From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

It is already a busy time of the term. NAPLAN takes place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is important that all Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students are at School for these tests. Please do not schedule appointments on these days. As a School, we have a responsibility to ensure our students complete each test. If for any reason your son or daughter is absent for a test, they will be asked to make up the test on Friday. Please contact either Ms Bibby (Year 3 and 5) or Mr Fielden (Year 7 and 9) if you have any questions.

Two ANZAC services have been held in the School in the last week to commemorate ANZAC Day. The Park Campus service was a meaningful age appropriate event and I congratulate the staff and children involved in its organisation. Hill Campus students and staff experienced a moving and beautifully presented service on Monday. Thank you to Father Stephen Williams, the SATU, the Chamber Choir, musicians and the staff involved for such an uplifting service.

Good luck to our CIS secondary swimming representatives who compete this week at Homebush: Alexandria Smith (7); Gabriel Jeffery (7); Scott Philpotts (7); Oscar Jeffery (9); Angus Tait (9); Hamish Bell (9); Kyle Riley (9); Ryan Walker (10) and Nathaniel Dean (11). Our Chess team of Harry Pratt (12); Susanna Behne-Smith (9); Tors Webster (9) and Jett Robinson (8) compete in another knock out round on Wednesday. Good luck!

I encourage you to visit the NEXUS exhibition in the Holland staff Common Room on Friday evening or over the coming weekend. Jade Edmistone, Australian Swimmer and three time World Record Holder is our guest speaker at the Opening on Friday evening at 6.30pm. This year over 70 artists have work on display. Access is via Newcomen Street. Follow the signage and take the lift to the top level in the Holland Building.

– Year 5, 7 and 8 Da Vinci teams who won the regional competition on Monday and will progress to the next round in Sydney
– Our Mock Trial team who won the round last Friday
– The Senior Boys Football Team who won the HRIS Gala Day on Monday
– Lorcan Redmond who has been selected as part of the Australian Triathlon team to compete in the World Championships later this year

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

The Power of Positive Thinking – Not!

Norman Peale wrote the book, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, back in 1952. It remained on the New York Times bestseller’s list for 186 consecutive weeks and has sold over five million copies. The book encourages its readers to think positive thoughts such as ‘every day, in every way, I am getting better and better’. Positive thinking can be found in pop psychology self-help books and quotes plastered on the walls of schools everywhere.

“If you dream it, you can achieve it.”

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking”

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.”

A modern version might be “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. Not only can you buy the book, but you can also watch the Vimeo video and download the app! “We are all one, so when you compete, you compete against You. Focus only on your dreams and take all competition out of the equation.”

All nice thoughts that momentarily increase our positive emotions and even tend to assist us to relax, but that do not in themselves lead to any substantive long term or short term achievement of our goals and ambitions. The idea that positive thinking about the future motivates action is advocated by Peale and other ‘positive thinkers’, but is contrary to empirical evidence. There is no research indicating that positive thinking leads to positive outcomes. Quite the contrary – the research indicates that indulging in positive thinking about the future(Oettingen 1996) can lead to a sense of false security that ultimately prevents the realization of goals. In short, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ is a crock!

In fact, in their latest research, Meyer and Oettingen find that, while positive thinking in the form of fantasies decrease symptoms of depression in the present, positive fantasies predicted more depressive symptoms in adults and students when measured longitudinally (Oettingen, Mayer, and Portnow 2016). This is possibly a consequence of the failure to realize the fantasies being constructed, such as, in the case of school students, fantasies of improved academic success.

Real positive change requires that most influential of all personal character strengths – self-regulation. Researchers have found methods that can be used to assist us in realizing our wishes. Duckworth (Duckworth et al. 2013) and Oettingen (Sevincer, Kluge, and Oettingen 2014) describe a process they have documented as “Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions, or MCII. This is a metacognitive strategy for converting positive thoughts and images about a desired future into self-regulated behaviour change.

This process combines Mental Contrasting as a strategy for pursuing goals with the formation of Implementation Intentions, a strategy for planning out one’s goal pursuit. Rather than accepting the widely held belief that thinking positively about the future motivates self-regulated behaviour “if you dream it you can achieve it”, it is more effective to mentally contrast positive thoughts about the desired future with obstacles standing in the way.

While it doesn’t sound so attractive, an alternative effective quote might be:

“If you dream it, you have just begun. Now consider the obstacles in the way of achieving your dream. Make and follow a plan to overcome these obstacles. You will in this way help your dream come true”.

In my next article, I will outline an evidence based strategy that has been proven to be effective for students from Year 5 to Year 12 that is easily explained and understood and is grounded in the research of Oettingen, Sevincer, Duckworth and others and their conclusions of the effectiveness of Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions, MCII.


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From the Director of Learning and Teaching
Mrs Lisa Peterson

From the Director of Learning and Teaching image

Parents of Students in Years 7 and 8

We invite you to attend an evening with Dr Prue Salter from Enhanced Learning Educational Services to hear some valuable advice regarding study skills.

This is a highly interactive seminar which involves students talking to parents about their habits and identifying some focus areas for the future. In particular, Prue will address:
– Time management
– Organisation
– Effective work/study habits

When: Thursday, 4 May from 6.00pm to 7.45pm

Where: Horbury Hunt Hall

Please bring along a pen and a highlighter as well as your Programme Book.

We look forward to seeing you at this highly valuable evening.

From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

Term 2 is off to a fabulous start with the children happily reconnecting with friends and settling back in to the routines of Pre-school life. We are continuing with our ‘summer’ programme while the weather is so nice. This means that we will continue to be outside when you arrive in the morning. The week commencing 8 May (Week 3) we will change over to our ‘winter’ programme and start the day with indoor activities. We’ll transition to the outdoor area for planned activities when it warms up, towards the middle of the day.

This term, we are also very excited to welcome Miss Mim and The Kids Get Active Program to our Pre-school. Over the next 7 Mondays across Term 2 (Monday, 12 June is a Public Holiday) Kids Get Active will be working with the children to extend their balance, strength, co-ordination, control, focus and mindfulness  through the implementation of a Kickfit, Yoga and Meditation programmes. Activities will take place both indoors and outdoors over the coming weeks and will run for an hour with the Shakers and Groovers having 30 minutes each.

This week, speech screening will commence for those families who have nominated their children to participate. Lauren from Headstart will be working individually with each child over coming weeks and then prepare a report. Please remember it is not too late if you would like your child assessed.

We are currently working on some ‘secret Mother’s Day business’ and the children are very excited about the gifts they are creating. We really want our Pre-school Mums to feel the love. Don’t forget to check the Pre-school Schoolbox page for information on our daily programme and information about what is happening within our pre-school community.

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Da Vinci Decathlon Success
Mrs Murdoch & Mrs Muddle

On Monday, 1 May, 24 Year 5 & 6 students competed in the inaugural Hunter Regional da Vinci Decathlon at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College. In total, there were 17 teams contesting the decathlon with around 135 students taking part.

Throughout the day, our teams completed ten separate challenges in the areas of Science, Engineering, English, Ideation (Philosophy), Cartography, Code Breaking, Creative Producers (Drama), Mathematics, General Knowledge and Poetry/Art. Teams were required to work collaboratively and simultaneously on multiple tasks, lending their academic knowledge, problem solving skills and creativity to the team event.

There were some outstanding team results, with our Year 6 #1 team placing equal first in the Art/Poetry and General Knowledge sections. Our Year 5 Team placed equal first in English, Creative Producers, Engineering, Maths, and Cartography. These outstanding scores lead our Year 5 Team to overall victory, finishing in 1st place in the Year 5 division. Our Year 6 #1 team placed a meritorious 3rd, and our Year 6 #2 team placed a commendable 7th. Our Year 5 Team will now represent the region at the State da Vinci Decathlon at Knox Grammar on Thursday, 25 May.

Year 6 Team #1: Alexander Macdougall, Hayden Martinelli, Athanasia Petrelis, Hannah Choi, Eliza Ginns, Lillian Miller, Sebastian Spencer, Ruby MacDonald

Year 6 Team #2: Pierra Singh, Keiran Kabir, Alessandra Martinelli, Prakriti Goel, Katie Mejia, Veronica Kuru, Kalen Routley, Ruby Bush

Year 5 Team: Lucy Nightingale, Thomas McGrath, James Marr, William Jeffery, Madeline Nelson, Ambrose Raftos, James Fong, Willem Dun

I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all 24 students who participated. They deserve to be immensely proud of their commitment to improving their own skills, their ability to work collaboratively as a team, as well as their behaviour and performance on the day.

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Nexus Annual Art Exhibition
Mrs Tonia Martin

Nexus Annual Art Exhibition image

Monies raised from the annual Nexus art exhibition benefit both the Nexus Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at the John Hunter Hospital and the Newcastle Grammar Visual Arts Department.

Australian swimmer and three-time world record holder, Jade Edmistone, will open this year’s Nexus art exhibition.

Edmistone agreed to make the trip from Brisbane as the cause is one close to her heart. In her recent book, Fish Out of Water, Edmistone delves into her personal experience. After a successful career in the pool which saw her claim three World Titles and break five World Records, she faced some difficult moments as she struggled to find her feet in her new life post swimming. With motherhood, relationship changes and mental health issues at the forefront, Edmistone’s brave openness brings to light what is a common fight for many athletes as they transition from an elite sporting life into that of a normal existence.

With over 70 selected Hunter artists, guests have the opportunity to purchase quality art and raise funds. Monies raised help to benefit the Nexus Unit (an acute intensive care facility for children and adolescents with a vast range of issues from behavioural problems associated with autism and asperger’s, to eating disorders, mood disorders and more acute immediate issues).

Now in its 19th year, Nexus is an annual art exhibition that has been a huge success for nearly 2 decades.

All participants are professional artists who have exhibited works locally and many nationally and internationally. A great diversity of art forms are represented including painting, drawing, collage/ mixed media, photography, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics and illustration.

It would be wonderful to see members of the NGS School Community at Opening Night, or over the weekend, to support the exhibition and our fundraising efforts.

Opening Night: Friday, 5 May 6.30-8.30pm (Free event, all welcome)

Special Guest: Jade Edmistone, author and three-time world record holder.

Location: Newcastle Grammar School Holland Building Newcomen St

Exhibition Dates: Friday, 5 May 6.30-8.30pm, Saturday, 6 May and Sunday, 7 May 11.00am-3.00pm

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

NSWCIS  Swimming Championships

On behalf of the School I would like to wish the 9 students from NGS who are representing AICES at the NSWCIS Swimming Championships, being held at Homebush on Tuesday evening and Wednesday of this week. Those students are:

Alexandria Smith: 12 years 100m Freestyle

Gabriel Jeffery: 12 years 50m Butterfly, 12 years 50m Breaststroke, 12 years 100m Freestyle, 12 years 50m Freestyle, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay, 12 years 50m Backstroke, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Medley Relay, 12-19 years All Age 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay

Scott Philpotts: 12-19 years All Age 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Medley Relay, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay

Angus Tait: 12-14 years 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Medley Relay

Oscar Jeffery: 12-14 years 200m Backstroke, 14 years 50m Backstroke, 12-19 years All Age 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Medley Relay, 12-14 years 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay, 14 years 100m Freestyle, 12-14 years 100m Backstroke

Hamish Bell: 15 years 50m Breaststroke

Kyle Riley: 12-19 years All Age 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay

Ryan Walker: 16 years 50m Butterfly, 16 years 50m Freestyle, 16 years 100m Freestyle, 15-16 years 100m Butterfly, 16 years 200m Freestyle, 12-19 years All Age 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay

Nathaniel Dean: 12-19 years All Age 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay


Team reports from our wonderful coaches on last Saturday’s, 29 April games, appear below:

Unfortunately their opposition forfeited this game only moments before the start time. Disappointing, but unfortunately, with Groovin’ the Moo, this happens each year!

Had a tough match ahead of them this week with only 6 players against Kotara. Even though the team went down by only 7 goals the girls efforts, resilience and persistence was admirable and lovely to watch.

After a tough start to the season with many girls having other commitments, round 3 enabled NGS 3 their first opportunity to play with almost a full team of girls and what a sight to see! After leading the whole way through the game with the final score being 34-22, it was a great game from every one of the girls. Sadly, Sophia went down with an ankle injury so we’re all wishing her a speedy recovery and a quick return back to the netball court. Everyone is continuing to rid the cobwebs from the summer break and we’re starting to look like a team full of passion and determination ready to take on the season, well done NGS 3!

NGS 4 had a BYE this week

NGS 5 had an amazing game on the weekend to Cardiff, winning 44-16. The girls came out firing and ready to win after a long break with some amazing defence work and beautiful court play. The girls should be proud of their efforts it was such a lovely game to watch and see them all improve.

100% effort was given from all players on Saturday during our game.  We suffered an unfortunate loss by 1 point whilst we attempted a shot as the final hooter sounded.
Ava was an outstanding strength in the defence.  Our centre court began to implement strategies discussed at training which included opening the court, creating space and running onto the ball instead of running in groups. Melissa and Veronica worked well in the goal circle. They played a forwards netball game by coming in front of the defenders allowing the centre court players to pass the ball into the circle with ease.

Sadly the score did not reflect the effort applied but the game showed dedication, improvement and team work.  Well Done Girls

The girls played a beautiful game of Netball, unfortunately not getting the win against the top team on the ladder and losing by only 15-10 to Maryland Wallsend. Half time score was 4-11 and the girls did an amazing job to fight back. I’m very proud of the NGS 7 girls this week.

Everybody was at the courts this Saturday raring to go and play round 3 of the netball season. We started the game nicely winning the first centre and continued to play our best throughout the game. The girls fought amazingly well gaining countless intercepts and were chasing every loose ball. Unfortunately we were defeated 8-3 by Cardiff Jetz.

We will train our hardest and hopefully triumph next week!

It was great to meet the girls today. The team had an awesome game, they tried really hard and adapted to having myself coaching. Unfortunately, we went down 24-14 but the girls never stopped trying and played some awesome team defence.

NGS 10
vs   West Leagues Dollies 20-0

Wow wow wow! NGS 10 were amazing this week. It was fantastic to have all our team members take the court for round 3. Everyone was finding space, defending well and working the ball down the court to our shooters who were on fire. We have been working on passing, footwork and finding space at training and I was impressed with the way the girls implemented this into their game this week. There were some lovely passages of play with some great passing and teamwork.

You were all awesome! Well Done!

NGS 11
This weekend saw another great game by NGS 11 who dominated the court in a 4-0 win. Though we had some great goal-scoring this round by Elliana with 3 goals and Maddison with 1, our full-court defence deserves a huge congratulations as it prevented the other team from reaching their goal end for the majority of the game. Our birthday girl Charlotte Colbert deserves a special mention this week for her great defensive efforts and excellent feeding into the circle.


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 timeslots: Mid-day 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.

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Hosting for Chinese Visiting Students Wanted

In July and August, Newcastle Grammar School will have two teachers and eight students, from Year 8 to Year 10, visiting from A Rong Qi No. 1 Middle School, Inner Mongolia, China.

We are seeking families to assist with the accommodation of their visit.

For more information, or to express an interest in hosting, please >click here for an information letter.

Flexischools Canteen Service
Hill Campus Canteen

Flexischools Canteen Service image

From Monday, 8 May, Hill Campus Canteen will introduce a late cut off time for the Flexischools Canteen service to give you greater flexibility.

The first cut off will change to 8.30am, but at the same time there will be a ‘dressed down’ menu available till 11.00am, for the days that you run late with your ordering. After 11.00am students can still see Mrs McGowan for a survival lunch slip. This will be a set sandwich or roll, drink and fruit option only. Note: Survival lunches will be charged through to your School account.

Canteen Duties


Hill Campus

Mon 8 May:
Jane Cosens

Tue 9 May:
Jacqulene Doran

Wed 10 May:
Yvette Anscombe
Amanda Folpp

Thu 11 May:
Monica Mamonto

Fri 12 May:
Kate Ellis
Rachelle Krause

Park Campus

Mon 8 May:

Tue 9 May:
Lisa Griffiths

Wed 10 May:
Lesley Filby

Thu 11 May:

Fri 12 May:
Lesley Filby

Uniform Shop

The Winter uniform changeover is drawing near. Beat the rush and be prepared.

From Monday, 15 May (Week 4): There will be two weeks of optional Winter / Summer uniform.

Monday, 29 May (Week 6): All students must be in Winter uniform from this date.

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.

Before School Yoga
Park Campus (Years 1-4)

Before School Yoga image

Before School Yoga continues in Term 2

A beautiful calming practise every Friday morning 8.00am in the Sandi Warren  Performance Centre, 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, building strength and creating 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!

Bookings can be made through Flexischools.

Bring you own mat, drink bottle and a smile.

See you on the mat!

Alette Schot (Yogalet)