From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Years 3 and 4 go to the Great Aussie Bush Camp today and Years 8 and 9 leave for camp on Monday. Outdoor education offers valuable social, emotional and physical learning opportunities and I hope each group enjoys a wide range of experiences. Thank you to the staff who are giving up their time to travel with each group. It is not only the students who return home from camp exhausted – camp also impacts on our staff and their families. I wish all our campers, a safe and positive time away.

Well done to our Primary HRIS representatives in Athletics last week. NGS was placed  4th overall and Kalen Routley won the 11 Years Boys Age Championship. Our 11 Years Boys and 12 Years Girls won their Age Divisions.

This week, students have participated in the HICES Music Camp and will perform tonight at the Sydney Town Hall along with students from co-educational schools across NSW. Students involved are: Lukas Lechner-Scott, Ambrose Raftos, Zac Choi, Alice Carraro, Alexandra Moss, Rhett Boden, Sarah Koshy and Sophie Franks.

Well done to the following students in their elite sporting endeavours:
Lorcan Redmond (Year 11) who will represent Australia in Triathlon at the World Championships in Rotterdam in September

Amelia Sadler (Year 11) who will represent Australia at the Junior Grand Prix in Figure skating in Austria from 30 August – 2 September

Susanna Behne-Smith (Year 9) who has been selected to train with the Australian Women’s U17 National Football Team (Junior Matildas)

NGS is extremely proud of you.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Is Failure Permanent, Pervasive and Personal or Temporary, Specific and External?

Last week I described the results of one of Maier and Seligman’s experiments that lead to the development of their theory of ‘Learned Helplessness” (Maier & Seligman, 2016). This theory postulates that, when faced with bad events over which they have no control, animals and humans learn to be helpless – to give up in the face of adversity and become passive. It’s not trauma that leads to helplessness, but rather the perception that the trauma is inescapable. Through their research, Maier and Seligman found that around two thirds of human and animal subjects became helpless when facing inescapable trauma, while one third could not be made helpless (Rosellini & Seligman, 1975; Martin E. Seligman & Maier, 1967). They appeared to have some form of natural immunity. These results flew in the face of traditional Pavlovian ‘stimulus response’ behavioural psychology, which is unable to explain the difference in these two response types.

In time, this research lead to the description of Explanatory Style; the thought processes we employ to explain and understand the causes and effects of distressing events in our lives. When a negative event occurs, do you view it as temporary or permanent? Controllable or uncontrollable? Local or pervasive? Personal or external?

Those of us with a Pessimistic Explanatory Style will explain negative events as Permanent – long lasting, Pervasive – far reaching, and Personal – due to a deficiency of mine and over which I have no control. An Optimistic Explanatory style, by contrast, views negative events as Temporary – this too will pass, Specific – not pervasive but restricted to this circumstance, and External – not entirely of my doing.

An example might be our explanation for doing poorly in a maths exam:

Pessimistic Explanatory Style: Maths is just too difficult for me (Permanent). I’ve never been able to understand mathematics (Pervasive). I’m just not a Maths person (Personal).

Optimistic Explanatory Style: If I had spent more time studying, I would have done a lot better (Temporary). I really did find the Trigonometry unit difficult (Specific). That was a really tough test! (External).

It is this Optimistic Explanatory Style that provides immunity from helplessness. A belief that we can influence for the best those circumstances in which we find ourselves. That negative outcomes are Temporary, Specific and External.

While adolescent children with a Pessimistic style are at greater risk of suffering depression than children with an Optimistic style (Martin EP Seligman, 2007), the good news is that as parents and teachers, we can encourage an Optimistic Explanatory Style that teaches children to argue against catastrophic thoughts of failure through reinforcing the temporary, specific and external nature of so many of the adversities they will come up against throughout their lives.


+ More

From the Director of Operations
Mr Duncan McKensey

From the Director of Operations image

As of Monday, 14 August the following changes have occured to the Toronto (morning) Bus Service;
– the entire schedule has been brought forward 7 minutes commencing at the new time of 7.21am
– the service stops at Hill Campus at 8.11am and then Park Campus at 8.18am.

Please see the new schedule below;
Toronto Shops: 7.21am
Booragul Roundabout: 7.30am
Warners Bay Shops:7.38am
Mt Hutton Shops: 7.43am
Blackbutt Reserve (Top Carpark): 7.50am
Lookout Rd (Near JHH): 7.54am
New Lambton Shops: 7.59am
Hill Campus: 8.11am
Park Campus: 8.18am

These changes only apply to the morning service, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concern.

From the Director of Pre-school
Ms Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

Newcastle Grammar School Pre-school is part of the Newcastle Grammar School community and is also licensed as a Community Based Pre-school. As part of our licensing agreement as a community based service, we offer the opportunity for families to participate in community based initiatives. One such initiative is the State-wide Eyesight Pre-schooler Screening (StEPS). This initiative of the NSW Ministry of Health offers all 4-5 year olds a free vision screening assessment. It is highly recommended all 4 to 5 year old children participate in the vision screening programme as many vision problems can remain undetected unless a child’s vision is screened by a trained vision screener. The children are screened one eye at a time with no drops used. If a vision problem is detected, families will receive a letter asking them to have their child’s vision fully tested by an eye health professional.

The screening takes place this week at NGS Pre-school on Tuesday, 15 August and again on Friday, 18 August. The vision screening process is also a wonderful opportunity for children to take responsibility for their own health (EYLF Outcome: 3.2 – Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing). On the day, the children are given the permission form that has been signed by their parent/guardian and they walk out with a friend to Libby who has set up a vision screening area. The children then sit and wait for their turn, watching their friends go through the process as well. Once it is their turn, they hand their form to Libby, tell Libby their name and age and then participate in the screening process. They all feel very grown up and actually enjoy the screening activities that Libby has set. The bonus of wearing funny glasses also makes the process lots of fun.

Mock Trial Competition
Paige Peterson (Year 11)

Mock Trial 2017

NGS has had another successful year in the NSW Law Society Schools Mock Trial competition. The competition is open to all schools in NSW and this year attracted over 150 entrants. Each team consists of two barristers, a solicitor, two witnesses and a court official. The first stage involves one practice round followed by a round-robin format with three matches. After this stage NGS was placed 29th in the State with only the top 64 progressing to the knock-out stage. Last Friday we competed in the first elimination round against All Saints College at Maitland. We very successfully defended our client who had been charged with aiding and abetting an armed robbery; however, we lost the point score by the closest of margins (253-252), so unfortunately we do not progress to the next round.

Participants in the Mock Trial gain many skills in areas such as deconstructing a legal brief, understanding the law and legal concepts, constructing a solid argument and, most critically, thinking on their feet when prosecuting a case. The team also gets the benefit of working with a highly experienced outside coach who is a practising lawyer. Sincere thanks to Lachlan Wilson, Special Counsel, Sparke Helmore Lawyers, who coached the team again this year. Lachlan is also an NGS alumnus from 1998.

NIDA at Newcastle Grammar School
Mrs Tonia Martin

Some exciting news for Newcastle Grammar School students.

NIDA – National Institute of Dramatic Arts – through their National Shorts programme sees NIDA Open offer classes in regional centres and capital cities around the country. Newcastle has always expressed a high interest for NIDA Open courses and NIDA Higher Education applications. Because of this, NIDA is offering the opportunity to local Newcastle residents to participate in their upcoming Spring School Holiday Courses.

The current programming for the Spring School Holiday period is:

NIDA Drama School, Grades 3-6: Tue, 3 October 9.00am to Fri, 6 October 4.00pm – $500.00 ($450 early bird)

NIDA Drama School, Grades 7-10: Tue, 3 October 9.00am to Fri, 6 October 4.00pm – $500.00 ($450 early bird)

NIDA Acting 101, Grades 11-12: Tue, 3 October 9.00am to Fri, 6 October 4.00pm – $500.00 ($450 early bird)

Screen Acting Techniques, 18+: Tue, 3 October 9.00am to Fri, 6 October 4.00pm – $500.00 ($450 early bird)

Acting Boot Camp, Grades 3-6: Sat, 7 October 9.00am and Sun, 8 October 4.00pm – $325.00 ($292.49 early bird)

Acting Boot Camp, Grades 7-10: Sat, 7 October 9.00am and Sun, 8 October 4.00pm – $325.00 ($292.49 early bird)

Auditions Masterclass, Grades 11-12: Sat, 7 October 9.00am and Sun, 8 October 4.00pm – $325.00 ($292.49 early bird)

NIDA Audition Preparation, 18+: Sat, 7 October 9.00am and Sun, 8 October 4.00pm – $325.00 ($292.49 early bird)

NIDA will be holding these courses at Newcastle Grammar School Hill Campus.

NGS is able to offer four complimentary places across the programme to students in Years 8-11.

We are therefore seeking Expressions of Interest from students in Years 8, 9, 10 and 11 who would like to audition for this opportunity.

This is open to all students in the above Year groups – you do not need to be currently studying Drama at School. We are hoping to be able to award these places to students who are passionate, focused and motivated and who would be most suited to participate in such an event.

Please complete the proforma >located here and submit it to Mrs Martin in the Visual Arts staffroom or you may submit it via email to:

Expressions of Interest are to be received by 5.00pm Friday, 1 September.

Auditions will be held between Monday, 4 September and Friday, 15 September. Applicants will need to prepare a 3 minute monologue of their choosing and also complete an Improvisation performance at the time of audition.

Successful applicants will be contacted commencing Monday, 18 September.

+ More

Speech & Drama Eisteddfod
Ms Beadle & Mrs Jones

The Lake Macquarie Eisteddfod has drawn to a close and we wish to take the opportunity of congratulating all our students (and mums and dads and family for their support).  Here are the following results:

Kindy: Isabelle Waerea (2nd) S/R Verse, (1st) Nursery Rhyme in costume, (2nd) Poem for Two
Hadley Arthur (3rd) S/R Verse, (Enc) Nursery Rhyme in costume, (2nd) Poem for Two
Sophie Banister (Enc) Nursery Rhyme in costume.

Year 1: Sarah Park (1st) S/R Verse, (1st) Poem for Two
Evelyn Richardson (1st) Poem for Two
Neel Resch (4th) S/R Verse
Zoe Parkinson (HC) S/R Verse, (Enc) Poem for Two
Imogen Mejia (1st) S/R Verse, (Enc) Poem for Two
Elliana Siderovski (2nd) S/R Verse
Olivia Hedley (3rd) S/R Verse, (3rd) Poem for Two
Kupa-Lilli Rowntree (HC ) S/R Verse
Shannara Stephen (1st) Open Verse, (Enc) Poem for Two
Maddison Turner (3rd) Poem for Two
Adelaide Paramor (HC) Poem for Two
Scarlett Farrelly (HC) Poem for Two
Edie Wills (Enc) Poem for Two
Selina Du (Enc) Poem for Two
Brooklyn Knauer (Enc) Poem for Two.

Year 2: Chloe Armitage (2nd) S/R Verse
Virginia Kuru (2nd) mime, (4th) Open Verse, (4th) Reading, (HC) Character  Sketch
Kensington Steele (HC) Duologue
Scarlett Van Dyck (HC) Duologue.

Year 3: Bronte Feros (4th) S/R Verse, (1st) Poem for Two
Keerthana Kumar (3rd) S/R Verse, (1st) Poem for Two
Gabby Waerea (2nd) Poem for Two
Charlotte Nelson (2nd) Poem for Two
Jenny Park (4th) Mime, (1st) Duologue
Sophia Richardson (1st) Duologue
Charlotte Jones (HC) Duologue
Ivy Heslop (HC) Duologue.

Year 4: Ella Beattie (2nd) S/R Verse, (2nd) Mime, (1st) Poem for Two
Ella Mejia (1st) Poem for Two
Mia Kearney (3rd) Verse, (4th) Prose
Vanessa Kuru(2nd) Verse, (3rd) Prose.

Year 5: Luke Talley (1st) Verse, (2nd) Character Sketch.

Year 6: Hunter Rowntree (HC) Public Speaking, (2nd) Verse
Lillian Miller and Bronte Simpson (1st) Poem for Two
Lillian Miller  (1st) Verse, (2nd) Reading, (2nd) Public Speaking
Bronte Simpson (HC) Reading
Isabella Ida (HC) 12 Years Championship.

To those students who also competed, Well Done – William Jones, Gurek Singh Wazer, Bailee Turner, Oliver Nelson, Alexis Swancott, Jack Robbs, Lucinda Barker, Daniel Richardson, Scarlett Gray, Sofia Du, William Bird and Eden Simpson.

+ More

From the Director of Sport
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport image

HRIS Primary Athletics

Congratulations to all students who competed at the HRIS Athletics Carnival on Thursday, 10 August at the Glendale Athletics Track. The School had 80 athletes compete on the day showing determination and commitment to every event in windy and trying conditions. The school overall on the day finished in 4th place which was a very pleasing achievement for a small primary school.

All students performed very well on the day with some outstanding individual achievements by the following students.

Kalen Routley won the 11 Years Boys Age Champion and the 11 Years Boys Team winning the team Championship. The 12 Years Girls were also successful in winning the Team Championship on the day.

The following outstanding individual results were achieved when Division 1 and 2 were combined for the overall results.

Hunter Rowntree: 1st place 11 Years Girls 800m event with a new school record of 2.30.48

Kalen Routley: 1st place 11 Years Boys High Jump with a new record school record of 1.41,  2nd place 11 Years Boys  800m with a new school record of 2.42.31 and 2nd place 11 Years Boys 200 m with a time of 29.53

Alexander MacDougall: 3rd place 12 Years Boys 800m with a new school record of 2.37.33

Sophia Prince: 4th place 12 Years Girls shot put with a new record of 13.82m

Asher Ganga: 3rd place 8 Years Boys 200m with a time of 34.22

Bronte Feros: 4th place 8 Years Girls high jump with a new school record of .95m

Brandon Muddle: 4th place 10 Years Boys high jump with a jump of 1.15m

Matilda Dyer: 2nd place 8 Years Girls javelin with a new record of 9.14m

Arthur Petrelis: 1st place 10 Years Boys javelin with a new school record of 15.66m

Daniel Richardson: 3rd place 10 Years Boys javelin with a distance of 14.61m

Elyisha Lodge: 4th place 10 Years Girls high jump with a new school record of 1.11m

Holly Irvine: 4th place 10 Years Girls shot put with a throw of 5.80m

Mary-Dundas-Sharrad: 2nd place 12-13 Years Girls long jump with a jump of 3.62m

Bronte Simpson: 4th place 12-13 Years Girls long jump with a jump of 3.53m

Luke Talley: 1st place AWD Shot put with a throw of 3.56m, 2nd place AWD 200m with a time of 2.29.88, 2nd place AWD 100m with a time of 1.17.53 and 2nd place AWD long jump with a jump of 1.32m

Congratulations to everyone involved on the day and can I encourage you to keep training for next year. Come along and join the school athletics program to learn more about the sport before next year.

The team for CIS will be announced shortly and I will let everyone involved know as soon as possible.

AICES Athletics Championships

The following students have been selected in the 2017 HRIS team to compete at the AICES Championships, to be held on Wednesday, 30 August at Homebush:
Josephine Armstrong: 12 Years Girls Shot Put
Cameron Carson: 12 Years 400m, 12 Years 800m, 12 Years 1500m
Jacqueline Melvelle: 15 Years Javelin
Dane Brouwer: 16 Years Javelin
Connor Henderson: 16 Years 400m, 16 Years 800m, 16 Years 1500m
Corbyn Holmberg: 16 Years 1500m, 15-16 Years 3000m
Sabrina Kliousis: 17 Years Javelin, 17 Years 100m, 17 Years Discus
James Myles: 17 Years 1500m
Caitlin Spencer: 17 Years 400m, 17 years 800m, 17 Years 1500m
Bridie Bland: 18 Years Discus, 18 Years Javelin
Seraina Danuser: 18 Years 800m, 18 Years 1500m
Marshall Unie: 18 Years Shot Put

Information sheets will be distributed shortly and transport will be organised for team members.


The 2017/2018 Rowing Information Evening will be held in the Horbury Hunt Hall, Hill Campus on Thursday, 7 September from 6.00pm. Students and their parents should attend. We look forward to seeing you there.


Last Saturday saw a mixed set of results for NGS.

– A huge congratulations to our 10 Year’s side, and their coach, Miss Jessica Potts, who won their Minor Semi-Final in a very tightly fought game to win by just the one point and progress to the Preliminary Final in a fortnight’s time.

– A very high scoring game of 77 points in total saw our U/21 Years’ side defeated in their Minor Semi-Final. The NGS girls battled until the end of this, their last game for NGS, and should be very proud of their efforts in 2017.

– Our 7 and 8 Years’ teams play their last game of the season this Saturday. Well done to our youngest players.

– That leaves four NGS teams still in their respective competitions, with at least three of them assured of at least one more week after this, in the Finals’ series.

On behalf of the School, I would like to wish all of our remaining teams every success this Saturday.

NGS 1: Under 21/2 Finished regular season in 3rd place. Defeated by Souths Walnut 45-32 in the Minor Semi-Final. Finished season in 4th position.
NGS 2: Cadet C Season completed. Finished season in 5th position.
NGS 3: Cadet C Finished regular season in 2nd place. Play the MAJOR Semi-Final (1st v 2nd) on 19 August v Cardiff  Hepkatz at 1.15pm on court 3.
NGS 4: 14/1 Currently in 3rd place. Play the MINOR Semi-Final (3rd v 4th) on 19 August v Souths Citrine at 12 noon on court 7.
NGS 5: 13/3 Finished regular season in 2nd place. Play the MAJOR Semi-Final (1st v 2nd) on 19 August v South Wallsend Legends at 10.45am on court 7.
NGS 6: 12/2 Season completed. Finished season in 7th position.
NGS 7: 12/3 Season completed. Finished season in 6th position (on goal difference!).
NGS 8: 11/4 Season completed. Finished season in 5th position.
NGS 9: 10/3 Finished regular season in 3rd place.Defeated Nova Fireflies 26-25 in the Minor Semi-Final. Play in the PRELIMINARY FINAL on 26 August at 9.30am on Court 8, against the loser of the Major Semi-Final to be played this Saturday, 19 August.
NGS 10: 8/Brown Non point-scored ‘competition’. 1 game remaining. No semi-final series in this age group. Play West Leagues Dodgers on 19 August at 8.30am on court 21.
NGS 11:7/Brown Non point-scored ‘competition’. 1 game remaining. No semi-final series in this age group. Play Sugar Valley Diamonds on 19 August at 8.30am on court 17


Although the majority of NGS athletes have finished their commitments this season, there are still a few who are looking ahead to representing HRIS at both AICES (Secondary) and CIS (Primary). The note below from Scott Westcott, former Olympian and Manager of the Fearnley Dawes Athletics Centre has sent in the following information for students wishing to train under qualified coaches in the lead-up to their next event or, indeed, to start preparing for 2018!

We have kicked off a coaching program at the Fernley Dawes Athletic Centre this week with a focus on preparing students for school representative carnivals. The sessions will all be conducted by Athletics Australia Accredited coaches. The details of the sessions are below. (We request parents bring the kids and stay to observe their kids during the session.)

Mondays 4.15pm – Kids Sprint Sessions
For primary and junior high school kids wanting to get faster focusing on speed and athleticism. Sprint group will begin Monday,7 August and run for 7 weeks.
Wednesdays 4.15pm – Kids Jumps Sessions
Doing high or long jump at carnivals? Get better with some technical coaching by an accredited coach. Begins Wednesday, 9 August, runs for 7 weeks.
Wednesdays 4.30pm – Kids distance training 
This group is for kids wanting to improve their speed and endurance. it will target primary and junior high school students and help for school representative carnivals. Begins on Wednesday, 9 August and runs for 7 weeks.

For more information and to register please go to

+ More

Subscribe to eNews

The Blog
From the Head of School

Centenary Celebrations - Collective Memoir
Contributions required prior to Monday, 16 October 2017

In 2018, Newcastle Grammar School is excited to be marking its Centenary. This will be an important time for the School and the wider community to reflect on the rich history of the past 100 years and to celebrate the School now and into the future.

One of the many exciting projects that are underway is the creation of a special publication. We would like this publication to act as a collective memoir of NGS’s past and present and we encourage contributions from the School community.

We are now reaching out to you all and asking for contributions of written work in the form of anecdotes, memories, letters, musings, poems, reflections, stories or any other form in which you feel compelled to express yourself.

We welcome parents, teachers, and students, past students, staff, and community members to contribute. This is a unique opportunity to express what the School has meant to you and your lives, record memories or moments you hold dear.

This could be a beautiful thing for our community to pull together and create so please take a few minutes to reflect and contribute and encourage others to do the same.

We have compiled a variety of examples to inspire you, your children and your friends. These can be viewed >here and contributions can be made by emailing prior to Monday, 16 October 2017.

Thank you for your continued support in working with us to make this School, the vibrant and dynamic place it is.

Hill Campus Canteen Specials

Exciting news from the canteen. We have some house-made specials in the canteen this Term.

This Thursday, we have spinach and ricotta frittata with tossed salad and balsamic glaze

Next week’s specials:
Tuesday: Chicken tandoori wrap w baby spinach and tzatziki or antipasto toasted wrap with roasted capsicum, grilled eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach and feta

Wednesday: Chilli con carne with baked potato, natural yogurt and avocado

Thursday – Sweet potato and roasted capsicum frittata with tossed salad and balsamic glaze

Soup of the week – Thai pumpkin soup

Please order on flexischools and see our special Wednesday lunch deals.

Canteen Duties

If you can help, please contact the School Reception on 4929 5811.


Hill Campus

Mon 21 August:

Tue 22 August:

Wed 23 August:
Amanda Folpp

Thu 24 August:
Marnie Coulton
Jenny Bell

Fri 25 August:
Lesley Filby

Park Campus

Mon 21 August:

Tue 22 August:

Wed 23 August:

Thu 24 August:
Lisa Griffiths

Fri 25 August:
Nerida Gray

Uniform Shop

Summer Uniform Changeover Date

The wearing of Summer Uniform will commence Day 1, Term 4: Monday, 9 October. All students are required to wear full Summer Uniform from this date onwards.

Uniform Shop Opening Hours

Monday:  8.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday:  10.00am – 4.00pm
Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm

If you would like to place an order via phone or email, please phone Kerrie at the uniform shop on 4908 4035 or