From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

This week our K-2 children are filled with Jungle Book excitement. It has been an amazing experience for children of this age to work together to produce a short musical for parents and friends. I thank the staff involved for their expertise in making this production a reality. There is a buzz at Park Campus this morning – let the show begin!

Many of our students have represented the School in the past week at HRIS events- athletics, netball and soccer.  In addition, secondary students are competing at the AICES athletics championships today at Homebush. Year 11 will began their yearly examinations on Monday and have a busy schedule over the next week as their preliminary courses come to an end. Year 12 Music students are presenting their HSC practical performances to the wider community this week and the HSC Drama Performance examinations take place on Thursday.

On Tuesday evening primary parents met with Mrs Dyer as part of the Parents in Partnership initiative. One of the key focus areas for this meeting was the Music Program for primary students. The School then launched the Strategic Plan to a wider parent group. Covering six main areas – academic success, staff development, student wellbeing, co-curricular offerings, community engagement and future growth, the plan is a roadmap for the next three years for the School. >Click here for a copy of the strategic plan brochure.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Overcoming Procrastination

In my last newsletter article, I briefly outlined the central cause of that enemy of productivity that we all face, procrastination. The good news is that procrastination is a normal reaction by our nervous system geared to having us avoid pain. The better news is that there are some relatively simple and easily employed strategies that our students can utilize that will assist them to overcome this impediment to success.

Looking at or thinking about something you don’t want to do stimulates the area of your brain that is activated by pain – the section at the top of the brainstem known as the limbic system, where structures such as the hypothalamus that regulates responses to pain and the amygdala, our emotional response centre, are found. The resulting neural discomfort experienced once these structures are stimulated disappears once we commence a task. Overcoming the painful neural discomfort of procrastination then is all about commencing.

Pomodoro Technique:
In the late 1980’s, a university student, Francesco Cirillo, developed a simple time management method that he named the Pomodoro Technique. The technique involves the use of a kitchen timer, in Cirillo’s case a timer in the shape of a tomato, or Pomodoro in Italian. The timer is used to break focus segments into set times of around 25 minutes, known as pomodoros, followed by a five minute break.

1626 - Alan 1

There are five steps involved in the process:

  1. Decide on the task to be done
  2. Set the pomodoro for 25 minutes
  3. Focus on the task and work at it until the timer rings. If another important task comes to mind, jot it down on a piece of paper and return immediately to the main task
  4. After the timer rings, checkmark a piece of paper and take a five minute break followed by another ‘pomodoro’
  5. After four pomodoros, take an extended break of around twenty minutes.


1626 - Alan 2

There are rules. Pomodoros are indivisible – there is no pausing at the halfway point. Each pomodoro must be completed or abandoned. The long break after 4 pomodoros is important. This break allows the brain to consolidate and assimilate the four focus sessions. It is during the longer breaks that the student may have an epiphany leading to deep understanding of concepts. And of course, while Cirillo advocates a physical timer and manual recording of pomodoros, these days “there is an app for that”.

Process vs Product:
A focus on Process rather than Product is an essential mindset for the successful student. The Product, for example, may be a 2000 word report due in two weeks. A focus on this product may be overwhelming and lead to procrastination. A focus on the Process may be ‘spend 3 pomodoros tonight researching and collating relevant information’ or ‘4 pomodoros today on writing the introduction’. The task is broken into achievable segments with the focus on the present, in the moment. Think Kelly Slater in the moment on his way to a world championship. His focus is on the process. The product will follow in due course.

1626 - Alan 3

Use the four components of habit to your advantage:

  1. Cue – find a study location and time that triggers readiness to focus. As far as possible, have a consistent place and time.
  2. Routine – set a plan, maybe a set number of pomodoros before dinner. Leave distractions behind – maybe no phone, wifi off, screen down if not needed.
  3. Reward – set your new reward – pride and self-satisfaction, a treat after each pomodoro, ten minutes of web surfing during the long break.
  4. Belief – start with the belief that you can overcome procrastination and succeed in achieving your study goals.

Eat Your Frogs First:
“Eat a live frog in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day” Mark Twain. Whatever it is that you least want to do, whichever task is the least favourite of all, whichever subject is causing the greatest struggle, get that done first. After that, you know the worst is behind you.

In a Nutshell:

  1. Self-regulation is the least common Signature Strength – only 4% of the population – but it is the most influential trait of highly successful people. It is worth working on it.
  2. Procrastination is a normal reaction to avoid “pain”
  3. Utilise the “Pomodoro Technique
  4. Focus on the Process not the Product
  5. Be aware of the characteristics of Habit and turn these to advantage
    – Cue
    – Routine
    – Reward
  6. Eat your frogs first!
+ More

From the Director of Pre-school
Mrs Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

This week Pre-school photos took place and the individual shots were like something out of a Vogue shoot. We were outside in the elements – the wind providing the natural wind swept look, the rain drops the natural dewy look and the cloud cover creating the perfect lighting. After having their individual portraits taken, one of the Groovers returned to the room saying to Mr Jason “I nailed that photo!” Hilarious!

The group shot was a completely different story. Trying to get 40 pre-schoolers to look at the camera, not look cold, ignore the wind and the rain drops, keep still and smile – all together – was a challenge!  But the children did brilliantly with many of them ready to sign a Vogue contract on the spot!

Once again the words Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Star Wars worked well with the smile factor and we finally got a photo that the photographer was happy with. A huge shout out to Maria Ginstfeldt Photography for making it all run so smoothly, despite the elements. We’ve included a sneak preview (it’s important to note… taken by staff and not the professional).

This week – Mim returns with Kids Get Active.

1626 - Groover and Shaker Photo

+ More

From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image


Two NGS Teams into Grand Finals!
A huge congratulations to our NGS 3, 15 years division 3 side and our NGS 4, 13 years teams who have been rewarded for their efforts throughout the year with a place in their respective Grand Finals this Saturday. Both teams played a very intense style of Netball throughout their games to power to very clear wins. Both teams are playing extremely well at the business end of the season.

A particular congratulations to NGS 3 who had been on camp for the week before their game, trekking and paddling for many kilometres around the Myall Lakes, sleeping in tents, missing their regular weekly training session. They backed up the next day and played well. This was a real credit to the girls in this team.

I encourage as many people as possible to come and support our teams on Saturday and I assure you that you will not be disappointed with the standard of netball played by the NGS teams. Full details of those games are tabled >here.

NGS  Netball  2016 –  End of Season Status/Results as at 29 August: >click here

Hunter Schools Athletics Knockout

Last Thursday, seven of our female athletes represented the School at the Hunter Schools’ Athletics Knockout competition at the Hunter Sports centre, Glendale.

The team representing NGS consisted of: Laura Flack, Phoebe O’Keeffe, Bridie Bland, Brittany Morrin, Rebekah Stuart, Caitlin Spencer and Sabrina Kliousis, and were entered in the Senior girls division.

The format requires teams of between 5-7 competitors to compete in 11 x individual events and 1 x relay, with each competitor limited to just 3 x events.

Our team were successful in winning the Senior girls division and we are just waiting to hear about eligibility to compete at the next stage of this Knockout in Sydney later this term.


AICES Athletics Championships

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 form the results of both the Division 1 and Division 2 HRIS competitions. NGS will provide transport to this event and information sheets will be distributed to all athletes closer to the date.

Please note that there have been a number of changes to this list since last week.

Isobel Harbury (12 years) – 100m, 200m.
Mia Osmotherly (14 years)- Javelin
Connor Henderson (15 years)- 200m, 400m.
Corbyn Holmberg (15 years)- 3000m
Sabrina Kliousis (16 years) – Javelin, Discus, Shot Put.
Caitlin Spencer (16 years) – 400m, 800m.
Lorcan Redmond (16 years) – 800m, 1500m, 3000m.
Lachlan Earp (17 years) – Javelin.
Seraina Danuser (17 years) – 1500m
Marshall Unie (17 years) – Shot Put, Discus.
Jackson Gosling (18 years) – 200m
Matthew Griffiths (18 years) – 400m
Nathanial Young (18 years) – Javelin
Isabelle Todhunter (18 years) – 800m, 1500m.
Phoebe O’Keeffe (18 years) – 800m, 1500m.
Laura Flack (18 years) – 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, High Jump, Triple Jump.

2016 NGS Summer Touch Football Teams

Summer Touch Football will commence training on Wednesday, 7 September – Week 8

Students will be transported to National Park Fields after school and return by 5.00pm.

Park Campus students will walk across with Mr Wood and coaches and return by 4.45pm

Please >click here to view list

Ms C Byrnes
MIC Touch


+ More

From the Macquarie House Coordinators
Mrs Sally Wood & Mrs Vicki Dart

Macquarie Term

This term, Macquarie House has been celebrating the character strength of Creativity. We will be hosting Mac Day on the Hill Campus on Wednesday, 7 September.

Wear: School Sports uniform (gold coin donation will be collected at gates)

Recess:  Cupcake stall on Merrick

Lunch: add a dance accessory to your uniform and join us on the courts for Zumba and a BBQ ($5 wristband includes BBQ, drink and entrance to the courts)

See the Macquarie Term Schoolbox page to follow our celebrations this term. Includes cryptic crosswords, image galleries and our Teachers’ Stories challenge.

+ More

Friends with Dignity
Show your Support

Friends with Dignity is a not-for-profit community based organisation which assists women, men and children to successfully and sustainably escape domestic violence by providing support. Support is provided through donations of bathroom and laundry products as well as provisions of furniture, kitchen supplies, toys and electrical items for families who are placed in ‘new’ houses. We would like to ask our families if they would like to donate towards the local charity in Newcastle by providing bathroom or laundry products. If you are able to donate, please contact Cheona Nichol on 0431 096 126 and she will provide an address for delivery.

We thank you for your support.


+ More

Oliver with a Twist
Years' 3 to 6 Production


Subscribe to eNews

Strategic Plan

>Click here to see a copy of the School’s Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019

Feedback for the Board and Mrs Thomas can be directed to Mrs Kate Grogan at

Functions & Events

All Newcastle Grammar School functions/events will now be sold through Flexischools.

If you would like to purchase tickets and do not have an account please  >click here for instructions.

School Photos

Newcastle School Portraits have attended several events during the 2016 school year. If you would like to view them please go to:
Enter the code: 72472AZ

HSC Visual Arts
Body of Work Viewing times

Student News

Year 5 Student

Congratulations to Helena Cake, Year 5, who achieved an amazing result in the Elementary Section of the Music Teacher’s Association of NSW Junior Music Festival coming second.  What a wonderful achievement Helena.

Year 4 Students

Newcastle Grammar School came 6th ouf of 13 schools.  NGS have qualified for the Australian Championships at Perisher next Wednesday and Thursday.

Park Campus students were Otto Dries, Lachlan Dunning and Taj Curran. This was a great effort in really difficult and icey conditions.

1626 - Park Campus - SNOW

Read more

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 5 September:
Aznive Beesley
Julieanne Vickery

Tue 6 September:
Jacquelene Doran
Hayley Martin

Wed 7 September:
Sue Clark

Thu 8 September:
Donna Carney

Fri 9 September:
Kate Ellis

Park Campus

Mon 5 September:

Tue 6 September:

Wed 7 September:
Michelle Walmsley

Thu 8 September:
Nerida Gray

Fri  9 September:
Lesley Filby
Derani Clarke