From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

The school year has started well and despite the weather challenges, our students seem very happy and are pleased to be back at school. I congratulate the students on how quickly and purposefully they are approaching their lessons and welcoming new students into their class. The Hill Campus timetable has needed a few adjustments which have now been sorted out and early feedback is that students are enjoying the new timetable and its balanced structure. At Park Campus, any anxiety about returning back or starting school, quickly disappeared last Friday as Jonah from Ghana entertained our students with drumming and a lot of fun.  Years 5 and 6 were welcomed into their new classrooms by their teachers and our Pre-school and Kindergarten staff had their rooms looking great to meet our youngest children.

School photographs were taken yesterday for all the Hill Campus students. This will not only provide families with their son or daughter’s school photo but will also enable the students to have an updated NGS ID card. Students at Park Campus will have their photos taken next Tuesday, 7 February. Co-curricular start times and information for this term is published later in this newsletter. It has been terrific to see all the choices our students are making with the co-curricular programme.

Term 1 is always a busy term. Last week we published dates and times for all our Term 1 Information Evenings and I encourage parents to attend. Please see these dates again below.

Kindergarten to Year 4: Monday, 13 February at 6.00pm (Park Campus)
Years 5 and 6: Wednesday, 22 February at 6.00pm (HHH)
Year 7: Thursday, 16 February at 6.00pm (HHH)
Year 8: Monday, 13 February at 6.00pm (HHH)
Year 9: Wednesday, 15 February at 6.00pm (HHH)
Year 10: Wednesday, 8 February at 6.00pm (HHH)
Year 11: Thursday, 9 February at 6.00pm (HHH)
Year 12: Monday, 6 February at 6.00pm (HHH)

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Positive Education at Newcastle Grammar School

This year, we are introducing into the curriculum for all students in Year 7, 8 and 9 a new Positive Education Programme. Students in these year groups will have noticed on their timetables a once-per-cycle Positive Education (PosEd) class.

Positive Education can be thought of as the combination of Positive Psychology with Best Practice teaching (Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson, 2013). Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing that seeks to move people from a state of reasonable wellbeing to a state of optimal wellbeing, enabling individuals and communities to thrive (Gable & Haidt, 2005; Sheldon & King, 2001).

“Positive Psychology is not a self-help movement or a re-packaging of ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’. It is not American style ‘Happy-ology’, and it is not a passing fad. Positive psychology is a science that brings the many virtues of science – replication, controlled causal studies, peer review, representative sampling (to name a few) – to bear on the question of how and when people flourish” (Kashdan, Biswas-Diener & King, 2008)

The goals of Positive Education at NGS are to:

  • Promote student flourishing
  • Promote and enhance positive mental and physical health
  • Provide an environment that supports our students to live the good life.

To live the good life, we seek to lead a life of authentic happiness. That is not to say that a good life consists only of positive emotions and experiences. Indeed, it is the ability our students develop to bounce back from challenging and negative life experiences that enable them to increase their resilience (Masten, 2014). Authentic happiness can be seen as a combination of what the Greek philosophers referred to as Hedonic and Eudaimonic happiness.

Hedonic Happiness      

  • A state of maximum pleasure
  • An absence of pain and painful experiences
  • Subjective wellbeing and general life satisfaction

Eudaimonic Happiness

  • Happiness that leads to personal growth
  • Satisfaction in living life according to a set of values
  • A willingness to give of oneself to others; to be a contributing member of a team or community
  • Happiness that arises from the actualisation of one’s potential

Flourishing then results when we have a combination of these two, hedonic happiness (Feeling Good) and eudaimonic happiness (Doing Good).

In PosEd, we define Flourishing as a state of Doing Good and Feeling Good (Norrish et al., 2013).

Doing Good:

  • We are equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the face of challenge and opportunity.
  • We commit to pro-social behaviours that benefit our community.

Feeling Good:

  • We have a sense of contentment about the past, we feel generally happy in the present and we have an optimistic hopeful outlook for the future.
  • We have developed the capacity to overcome or adapt to challenges and difficulties we encounter. We are resilient.

Students in the doing good and feeling good state, who are flourishing, are more likely to: (Lyubomirsky, King & Diener, 2005; Stiglbauer, Gnambs, Gamsjäger & Batinic, 2013)

  • Exhibit stronger academic performance
  • Have lower levels of absenteeism
  • Develop greater self-regulation
  • Be less likely to have their success impeded by procrastination
  • Exhibit higher levels of creativity and open mindedness

In coming articles, I will look more closely at some of the specific concepts around Positive Education.


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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

Connect, Create, Celebrate
Engaging young minds on the world stage

Where once students had pen pals around the world, schools now have easy access to international projects using simple online tools.

Traditionally, students are separated from classrooms around the world by distance, time zones, language or culture. With technology now so readily available in our school, these obstacles no longer present as barriers.

As part of our inquiry learning framework our Primary students will aim this year to make connections with school environments around the world. This global collaboration will provide authentic learning opportunities that will help them progress in all curriculum areas. We hope to develop real-life communication skills and an application of 21st Century technology to develop a better understanding of the world.

The sorts of global collaborative projects we will embark on are only limited by our imagination and ability to strike up connections. Students can measure, collect and evaluate data, write, read, publish, simulate, compare, debate, organise, investigate, share or report.

Our students will experience many new and exciting challenges in their learning this year. They need to understand that it is vital that we are all life long learners who are not afraid to expand our horizons and try new things. I am of the belief that our students will be surprised by how powerful the outcomes can be!

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From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey

From the Director of Operations image

School Buses

As you aware this year the Hill Campus school day commences at 8.30am. Currently we are reviewing all bus routes to ensure students arrive at school on time.

This may lead to some routes starting earlier.

If this is the case, all passengers will be informed well before the changes occur.


ALL Year 7 Students

– Varicella vaccine (chicken pox) as a single dose – for any student who has not had the disease
– Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) (dTpa) adult vaccine – as a single dose to all Year 7 students who have not received a previous dose.
– Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – in a 3-dose schedule with 2 month gap between doses 1 & 2 and a 4 month gap between doses 2 & 3.

Vaccinations will occur on Friday, 17 February, Wednesday, 3 May and Wednesday, 6 September.

Please read the linked >article from the NSW Government.

From the Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree

From the Head of Co-curricular image

Primary Swimming Championship

The Primary Swimming Championship is being held on Thursday, 9 February 2017, at Lambton Aquatics Centre, Lambton.

The following transport arrangements are in place. Buses will depart from Park and Hill Campus at 8.35am once all service buses have arrived.

There will be a comprehensive canteen operating at the venue, however, it is encouraged that students bring their own recess and lunch. There will be a need for plenty of water throughout the day.

Students are to wear their full NGS sports uniform with House shirt. Students are to bring their School sports bag, NGS swimming costume, towel/goggles (optional), bathing cap in House colours (optional as caps are provided for 50m events), sunscreen and School hat. Students are able to wear sandals (no thongs). Rash shirts may also be worn for extra protection from the sun. Kinder to Year 1 may wear their shirt for all activities in the small pool, which is covered by shade. Years 2/3/4 are to wear covering tops at all times when they are not competing.

8.35am: Years 2-6 Depart for Lambton Pool.
8.45am: Arrive at Lambton Pool ready to commence 1st event
9.30-12.30pm: 100 metre freestyle, 50 metre events for 7, 8, 9 and 10 year competitors in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.
12.00pm: Kinder and Year 1 arrive at the pool
12.10pm: Events for Kindergarten and Year 1 in the smaller pool take place.
12.40pm: Lunch Years 2-6
1.00pm: Lunch Kindergarten and Year 1
1.30pm: Relays ( 4×50 metre) commence
2.00pm: Presentation of Medallions and House Trophies.
2.30pm: K to 6 depart from pool to Park Campus and Hill Campus for normal dismissal.
2.55pm: Arrive at Hill and Park Campus.

Co-curricular Activities Term 1 2017

Co-curricular activities for 2017 are well underway. Please ensure you take the time to review the handout on SchoolBox to ensure your son or daughter is at their chosen activities.

These details can be found on >SchoolBox on the Co-curricular homepage under files.

For any questions, please direct them to me at

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

CIS Sport

A list of upcoming ‘Nominations for Representative Selection Trials and Championship Trial Dates’ will be on the Sport Notice Board on Merrick almost weekly. I urge all students who wish to represent in any sport in 2017 to read this notice very carefully. Any questions, please see Mr Carroll in the Sports office in the Stewart building. 

Wet Weather on Training Afternoons

If the weather is inclement on training afternoons, a decision on training will be made by 1.00pm on those days. A notice is posted on the Sports Notice board on Merrick at this time and an alert will be made on the NGS app. If the rain comes after 1.00pm a decision on training will be made as soon as possible, students notified before the end of school and an alert made on the NGS app as soon as possible.

Sport Nomination Deadlines

Throughout the year many of our students will need to nominate for sports in which they wish to attend representative trials. Also, NGS will also be looking at entering as many HRIS and other competitions/tournaments as possible.

For obvious reasons there has to be cut-off dates for these nominations.

If students fail to see either myself (Secondary, Years 7-12) or Mrs Rowntree (Primary, years K-6) by the nomination date, it is very likely that both individuals and teams may not be able to nominate for selection trials/competitions.

PLEASE ensure you take the time and effort to read all Student Bulletins and Newsletters weekly to ensure you do not miss out.

If you have any questions whatsoever, please see me.

NSW Country and City Schools Cricket Association (CCSCA) Team 2016 – Boys (Secondary)

The 2017 NSW Schools Cricket Association Secondary Open Boys Cricket Championships, will be played from Monday, 6 March to Friday, 10 March 2017, at venues across the Sydney Metropolitan area. Representative Teams from CHS, CCC, GPS, CAS and CCSCA will compete over the week long competition. At the conclusion of the carnival, the NSW Schoolboys Team will be selected.

Any NGS student seeking to trial for the 2016 NSW CCSCA team must see Mr Carroll by Friday, 3 February.

Note: All players selected to attend the trial, at Oakhill College, Castle Hill, on Monday, 6 February, must also be available for a trial in Bathurst on Monday, 20 February and the NSW Schools Cricket Association Secondary Open Boys Cricket Championships from 6 to 10 March 2017 at venues across the Sydney Metropolitan area.

Players seeking to trial must have played in the past two seasons, one, or a combination of, School Association Representative Cricket, Local Association Representative Cricket, NSW Country U17/U19 Trials/Carnival, NSW Country Colts Carnival, Cricket NSW Academy Program, Bradman Cup.

HRIS/AICES/CIS and NSWAll Sschools Representative Selection Trials – Upcoming

Trials for selection in various HRIS and AICES representative teams occur throughout the year; however, a number of those occur in the next couple of weeks:-

Basketball: Open boys/girls selection trials will be held on Monday, 6 February in Maitland.

Students wishing to nominate must see me before the end of school on Wednesday, 1 February.

Tennis: AICES Open girls selection trials will be held in Sydney on Wednesday, 8 February. Students wishing to nominate should see me before the end of school on Wednesday, 1 February.

Tennis: AICES Open boys selection trials will be held in Sydney on Friday, 10 February. Students wishing to nominate should see me before the end of school on Wednesday, 1 February.

The Senior Secondary Tennis Championships will be held on Tuesday, 14 February at Broadmeadow. NGS will be entering two teams in this competition – Open Boys and Open Girls.

If you would like to nominate for either of these teams, please see Mr Carroll before the end of School on this Friday, 3 February.

Triathlon: Students wishing to compete at the 2017 NSW All Schools Triathlon Championships, to be held at Penrith on Wednesday, 22 February (individual events) and 23 February (relay events) need to nominate through Mr Carroll by Friday, 10 February. This is for individual and relay nominations.

Baseball: CIS Open boys trials will be held in Sydney on Wednesday, 1 February. Please see Mr Carroll before the end of School on Wednesday, 1 February if you would like further information about these trials or if you wish to nominate for these trials.

Cricket: CIS Open girls Cricket selection trials will be held in Sydney on Friday, 10 February. Please see Mr Carroll before the end of School on Wednesday, 1 February if you would like further information about these trials or if you wish to nominate for these trials.

Swimming Pre-Carnival Events: Years 7-12

As is usual each year due to the large number of events held at the NGS Secondary Swimming Championships, a number of these events need to be conducted prior to those carnivals. These events will be held at Mayfield Pool during Weeks 3 and 4 of this term.

Please note the following details:

Wednesday, 8 February –  Secondary, Years 7-12, 12-18 Years 200m Freestyle events (boys and girls).

 Wednesday, 15 February – Secondary, Years 7-12, 12-18 Years 200m Individual Medley events (boys and girls).

Buses on all days will depart School at 3.15pm and return by 5.00pm.

School swimmers must be worn.

Students will nominate for these events through their House Coordinators.

Students should wear their School uniform and change at the pool or, if they have had PDHPE during the day, they may stay in their PE uniform.

Points from all 200m events will go towards both Age and House Championships.

Training for Futsal, Basketball, Rowing and Surfing will go ahead as usual on Wednesday afternoons, 8 and 15 February; however, players wishing to attend should see their coach and let them know that they will be attending the pre-carnival events, if they can not make it.

HRIS (Secondary) Tennis Championships

As noted above, this Senior competition will be held on Tuesday, 14 February

The competition will be held at the District Park courts, Broadmeadow.

Teams of four will represent NGS in each of the boys/girls competitions.

Students wishing to nominate to represent NGS are to see Mr Carroll before the end of school on Friday, 3 February.

As in the past, internal trials may be needed to select those teams and information regarding those internal trials will be distributed once nominations are completed.


Registration for the 2017 season will begin this week with the distribution of information sheets and registration forms.

These forms will need to be returned to the Park Campus office (Park Campus students) or to Mr Carroll (Hill Campus students) as soon as possible and no later than the end of Week 3 – 10 February

If you have any questions regarding Netball for 2017 please do not hesitate to contact me at School.

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From the Heads of Hunter House
Ms M Thomas and Miss C Byrnes

From the Heads of Hunter House image

Welcome back for the 2017 School year and welcome to Hunter Term!

This term it is our privilege to begin the journey of exploring the School’s values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. As we all challenge ourselves to grow our brains and hearts and be the best we can be, we are in fact encouraging each other to RISE. This term Hunter House will be celebrating RESPECT and presenting our vision of a shared humanity. Despite many initial conversations about how to represent Respect we concluded that we build our humanity and demonstrate Respect every time we make an authentic connection with another human being, share our strengths and allow ourselves to shine…and so we finally landed on an EMERALD. A dazzling, sparkling, brilliant, bright, illuminous and most importantly multi-faceted, precious stone. The emerald represents the capacity that exists within all of us to shine. In Hunter House we believe, “EVERY FACE MATTERS” and true, universal Respect is only achieved when every individual is given the opportunity to contribute, in their own positive and unique way, to a shared human experience. An experience that is underpinned by kindness, empathy, forgiveness and gratitude.

We really look forward to sharing Hunter Term with the NGS family on both Hill and Park Campus and working towards our Hunter House Day and House Chapel in Week 7. Please enjoy the sparkling artworks around the School that have been created by our brilliant Hunter students. Also, keep your eyes on Schoolbox in future weeks for regular updates and illuminating inspiration. Our Hunter Term page on the Parent Portal will be up and running very soon!

Happy Hunter Term! Here’s to plenty of micro moments of positivity! EVERY FACE MATTERS

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Leave Requests 

Please note that all NSW schools have reporting requirements on student attendance. The School policy on attendance states that leave will only be approved for special circumstances. All holidays must be taken in school holiday periods. This year, holidays are on the following days:
Monday, 10 April to Tuesday, 25 April
Monday, 26 June to Friday, 14 July
Monday, 25 September to Friday, 6 October

Any leave request must be sent to the Head of School (Years 5-12) or the Head of Primary (K-4) and require paperwork to be completed well in advance of the leave. Attendance at school is important to all students and achievement and attendance are closely linked. Please support your child’s learning and achievement and only apply for leave for exceptional circumstances. 

Co-curricular Activities
Term 1 2017

Co-curricular activities for 2017 are well underway. Please ensure you take the time to review the handout on SchoolBox to ensure your son or daughter is at their chosen activities.

These details can be found on >SchoolBox on the Co-curricular homepage under files. Click here for access >SchoolBox

For any questions, please direct them to

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 6 February:

Tue 7 February:
Jacqulene Doran

Wed 8 February:
Rebecca Webster
Lee Fry

Thu 9 February:
Primary Swimming Carnival
Monica Mamonto

Fri 10 February:
Lesley Filby

Park Campus

Mon 6 February:

Tue 7 February:

Wed 8 February:

Thu 9 February:

Fri 10 February:

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

Before School Yoga
Park Campus (Year 1-4) Starting Soon!

Before School Yoga  image

I am excited to announce that we will start ‘Before School Yoga’ again in Week 3 this term.

A beautiful calming practise every Friday morning 8.00am before school to help the kids finish the week well.

The practise will give them tools to relax and find their own calm space in times of excitement. We focus on movement with the breath, build strength and create flexibility. Yoga is a great way to learn to connect with your body, breath and mind and sharing the practise with friends makes it even more amazing!

Please sign up and pay for the term or per session via >Flexischools to secure a spot. Maximum numbers apply.

Please bring you own mat and a smile.

Alette Schot – Yogalet

Heaven Can Wait
Charity Sailing Regatta

Heaven Can Wait image

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Looking for Under 18 sailors to participate in the First Annual ‘Heaven Can Wait’ Under 18 Regatta.

8.00am Briefing, with BBQ provided.

If you’re interested, call VC Melvyn Steiner on 0417 409 172 for further details and entry forms.