From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Representatives from NESA (NSW Educational Standards Authority) visited Newcastle Grammar School yesterday to get student view points about the new K-6 Science syllabus. It was fantastic to see students as young as Year 2, articulating opinions about their learning and Science. Their feedback will form part of the feedback informing practice at NESA in curriculum design.

Congratulations to our NGS Swimming team who placed third at the HRIS carnival last week. Ryan Walker and Gabriel Jeffery were Age Champions and many students swam personal bests and competed in numerous events on the day. Our boys rowing squad also placed third on Sunday at the Head of the River. The boys won 2 Gold, 7 Silver and 10 Bronze medal races on the day. Good luck to the girls who compete this Saturday at the schoolgirls’ Head of the River.

Students from Years 9 to 11 travelled to Sydney on Monday to be part of the audience for Encore – the best Music works from the 2016 HSC. Alexander Young (Class of 2016) performed his drum piece ‘Nardis’ to huge applause from a full Concert Hall audience. Many of our musicians were in awe at the standard and variety of the presentations and compositions. It was terrific to see students supporting Alexander from the 2016 cohort. They are in their first weeks of University.

Year 12 are in their first week of mid-year examinations and balancing the demands of their academic programme. This is an important learning stage in Year 12, enabling each student to consolidate his or her knowledge and monitor progress so far.

On most days, I spend a proportion of my time with students, usually in the playground and to end this week’s newsletter I thought you may like to hear some of this ‘chatter’. One Year 4 student told me that she much preferred Chemistry than Technology; a Year 11 student discussed Encore with me and how much he needed to do before the HSC next year; a group of Year 7 students told me about their multiple assignments due in the next two weeks; I have been lobbied about food in the canteen, hymns for Chapel, extending recess and supporting a ‘black market’ business! It’s a wonderful part of my day and it always puts a smile on my face!

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Newcastle Grammar School would like to invite you to a free Parent Information Forum “Starting a conversation with your Teen” presented by the Batyr Mental Health Organisation – Tuesday, 4 April 2017 from 6.00pm to 7.00 Horbury Hunt Hall, Hill Campus.

The guest speaker is Jaelea Skehan an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of suicide. In 2014 Jaelea was announced as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence, a national honour sponsored by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac highlighting the important contribution women make in creating bold and diverse future for Australia.

Born and raised in Newcastle, Jaelea has worked at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health since 2001, which she now leads as their Director. 

Please >click here to view full flyer with times and RSVP details.

+ More

Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

Head of Primary image

What are 21st Century Learner attributes? People talk a great deal about the ‘21st Century Skills’ of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Here are some ways the teachers at Newcastle Grammar School are collaborative, 21st Century learners.

– We share our spaces. We let go of the idea that we have to teach ‘our way’ in ‘our space’. At times, we team-teach, opening doors, moving walls and learning in other spaces.

– We plan together and discuss learning. Collaborative planning is a constant conversation, and happens formally in weekly meetings, and informally over a cup of coffee.

– We are open-minded. We recognise that there is more than one way of doing things and that the way we prefer to learn is not the only way to teach.

– We include our students. We’re not in charge of all the learning. Sometimes the best lessons happen because a student asks a question and leads us in a different direction.

– We make learning transdisciplinary. We make connections across many disciplines and make explicit connections with what we already know.

– We share. We work as a team and share resources and tasks. We share responsibility for learning with our students.

– We embrace specialist subjects/areas. We share to use their knowledge and expertise. We share with specialists and connect to their subjects.

– We learn professionally through our Staff Groups. We find something that makes us wonder about teaching and we learn about it.

– We communicate with everyone. We use various online resources to connect and collaborate with educators anywhere, any time. We use reflection journals, email and other methods to communicate with our students, their families and our global community.

– We collaborate with our professional community. We attend professional development sessions and workshops, meet with other schools and meet as a staff each week.

+ More

From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

As you will all know, it is not easy for children to be inside for days on end while it continues to rain outside. However, after a couple of weeks where we have spent more than usual inside, the pre-school staff have observed a real development in the quality of inside play. As we have introduced new activities to challenge the children, follow their interests and motivate educational play, the children have ‘made new friends’ as they discover mutual interests.

In the Shakers’ room, we have programmed around insects with small plastic insects at the playdough table and larger ones near the blocks. A couple of children who had not previously interacted / played together, discovered a shared interest in insects and, over the past couple of weeks have created a number of games based on this interest.  For example, one of them will ‘hide’ an insect in the playdough while the other one tries to guess which insect it is by asking various questions. Another game they play is trying to find the same insect in both the large set and the small set and making ‘families’ of insects.

In the Groovers’ a number of children worked together today to build ‘Australia’. The country was made of wooden blocks and took up most of the room. The construction included a bridge which some children drove cars under as well as a stage where others performed and remained the focus of a number of games throughout the afternoon as different children created and interacted.

So, although it is always healthy for the children (and staff) to get outside there has been a silver lining to that rain cloud.

+ More

Director of Studies
Mr Philip Fielden

Director of Studies image

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 practice 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

From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey

From the Director of Operations image

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.

Hill Campus Access

On Friday, 24 March the swipe gate system on Hill Campus will be switched on. This will significantly improve campus security and assist greatly in directing all visitors to Hill Campus Reception.

The main gate on the corner of Newcomen and Church Streets will always be open during School hours.

All other gates will require a swipe card to operate. All staff and students have been issued a swipe card.

Winter Uniform Change Over Dates

At this stage we are planning for the following change into winter uniform.

From Monday, 15 May, Week 4, Term 2: There will be two weeks of optional winter/ summer uniform.

Monday, 29 May, Week 6, Term 2: All students must be in winter uniform from this date.

We are hoping that these dates will work well this year, however we will notify you if we feel we need to extend summer uniform or bring forward the optional uniform period. Regardless, the changeover period should give families time to prepare for the transition into winter uniform.

Head of Co-curricular
Mrs Corey Rowntree

Head of Co-curricular image

Thank you to the staff and students who attended the Year 6 and Year 7 camp meetings on Monday, 20 March. If you were unable to attend or need further details please note that the presentations are on SchoolBox on the Year pages. You can also go to the Outdoor Education Group website and find all the details of the relevant camps. Please be aware that later this week you will receive an email from Caremonkey regarding the medical details required for camp, please take the time to complete this in as much detail as possible.

Please if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact me

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 Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

HRIS Secondary Swimming

Last Thursday, 16 March, our NGS Secondary team contested the HRIS Division 1 Swimming Championships and I would like this take this opportunity to thank and congratulate each and every one of our students who competed so well on the day. With illness and other misadventures, the team was somewhat depleted; however, the willingness of our students to slot into events, sometimes out of their age groups, was outstanding.

Such performances were: William Carraro (14 years), Skye Simpson (14 years) and Jadon Routley (15 years) more than ably swimming in 18 years’ events, often finishing top 4 in their races. Clara Anscombe ( 14 years) competing in the 17 years to greatly assist that age group, to Emily Bell (17 years) who attended expecting to swim just the one event and eventually swimming the entire programme and to many others for just supporting their School team.

NGS finished in a great 3rd position, with final results being:
1st: St, Philip’s Christian College, Newcastle (1671 points)
2nd: Macquarie College (1650 points)
3rd: Newcastle Grammar School (1600 points)
4th: Calrossy Anglican School (1574 points)
5th: Hunter Valley Grammar School (1449 points)
6th: Central Coast Adventist School (1339 points)
7th: Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College (1132 points)
8th: St. Columba Anglican School (1069 points)

Congratulations to our TWO HRIS Individual Age Champions:
Gabriel Jeffery (12 years), and Ryan Walker (16 years)

Congratulations, also, to our three Age Group Divisional Champions:
12 years boys: Gabriel Jeffery, Dylan Danuser and Alistair Paterson-Clark.
16 years boys: Ryan Walker and Connor Henderson
17 years boys: Nathaniel Dean, Sam Barnett, Ned Turner and Joshua Anthony.

The HRIS representative team has also been announced and NGS have 12 students selected in that team. The HRIS team will travel to Sydney to contest the AICES Championships which will be held next Thursday, 30 March at SOPAC, Homebush. All team members will receive an information sheet later this week. For the Full list >Click here.

Year 1 and 2 Sport Swimming Program

Year 1 and 2 are commencing swimming for sport in Term 2. Please take the time to complete the forms sent home this week and have them returned to school by Friday, 24 March, so that arrangements can be put in place at Balance Mayfield to meet the needs of all our learners.

CIS Swimming

All the very best of luck to all the swimmers competing at the CIS swimming Championship this Thursday, 23 March. I hope that all your hard work at training pays off and you perform to the best of your ability on the day.

11-13 Years 4x50m Relay Team
Tatum Gilmour
Alice Jeffery
Bronte Simpson
Veronica Kuru

11-13 Years 4x50m Relay Team
William Jeffery
Connor Johansen
Edward Bell
Kalen Routley

11 years 50m Freestyle, Butterfly and the 8-13 years 100m Freestyle
Tatum Gilmour

11 years 50 m Backstroke, Freestyle, Butterfly and the 8-13 years 100m Freestyle
William Jeffery

12-13 50m Breaststroke, and the 8-13 years 100m Freestyle
Connor Johansen

8-13 Years AWD 50m Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly and the 100m Freestyle
Luke Talley

9 Years 50m Freestyle
Amelia Dries
Vanessa Kuru

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.


Last Sunday, 19 March, the Boys Rowing Team competed at the Schoolboy Head of the River regatta at the Sydney International Regatta Centre. This is a favourite on the regatta calendar as all crews race in ranked divisions against other boys of their age and of similar abilities from other schools.

Despite ankle deep mud at every turn the regatta continued to live up to its name and provided plenty of exciting and close racing. Newcastle Grammar finished 3rd on the point score only 2 points from 2nd behind Newington and Kinross-Wolaroi, and ahead of many other larger boys schools. This is an excellent result to which all the boys contributed and can feel proud to have played a part.  Overall NGS finished up with 2 Golds, 7 Silver and 10 Bronze medals which came from all different year groups. Well done boys!

Thanks to parents who came down and supported the day and helped cater lunch for everyone.

Good luck to the girls who gear up for their Head of the River next weekend!

+ More

Subscribe to eNews

Headlice Notification

There have been several outbreaks of Headlice within the School over the last few weeks.

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

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 27 March:
Cath Banks
Catherine Raftos

Tue 28 March:
Jacqulene Doran
Alette Schot

Wed 29 March:
Amanda Folpp
Alette Schot

Thu 30 March:
Lesley Filby
Alette Schot

Fri 31 March:
Chris Downs
Rachelelle Krause
Alette Schot

Park Campus

Mon 27 March:
Chris Ethridge

Tue 28 March:

Wed 29 March:
Kanika Singh

Thu 30 March:
Elaine Mann

Fri 31 March:
Emily Macdonald
Lesley Filby

Uniform Shop

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.