From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Awards assemblies on both campuses yesterday and a stunning Carol Service in the middle of the day were key School events that showcased our students in the most positive of lights.

The Empowerment programme now begins for Years 5 to 10 and three days of activities that focus on service, skills and challenge should interest this age group and encourage them to think widely and act positively.

We are looking forward to celebrating the School year at Speech Night on 5 December at 6.00pm at the Civic Theatre. A reminder that we will run a bus from both campuses departing at 5.20pm for families wishing to park close to the School and travel to the Civic Theatre by bus. If you would like to register for seats on the bus would you please email Mrs Lisa Foster (Park Campus) ( or Mr Duncan McKensey ( clearly stating the campus you would like to leave from (Hill or Park) and how many seats you would like. Buses will return at the end of Speech Night to Hill and Park Campus (at approximately 8.00pm – 8.15pm) from outside the Civic Theatre. There will be no staff supervision on the buses or at School at the end of the event, so this transport option is not suitable for students travelling alone.

Congratulations to the Year 10 French class who won 4 awards (out of 6): Best Drama, Best Editing, Student’s Best Concept and the Palme D’ or – Best Film at the Hunter Region Short Film competition. The students’ movie Leve-toi, Parles-en was also a finalist in the NSW Competition and shown at the George Street Cinemas in Sydney last week.

The Co-curricular Art programme has been highly successful. >Click here to see some of the works created by students this year. These students have worked with artist Sophie Mill each week and have thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills.

On behalf of the staff at Newcastle Grammar School, I wish all of our families a joyous Christmas Season and a safe and relaxing New Year. We look forward to seeing you at the start of the 2017 School Year.

School Start Dates for 2017

All Kindergarten Students: Wednesday, 25 January – 9.30am to 12.00pm
All Year 5 & 7 Students: Wednesday, 25 January – 8.30am to 12.00pm
New Students in Years 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11: Wednesday, 25 January – 1.30pm to 3.05pm
Whole School: Friday, 27 January – 8.30am (Hill Campus), 8.50am (Park Campus)

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

This year, we are participating in the Life Without Barriers Giving Tree. Life Without Barriers is Newcastle’s largest foster care organisation, helping young children since 1994.  

A Christmas tree is set up in Mrs McGowan’s office until the Friday, 2 December where you can place any unwrapped new toys, books or vouchers underneath to be donated to foster children and teenagers all around the Hunter Region.

Please get involved as it is a wonderful opportunity to give these kids a brighter Christmas.


From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

It is hard to believe that the end of another school year is here. As we reflect back on 2016, it is exciting to see all that the students have achieved. I have been very impressed with the performance and achievements of our students across the Primary School.

The final days of the term can be an especially valuable time to engage students in reflective thinking about their learning. It is important that we encourage our children to pay attention to how they learn best and deliberately assess their own strengths and areas for improvement. By assisting them to develop such metacognitive habits, we can enhance their capacities as self-directed learners.

It is my hope that Newcastle Grammar School community enjoy the Christmas break, are kept safe as they travel and return looking forward to the exciting opportunities in 2017.

From the Director of Pre-school
Mrs Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

We are well and truly into the Christmas end of 2016. The year has flown! Our Giving Trees are over flowing with wonderful Lego donated by our generous families. Thank you so much!

We have two more special events before the Pre-school Year comes to an end. The first is ‘Crocodile Encounters’ on Monday, 5 December. The children will be physically interacting with snakes, crocodiles, lizards and turtles as well as learning about the creatures that belong to the Reptile family. (Did you know that nearly all reptiles lay shelled eggs? Did you know that reptiles breathe air and the first reptiles are believed to have evolved around 320 million years ago?) It is a really interesting day with lots of inquiry, learning and fun.
As mentioned in the last Newsletter, rehearsals are well underway for the Christmas Concert that will be the last event on our Pre-school Calendar. A wonderful way to end the year with over 165 adults and 105 children celebrating the end of their year at Newcastle Grammar School Pre-school 2016.

As this is our last item for the Newsletter this year, I would like to take this opportunity, from all of us at Pre-school, to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing, safe holiday break.

From the Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree

From the Head of Co-curricular image

Co-curricular Selection for 2017

All students in Years 5 to Year 11 are required to complete their 2017 selection for their co-curricular activities. Please complete this using Schoolbox. Students may go to the Co-curricular page and there they will find at the top of this page the link to the nomination forms. Please take the time to read the handbook attached on Schoolbox as there are amendments from the 2016 programme. Be mindful of when the activities occur as a child can not do more than one activity at one time. Please note that once selections are made costs may be charged. All selections need to be completed by 30 November 2016.

Speech and Drama & IMEB Examination Results
Mrs Ishbel Beadle

Ambrose Raftos was unable to sit his Speech and Drama Exam on 15 November at Park Campus therefore did so last week.

Ambrose performed Grade 2 and gained 91A, which was an excellent result especially considering he was 2 grades higher for his age group. Congratulations Ambrose.

On behalf of Mrs Jones I would like to amend a result printed in last week’s newsletter. Daisy Reynolds –Haddock gained 94 and not 93 marks.

Mrs I Beadle

Chess News
Ms Sue Bright

Our School Year 7 – 12 Chess Team in the NSW Junior Chess League Country Competition won the Hunter Regional Final to become Regional Champions.  This qualified our team to compete in the State Finals at Parramatta.  In this tournament our team played extremely well to finish third overall.  All members of the team are to be congratulated on their excellent sportsmanship, attitude and handling of pressure through the whole competition.

Our team is: Elizabeth Behne-Smith, Jett Robinson, Jakob Reid, Tors Webster and Joshua Barnett.



Staff Stories Challenge
Mrs Dart, Mrs Wood and Ms Bright

Thanks to the 101 students and staff who entered the Staff Stories Challenge.

Macquarie House and the Library joined forces during Term 3 to celebrate the importance of literacy and reading. We believe in the power of literacy to change lives.  The skills of reading and writing are essential in life and the world of literature is vital in opening new worlds. Literature leads us to speculate, to experience, to dream, to escape, to challenge and open our hearts and minds. Literature is an integral part of telling our story.

Parents – we encourage everyone to embrace our challenge and start a dialogue about reading.  Our Motto is “Grab a book, lose yourself and create YOUR change.”

The importance of literacy and literature is embraced here at NGS.

To enhance our focus on literacy, and open dialogues about reading, we invited staff and students to take the Staff Stories Challenge, and match staff members with their favourite or much loved book.

Results for our Staff Stories Challenge:
Years 5 to 8: 1st place – Lily Webster (Year 6), 2nd place – Jasmine de Silva (Year 6)
Honourable mentions – Alexander Macdougall (Year 5) and Sebastian Spencer (Year 5)

Years 9 to 12: 1st place – Isabella Cesta (Year 12), 2nd place – Phoebe O’Keeffe (Year 12)
Honourable mention – Thomas Carraro (Year 12)

Most correctly matched books:
Long walk to freedom, by Nelson Mandela, favourite of Mr Parsons (48 correct guesses)
Extreme Medicine : How exploration transformed medicine in the Twentieth Century, by Kevin Fong, favourite of Dr Diskin (38 correct)
Cinderella ate my Daughter, by Peggy Orenstein, favourite of Mrs Grant (35 correct).

Thanks everyone. We look forward to new challenges, opportunities and dialogues next year.


Lily Webster, who received the prize: ‘The Book Thief’

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

Summer Touch Football

The final games for Summer Touch will be played on Tuesday, 6 December. All teams will play on this day regardless of positions. All players will receive participation prize, sausage sizzle, drink and ice block. All players are to notify coaches or Ms Byrnes if they are unable to make this final game.


Please note: All times for final games are not available at the time of publishing this newsletter. Please check Schoolbox for Round 9 game times.

A huge thank you to all coaches, parents and players for a great season. Have a fabulous holiday.

Ms Byrnes – MIC Touch

Zahlee Wins Gold!

Congratulations to Zahlee Owers (Year 6), who has claimed a Gold medal at the Lake Macquarie Games in the Single Mini-Trampoline division. Zahlee competed against other Year 6 competitors from over 5 schools and had to complete 4 routines on a variety of apparatus. This is an amazing result for Zahlee who has been an impressive gymnast for years and has now transferred her skills to Trampolining.


Ms C Byrnes – Stewart Sports Coordinator


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Free Internet Safety Seminar


New Zealand Snow Trip

Early planning for the New Zealand Ski / Board and adventure trip is under way. Please have a look at the proposed itinerary and details from our NZ  provider, EA Tours by visiting the School box page below:

To secure flights, we would like to receive confirmation of attendance and hopefully deposits by the end of Term 4 2016. Please contact Mr Lumley at for further information or to register interest.


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The Blog
From the Head of School

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.

Internet Safe Education - Presentation
Wednesday, 30 November

On Wednesday, 30 November, Brett Lee from Internet Safe Education will give a presentation to our Year 9 students. In the evening, commencing 6.00pm in Horbury Hunt Hall, will present to our parents and community members.

A former detective, Brett Lee worked as a Queensland Police Officer for 22 years, 16 of which as a detective in the field of Child Exploitation. Brett has been personally involved with the interview, location, arrest and prosecution of hundreds of online criminals and predators. In his investigative role, Brett spent years and thousands of hours using the internet under the guise of fictitious children and adults, both male and female. This unprecedented view of the online world enables Brett to view the cyber world through the eyes of a child yet stand back and process this experience with the mind of an adult.

The internet is not static. The goal posts are constantly shifting. I strongly encourage all our community to attend Brett’s evening presentation. This site may be useful as a primer for the evening:

Please RSVP your attendance to Hill Campus Reception on 4929 5811 or

Headlice Notification

There has been a reported case of Headlice within the School.

Could all families please check their child/ren’s hair on a regular basis and treat as necessary.

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

2016 Christmas Holiday Opening Hours (by Appointment)
Tuesday, 13 December
Wednesday, 14 December
Friday, 16 December

Wednesday, 18 January
Thursday, 19 January
Friday, 20 January
Monday, 23 January
Tuesday, 24 January
Wednesday, 25 January (Normal Operating Hours)
Friday, 27 January (Normal Operating Hours)

To book an appointment during the 2016 Christmas holiday period, log onto > and enter the code: fj5nj

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 5 December:


Park Campus

Mon 5 December:
Robyn Forgacs

Tennis Holiday Camp

Topspin Tennis ‘Private Schools’ Holiday Camp

Date: 12 – 14 December 2016

Time: 9.00am – 3.00pm

Venue: District Park Tennis Centre, Lambton Rd, Broadmeadow

Cost: $135.00 per child (incl. coaching, drinks daily, winner’s trophies & prizes)
No hats + no sunscreen = no play
Students to bring own lunch & recess each day.
Family discount = 3rd child half price
Full day, part day or particular day attendance can be arranged with costing adjusted accordingly. For bookings or more info, please call 4961 0806