From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

It is great to see such a variety of activity in the School at present. Year 12 Academic Honour awardees were presented in assembly and Year 12 reports will be mailed home this week. Our Da Vinci regional winners are excitedly preparing for the State Final. The Chess Team have been enjoying each challenge and we are holding the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition at NGS this week. Good luck to Grace Papworth and Jadon Routley.

Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 began NAPLAN yesterday and Years 7-11 have had the opportunity to engage with the study skills programme as exams and assessments get closer. In sport, the HRIS Cross Country for Primary and Secondary were terrific days, students finished their swimming season at CIS and soccer and netball is in full swing for the winter season. The Rowing Presentation dinner on Friday night formally ends this sport for the season.

This week we launched our next Vietnam trip that will take place between 9 December and 20 December 2017. Assisting students in a school and orphanage, this trip is designed to allow our students opportunities to interact with the children and engage with issues facing a developing country. An Information evening will be held on Tuesday, 30 May at 6.30pm in the HHH for students and their parents who are keen to find out more.

There has been a lot in the media about government funding and basic literacy and numeracy standards. >Click here to see the latest from NESA about Year 9 NAPLAN and the HSC Minimum standard.

We are not expecting changes to Federal Government funding to have a significant impact for Newcastle Grammar School. >Click here for more details.

Thank you to the parents and supporters of the NEXUS exhibition. We had many people attend both the opening night and visit the exhibition over the weekend. A special thank you to the following: Laura Wilson, Kerrie Coles, Louise Wills, Jenny Chung, Donna Buck, Lea Rugg, Sharon Archer, Tracey Thomson, Indra Deamer, Kate Dun, Liz Wright and Libby Helinski – we could not have held such a successful exhibition without you.

This is the last week of summer uniform. From Monday, 15 May until Friday, 26 May, students may wear summer or winter uniform depending on the weather. All students need to be in winter uniform from Monday, 29 May. Please ensure that uniforms are in good condition and check that the length of trousers or skirts are appropriate if your child has grown. Blazers should be clean and fit well. Girls in Years 7-12 are asked to wear black or navy ‘stockings/ tights’ with their uniform.

Congratulations to:

  • Gabriel Jeffery and Ryan Walker who will compete for CIS at the All Schools Swimming Carnival on Friday at Homebush
  • Year 12 Honour’s List recipients Scarlett Frazer, Aphakorn Hasdarngkul, Stephanie Illiadis, Stephen Kerras, Sabrina Kliousis, Michael Sharpe, Manasa Swaminathan, Charlotte Thomas, Eve Turner, Marshall Unie, Alexa Van Niekerk, Yi wen Yang and Lucie Zangger-Page

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

What is Yellow?

Its an app for teens available from the App Store and Google Play that turns Snapchat into Tinder for kids. Now, if you know what Tinder is, then if your son or daughter has Yellow on their mobile device, this should ring alarm bells.

“Swipe right to make new friends”
Anyone with a Snapchat account can download Yellow. Yellow accesses all your Snapchat contacts, texts and photos. The developers state “we made Yellow to answer this need of long-distance digital-only relationships”.

Really? Teenagers NEED long-distance digital-only relationships? Kids running around the playground with their friends or heading to the beach on the weekend NEED digital-only relationships?

Three of the greatest fallacies of cyber-space and social media:
1. Everything I say on social media is private. WRONG!
2. Everything I post is temporary. WRONG!
3. Everyone I’m connected to on my social media accounts is my ‘friend’. REALLY WRONG!

Here’s how it works:
– Download the App. Yellow asks for your phone number, then you receive a text with your access code. So if your child has Yellow, already they’ve given their number to someone they don’t know.
– You are then asked for your Snapchat Username and four more additional questions:
1. What’s your name?
2. What’s your birthdate?
3. Are you a boy or a girl?
4. Are you looking for boys or girls or both?

You are then asked to upload a selfie and asked if you want to meet people nearby. You have no option other than to allow location services if you want to use yellow.

Now, I am well past my teenage years, but, after checking it out, I find that I am able to set up a fake account complete with fake selfie as a boy or girl, 13 years old. I can then swipe to find ‘friends’ in the local area.

Needless to say, reports out of the US indicate sexual predators have been using Yellow to groom victims.

Unless you see a real need for your son or daughter to be involved in ‘long-distance, digital-only’ relationships, I would strongly recommend that you censor this App.

Again, this year, Brett Lee from Internet Safe education will be visiting NGS to speak with our Year 8 and our Year 9 students on 31 May.

His presentations last year were exceptionally informative. Brett spent 22 years in the Queensland police force, 16 of those in the field of Child Exploitation. He has been personally involved with the arrest and prosecution of hundreds of online criminals and predators and for a time was seconded to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in the US.

On 1 June, Brett will again deliver a presentation on cyber awareness to our parent body. Last year’s Parent Presentation was excellent but not well attended. My hope is that this year more parents will avail themselves of this opportunity to hear from a world expert on the online world that our students, sons and daughters are immersed in. Information regarding Brett’s presentation is available on the parent Portal and in upcoming Newsletters.

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From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

This week, Pre-school is promoting a low waste lunch week. We do this once every term. This is in line with our Sustainability Policy and we are encouraging all families to participate. To do this, we suggest sending a packed lunch box that has little or no packaging or waste. We appreciate the time and effort that goes in to providing a low waste lunch box and would be grateful to receive any feedback.

If you could think about:
– Reusable lunch boxes and containers
– No pre-packaged foods such as fruit cups, cheese wrappers etc.
– Reusable drink bottles for water
– No cling wrap, foil or snap lock bags
– Reusable cutlery
– Appropriate portion sizes

You might find it interesting to know that by buying lunch box food in bulk and by packing a low waste lunch, families can save up to $400 a year and help the environment as well.

A low waste lunch week compliments our compositing.  There are some photos of Sam doing our composting on our Pre-school SchoolBox page this week. Books such as ‘Michael Recycle’, ‘Litter Bug Doug’, ‘Charlie and Lola – Look After Your Planet’ and ‘One Less Fish’ are also an interesting source of information about how we can look after our environment.

On another note, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our Pre-school Mums a very happy Mother’s Day and we hope you enjoy the gift your child has created at Pre-school.

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NEXUS 2017 Art Exhibition
Mrs Tonia Martin

NEXUS 2017 Art Exhibition image

NEXUS 2017 – Creating Community Connections 

On Friday evening 5 May, members of the School community, the John Hunter Hospital community and the Visual Arts community of Newcastle gathered in Holland Staff Common Room for the opening of the annual Nexus Exhibition.

It was a wonderful night filled with a diverse range of outstanding artworks – 121 individual pieces produced by 70 local Newcastle artists. The tone of the evening was celebratory and positive with those gathered also enjoying the beverages and delicious canapés prepared by Hot Rock Events and Catering.

As you would be aware the funds raised at the exhibition enable the School to make a generous annual donation to the Nexus Unit – the Paediatric and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at John Hunter Hospital – to provide much needed items and support for the young people that are in need of the assistance of the unit.  The Nexus Committee would like to thank all members of the community and the artists who so generously supported the exhibition this year; in particular, Dave and Anne Oakley for their generous donation of champagne and wine for Opening Night.

We were very privileged to have Jade Edmistone as our guest speaker for the evening and we offer our thanks and appreciation to her for her support of the event. We were also very honoured to have Archibald Prize winner Nigel Milsom donate his work, “Judo-House Pt 6 (The White Bird), to be used at our discretion to assist with the fundraising.

His work features in multiple collections in Australian and overseas –  notably the MCA and Art Gallery of NSW. In 2015 Milsom won the prestigious Archibald Prize with his portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet. “Judo-House Pt 6 (The White Bird) was part of the Archibald winning series. Nigel Milsom currently lives and works in Newcastle NSW.

Congratulations to Craig Wilson who placed the winning bid on Friday evening.

Congratulations also to the following raffle winners:

Imogene Roach (Occupational Therapist Nexus Unit JHH) – Gift voucher for a weekend ceramic workshop – generously donated by Kara Wood Ceramics.

Julie Owers (Visual Arts Teacher at NGS) – Gift Card – donated by Eckersley’s Art and Craft.

The undertaking of such an event requires support and assistance and I personally would like to thank Laura Wilson, Kerrie Coles, Louise Wills, Jenny Chung, Donna Buck, Lea Rugg, Sharon Archer, Tracey Thomson, Indra Deamer, Kate Dun,  Liz Wright, Libby Helinski who so generously gave their time and expertise to the Nexus Exhibition this year.

Thank you also to the NGS students who assisted on the evening working alongside the staff from Hot Rock – Matilda Bland, Nick Boyd, Abbey Everingham, Alexandra Lange, Abigail Riddell and Lillian Williams. They were enthusiastic and mature ambassadors for Newcastle Grammar School.

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Chess News
Ms Sue Bright

Congratulations to our School One Day Chess Tournament Team, who won the Local High School heat at Hunter School of Performing Arts on Monday.  There were a record 190 students entered this tournamentFive students were on equal points to be overall individual winners.  After a countback, Harry Pratt (Year 12) came second overall, Jett Robinson (Year 8) came third and Max Galettis (Year 9) came fifth in the tournament.  Congratulations to all players who represented NGS in this tournament.  All our students played very well and were great ambassadors for the School.

The team

Our Three Placegetters

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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 congratulate the following nine NGS students who represented AICES at the NSWCIS Swimming Championships, conducted at Homebush last week:

Alexandria Smith (12 years), Gabriel Jeffery (12 years), Scott Philpotts (13 years), Angus Tait (14 years), Oscar Jeffery (14 years), Hamish Bell (15 years), Kyle Riley (15 years), Ryan Walker (16 years) and Nathaniel Dean (17 years).

As mentioned in previous Newsletters, this was a tremendous achievement and one of which each of these students should be very proud.

Two students, Gabriel Jeffery and Ryan Walker, were subsequently selected to represent NSWCIS at the NSW All Schools Swimming Championships (State Championships) this Friday, again at Homebush, where they will come up against the best of the students from the NSWCHS (NSW Combined High Schools) and the NSWCCC (NSW Combined Catholic Colleges). Both boys have had an outstanding season and we wish them every success on Friday.

A full list of both NSWCIS and All Schools results will appear in the Newsletter next week.

HRIS Open Football Championships

Open Girls
Our Open girls had a very successful day, finishing in 4th place in a tightly contested competition with the NGS team comprising: Caitlin Spencer (Captain), Isla Hutchinson, Gabriella King,   Susanna Behne-Smith, Ellie Carter, Seraina Danuser, Maeve McCallum, Annie Utiger, Eliza Charlton, Georgia Ferguson and Evgenia Petrelis.

Open Boys
The team did not conceded a goal the whole tournament and after an initial 0-0 draw the team won 5 successive games 1-0.

The most impressive display of the day was the team’s sportsmanship and the manner in which they conducted themselves.

Team List: Ethan Spiers (Captain), Emerson Gosling, Benjamin Taylor, Isaac Montford, Cameron Utiger, Lachlan Keane, Isaac King, Ross Valaire, William Scott, Vincent Unie, Tahla Awan, Connor Henderson, Ryan Turner and Harry Pratt.

HRIS Cross Country – Secondary

Congratulations to our Secondary Cross Country team who finished in an outstanding 3rd position out of the 16 schools at last week’s HRIS Championships.

Of particular mention was Emily Bell, 16 years, who willingly ran in the 18 years to cover an absentee. Emily also did this for the School at the HRIS Swimming Championships and clearly demonstrates her commitment to School activities and the teams of which she is part.

NGS also had 2 of the 14 individual Age Champions: Connor Henderson in the 16 years, and Lorcan Redmond in the 17 years

NGS was also placed in 5 of the 14 Age Group Championships

1st: 12 year boys – Cameron Carson, Edward Hunt, Dylan Danuser, Max Chaston and Alistair Paterson-Clark.

2nd: 17 year girls – Caitlin Spencer, Sarah Dykes, Kate Hackett and Imogen Ryan.

2nd: 17 years boys – Lorcan Redmond, Maximilian Routh, Alexander Oakley and James Carraro.

2nd: 18 year boys – Lukas Lechner-Scott, Michael Sharpe, Angus Allen and William Gardner

3rd: 14 year girls – Skye Simpson, Emma McGrath, Brodie Horn, Madison Montgomery (and Leela Bagga who ran in the 15 years)

Special mentions must go to Lukas Lechner-Scott, 16 years, who ran in the 18 years event and finished in 4th position, Angus Allen, 17 years, who ran in the 18 years to finish in 8th position, Emily Bell, 16 years who ran in the 18 years event and to Leela Bagga 14 years who ran in the 15 years event.

A team will now be selected to represent HRIS at the AICES Championships, to be held at the International Equestrian Centre, Horsley Park on Monday, 5 June. A bus will transport NGS students to and from this event and an information sheet with full details will be distributed closer to this time.

HRIS Cross Country – Primary

Congratulations to the Primary Cross Country Team who competed at the HRIS Cross Country at Avondale on Thursday, 4 May. All students did a fantastic  job on the day with the following results being achieved.

Overall the school finished in 9th place, which was a great achievement out of 16 schools.

The girls 8 years finished in 7th place, 9 years in 10th place, 10 years in 8th place, 11 years in 9th place, 12-13 years in 4th place.

The boys 8 years finished in 4th place, 9 years in 15th place,10 years in 9th place, 11 years in 5th place, 12-13 years in 11th place.

The following students achieved wonderful individual results.
– Ella Beattie 11th place in the 10 years girls
– Hunter Rowntree 5th Place in the 11 years girls
– Miecha Blamey 4th place in the 12-13 years girls
– Lillian Miller 11th place in the 12-13 years girls
– Tom Blamey 8th place in the 8 years boys
– Finlay Guest 15th place in the 8 years boys
– Thomas McGrath 2nd place in the 11 year boys
– Alexander MacDougall 3rd place in the 12-13 year boys.

The CIS Cross Country is on in June and I wish all the students the very best with their ongoing training in the lead up to this event. The team will be finalised shortly and a note will be distributed to those students successful.


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 15 May:
Cath Banks

Tue 16 May:
Alette Schot

Wed 17 May:
Rebecca Webster
Lee Fry

Thu 18 May:
Julie Lange

Fri 19 May:
Liz Wright
Rachelle Krause

Park Campus

Mon 15 May:

Tue 16 May:
Natalie Swancott

Wed 17 May:
Lesley Filby

Thu 18 May:

Fri 19 May:
Sam Haines
Liz Richardson

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 practice 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)