From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Over 80 NGS students travelled to Taree over the weekend to the CDRA (Central Rowing Districts Association) Regatta. This was a terrific event that provided our rowers with several races and a chance to see how they have progressed throughout the season. The next major event is the Head of the River on the weekends later this month. Rowing continues to be one of our most popular sports and one that provides opportunities for students to progress through to State and National competitions. Over the last few years, the number of students in the programme has grown rapidly to over 100 students involved in 2016-7. All parents and students involved in rowing will be sent a survey this week – we ask you to complete this so we can prepare for future seasons.

Mrs Rowntree was delighted to finally run the Years 2-6 swimming carnival and despite very difficult wet conditions at times, a terrific day of swimming and fun was evident. Thank you to all our staff and wonderful parents who braved Lambton pool and ensured a purposeful, spirited carnival on the day. I also thank the staff and parents who managed some very disappointed K and Year 1 children who again missed out on swimming because of weather.

Three Visual Art students’ Body of Works from their HSC-2016 that have been selected for First Class16 Exhibition at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. Congratulations to Abby Higgins, James Sara and Andrea Tiernan. The works in the exhibition showcase the most outstanding work produced by Hunter and Central Coast HSC Visual Arts students from the 2016 HSC. Click here for details about the exhibition:

Year 12 students are preparing for their mid-year examinations and it is a busy time in the academic programme for all year groups. I encourage students to utilise the services available to them and remind Hill Campus students and parents that additional help is available each afternoon in the Library. Please see the timetable below. In addition, a member of the Primary staff is available each afternoon to help Years 5 and 6 with their homework.

Mathematics (Miss Armstrong)
Geography (Mrs Roberts)

Science and Mathematics (Dr Diskin)

English (Mr Parr)

History (Mr Fielden)
English (Mrs Wood)

Mathematics (Mrs Yan)
Study Skills – Week A (Mrs Peterson)
English – Week B (Mrs Wood)

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

On April 4, we will have a visit from representatives of the batyr program, named after a famous Indian elephant of the 20th Century and aimed at addressing ‘the elephant in the room’ – youth mental wellness. Our Year 11 students will have an opportunity to meet with and hear from batyr representatives in a 90 minute presentation. There will also be an opportunity for parents to attend a presentation in the Horbury Hunt Hall on the evening of April 4, commencing 6.00pm. The theme of the parent evening will be ‘Starting a conversation with your teenager’ with a focus on mental and emotional wellbeing.  To book your complimentary ticket please phone Reception on Ph: 4929 5811 to reserve a seat.

batyr focuses on preventative education in the area of youth mental health. batyr provide programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in their community. batyr take these speakers into schools, universities and corporate arenas to continue this conversation around mental health.

The programs engage, educate and empower the audience to learn from the experiences of others and to reach out to the great services around them.

batyr@school programs aim to remove the stigma around mental health and engage, educate and empower young people to reach out for help when they need it.

The carefully researched programs are unique in that trained young speakers share their lived experiences with mental ill health, alongside trained facilitators who deliver vital educational information in a fun, safe and engaging way.

Research shows that the best approach to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health is through direct contact with peers who have experienced similar struggles. The batyr@school programs play an important role in breaking down this stigma and bridging the gap between young people and the wide array of services available to them.

While I fully support the batyr program and believe it will be worthwhile for our students, should you prefer that your son or daughter not attend this session, please email or call the Hill Campus Reception and we will organise for a separate study session in this period.

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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

What’s Happening in G&T?

As 2017 picks up momentum and students settle in to their new classes and routines, we are excited to announce the commencement of some enrichment opportunities for our gifted and talented students.

Small Group Withdrawal

In Years 5 and Year 6, the experiences offered in these small withdrawal groups aim to build upon skills being developed in the classroom through the study of more complex topics which may not ordinarily be covered in the Stage 3 curriculum. In Term 1, the focus will be on STEM with selected students looking at ancient Greek Architecture (Year 5) and Bridge Engineering (Year 6). Within these 5 week programmes, students will use skills of inquiry to formulate research questions, develop their understanding of basic engineering principles used, and apply mathematical and scientific knowledge to test elements of the structures.

In Years 3 and Year 4, the enrichment opportunities this term focus specifically in the area of Mathematics. The aim of these groups is to develop students higher order thinking skills through exposure to appropriately challenging mathematical concepts. The ability to analyse, compare, reason and clearly articulate one’s thought processes are examples of such thinking, and are skills which can be applied across all curriculum areas.

Da Vinci Decathlon

The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, philosophy, creative producers, cartography and general knowledge.

The da Vinci Decathlon began in 2005 as an exciting offshoot of the very successful da Vinci Program for gifted and talented students at Knox Grammar School. The Decathlon is designed to celebrate the academic gifts of Australian youth by providing a stimulating and challenging competition run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon.

Newcastle Grammar School will again be entering teams into the da Vinci Decathlon, following on from our very successful participation in 2016. Currently, sixteen Years 5 & 6 students are in training for the decathlon which will be held on 1st May.

The Future is Bright

These programmes are just the beginning of many varied opportunities that will be offered in 2017. Our aim is to ensure that we provide rigorous programmes which appropriately challenge and match the learning needs of our gifted students, thereby empowering them to independent, passionate learners.

Further information about upcoming programmes, competitions and courses will be posted throughout the year.

Mrs Simone Muddle

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From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

We are already over half way through Term 1 at Pre-school and now that the children have settled in to the routine, made friends and feel comfortable with the educators,  we have turned our attention towards brightening up the rooms and displaying some of the ‘hard work’ the children have completed. Both rooms have displays of colourful numeracy work with the children’s first paintings also in the process of being displayed on our new walls. The children are proud of their work and have really enjoyed looking at, and ‘showing off’ their accomplishments. Many have already proudly shown their families at pick up time.

These activities, as well as having an aesthetic value, allow the educators to begin to observe the children’s fine motor, language and cognitive skills as the children follow instructions, identify numbers and colours, and use / hold writing and art implements.

These observations are more formally noted each term as educators complete a developmental checklist for each child. The checklist covers the developmental areas of cognition and language as well as social, emotional, self-help and motor skills. In third term these observations form the basis of the children’s School Readiness Report. So the children have gently begun their journey of school observations and assessment.


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From the School Chaplain
Fr Paul West

From the School Chaplain image

Invitation:  Confirmation and First Communion

Father Paul, our School Chaplain, is inviting students to prepare for the special service of Confirmation and First Communion, taking place at the Cathedral on Easter Sunday, 16 April.  Bishop Peter will take the service that is all about growing closer to God and learning more about Christian faith.

Confirmation preparation group will meet in the Chaplain’s study, Holland Building, each Friday lunch time.  Parents or guardians are urged to contact Fr Paul on;


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

From the Heads of Hunter House image

This week is HUNTER WEEK on both Hill and Park Campus and we are celebrating RESPECT and our vision of a shared humanity with the NGS community. On Monday, we presented our beautiful Hunter Chapel Service in Christ Church Cathedral which included stunning music, thoughtful prayers and a wonderful oration by Alexander Oakley in Year 11. At the end of the service students were all presented with a Hunter “Every Face Matters” badge as a gesture of friendship and connection and most importantly a celebration of RESPECT and our shared humanity. The sparkling, bright and brilliant emerald on the badge will remind students of the burning capacity that exists within us all to Shine.

We have many other exciting things to look forward to this week including
– Hunter House Day – Thursday, 9 March on Hill Campus. Gold coin entry in to School, home-baked treats on sale at recess on Merrick. Lunch (for $5 students will receive a pasta bowl, fruit and a drink), Wall of Respect, Yoghurtland ($3) on the Courts at lunch. Students are also to wear their “Every Face Matters” badge on Hunter Day!
– Hunter House Day and Chapel – Friday, 10 March at Park Campus. Gold coin entry in to School to be collected in class. Students will receive a Hunter “Every Face Matters” badge. Games, Yoghurtland ($3) and Wall of Respect at lunch. Hunter House Chapel in Sandi Warren Performance Centre at 2.20pm.

Thank you so much for your support of Hunter House and our chosen social justice organisations of Allambi Care and the NGS Vietnam Project. EVERY FACE MATTERS!

From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

Representative Honours

As mentioned in previous newsletters, Term 1 is a particularly busy time for various representative selection trials.

The first of these was HRIS Basketball where both Keegan Harvey (Year 10) and Allysion Loveless (Year 10) were selected in the HRIS Open Boys and Girls teams respectively.

Both teams represent the region at the AICES Championships in Sydney. The girls play this week.

The AICES boys competition was played at Bankstown last week and Keegan proudly represented NGS and HRIS. This is a very competitive tournament with six teams representing their regions. HRIS was very successful going through the tournament undefeated and were the AICES Champions for 2017. A huge congratulations to Keegan who, although only in Year 10 and playing with and against boys much older than himself, was selected as a Shadow player for the AICES team which will now contest the NSWCIS Championships later this term. Well done Keegan!

Congratulations also to Mr Hopson, Head of Department – Social Sciences who has coached the HRIS team to their Championship this year. This is Mr Hopson’s 4th Championship in 5 years with the HRIS Open boys team. Well done also, to Mr Hopson.

Keegan #6 and Coach Hopson with their medals.

Primary Swimming Championships

The weather was not on our side but that did not stop our primary students from swimming their hearts out at the Primary Swimming Championship on Friday, 3 March.

The Championship was closely contested all day with the end result having Hunter House coming home victorious with 901 points. Closely behind in 2nd place was Tyrrell House on 818 points, with Shortland House in 3rd place on 483 points and in 4th place Macquarie House on 402 points.

Our Age Champions Results were also closely contested with the results going as follows:
8 Years Boys: 1st Winter Bennett 2nd Oscar Avery 3rd Oliver Knauer and 4th Finlay Guest
9 Years Boys: 1st Bailey Parkinson 2nd Morrison Martin, 3rd Maximilian Cohen and 4th Samuel Morgan
10 Years Boys:  1st Jack Welsh, 2nd Lachlan Smith 3rd Brandon Muddle and equal 4th Bowen Stubbs and Jack Martin
11 Years Boys: 1st William Jeffery, 2nd Edward Bell, 3rd Ambrose Raftos and 4th Thomas McGrath
12 Years Boys: 1st Connor Johansen, 2nd Alexander Macdougall, 3rd Hayden Martinelli and 4th Oscar Bush

8 Years Girls: 1st Gabrielle Waerea, 2nd Bailee Turner, 3rd Myla Tucker and equal 4th Virginia Kuru, Jenny Park and Arden Warmsley
9 Years Girls: 1st Vanessa Kuru, 2nd Ellie Perry, 3rd Sophia Richardson and 4th Ivy Heslop
10 Years Girls: 1st Lucy Nightingale, 2nd Ella Mejia, 3rd Harriette Arnell and 4th Neve Blamey
11 Years Girls: 1st Tatum Gilmour, 2nd Alice Jeffery, 3rd Hunter Rowntree and equal 4th Eliza Ginns and Phoebe Tanks
12 Years Girls: 1st Veronica Kuru, 2nd Bronte Simpson, 3rd Ruby Robinson and 4th Isabella Ida.

There were 9 records broken or made on the day and I would like to congratulate the following swimmers:

Tatum Gilmour: 11 Years 100 metre Freestyle with 1.14.37, 11 Years 200 metre Freestyle with 2.47.45, 11 Years 200 metre Individual Medley 3.15.53

Vanessa Kuru: 7-10 Years 200m Freestyle with 3.47.86

9 Years Boys, Shortland: 4x50m freestyle relay 4.20.77

9 Years Girls, Hunter: 4x50m freestyle relay 3.55.82

10 Years Boys, Tyrrell: 4x50m freestyle relay 3.20. 26

10 Years Girls, Hunter: 4x50m freestyle 3.36.11

11 Years Boys, Tyrrell: 4x50m Freestyle relay 2.44.49

May I please thank the staff of Newcastle Grammar School and the coaches and University students who gave up their time to ensure the smooth running of the carnival.

And a special thank you to all the parents and friends who came along and supported the students throughout the day even in the pouring rain.

Primary Cross Country

The 2017 NGS Cross Country event will be conducted at Stevenson Park, Mayfield West on Friday, 10 March.

As not every student is a long distance runner this event is optional for students in Year 2 to Year 6. The distances are as follows:
8, 9 and 10 years – 2 km
11 and 12 years – 3 km

All participants who have nominated to compete will be travelling to and from the venue by Port Stephens Buses throughout the day.

All students competing on the day are required to run in their House coloured shirt. Please ensure your son/daughter brings their hat, sun cream and a water bottle with them on the day along with their recess.

Students who are participating in the Cross Country may wear their PE uniform to and from School on this day.

Secondary Cross Country

Please note the following arrangements for Friday’s Cross Country:

– The Cross Country will be held at Stevenson Park, Mayfield West during lessons 1-3.

– All Year 7-12 students who have yet to nominate and would like to compete, and are able to run the distance without walking, should see their House Coordinator as soon as possible.

– Students may wear their Sports uniform to school; however, they must change into full School uniform when they return to School at the completion of the Cross Country.

– House shirts must be worn when competing.

– Points will be awarded down to 10th place for the House Cross Country Cup. Age Championship medals will be awarded at an Assembly as soon as possible after the event.

– Buses will depart Church Street as soon as possible after Roll Call on Friday, and no later than 8.55am. They will return by 11.45am.If you have any questions regarding the Cross Country, please see me as soon as possible.

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Parent Forum

Thursday, 9 March 2017 @ 6.00pm

All parents welcome

Hurbury Hunt Hall – Hill Campus

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 13 March:

Tue 14 March:

Wed 15 March:

Thu 16 March:
Marnie Coulton
Jo Macdougall

Fri 17 March:
Kate Ellis

Park Campus

Mon 13 March:

Tue 14 March:

Wed 15 March:
Jacqui Mejia

Thu 16 March:
Kate Cohen

Fri 17 March:
Liz Richardson
Sam Haines

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