From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas
Each of the Houses this year have been allocated one of the four school values to consider and advocate to the School. The two Hunter House Days last week at Hill and Park Campuses, assemblies this term and Chapel services, have focused on aspects and examples of Respect. The Hunter House Days involved older students leading games for our Park Campus students, the green jelly challenge on Hill Campus and a first for NGS – a photo taken by a drone of Hill Campus students holding up the letters of Respect- that the students had signed. >Click here to see photos from this day.
The MySchool website was opened last week. The site compares ‘like’ schools and gives parents school wide data from these Literacy and Numeracy tests. Newcastle Grammar School performed well on these tests in 2016 and it was pleasing to see growth across all subject areas and our strong positioning against other leading Independent Schools in Australia. MySchool can be accessed via https://www.myschool.edu.au/
The Artist in Residence Co-curricular programme expanded this year with an additional class being offered on a Friday afternoon. >Click here to see some of the work (Colours in the Snow (Year 8) and Light Over Clouds (Year 11) being produced in this class, where students are growing in their confidence as well as improving their technical and creative abilities.
Thank you to the parents who attended the Parent Forum last week. The presentation from the evening can be accessed via >this link. Parents volunteered for different projects in the School. If anyone is still interested in joining a committee to help organise Centenary celebrations for the School in 2018, could you please email Kate Grogan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to indicate your interest.
From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons
Student Flourishing Profile (SFP)
Towards the end of this Term, all students in Years 7 to 12 will have the opportunity to participate in our annual Student Flourishing Profile survey. This survey was instigated last year and has since been reviewed and improved by the researchers at Murdoch University.
With the introduction this year of a formal timetabled Positive Education program that explicitly teaches aspects of flourishing based in the research evidence of Positive Psychology, we are keen to track over time any impact this may have on the wellbeing of our students.
Rather than create our own survey instrument, we have chosen to utilise an instrument that has been validated through the “Flourishing at School” project in which Newcastle Grammar participated last year. The initial project involved fourteen independent Australian schools with similar demographics to Newcastle Grammar with over 7000 students participating.
Following our participation each year, the School will be provided with a detailed report allowing us to compare the wellbeing of our students with that of students in similar schools across the country. In addition each student will be provided with an individual report, highlighting the three areas of flourishing (Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaningfulness, Accomplishment) that contribute most strongly to their individual wellbeing.
Importantly, the instrument and report have a focus on reporting levels of wellbeing, and are not intended to diagnose or identify any aspects of mental ill-health such as anxiety or depression. Further, the results of the survey represent a snapshot in time of each student’s wellbeing which will naturally fluctuate depending on their current circumstances.
There is extensive information available online concerning the Student Flourishing Profile, with specific information for parents available at:
Participation in the survey is optional. If you prefer that your child does not participate please email Catherine Gomez on Catherine.Gomez@ngs.nsw.edu.au or telephone 4929 5811. If you would like a copy of your child’s individual report, please also let Catherine know and she will forward it on to you once it is received. Each student will also be given the option of participating or not, as they prefer.
As we continue to develop our Positive Education and wellbeing programs, the feedback we receive from this instrument will be invaluable in informing our practice and program design.
From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp
On Monday, 6 March and Friday, 10 March we had the first dress-up days of the year. Pre-school was overrun with Ninja Turtles, Elsas, fairies, princesses and lots of superheroes. In relation to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) the implementation of dress-up days at Pre-school allows children to explore different identities and points of view in dramatic play (outcome 1.3b); engage and contribute to shared play experiences (outcome 1.4b); cooperate with others and negotiate roles and relationships in play episodes and group experiences (outcome 2.1b). Families will be able to look at some of the amazing characters that came to Pre-school through our Schoolbox posts from last week. These have also been placed in your child’s portfolio.
As mentioned in previous newsletters, pre-school are enjoying a music programme with Miss Nicole on Wednesdays and Thursdays this year and, this complements our library visits with Mrs Bennett on Tuesdays. Our Library visits see the children learning about the relationships between oral, written and visual representations as well as recognising and engaging with written and oral culturally constructed texts (EYLF Outcome 5.2). The visits assist the children in their transition from the Pre-school environment to that of the wider school community. They enjoy this time spent with Mrs Bennet and thrive on the independence of being able to look at and choose books to read from the school borrowing library. They also take the responsibility of placing the books back in the correct place, after they have finished reading it.
Director of Studies
Mr Philip Fielden
NAPLAN – 2017
The 2017 NAPLAN tests will take place for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 during Week 3 of Term 2.
The format will be as follows:
Tuesday, 9 May: Language Conventions and Writing
Wednesday, 10 May: Reading
Thursday, 11 May: Numeracy
– Years 3 & 5: this test comes in one part, which is non-calculator
– Years 7 & 9: this test comes in two parts – calculator and non-calculator
These tests will vary in length according to the students’ ages.
Catch-up tests for any students that miss a test can take place during the week, or on Friday, 12 May.
Under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 we are able to offer specified adjustments for students with documented educational disabilities so that they can access the tests on an equivalent basis to students who do not have a disability. Mrs Parazanovic, Mrs Tucker or Mrs Peterson should be contacted if you believe your child will be eligible for these provisions.
We encourage all of our students to do the NAPLAN tests for the practise and the rich data that they provide. However, parents may withdraw them if they wish. If any parent wishes to formally withdraw their child, a letter must be forwarded to the Head of School well before the tests begin. Students who are withdrawn from the tests must still attend school on those days.
If you have any questions about the NAPLAN tests, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey
Toronto Bus Update
On occasions the Toronto Bus arrives late to Hill Campus due to fluctuating traffic conditions on Lookout Rd.
Currently, Transport for New South Wales is reviewing the School’s application to bring forward the bus schedule by 7 minutes so that the bus will arrive consistently on time.
The review process is lengthy and the School greatly appreciates your ongoing patience with this matter.
Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree
Year 6 and Year 7 Camp Meeting
On Monday, 20 March, we are conducting camp meetings run by the Outdoor Education Group in HHH. At 5.00pm the Year 6 Canberra Camp meeting will take place followed by at 6.00pm the Year 7 Southern Highlands Camp meeting. We look forward to seeing parents at these times for an informative session.
From the School Chaplain
Fr Paul West
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Head of Library Services
Ms Sue Bright
Chess at Hill Campus
It is great to see the popularity and number of students participating in Chess at NGS increasing each year.
All players in our School Year 7-12 Chess Team played very well to defeat Hunter School of Performing Arts 4-0 in Round 1 of the NSW Junior Chess League Knockout Competition. Our team is: Harry Pratt (Year 12), Jett Robinson (Year 8), Tors Webster and Susanna Behne-Smith (Year 9). We wish the team well for their next match.
Our School Chess Competition has attracted a record 54 students across Years 5-12 entering this year. Due to this large number of entries, the round robin section of the competition is being played over two lunchtimes in the Library: Mondays for Years 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12; Tuesdays for Years 5 and 7.
Co-curricular Chess Coaching with our professional coach, Mr Jono Behne-Smith, is also proving very popular with students.
Students are encouraged to see me in the Library if they are interesting in being involved with Chess at NGS.
From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll
Primary Cross Country
Congratulations to all students for their never give up attitude and their positive mindset at the Newcastle Grammar School Primary Cross Country Championship held on Friday, 10 March at Stevenson Park.
A special thank you to all our parent helpers who made the day run so smoothly out on the course and to all the teaching staff who assisted with supervision on the course or with the students.
Congratulations to the 136 students who ran the challenging course with ease.
The House results were as follows:
1st place on 279 points Shortland House
2nd place on 235 points Hunter House
3rd place on 180 points Tyrrell House
4th place on 175 points Macquarie House.
The following individual results were achieved on the day:
12 Year Boys and Girls:
1st Alexander Macdougall, Miecha Blamey
2nd Hayden Martinelli, Hannah Choi
3rd Fredrick Mead, Lillian Miller
4th Rory Long, Bronte Simpson
11 Year Boys and Girls:
1st Thomas McGrath, Hunter Rowntree
2nd William Jeffery, Alice Jeffery
3rd Kalen Routley, Eliza Ginns
4th Taj Curran, Alexandra Moss
10 Year Boys and Girls:
1st Luca Swancott, Ella Beattie
2nd Andrew Carpenter, Neve Blamey
3rd Brandon Muddle, Eden Simpson
4th Elliot Collins, Ava Horn
9 Year Boys and Girls:
1st Luca Collins, Sophia Richardson
2nd Maximilian Cohen, Kate Nightingale
3rd Joel Wright, Madeleine McMillian
4th James Galettis, Amelia Dries
7 and 8 Year Boys and Girls:
1st Finlay Guest, Audrey Ginns
2nd Tom Blamey, Gabrielle Waerea
3rd Oscar Avery, Myla Tucker
4th Dominic Sawyer, Kensington Steele
Secondary Cross Country
Many thanks to all of those students who participated in the Cross Country last Friday. It was so good to see so many students running their hardest to compete and to earn points for their House. A team will now be selected to represent NGS at the HRIS Cross Championships to be held at Cooranbong on Thursday, 4 May.
The results for the House Cross Championship will be announced at Assembly this week and published in the newsletter next week.
The Age Championship results for the day were:
12 Years Boys and Girls
1st Cameron Carson (T), Josephine Armstrong (M)
2nd Edward Hunt (T), Laura Keane (T)
3rd Gabriel Jeffery (T), Jordan Muddle (H)
13 Years Boys and Girls
1st Henry Allen (T), Elyse Barber (H)
2nd Scott Philpotts (T), Lili Webster (M)
3rd Marshall Lees (H), Alice Carraro (S)
14 Years Boys and Girls
1st Dominic Leishman (M), Skye Simpson (M)
2nd Edward Fagan (M), Brodie Horn (S)
3rd Nicholas Marlette (M), Emma McGrath (T)
15 Years Boys and Girls
1st Henry Knights (S), Elizabeth Carter (S)
2nd Jadon Routley (H), Susanna Behne-Smith (M)
3rd Jackson Lane (S), Madison Campbell (M)
16 Years Boys and Girls
1st Connor Henderson (H), Corbyn Holmberg (M)
2nd Ryan Box (H), Jessica Helinski (M)
3rd Nicholas McGrath (T), Chloe Banks (H)
17 Years Boys and Girls
1st Lorcan Redmond (S), Caitlin Spencer (M)
2nd Maximilian Routh (M), Sarah Dykes (S)
3rd Alexander Oakley (H), Kate Hackett (S)
18 Years Boys and Girls
1st Caleb Agostino-Morrow (T), Sophie Sherman (S)
2nd Nicolas Gentizon (S), Bridie Bland (T)
3rd Ethan Spiers (M), Brittany Morrin (M)
Tennis Co-curricular Activity
Training commencement Date: Term 2, Week 6 on Wednesday, 31 May from 3.05pm – 4.40pm.
Venue: Wednesday training sessions and Saturday games will take place at District Park Tennis courts, Broadmeadow.
Training transport arrangements: Students will catch a bus to and from training. If required, students can be picked up from the courts at 4.30pm, however, they must supply a note stating the person who will be collecting them at the courts. If parents are not at the courts by 4.40pm when the bus returns to School, the student must return to School with us.
Competition dates: The inter district competition will commence at District Park Tennis courts, Broadmeadow, on Saturday, 29 July ( Week 2, Term 3) and the last game and finals will be held on Saturday, 16 September 2017 (Week 9, Term 3).
Times: There are 2 time slots: Midday and 2.00pm. The session will depend on which grade the player has been placed in.
Note: There will not be a game on Saturday, 12 August due to a tournament being held at District Park.
Uniforms: Students are to wear their full sports uniform to training and games, with appropriate joggers for every session. All players will need a hat and their own racquet.
If you have any questions regarding the arrangements, please contact Mrs Dart as soon as possible as we are now finalising player/coach ratios. email@example.com
NGS Dominates the CDRA Championship Regatta
Last weekend 89 Rowers travelled to Taree to compete at the Central Districts Rowing Association Championship Regatta on the Manning River.
NGS demonstrated a tremendous depth in performance on the water and admirable camaraderie off the water. Many parents also made the trip up and enjoyed the atmosphere, as thankfully the rain held off both days until racing was done and everything packed up.
NGS won 33 Races with wins coming from every squad, boys and girls Under 15 to Seniors which is a fantastic Team result! Our Year 8 rowers performed exceptionally well especially in their small boats showing skill and confidence in some challenging conditions. While our Under 16’s and 17’s were a dominant force in many of their age and grade races demonstrating the depth of our programme and the seniors performed beyond their years putting in exceptional showings in many championship events.
There are 2 types of Rowing- Sculling where each rower has 2 smaller and shorter blades/ oars and sweep where each rower only has one bigger and longer oar. Like most Independent Schools, NGS focuses on sculling, and only rows sweep a few times a year. This older regatta format, however, had over 20 sweep events so in order to get some more races in many of our older rowers took part in several sweep races (particularly our 10-12 rowers). Most of these crews only got time for 1 or 2 training sessions in a four or an Eight prior to racing. Despite this NGS had some out standing performances in these events. It was wonderful to see NGS again boat 2 men’s eights in the C Grade Eight with our First Crew Winning and our second crew in a tight tussle with HVGS and Endeavour’s first crews for 2nd. NGS took out all 4 of the Eights on offer, including the Men’s and Women’s C Grade Eights over 1000m each with 6 crews as well as the Championship Eights over 2000m. It was great to see how diverse our rowers are and how easily they were able to adapt and perform above expectations. Having the opportunity to do something new and different always adds a bit of excitement to training and racing, and gives younger rowers something else to look forward too in future years.
There were many notable performances over the 2 days of racing, a big congratulations must go to the girls of the squad who impressively took out all of the championship single finals on offer – Year 10 Rower, Tyla Casey-Knight rowed above her years and and took out the Championship open women’s single scull by over 30 Seconds, impressive from a 16 Year old. Year 12 Bride Bland won the Under 19 Women’s single, Year 9 Rower Ellie Carter continues to go from strength to strength and took out the Under 16 and Under 17 Single Scull, while Bella Oakley of Year 8 took out a division of the Under 15 Single.
Congratulations to Under 16 rower Jadon Routley who won the Under 16 Men’s trio- taking out the single, double and quad finals.
The under 16 Boys double was an NGS Show with 5 out of the 6 crews in the final from NGS in which the Year 9 boys crews finished impressively in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th. The Senior boys crews had another strong regatta and took out both the Under 19 and Open men’s quads, as well as the Championship Four and 8. While the girls also took out the 19 Quad and Four.
Well done NGS on a great weekend. After some excellent racing at Taree the teams now prepare for the penultimate regattas of the season – the highly anticipated Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Head of the Rivers which are coming up on the next 2 weekends, followed by the National Championships in 2 weeks time.
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From the Head of School
Mon 20 March:
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The Winter uniform changeover is drawing near. Beat the rush and be prepared.
Uniform Shop opening hours:
Monday: 8.00am – 4.00pm (extended hours until winter uniform change over)
Wednesday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
If you require an appointment outside of these times or would like to place a phone order, please phone Kerrie at the uniform shop on 4908 4035.