From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Welcome back to Term 4 and I hope all of our students are looking forward to the opportunities ahead. Year 12 begin the HSC tomorrow with English and Music and finish on 4th November for students of Design and Technology. I remind Year 12 to keep in touch with their teachers over the coming weeks, getting feedback and seeking help when needed. Good luck to all of our Year 12 students. >Click here to see the HSC timetable.

In early HSC news, I congratulate the following students who have received nominations for Encore (Music Composition and Performance) and OnStage (Drama). This is an outstanding achievement for your practical performances in these subjects.

Encore: Cassidy Lobb, Emily Spurway, Oliver Watt and Alexander Young

OnStage: Group Performance – Olivia Dickinson, Grace Byth, Cassidy Lobb, Jessica Finlay-Jones; Individual Performance – Jessica Finlay-Jones

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded Distinctions and High Distinctions in ICAS for English in 2016.

Year 3: Distinction – Mia Kearney, Luca Swancott

Year 4: Distinction – William Jeffery; High Distinction: Lucy Nightingale

Year 5: Distinction: Helena Cake, Ruby Macdonald, Alexander Macdougall, Kalen Routley

Year 6: Distinction: Alex Fong, Sedani Kariyawasam, Lily Webster

Year 7: Distinction: Felix Clark, Aidan Fay Downs, Matthew Macdougall, Saisha Prasad, Ruby Zacharia

Year 8: Distinction: Evgenia Petrelis; High Distinction: Jadon Routley

Year 9: Distinction: Chloe Banks, Jasmin Zhou

Year 10: Distinction: Margot Roberts; High Distinction: Azeem Travadi

Year 11: Distinction: Yi wen Yang

Year 12: High Distinction: Elizabeth Sebastian; Azleena Akhand (Medal)

Over the next few years we will be changing our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model to better suit the learning needs of our students. From 2017 Years 9 and 10 may bring a device of their choice to school – this may be a laptop, notebook or iPad. Years 3-8 will remain with an iPad. Please >click here to see the technology booklet and a summary of the model 2017-2019.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Deliberate Practice – Part 1
Becoming Expert

I was born in Kenya, quite some years ago now. Nothing terribly extraordinary or unusual about that – we are living in such a remarkably successful multicultural society in Australia today with so many of us either born overseas or having one or both parents born overseas. There is a consequence however of being born in Kenya and that is the need at some time in life to run a marathon. For me, that was accomplished in 2010, participating in the Gold Coast Marathon. I had set a target of 4 hours, but “hit the wall” after 39 kilometres and finished the run in 4 hours 9 minutes (4:09:00). While I finished in 2,401st place (out of 5,020 entrants), a trio of my fellow Kenyan countrymen, James Kariuki, Peter Cherus and Ben Chebet took out the first three places with Kariuki winning in a time of 2:23:53. The current world record held also by a Kenyan, Dennis Kimetto, of 2:02:57 was set at the Berlin marathon of 2014. Notably, two Australians have held the World Record for the marathon – Derek Clayton who broke his own record in 1969 with a time of 2:08:33 and Robert De Castella who set the time of 2:08:18 in 1981.

Why do I share this story with you? Because it is a good illustration of what Anders Ericson describes as Deliberate Practice – that form of practice that leads to the development of expertise over time (Ericsson, 2008). Developing expertise requires struggle, sacrifice and honest self-assessment – there are and can be no shortcuts. “Overnight success” is a myth. In his book, “The Long Road to Overnight Success”, Shane Jacobsen reflects on a lifetime spent from a childhood in a loving family of “carnies”, always on the stage through to his big breakthrough eventually as the star of the Australian move, Kenny. Jacobsen would identify with the struggle, sacrifice and reflection that Ericsson describes.

I, on the other hand, in my preparation for the marathon, reached a level of comfort and competence and never sought to extend my expertise past that point. This is where most of us who might play social golf or tennis for example, end up. Despite years and years of playing the game, we reach a stage where we no longer push ourselves beyond our boundaries and hone our skills, but rather we are comfortable to maintain an adequate level of skill to ensure our continued enjoyment of our sport or activity. We live contentedly within our Comfort Zone (Brown, 2008), no longer willing to move out into our Stretch or Growth Zone. In Deliberate Practice, we focus on tasks that are currently beyond our level of competence and comfort. Next week, I will look at the characteristics of Deliberate Practice as described by Ericsson and discuss how we can develop these characteristics in ourselves and in our students and children.

Brown, M. (2008). Comfort zone: Model or metaphor? Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 12(1), 3.

Ericsson, A. K. (2008). Deliberate practice and acquisition of expert performance: A general overview. Academic Emergency Medicine, 15(11), 988-994. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2008.00227.x

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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

Welcome back to Term 4! I am looking forward to working with you again to complete what has been a tremendously busy and rewarding year. I hope that you and your family had a restful break from school as we gear up for the final stretch of school for 2016!

It is exciting and inspiring that in recent weeks, athletes have accomplished numerous accolades at the Para-Olympics! We have shared these with our children and it’s important to let them see that it’s not just the medals but also the effort that these athletes take in their day-to-day training and conditioning of their bodies. Similarly we hope our children will put in effort each day to learn and improve themselves in all aspects of their growth both academically and in character. Please continue to support us as we encourage them to be the best version of themselves this term.

One quality that would make a lot of difference in life is resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties; it is the ‘toughness’ of a person. It is inevitable that all of us face difficulties in life. It is how we recover from these difficulties that help us become stronger and stronger. Let us continue to build resilience in our children and help them become stronger and stronger!

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From the Director of Learning & Teaching
Mrs Lisa Peterson

From the Director of Learning & Teaching image

Year 12, 2017 (Year 11-2016) Information Evening

Parents and students are invited to attend the Year 12, 2017 Information Evening to be held in Horbury Hunt Hall on Tuesday, 18 October. The evening will commence at 6.00pm and will include a presentation by staff on studying for the HSC, as well as important information around the rules and regulations regarding the HSC. We encourage parents and students to attend the evening to hear this information and ask any questions you may have about the HSC year. Please note that as this is an official School function, we do ask students to wear their School uniform.

From the Director of Studies
Mr Philip Fielden

From the Director of Studies image

Change of Dates

Year 8 Subject Selection Evening for Year 9 Electives – Thursday, 20 October

The Subject Selection Evening for Year 8 students and their parents will now be held on Thursday, 20 October at 6.00pm, rather than the Tuesday, which I stated previously. This change of date was caused by a clash of events and I apologise for the disruption that this may cause.

In Year 9, students choose two subjects (known as Electives) to study, in addition to the mandatory ones. This is an exciting moment for our students as it gives them their first chance to focus on areas of interest to them. We will start at 6.00pm in the Horbury Hunt Hall.

Year 7-10 Exams In Term 4 – Week 5; 7-11 November

Last term, the Academic Committee took the decision to bring together all of the Year 7-10 exams into one week this term, in order to reduce the disruption to the wider school community and to create uniformity with the Semester One process.

Therefore, all of the 7-10 exams will take place in Week 5 this term, from 7-11 November.

From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

CIS Athletics

In the last week of last term, three of our students competed at the NSWCIS Athletics Championships. To achieve this, those students firstly represented the School at HRIS, were subsequently selected in the HRIS team, then represented HRIS at AICES and following their performances at that event were selected in the AICES team to compete at CIS-no small achievement! On behalf of the School I would like to congratulate those students on their outstanding performances:

Isobel Harbury (12 Years), competed in the 100m, finishing in 6th place in the Final with a time of 14.30s.

Connor Henderson (15 Years), competed in the 400m, finishing in 3rd place in the Final in a time of 53.12s, which was also a Personal Best time for Connor.

Sabrina Kliousis (16 Years, and pictured below with her bronze medal), competed in the Discus event finishing in 5th place in the Final with a throw of 28.88m. This was also a Personal Best throw. Sabrina also competed in the Javelin event, finishing in 3rd place in the Final with a throw of 34.57m.


Summer Co-Curricular Touch Football

The first round of Touch starts on Tuesday, 11 October.

All games are played at Gibbs Brothers Oval Merewether off Rowan Crescent.

Students at Hill Campus are asked to collect shirts from Ms Byrnes in The Hub.

All Park campus students can collect their shirts from coaches before commencement of the first games.

Could we ask that ALL players arrive 15 mins prior to games starting as parking can be difficult.

Round 2 – Tuesday, 18 October

Under 8 Mixed: NGS Buff Bulldogs – 4.15pm (Declan Spencer & Mr Daly)
Under 10 Girls White: NGS Amazing Otters – BYE (Miss Angel Barber)
Under 10 Boys Green: NGS Power Pugs – 5.15pm (Jonathon Curk)
Under 10 Boys White: NGS Radical Roosters – BYE (Mr Ryan Wood)
Under 12 Girls Green: NGS Narly Narwals – 6.15pm (Natasha Robards Tegan Co)
Under 12 Girls Green: NGS Swift Snails – 6.15pm (Mr Ginns)
Under 12 Boys: NGS Kick 2 Much – 6.45pm (Mr Stevens)
Under 12 Boys: NGS Bettercups – 7.15pm (Mr Matthew Cook)
Under 12 Girls White: NGS Lightning – 6.45pm (Mr Carroll)
Under 12 Girls White: NGS Allstars – 6.45pm (Mr Armstrong)
Under 14 Boys: NGS Bolts – 8.15pm (Brodie Tonks)
Under 14 Boys: NGS Mixed Maniacs – 8.15pm (Abbs Makki)
Under 14 Girls: NGS Seals – 7.45pm (Miss Byrnes)
Under 14 Girls: NGS Un Touchables – 7.45pm (Miss Van Ryswyck)

All players to wear NGS sports shorts with playing shirt.

Ms C Byrnes – MIC Touch


Nepean Regatta and Training Camps

During the holidays most of our Rowers endured a few tough days of training in the hunt for the illusive perfect stroke. While the perfect stroke may not have been found, there was some exciting racing at the Nepean Regatta from our seniors and some big improvements made from the younger rowers during the junior training camp that made all the work very worthwhile.

On Saturday, 24 September, our Year 9-11 rowers competed at the Nepean Rowing Club Regatta- a Sydney Regatta with an inviting and relaxing atmosphere on the picturesque Nepean River- a personal favourite!

There was quality racing from Sydney Clubs and Schools which made for some exciting finishes.

NGS entered 54 crews in 19 events, from which we achieved an outstanding 10 wins, 14 seconds and 14 thirds.

Congratulations to all rowers that competed and to Max Routh, Sam Barnett and Max Boyd who were our most successful racers, with each taking out 3 wins on the day.

From Monday to Wednesday, Year 7 and 8 rowers took part in the Junior Training camp where Year 8 worked on refining their skills and Year 7 made big changes and also learned about racing putting these new skills in to practice on the final afternoon taking part in a trial regatta.


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Surf Camp Final Details

Friday, 14 October: Students wear Sports Uniform to School and depart at 3.05pm. Students will be transported in the School mini-bus and School 4WD.

Sunday, 16 October: Arrive back at School at Church Street 5.30pm.

  • Food – 3 healthy meals per day plus water and fruit snacks.
  • Cabin / Bunk style accommodation
  • All surfing instruction, boards, wetsuits if needed
  • Transport to and from One Mile and around area if needed
  • Surfing instruction provided by qualified surf coaches
  • Insurance and liability cover

Payment: Any outstanding payments must be finalised ASAP by contacting the accounts department.

What to Bring: Towel x 2, swimmers, toiletries, suitable clothing including warm gear eg track pants, fleece top, Wetsuit if you prefer to use your own, Extra snack food eg muesli bars if you get hungry between meals, Limited spending money as there is only a small convenience store

For further information please contact myself ( or check in through the forum on the Surfing Schoolbox page

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Brass RaZoo & Bamboozle
Dinner Dance


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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

Speech Day Sponsorship

Thank you to all of the School families that have continued to sponsor prizes at Newcastle Grammar School’s Speech Day.  This event is a prize giving ceremony for students who have excelled in varying areas throughout the year and it is attended by all students from Kindergarten to Year 12.  Staff, parents and extended family are encouraged to attend the ceremony and this regularly results in an audience of over 1200 people.  This year’s presentation will be held at the Civic Theatre,  Newcastle on Monday evening, 5 December 2016 at 6.00pm.

As we prepare for this event, we would like to provide you or your company with the opportunity to sponsor a prize.  In return for your generous donation, acknowledgement will be provided through the following:
– Business name included in Speech day programme book.

Should you wish to take up this opportunity, please contact me ( as soon as possible to discuss suitable prizes. Please note, prizes will be allocated based on a first come, first served basis.

Group Tour Of Hill Campus
For Year 4 (Year 5- 2017) Parents

A group tour session by our wonderful Year 10 Students will be held on Tuesday, 25 October, 2016 from 8.45am to 9.45am. Parents are asked to meet at the Horbury Hunt Hall, entrance to this is via Gate 8, near the pedestrian crossing opposite Christ Church Cathedral.

Please RSVP by Friday, 21 October to if you would like to attend the tour session.

If you have any questions with regards to this, please do not hesitate to call on 4908 4016. Please note a Hill Campus tour is also part of the Information Session on Wednesday, 2 November for Year 4 going into Year 5.

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

Uniform Shop

If you require a new summer uniform remember the Uniform Shop opening hours are:

Monday:  8.00am-2.00pm
Wednesday:  10.00am-4.00pm
Friday: 10.00am-4.00pm

Co-curricular Commitment

Parents may I please remind you if your son or daughter can’t attend their co-curricular activity for some reason an email to the staff member running the activity prior to the day is expected.

Please do not put medical and other appointments on when your son or daughter is expected to attend these activities.

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 17 October:
Emma Brown

Tue 18 October:
Alette Schot

Wed 19 October:
Aznive Beesley
Julieanne Vickery

Thu 20 October:
Marnie Coulton
Jo Macdougall

Fri 21 October:
Anne Oakley
Liz Wright

Park Campus

Mon 17 October:

Tue 18 October:

Wed 19 October:
Sharon Archer

Thu 20 October:
Kristy Logue

Fri  21 October:
Kym Carpenter

Rowing Regatta Sponsorship Opportunity

The Newcastle Grammar School Rowing Regatta will be held at Berry Park on Saturday, 29 October 2016.  Last year’s Regatta attracted a large number of competitors for the 72 plus events cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.

We would like to invite you to sponsor this worthwhile event.

Race Sponsorship
Sponsorship of $50 per race feel free to sponsor as many as you like.

Sponsor Benefits

  • Sponsors will appear in the program as the race sponsor and on the sponsor’s page with your company logo in colour.
  • Sponsor will be thanked and promoted during the day over the loud speaker.
  • Sponsors are invited to present medals to the winning crews

To register your interest or make further enquiries please contact the Sponsorship Coordinator – Mike Angus email: or Michele Prickett:

A tax invoice will be emailed as required.

Your company logo and marketing information is to be supplied at the time of payment.