primary Musical Update

Students in K-6 have continued to rehearse for our upcoming Primary musical extravaganzas. Our K-2 students have been jiving to that jungle rhythm preparing for their ‘Jungle Book’ performances on 31 August and  1 September. Years 3-6 have been particularly inspired after viewing ‘The Wiz’ matinee last Wednesday and are getting ready to wow us with the ‘Oliver with a Twist’ on the 14 and 15 September.

Being a part of a large scale musical production has many great benefits for all of our students – not just those with a penchant for singing, dancing and drama.

A joint study by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work and the Australian Council for the Arts has found that engagement in the arts benefits students not just in the classroom, but also in life.

Students who are involved in the arts have higher school motivation, engagement in class, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, researchers discovered.

You can read more about this research paper >Click here

‘Goal Setting and Reflection’ to ‘Grow our Brain’

With all that discussion in Term 2 about ‘growing our brains’ by challenging ourselves, it is an excellent opportunity to begin the term by having our students set positive goals. Setting both academic and character goals is a way of gradually building students’ capacity to tackle the increasing challenges they will face in future years.

How can we encourage our children to embrace the growth mindset and focus to set measurable and achievable goals? Start by showing them how others have overcome obstacles and achieved their goals. Seek out inspirational stories of people who are important to your children, and share those stories with them.

The Olympics and surrounding media often provides the perfect opportunity to highlight stories of athletes who have come from humble backgrounds and risen to greatness. Discuss inspiring stories of athletes particularly how their focus and goal setting has motivated them to achieve.

Amy Bibby – Head of Learning & Teaching K to 6

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Director of Learning & Teaching
Mrs Lisa Peterson

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The NGS SchoolBox Parent Portal Goes Live

Last Thursday our SchoolBox Parent Portal finally went “live”. This Portal provides parents with increased access to important information including timetables, calendars and permission notes. Parents were emailed their unique username and password last week. If you are experiencing problems logging on, please don’t hesitate to contact our ICT Integrator, Mr Lee O’Brien

To support parents in using the Portal to its full potential, we are holding a number of information sessions during Week 3:

  • Thursday, 4 August at 5:30pm in the Holland Staff Common Room – Hill Campus

Parents are welcome to attend any of this session.

Tournament of the Minds

Places are still available in the Secondary (Years’ 7 – 10) Tournament of Minds team. Tournament of Minds is a problem solving programme for teams of students from both primary and secondary years. They are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:

  • Science Technology
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Language Literature

Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way.

If your son or daughter is interested in participating, please contact Mrs Peterson Preparations will begin this week.

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From the Director of Pre-school
Mrs Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

It’s term 3 week 3 and, as we are in the midst of report writing and looking at the children’s school readiness, we realise how far this group of children have come since Week 1, Term 1.

Their cognitive skills are progressing at an amazing rate as the relationship between numbers and counting is recognised at the same time as that of name writing, letters and words in books. Similarly, the children’s physical development – both fine and gross motor is evident as their increased competence and confidence outside – running, climbing, swinging – is also evident with their inside skills – pencil grip, colouring and cutting techniques. These are all areas that can be worked on with the children both at Pre-school and at home.

However, perhaps the most noticeable area of development is the children’s social skills. This morning a Groover child who, at the beginning of the year may have ‘grabbed back’ a piece of construction from his friends hands and generated a physical and verbal altercation, “used his words” and negotiated an agreement with his friend which saw them share and work together. Every day in both the indoor and outdoor setting, children are socialising and communicating with more maturity and respect – these 4.5 to 5 year olds are no longer as egocentric as the 4 to 4.5 year olds at the start of the year – and it is a very rewarding experience to observe.

Please note the Pre-school photos that were scheduled on the term calendar for this week have been moved to the 23 and 25 August. More time to get their “Winning Smiles” ready. Vision Screening will now take place on Tuesday, 9 August and Friday, 19 August.

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

HRIS (secondary) Athletics Chammpionships

Last Tuesday saw the 2016 HRIS Division 1 (Secondary) Athletics Championships conducted at the Hunter Sports Centre, Glendale.

A team of nearly 90 students represented the School and although there were a number of students who were ill and could not compete, together with a number of absentees, the NGS team acquitted themselves very well.

The fact that we had many students who, due to others being absent, were asked the step in and compete in various events to ensure we were gaining points and had competitors in all events – the essence of the carnival. Just a couple of those students were:

Imogen Patey who on the morning was asked to compete in the 18 years events instead of her scheduled 16 years events! Imogen has proved to be an outstanding all-around Sportswoman this year, after also competing up an age group at the HRIS swimming Championships.

Bronson Elsley who came out in the afternoon after attending lessons in the morning to compete in his scheduled two events and ended up filling in two others as well, including a relay!

Marshall Unie, who was asked to run a 1500m event just 30 minutes before that event began!

Congratulations also, to Matthew Griffiths and Laura Flack who were appointed NGS Athletics captains for 2016. Both Laura and Matt have represented the School with distinction over many years, represented at AICES level and certainly led by their actions at HRIS and both have continued with great performances and been selected in the 2016 HRIS team

>Click here for the results of various competitions.

NGS members of the 2016 HRIS team

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected to represent HRIS at the AICES Athletics Championships on Wednesday, 31 August at Homebush. This team was selected from the results of both the Division 1 and Division 2 HRIS competitions.  >Click here for NGS members. NGS will provide transport to this event and information sheets will be distributed to all athletes closer to the date.

NGS Primary Athletics Team 2016

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected in the Newcastle Grammar School Primary Athletics team to compete at the Hunter Region Independent Schools Athletics Division 2 Championships on Thursday, 11 August. >Click here for team.

NGS Primary Athletics Team Training

Athletes are also given the opportunity to participate in athletics training on the following dates.

  • Week 3 – Tuesday, 2 August
  • Week 4 – Tuesday, 9 August

Training will be at Newcastle Athletics track from 3:15 – 4:30pm. Students will be transported from Hill/Park Campus. An information note was sent home last week and placed on School Box. Please return permission notes at your earliest convenience.

Ms Byrnes/ Mr Lloyd – Stewart/Park Sports Coordinators

HRIS Primary Netball and Football Gala Days

The Hunter Region Independent Schools Primary Netball and Football Gala days will be held on Tuesday, 30 August.

The HRIS Primary Netball Gala Day will be played at Newcastle Netball Courts with NGS selecting Division A and Division B from Year 5 & 6 girls and Division C from Year 3 & 4 girls.

The HRIS Primary Football Gala will be held at two different locations (Maitland Park Div. A and B and Adamstown Oval Div. C) with NGS selecting Division A and Division B from Year 5 & 6 boys and girls and Division C from Year 3 & 4 boys and girls.

Selection for the above teams will be:

  • Division C Football (Year 3 & 4)       – Park Campus Tuesday, 2 August lunchtime
  • Division A & B (Year 5 & 6)                 – Hill Campus Thursday, 4 August lunchtime
  • Division A & B (Year 5 & 6)                 – Hill Campus Friday, 5 August lunchtime
  • Division C (Year 3 & 4)                         -TBC
  • Ms C Byrnes – HRIS Primary Netball Gala Day Convenor

Co-Curricula Summer Touch

Summer Co-curricular Touch is fast approaching. >Click here for more information.



After last weekend’s gale force conditions, we all appreciated the sunny, calm weather last Saturday for our competition tennis match. Isn’t tennis a fabulous game in those conditions?

Thank you to everyone who arrived 10 minutes early for their game.

Just a reminder that there is no game for us this Saturday, 6 August, as there is a tournament being played at District Park Tennis Courts.

Training will be as usual this Wednesday.

Mrs V  Dart-MIC Tennis


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Register for the 2016/17 Rowing Season

Any student in Years 6-11 that would like to join the NGS Rowing Team for the 2016-17 Season needs to complete and return the registration form, please >click here

More information about the programme can be found on Schoolbox.

Training will be a phased in start as follows:

Year 9-11 Rowers Saturday, 13 August

Year 7 Rowers Saturday, 20 August

Year 8 (after Camp) Monday, 29 August

Year 6 Start Date TBC shortly

Please keep up to date with all rowing news and correspondence on NGS Schoolbox

Sarah Ellis- Rowing Coordinator


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From the Tyrrell Library
Ms Sue Bright

Reorganising Library Junior Fiction to be Grouped in Genres a Great Success

Over the last few weeks Library staff have re-organised, re-shelved, re-labelled and re-designed the signage of our Tyrrell Library (Hill Campus) Junior-Fiction section.  Books are now shelved in genre groups, rather than the traditional system where books were shelved in author surname order.  The major reason for this change is because most readers browsing for a book will have a preferred genre (or genres) for their browsing. Now all books of the same genre are shelved together, making them easier to find.

The new system has been very enthusiastically received by our Year 5 and 6 students. We encourage students to check out our new Junior-Fiction section.

Pictured are some of our Year 5 and 6 students looking for books in our new genre based Junior Fiction section.

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TAS Forensic Camp

In the middle week of the school holidays Will Carraro, Samuel Alsop and I travelled to Armidale to attend the annual Forensic Science Camp. This was held at The Armidale School, where we spent 5 days sleeping in the schools on campus boarding houses. During this time, we worked as small groups to solve a criminal case using the evidence that we were provided.

We started off with some initial reports of an abduction, photos of the crime scene and evidence samples recovered from the scene including footprints, clothing/hair fibres and a bloody metal bar. As the camp proceeded, we received more evidence as the crime escalated. We had access to the crime labs to analyse the evidence; measuring and examining fibre samples under microscopes, testing blood and DNA samples and retrieving fingerprints off items.

By the third day, our small abduction case had become a scene of two murders, a robbery and another attempted murder. We received additional evidence that coincided with the cases. On the fourth day, we were required to submit a search warrant and an arrest warrant on who we believed was guilty. On the fifth day, we attended a hearing where we presented our findings and attempted to send the suspected culprit to trial. We got our culprit charged on all accounts, including double homicide, theft and use of an illegal drug.

When we weren’t connecting metaphorical dots, we had an unlimited supply of hot chocolate, three meals a day and awesome “compulsory fun” time where we played everything from soccer to dodge ball. In the afternoons, we had trivia and space jam competitions, watched movies or played games like table tennis in the boarding houses.

All the scenarios were unique, heaps of fun and turned the whole experience into a real life crime drama. It was easily one of the best times I have ever had. From all the new people you meet there to the “Midsummer” murders fantasy that you finally get to enact, I would highly recommend this to everyone.

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Jadon Routley & William Carraro

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Shape HSC Showcase in Hunter
Bethany Lee (2015 HSC)

Congratulations to Bethany Lee (2015 HSC). Her Design and Technology Major Design Project was recently selected to exhibit in the Hunter “Shape” Showcase Exhibition.

Beth travelled throughout Tanzania with World Vision Australia and was profoundly moved by the inequities evident.

She decided to write a children’s book that centred on “Lucy”, a young girl who Beth spent some time with in a remote village in Tanzania. Beth demonstrated her talents in illustration as well as creating an E-Book for teachers to help educate younger students on the issues of poverty, and social injustice.

Beth is now studying Architecture at University.


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Thank You to our Gold Sponsors

We are excited to announced that the  Breakfast At Tiffany’s Ball is sold out and we look forward to a wonderful evening together.

The school wishes to thank all those who have either sponsored a table or who have donated  generous prizes that will be used on the evening.

We wish to acknowledge and especially thank the Gold Sponsors for this year’s Ball. They are:

  • Talent Code Pty Ltd
  • Hunter Plastic Surgery
  • RAMS Home Loan Centre- Newcastle Branch
  • Hand Surgery Centre
  • Hunter Star Mercedes

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Hand Surgery

The 98th Gala Ball

The 98th Gala Ball image

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Parent Committee

Dear Parent Committee,

We were hard pressed to find a free evening at the start of this term to launch Schoolbox and provide training for parents. As a result the Parent Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday 2nd August has become the Schoolbox Parent Portal session.

Mrs Erica Thomas would like to invite you to an evening on Tuesday 30th August where she will discuss the Strategic direction of the school in an open Q&A type forum with parents and other members of the School Executive. We will also publish this event to the wider School community.

We look forward to seeing you at some of the upcoming parent events.

Newcastle Buses or Ferries Update

Please be aware that as from August 1st 2016, concession tickets will no longer be sold on Newcastle Buses or Ferries.

School students aged between 16 and 18 years must carry a SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENT CONCESSION CARD (as shown below in green) to be eligible to purchase a child/youth cash ticket.

The green cards are available from Mrs McGowan.



Uniform Shop

A reminder the uniform shop hours are as follows;

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


Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 8 August:
Maeve Brown

Tue 9 August:
Alette Schot

Wed 10 August:
Rebecca Webster
Lee Fry

Thu 11 August:

Fri 12 August:
Beth Winzer
Suzi Draper

Park Campus

Mon 8 August:

Tue 9 August:
Jacqui Mejia

Wed 10 August:

Thu 11 August:
Elaine Mann

Fri  12 August:
Lesley Filby
Derani Clarke