From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Welcome to Term 3 of the School year. I hope all our families found some time to relax over the Winter break.  Our students have approached the first few days of this term positively – although naturally I had a number tell me that ‘another week would have been great.’ Many of our Year 12 students were at School over the holidays participating in subject workshops or enjoying the quiet distraction free environment of the Library. Their Trial examinations begin on 7 August and the next few weeks are critical for their preparation.

Year 10 are busily practising their lines and dance moves. Footloose opens on Thursday evening and the students are enjoying working together and bringing this production to life. Year 10 spent the last week of the holidays rehearsing and are looking forward to showing the NGS community what they have achieved. Thank you to the staff involved – this is a significant commitment in the middle of the year.

In the last week of term, our K-4 students exhibited their work in our first Exhibition of Learning. Our youngest students showed their parents aspects of their Inquiry units. It was a terrific evening and I know that many parents enjoyed spending time with their son or daughter in their classroom environment. This Friday, grandparents will have an opportunity to visit their grandchild’s K-4 classroom from 10.00am as part of Grandparents’ Day. We look forward to welcoming you to Park Campus.

The School celebrates its 99th Founders’ Day on Friday. Parents are welcome to join Hill Campus students for the Founders’ Day Service in Christ Church Cathedral (please be seated by 8.45am) and the SATU Passing Out Parade at 11.00am on the basketball courts. This event marks the establishment of Newcastle Girls’ Grammar School on the Hill Campus site in 1918 and reminds us of our rich heritage.

Congratulations to:

  • The students who represented us so well at the Interschools Snowsports State Championships at Perisher in the holidays and to Zahlee Owers who, based on her results, will compete at the National Championships in August.
  • Ricky Park (Year 11) who achieved his AMusA in piano during the holidays

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” Gever Tulley – author of the book “50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do.”

If we really want our children to develop these two qualities that we know form the cornerstone of their future success, we must allow them to face adversity and work their way through it. Not insurmountable adversity, but nevertheless, real problems and challenges that will enable them to struggle and eventually overcome and succeed.

A school psychologist with whom I worked for a number of years summed up my role as a parent in building my children’s resilience and persistence – “Always support your children. Never rescue them”. Now that is really difficult advice for a parent. Our natural instinct is to step in and rescue our child any time we see her or him struggle. For teachers also, that instinct is real. I’m watching a student in my mathematics class struggling with a problem. I want to step in and show them the solution; I want to relieve their angst and frustration, but I know that if the challenge is appropriate and if, with a little support, they can struggle through and solve it, I would be robbing them of an opportunity to grow their persistence and resilience. I would be leading them towards what Maier and Seligman describe as ‘learned helplessness’(Maier & Seligman, 2016).

Karen Reivich, Director of the Penn Resilience Program out of the University of Pennsylvania, defines resilience as the “Ability to bounce back after adversity”. (Gillham & Reivich, 2004; K. J. Reivich, 2010). Barbara Frederiksen and Michele Tugade tell us that resilience is characterised by two qualities; by “the ability to bounce back from negative emotional experiences, and by flexible adaptation to the changing demands of stressful experiences” (Tugade & Fredrickson, 2004). This ability to bounce back from adversity can be also described as the ability to grow from challenges.

So if I’m not going to rescue my child/student from a real but ‘winnable’ challenge they face, how can I best support them? Reivich identifies a number of variables that contribute to resilience that she defines as Protective Factors (K. Reivich & Shatté, 2002).

  • Some degree of heritability
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Mental agility and cognitive function
  • Optimism
  • Self-efficacy and desire for mastery
  • Connection
  • Positive institutions

In future articles, I will look at these Protective Factors and how we as parents and teachers can work with our children/students to boost their resilience.


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From the Head of Primary
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Primary image

Welcome back to all our families after the holiday break. I do hope that the children are feeling refreshed and families were able to benefit from some extended time together.

On Monday, 18 July, Primary students enjoyed a day at Hunter Stadium for the Primary School Athletics Carnival and the weather was perfect! The House spirit was powerful as children battled it out in various track and field events. The venue allowed the perfect viewpoint for spectators to take in the hotly contested 100m events. A highlight was the energy and enthusiasm of the Kindergarten students who did a great job of generally staying in their lanes and flying through to the finish line in their first athletics carnival.  Student participation in both track and field events was impressive, however, we do acknowledge that the carnival did not run to time which was disappointing for those students who are passionate about competing in the relays. Our thanks go to Mrs Rowntree for her endeavours in organising various elements for the day, and to the staff for their coordination of the roles required across the many different events.

A reminder please that students in K-4 will celebrate Grandparents’ and Grandfriends’ Day on Friday, 21 July at 10.00am in the SWPC at Park Campus.

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From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

The transition from holidays back into the Pre-school routine has gone smoothly with the children looking refreshed and like they have grown a few centimetres over the three week break. They all seem really happy to be back and there has been a lot of chatting and socialising. We also welcome some new families this term and look forward to them becoming part of our Pre-school Community.

This term is shaping up to be a big one with the staff continuing to carry out developmental checklists on each child so that families will receive a Pre-school report towards the end of this term. Staff will also be documenting learning stories and anecdotal records for the children with portfolios on display in the rooms for parents to look at. These will be available to take home at the end of the year.

We look forward to welcoming our Grandparents on Friday. Pre-school have an open day, in conjunction with the Park Campus celebrations and invite Grandparents and / or parents to come and visit Pre-school throughout the day and participate in activities with their respective grandchild / child. The children enjoy looking through and sharing their ‘special book’ with their visitor and it is a great way for the adults to meet the friends that their children have made and talk about.

We also have lots more special events to look forward to this term. The National College of Dance are coming and Pre-school photos will be taken on Tuesday, 22 August and Friday, 25 August. We’ve also had a special request for Pancake Day which is taking place on Monday, 7 August.

Here is to a fabulous Term 3!

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From the Coordinator of Library Services
Ms Sue Bright

James Phelan Author Visit

We are very excited to be hosting a visit by best-selling award winning Australian children’s, Young Adult and thriller fiction author, Dr James Phelan on Wednesday, 2 August 2017.  Students in Years 6 – 9 will have the wonderful opportunity to participate in talks and workshops with James.

James is the author of several popular series, including The First Thirteen series, Alone Trilogy, Lachlan Fox and Jed Walker series.  These books are available for loan from our Library.

More information about this outstanding author can be found at

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From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

NSW Interschools Snowsports

Congratulations to all the students who competed in the Interschool’s Ski and Snow boarding competition in Perisher from the 4 to 8 July.

NGS performed extremely well in the teams’ competition with the Primary students finishing in 8th place out of 42 Co-educational Schools and the Secondary students finishing 24th out of 25 schools.

The Primary skiers finished in 9th place overall and the snow boarders finished in 12th place overall.

In the Secondary category, the skiers finished in 16th place out of 20 schools.

Congratulations to everyone for their time and effort down at the snow and for their support and encouragement of one another throughout the week.

Division 6 results:
Alpine: 8th place out of 16 schools in the Males division
Ski X: 12th place out of 23 schools in the Males division

Division 5 results:
Alpine: 39th place out of 67 athletes in the Female division and 76th place out of 90 athletes in the Male division
Ski X: 17th out of 23 schools in the Male division
Moguls: 10th out of 13 schools in the Male division.

Division 4 results:
Alpine: 14th out of 18 schools in the Female division
Ski X: 19th and 27th out of 28 schools in the Female division.
Moguls: 38th out of 38 athletes in the Female division
Snowboarding: 9th out of 12 schools in the Male division
Board X: 9th out of 12 schools in the Male division

Division 3 results:
Alpine: 56th out of 85 athletes in the Female division and 39th out of 81 athletes in the Male division
Ski X: 18th out of 34 schools in the Female division and 58th out of 82 athletes in the Males division.
Moguls: 27th out of 27 athletes in the Female division and 22nd out of 22 athletes in the males division
Snowboarding: 10th out of 17 athletes in the Female division
Board X: 10th out of 13 athletes in the Female division

Division 2 results:
Snowboard: 20th out of 36 athletes in the Male division
Board X: 28th out of 37 athletes in the Male division

Team Members

Primary Ski Teams
Division 6: Aston Myers, Virgina Kuru and Kupa-Lilli Rowntree
Division 5: Andrew Carpenter and Vanessa Kuru
Division 4: Melissa Carpenter, Veronica Kuru, Avya Myers and Hunter Rowntree

Secondary Ski Team:
Division 3: Vivienne Kuru, Chantelle Pepper and Ethan Myers

Primary Snowboard Team
Division 4: Lachlan Dunning and Taj Curran

Secondary Snowboard Teams:
Division 3: Zahlee Owers
Division 2: Ashley Sewell

A huge thank you to Mrs Nichole Curran for her work in organising this year’s team, her work designing and ordering uniforms, entering teams and ensuring that everything was in order for Newcastle Grammar School for this year’s event. To Mrs Carpenter for her help with the skiers down on the slopes. To Mr Mark Rowntree, Mr Paul Pepper and Mrs Marie Kuru for their assistance as Team Managers.

Congratulations to Zahlee Owers (Year 7) who, following her great performances at the Northern NSW Championships has now been selected to attend the State Championships in August – a wonderful result!

Zahlee, pictured, in various stages of preparation for her Snowboarding achievements.

Members of our NGS Interschools Snowsports team-resplendent in their team jackets/uniforms


The business end of the season is now here with only 3-5 games left of the regular season, depending on how many rounds specific competitions have. NGS has a good number of teams looking at semi-final positions and we wish all teams every success over the next few weeks.

This weekend, NGS host Portsmouth Grammar School from the United Kingdom on the Newcastle leg of their Australian tour. NGS plays two games, Open/U16, against PGS on Sunday afternoon at 1.00pm at National Park in what should be a couple of really hard-fought games.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank those families who have offered to host one of more of the PSG girls over the weekend. It is very much appreciated. We are still in need of hosts for a few of the PGS girls and I would love to hear from any of our Netball families who may be able to host one or more of our visitors from the UK this weekend. The Portsmouth girls arrive at 12.00noon on Saturday and depart at 8.30am on Monday morning.

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Year 10 Production

Vietnam Project

We have an exciting event coming up! A visit to the School from an outstanding and inspirational Vietnamese-Australian, My Huong Le.

My Huong, the founder of an orphanage and school enriching the lives of impoverished children in Long Hai and Vung Tau, Vietnam is coming to visit our school community. My Huong shares her story with another Vietnamese-Australian, Sophie English, in this ABC Foreign Correspondent episode. Fast Forward to 6 minutes 28 seconds to hear her story.

The Students of NGS along with the Head of School and staff have committed to supporting My Huong in her charitable works with orphans and children living in poverty in Vietnam.

My Huong was a Vietnamese war baby air lifted to Australia and adopted. She was brought up as an Australian citizen. At the age of 35 she returned to Vietnam finding her mother, setting up a charity and adopting her two sons. She has a boundless amount of energy and enthusiasm for her work with poor and abandoned children. She is a smart, driven and truly dedicated woman. She is a wonderful example to our community of the embodiment of our School Values, RISE; Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence.

The school has chosen to support the Trung Tam Bao Centre for Protection of Children in Long Hai and in Vung Tau. NGS children have the opportunity to visit Vietnam in years 9-12, with our first group having visited in December, 2016. They will learn about the culture and way of life and the work of these projects. They will experience communities so different to their own and will have the chance to make a difference to these children’s futures.

We are very fortunate that on 27 July, My Huong will address the School community Years K-4 students and Parents across both years/ campuses. Commencing at 9am with an assembly followed by a morning tea. Tickets are available on Flexischools $15 each which includes coffee or tea, sweet and savoury treats.

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet this inspirational and amazing lady and hear her story.

Attached are two articles about My Huong.

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The Blog
From the Head of School

Presentation Ball Photos

The Presentation Ball Photos are now online and available for purchase from Newcastle School Portraits. Click on the blue ‘Specialty Photos’ button and use the code: 187905BK to access the images.

Canteen Duties

Unfortunately, Kaylene will be away for a while. This means we require reliable volunteer support to assist the Hill Campus Canteen.

If you can help, please contact the School Reception on 49 29 5811.


Hill Campus

Mon 24 July:
Katherine Ferencz

Tue 25 July:

Wed 26 July:
Aznive Beesley

Thu 27 July:
Monica Mamanto

Fri 28 July:
Chris Downs

Park Campus

Mon 24 July:

Tue 25 July:

Wed 26 July:

Thu 27 July:

Fri 28 July:
Lesley Filby
Emily Macdonald

Uniform Shop

Uniform Shop opening hours:

Monday:  8.00am – 2.00pm
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.