From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

This week, Year 5 have spent time on camp working together, challenging themselves and forming positive relationships. Over the course of last year, we worked on our outdoor education programme to try and achieve a  sequential skills based approach from Year 3 to Year 9. We are working with different camp sites this year through the provider The Outdoor Education Group for some year levels, including Year 5. >Click here to see some photos from this camp.

In a very different setting at the end of this week many of our Secondary musicians are heading to Music Camp. This camp provides our large ensembles a chance to practise together and develop repertoires while working with professional musicians.

The State Rowing Championships were held last weekend. Unfortunately, the temperatures at Penrith meant only a few events were contested. Congratulations to our new State Champions in the Schoolboy Double – Caleb Agostino-Morrow and Sebastian Young as well as Alexander Oakley and Eoin Brown who were bronze medallists in the same event.

Our student leaders were inducted on Monday in a dignified and uplifting service at Christ Church Cathedral. It was delightful to welcome family members who came to support their Year 8 or Year 12 child. They joined with Hill Campus students to congratulate our leaders.

Information Evenings continue this week for Years 9 (tonight – students and parents) and Year 7 (Thursday – parents only). Years 5 and 6 are our final group on Wednesday, 22 February. We hope you have found these evenings interesting, relevant and a useful form of communication about the year ahead for your son or daughter.

Our primary and secondary swimming carnivals are sure to be terrific events that showcase the talents of our elite swimmers and display House spirit and the joy of participating for the vast majority of students. Good luck everyone!

Nut Aware School

Newcastle Grammar School is a Nut Aware School. This means that we encourage parents, students and staff to avoid where practicable sending and/or bringing foods that contain nuts to School. We ask that you do not send:
– Nut & Fruit mixes
– Peanut Butter
– Nut spreads such as Nutella

The School acknowledges that it is impractical to ask parents not to send food which states ‘may contain traces of nuts’ on the label. Our canteens do not sell nut products.

Our aim is to provide a safe environment for all people in our School community.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Framework for Positive Education & Wellbeing – Part 2

Last week, I introduced the PERMA+H model of Positive Education and Wellbeing that forms the reference for development of lessons and experiences through the School from Kindergarten to Year 12. I outlined the six Targeted Wellbeing Domains:

  • Positive emotion,
  • Engagement,
  • Relationships,
  • Meaning and
  • Accomplishment, and
  • Health.

And expanded on the first two of these – Positive emotion and Engagement. As expressed last week, Seligman identified the first 5 of these, PERMA, as the key components of a life of flourishing, what we describe as “Feeling Good and Doing Good”. This week I would like to look at the remaining four Domains – Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment and Health.


  • Strong social/emotional skills and support are integral to wellbeing and mental health
  • Social isolation of individuals is a risk factor for depression, substance abuse and mental ill-health
  • Supportive school relationships with teachers and peers are protective factors, improving wellbeing, resilience and student accomplishment and decreasing the risks of depression, substance abuse and mental ill-health.
  • Positive education strategies employed by teachers and shared with students such as active–constructive responding (Martin E. Seligman, 2004) and growth mindset praise (Dweck, 2009) are examples of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) that may assist students in developing stronger relationships


  • Identifying a sense of purpose in what we do each day is associated with good physical health, high life satisfaction and strong social relationships.
  • In addition to finding purpose in our daily occupation, having a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves, participation in Community Service programs and caring for others contributes to health and wellbeing.


  • Once we have been able to identity and define meaningful goals, a strong sense of accomplishment arises through striving for and achieving meaningful outcomes.
  • In goal setting, we need to go beyond inspirational quotes about a positive future (“if you dream it you can reach it”) to proven goal setting techniques such as MCII (Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions) that will develop our students’ capacity and motivation to reach goals (Duckworth, Kirby, Gollwitzer & Oettingen, 2013).
  • A focus on the incremental theory of intelligence (growth mindset) that encourages students to view academic struggles as challenges to overcome rather than an indication of low ability increases their likelihood of accomplishing their goals (Dweck, 2012).


  • Practising sustainable habits for optimal physical and psychological health will result in a positive effect on academic outcomes with life-long implications for physical wellbeing and mental health.
  • Understanding and implementing an Optimistic (rather than Pessimistic) Explanatory Style (Martin E. Seligman, 2004) eg “I did well because I prepared myself for the task” (internal control of the outcome).

In the next article in this series, I will examine the relationship between happiness, wellbeing and academic success.


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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

In our Primary School we have Year Parents who are keen to support the activities of our students. The role of the Year Parent is to:
– Liaise with teachers and parents to provide a welcoming environment for parents
– Support class teachers by organising classroom helpers as required
– Provide a helping hand for various school activities
– Be contact persons for both existing and new families within the school

Our Semester One Year Parents are:
Kindergarten – Mrs Jasmine Arnall-

Year 1 – Mrs Jacqui Mejia –

Year 2 – Mrs Emily Macdonald –

Year 3 – Mrs Rachel Heslop –

Year 4 – Mrs Liz Richardson –

Year 5 – Mrs Amanda Folpp –

Year 6 – Mrs Derani Clarke –

At the conclusion of Semester 1, nominations will be welcomed for new Year Parents to commence in Semester 2.

It was wonderful to see so many parents attend our K-4 Information Evening last night. I thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm towards your child’s educational journey. As was mentioned last night, please remember to access the reading materials on Schoolbox regarding how parents can support their child to further develop social and emotional skills.

Just a reminder that the Year 5 and 6 Parent Information Evening is on Wednesday, 22 February at 6.00pm in the HHH. Please be advised that there will be no child minding service provided on this occasion.

Finally we are looking forward to a very successful K-6 Swimming Carnival on Friday, 17 February at Lambton Pool. Please find all relevant information on >Schoolbox. Should you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

Another big week at Pre-school and educators, like children, are getting into the swing of 2017. One of the things staff like to have done in the first couple of weeks is to weigh and measure each child and to make a print of their hand. At the end of the year when this is done again, it never ceases to amaze us all how much the children have grown physically which, of course reflects how much they have also developed socially, emotionally and cognitively.

Another way we can record this time of their lives is to ask each family to complete a little questionnaire comprising four questions about their pre-schooler. These questions relate to who is in their family; their favourite things to do; the things they are learning to do; and things they do with their family. This questionnaire will be put into the children’s portfolios which they take home at the end of the year and reflects three of the five outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework. That is, Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity; Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world; and Outcome 4: children are confident and involved learners.

Finally…. a little conversation Miss Lizzie had with one of the Groover boys …. “Miss Lizzie, Miss Kat doesn’t like those new pencil sharpeners [which Miss Lizzie purchased] – you should just buy some more tonight like my mummy. She takes her computer to bed and buys all her shopping on the computer all night!”

6.2 (17)

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

Swimming Carnival – Primary (K – 4)

The Primary Swimming Carnival will be held in Week 4 on Friday, 17 February 2017 at the Lambton Pool. All students from K-6 will be attending the carnival at stages throughout the day. All students will travel by the school transport to and from the carnival.

The details of the day are as follows:
Date: Friday, 17 February 2017
Venue: Lambton Aquatics Centre, Lambton
Transport: Students are to come to school and attend roll call prior to departure on the Pt Stephen’s buses.
8.35am – Buses depart Hill and Park Campus
2.30pm – Buses depart for Hill and Park Campus
Canteen: A canteen will operate at the venue for parents
Uniform: Full NGS sports uniform with House polo.

Students will need the following equipment on the day:
– Sports uniform, which includes their coloured, House T-shirt.
– School Swimming Costume
– School Bag
– Towel/goggles (optional)
– Bathing Cap in House Colours (optional as caps are provided for 50m events)
– Sunscreen/Hat
– Plenty of food and drink for recess and lunch as children have limited access to the kiosk.
– Students are able to wear sandals (no thongs)
– Rash shirts may also be worn for extra protection from the sun. Kindergarten 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.
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: Kindergarten 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: Depart from pool to Park Campus and Hill Campus for normal dismissal.
3.00pm: Arrive at Hill and Park Campus. 

Competition: The carnival will be run through a program of events before and on the day. All events will run off a heat system. There will be no finals for any event. The times taken from the heats will be ranked into places and points for both AGE and HOUSE Championships and allocated accordingly. Therefore, all swimmers are encouraged to swim as fast as they can for every event they swim, no matter what heat they’re placed in.

Please note: In case of inclement weather and the carnival is to be cancelled there will be an alert sent out to the NGS App and a notice placed on Schoolbox between 7.00am and 7.30am on the Thursday morning.

Whilst students are not competing on the day they must sit in their House area under the supervision of their House Co-ordinators. Please no parents in this area. There are parent shaded areas available on the opposite side of the pool.

Swimming Carnival – Secondary (Years 7-12)

The NGS Secondary School (Years 7-12) Swimming Carnival will be held next Monday, 20 February (Week 5) at Lambton Pool, Durham Street, Lambton.

All parents are welcome to attend to support the swimmers throughout the day.

Please note the following arrangements:
– Permission notes to attend the Swimming Carnival must be returned by Friday, 17 February 2017.
– Students may come to School as usual and transport to the pool will be provided or students may find their own way to the Carnival.
– Transport options must be made clear on the permission note to ensure sufficient buses are ordered.
– Students are to wear their full sports uniform to and from the pool. This includes the House polo shirt not the school one.
– No crepe paper is to be brought into the pool.
– Entry fee will be covered by the School.
– A canteen will operate at the pool throughout the day.
– If travelling independently, students must be at the pool by 8.45am and will be dismissed at 3.00pm.
– Only extremely inclement weather will cause the postponement of the carnival. If this is the case, an alert will be made on the NGS app; however, it is unlikely this will occur.
– School swimmers must be worn. Please bring goggles (if needed) and a towel as well.
– Sun safety is paramount and students should bring hats and sunscreen. The School will also provide sunscreen on the day.

Following this carnival an NGS Secondary School team will be selected (from Years 7-12) to represent the School at the HRIS Division 1 Secondary Schools Swimming Championships to be held at Lambton Pool on Thursday, 16 March.

If you have any questions concerning the Senior School swimming please do not hesitate to contact me at School. >

HRIS/AICES/CIS and NSWAll Schools 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:-

Soccer: Trials to select HRIS Open girls and boys Football teams will be held on Monday, 13 March at Cessnock. Students wishing to attend these trials should see Mr Carroll for an information sheet as soon as possible. Nominations close on Friday, 3 March.

Hockey: The 2017 HRIS Open boys and girls Hockey Championships will be held on Tuesday, 7 March at Broadmeadow. It is hoped that NGS will once again be able to enter both teams in this competition. Any secondary school student who would like to play in these teams should give their name to Mr Carroll as soon as possible, and no later than this Thursday, 17 March

HRIS Primary Netball Trials 2017

Event: HRIS Primary Girls Netball Trials
Age: Students in Years 5/6  e.g. 10 years to 12 years  Age is at the 31 December 2017
Date: Tuesday, 14 March
Venue: National Park (Newcastle Netball Courts) Parkway Ave. If inclement weather the trials will be held at Howzat
Time: 4.00pm – 5:30p,
CIS Championships:    24 July 2017
PSSA Championships: 29 – 31 August 2017
Other Information: Only 9 students will be selected due to the court time available at these CIS trials. Independent selectors will be present from Newcastle Netball Association to assist with the selection of the team. Students, if selected, must be available to play at the NSWCIS Primary Girls Netball Trials on Monday, 24 July 2017 in Sydney.

Any student interested in trialling must see or email Mrs Rowntree (> as soon as possible as we are only able to send 5 students and trials may be required.

Primary Football Trials 2017 

Event: HRIS Primary Football Trials – Boys only
Age: Years 5 and 6
Date and Venue: 1st Trial – Monday, 6 March 2017. St. Philip’s Christian College Cessnock, 10 Lomas Lane, Nulkaba.
2nd Trial – Tuesday, 14 March 2017. St. Philip’s Cessnock (Only those selected at the first trial will attend)
Time: 4.00pm to 5.30pm
Closing Date: Monday, 27 February 2017
CIS Championships: Monday, 3 April 2017. Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
PSSA Championships: 15  – 17  August 2017
Selection Process: The selectors will select a maximum of fifteen boys to represent HRIS at the CIS Soccer Carnival held on Monday 3rd April at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood.  If students are selected they must be available to compete at this championship.
Equipment: Football Jersey, Football Boots, Shin Pads, School Sports Uniform (not representative uniforms), Water Bottle.

Students wishing to attend these trials must see or email Mrs Rowntree (> before Tuesday, 21 February to collect an information sheet.

CIS Primary Boys and Girls Basketball Nominations 2017

Nominations to attend these trials close on Friday, 17 February 2017.

Nomination Eligibility: Open Primary – students in Years 4, 5 & 6 who currently play basketball.

Any student interested please see Mrs Rowntree as soon as possible.

HRIS Open Football Trials

Trials to select HRIS Open boys and girls representative Football sides will be held on Monday, 13 March.

The selected HRIS teams will travel to Sydney to play in the AICES Football Championships from which a team will be selected to play at CIS. Nominations close on Friday, 3 March.

Information sheets detailing the trials and all requirements are available from Mr Carroll.


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 >

Interschools Snowsports 2017

After a hiatus of a number of years, in 2016 NGS once again entered a team in this high-profile, very popular, annual competition.

There is a large amount of organisation and travel involved in this competition and particularly so if students progress from Regional to NSW to National competitions, which is what our 2016 team achieved. To that end it is important that organisation begins now to enable registrations to occur, accommodation to be booked, and so on.

The participant numbers are very large across all events, as can be seen from the figures below for 2016:

  • The collective 2016 NSW/ACT/Queensland Regional + NSW State Event entry numbers were 9,515 (8,916 in 2015), which equates to an overall growth of 7% in 2016.
  • Northern NSW Event (4 days – Wednesday to Saturday)2,407 entries (2,392 in 2015 / 1,916 in 2014) – up by 0.6% > 1,099 participants (1,147 in 2015) from 190 schools (189 in 2015)
  • In 2016, there were 23 days of events in total, with a scheduled 25 days of events in 2017 due to the growth in numbers of competitors, and potentially 27 in 2018

Mrs Kathryn Dries, parent of one of our 2016 team members has kindly offered to be the School’s organiser for this event and after participating in the process this year, is well qualified to field any questions.

Kathryn has asked that if there are any parents interested in finding out more about this competition and/or expressing an interest in participating, that they should contact her on either of the following: e: or m: 0434 379 739

For further information on what the Interschools Snowsports Championships is all about, please follow this link to the handbook: >

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A number of students have recently expressed interest in the ski and adventure trip to New Zealand in the September holidays and we are hopeful that we can run this exciting trip in 2017.

Please note that a decision on the viability of the trip will be made on Friday, 24 February. 

Any deposits made prior to this date will be held and will be returned, in full, in the event of the trip not proceeding.

If any student wishes to attend, the deposit and note must be returned to the School no later than the 24th of February.

Further details can be accessed through the following link >


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The Blog
From the Head of School

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. 


Parent Forum

Thursday, 9 March 2017 @ 6.00pm

All parents welcome

Hurbury Hunt Hall – Hill 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. Click here for access >SchoolBox

For any questions, please direct them to


Dear parents,

Could you please change your childs year on the Flexischool orders as this does not happen automatically.

If you’re volunteering in the canteen or the School in general, could you make your way to the reception to sign in so we are aware that you’re onsite in case of emergencies.

If there are any parents who would like to volunteer in the canteen please contact Kaylene on Ph: 4929 5811.

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 20 February:

Tue 21 February:

Wed 22 February:
Aznive Beesley
Julianne Vickery

Thu 23 February:
Julie Lange

Fri 24 February:
Beth Winzer

Park Campus

Mon 20 February:

Tue 21 February:
Natalie Swancott

Wed 22 February:
Jacqui Mejia

Thu 23 February:
Vanessa Lewis

Fri 24 February:
Sharon Archer
Emily Macdonald

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