From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Approximately once per month this year, teaching staff come together on a Tuesday afternoon to work in cross faculty and cross Stage groupings. The aim of these professional learning groups is for staff to engage with each other and discuss professional readings. Recently, the focus has been on qualities that make an expert teacher. As educators, examining and reflecting on our practice is an important step forward in improving.  For example, staff are considering how they can assist students in developing a growth mindset and key beliefs are central to this purpose. For example:
– All students can learn and be successful
– All learners are smart in their own unique ways
– Assisting students in believing they are powerful learners
– Students should be challenged and rewarded for taking risks and rising to challenges

I thank the staff for their willingness to openly discuss professional practice and consider ways that, as a School, we can create good outcomes for all our students.

Next year, the School will celebrate its Centenary and we are looking forward to a number of key events that will help us recognise this significant milestone in the life of this organisation. A dedicated group of parents and past students have joined organising committees. We would like to contact past students of the School. Please update contact details via a form on our website: so we can invite you to join the celebrations.

I encourage parents to be part of a session on Internet Safety on Thursday, 1 June at 6.00pm in the HHH. This session is particularly relevant for parents with children in the 10  to 15 years age range or those with younger children who want current information. Our guest speaker is Brett Lee Please register via reception at Hill Campus – 4929 5811 or

Congratulations to:
– Gabriel Jeffery 3rd in the 50 m Breastroke and 4th in the 50m Backstroke at the NSW State Swimming Championships
– Ryan Walker 5th in the 16 Years 100 m Freestyle at the NSW State Swimming Championships
– Susanna Behne-Smith who has been selected in the AICES Football Team
– Georgia Ferguson who has been selected in the AICES Hockey Team in the 16 years and Open divisions
– Our Chess team who have continued to win regional knock out challenges

Our new receptionist at Hill Campus is Mrs Leanne Cleare. Welcome Leanne.

There is one more week of optional uniform. All students should be in Winter uniform from Monday, 29 May. We have asked the 7-12 girls this year to wear navy or black tights/ stockings with their Winter uniform. They may continue to wear socks if they choose, however, on cold days in particular, a sensible choice is to wear tights/ stockings.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Vietnam ‘Hands on Humanity’ Tour.

Mrs Thomas launched the 2017 ‘Hands on Humanity’ tour to Vietnam at last week’s Assembly. The tour is open to all students in Years 9 to 11. We are very happy also to look at the opportunity for Year 12 students to join us, recognising that they will have graduated before the Tour commences. We are able to take a student contingent of 20 on tour this year with 3 staff.

We will hold an information evening for interested students and their parents on Tuesday, 30 May in the Horbury Hunt Hall commencing 6.30pm.

The Tour is an opportunity for our students and staff to live the School’s values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence and fits perfectly with our Positive Education theme, ‘Doing Good and Feeling Good’.

The full Itinerary is available on Schoolbox and at this link. >Click Here.

I look forward to the prospect of traveling once again to Vung Tau, south of Ho Chi Minh City, where our team of 20 intrepid adventurers will have the opportunity to partner with the children at Trung Tam Bao Orphanage and the students at Long Hai School.

Tour dates:
Depart NGS 6.00am Thursday, 7 December
Return NGS 2.00pm Monday, 18 December

From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

Teaching our children to look on the bright side

The field of positive psychology centres on the idea that people can make themselves happy just by changing how they think and act. Happiness is conceptualised as more of a habit than a God-given blessing. And while some of your happiness is biologically determined, there are many things you can do to be happier.

These 11 questions help focus our children on how to make themselves happy. Eventually children will internalise these questions and ask them in their own heads. Our focus this term is to look on the bright side. I encourage parents to use these questions at home to promote positive thinking:

  1. What was your favourite part of today?
  2. What are you grateful for?
  3. What are you going to do about that?

When your child comes to you with a problem, ask this question in a warm and curious tone. Don’t just jump in and solve their problem; at least give them a chance to work it out on their own, and give them the gift of your confidence in them, which is evident by this question that implies that they can think of solutions to their own issues. If your child says “I don’t know,” you can say, “I am not sure either, let’s try to figure it out together.” Happy people are people who think of themselves as effective problem solvers.

  1. How did that make you feel?
  2. What do you think he/she feels?

In any situation, you can cultivate empathy by asking your child to wonder about what someone else feels. Empathy will make your child a happier person; he or she will have stronger interpersonal relationships, feel better about himself for thinking of (and then, often, helping) others, and derive more meaning from life.

  1. How can you look on the bright side?

In any situation, you can teach your child that there are positives.

  1. What part of that can we learn more about?
  2. What do you want to do on the weekend?

Research shows that anticipation of positive experiences brings more happiness than the experiences themselves.

  1. What can we do to help/to make someone happy?
  2. What do you want to do outside today?
  3. When do you feel happiest?
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From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

Each term at Pre-school we write a newsletter for families. The newsletter contains lots of reminders about Pre-school and interesting snippets about child development. This term’s newsletter has a paragraph dedicated to Occupational Therapy including the activities that we work on at Pre-school to strengthen children’s fine motor development and activities that families can work on at home with their child. It is really important that parents help children practice holding a pencil, writing letters and writing their name. This practice at home reinforces what the child is doing at pre-school and aids in a smooth transition to the classroom.

We have also been talking about technology with the children, another media for fine motor practice. It is interesting to note that, a recent article in Rattler Magazine titled, “No More Screen Limits”, indicates that American medical experts are modifying their position around how much screen time is too much. You may find the following points interesting.

  • Media should now be considered just another environment: Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.
  • Caregiving has not changed: The same caregiving/parenting rules apply to children’s real and virtual environments. Play with them. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Be involved. And limit your own media use, modelling good online etiquette.
  • We learn from each other: Talk time between caregiver/parent and child is critical for language development. The more media engender live interactions, the more educational value they hold. Optimal educational media opportunities begin after age two.
  • Content matters: the quality of content is more important that the platform or time spent with media. Prioritise how children spend time rather than just setting a timer.
  • Be engaged when your kids are using technology: Adult participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. For infants and toddlers co-viewing is essential.

(Rattler: Community Child Care Co-operative Quarterly Journal 117 Autumn 2017)

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

NSW All Schools Swimming Championships

The NSW State Swimming Championships (NSW All Schools) were held at SOPAC, Homebush last Friday and NGS had two very committed swimmers competing at that event, representing NSWCIS – Gabriel Jeffery and Ryan Walker.

This event brings all NSW school children together, competing for either NSWCIS (NSW Combined Independent Schools), NSWCHS (NSW Combined High Schools) and NSWCCC (NSW Combined Catholic Colleges).

Gabriel and Ryan had worked their way up from the NGS carnival, then on to HRIS, then to AICES, then to NSWCIS and finally on to the NSW All Schools.

Gabriel competed in two events on the day, the 12 years 50m Breaststroke and the 12 years 50m Backstroke finishing in 3rd and 4th place respectively.

Ryan competed in the 16 years 100m Freestyle and finished in 5th place.

On behalf of the School I would like to congratulate both Ryan and Gabriel on their tremendous achievements this season. This is the culmination of the School representative season and for these boys to finish on such a high note is a credit to their hard work over many, many months and indeed, years.

Representative Honours

Since the beginning of the year, NGS has had a large number of students represent the School at the various levels of representative competition in their respective sports. To do this many have worked for a good number of years in honing their skills and the effort in training, travel and expense has been demanding.

Here are a few snippets of student representation this year to date:

Secondary Representation

– Susanna Behne-Smith and Caitlin Spencer (pictured below) recently represented HRIS at the AICES Football Championships in Sydney last week, where HRIS were AICES Champions!
– Susanna was subsequently selected in the AICES team which competes in Sydney next week.


– Allysion Loveless and Keegan Harvey were selected in the HRIS Basketball teams which played in their respective AICES Championships in Sydney.
– Keegan was also named as a shadow player for the AICES Open boys’ side.

– Brittany Morrin and Elyse Barber were named as shadow players in the HRIS Open and Under 15 Netball sides respectively.

– Mitchell Bisson, Jaydon Bisson, Dane Brouwer represented HRIS at the AICES Open boys’ Hockey Championships.
– Georgia Ferguson represented HRIS at the AICES Under 16 years and Open girls Championships and was subsequently selected for AICES team in both divisions.

– Michael Rewitt has been selected in the HRIS Open Rugby side to play in the AICES Championships in Sydney later this term.

– Alexandria Smith, Gabriel Jeffery, Scott Philpotts, Oscar Jeffery, Angus Tait, Kyle Riley, Jadon Routley, Hamish Bell, Ryan Walker and Nathaniel Dean represented HRIS at the AICES Championships.
– Alexandria Smith, Gabriel Jeffery, Scott Philpotts, Oscar Jeffery, Angus Tait, Kyle Riley, Hamish Bell, Ryan Walker and Nathaniel Dean represented AICES at the CIS Championships.
– Gabriel Jeffery and Ryan Walker represented NSWCIS at the NSW All Schools’ Championships.

Cross Country
– The following students have been selected in the HRIS team to compete at AICES on Monday, 5 June: James Carraro, Cameron Carson, Ellie Carter, Dylan Danuser, Seraina Danuser, Sarah Dykes, Kate Hackett, Connor Henderson, Corbyn Holmberg, Edward Hunt, Alex Oakley, Alistair Paterson-Clark, Lorcan Redmond, Max Routh, Imogen Ryan, Michael Sharpe, Caitlin Spencer.

– Lorcan Redmond represented NSWCIS at the NSW All School’s Triathlon Championships and was NSW Individual Senior Champion.
– Lorcan then went on to represent NSW at the Australian Schools Triathlon Festival where he won his event to claim the Australian Schools National Individual Senior Champion.

Primary Representation

– Tatum Gilmour, Alice Jefferey, William Jeffery, Connor Johansen, Vanessa Kuru, Amelia Dries, Bronte Simpson, Veronica Kuru , Kalen Routley and Edward Bell represented HRIS at CIS Championships.
– Luke Talley represented HRIS at CIS and then went on the represent CIS at the PSSA swimming Championships.

– Kalen Routley represented HRIS at the CIS Football Championship.


Team Reports – Round 5 >Click here


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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The Blog
From the Head of School

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 22 May:
Michelle Prickett

Tue 23 May:

Wed 24 May:
Maeve Brown
Amanda Folpp

Thu 25 May:
Indra Deamer

Fri 26 May:
Lesley Filby
Chris Downs

Park Campus

Mon 22 May:

Tue 23 May:

Wed 24 May:

Thu 25 May:

Fri 26 May:
Rachel Galettis
Ellen Shelley

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)