Hunter Sports High News Term 4 - Week 10 - 2020

What's On?

  • Wednesday 16 December: Last Day of School for 2020
  • Wednesday 16 December: Semester 2 Reports Emailed (available on Parent Portal from 2pm)
  • Wednesday 27 January: Staff Development Day
  • Thursday 28 January: Staff Development Day + Office Open
  • Friday 29 January: First Day of School for Year 7, 11 & 12 Students
  • Monday 01 February: Year 8-10 Students Return for 2020 (all students back)

principal's message

2020 has certainly been a year to remember and one that will be firmly embedded into our memories. We were all living a part of history this year when Covid-19 crippled the world. The uncertainty, disruption and challenges that presented to us in March and still continue to this day have seen not only education change but also our livelihoods.

We have all had things taken away from us that we just took for granted. The ability to attend school, play sport, go out to dinner with friends, spend time with family and go to the movies to name just a few. We all had to problem solve and adapt to a very quickly changing situation. I am very proud of all Hunter Sports High students and the wider school community for their resilience, cooperation and support during the most challenging of times that I hope to ever face in our lifetime.

High school students should never have to face these types of challenges at such a young age. But as we move more and more into a world that is rapidly changing and a future we know very little about, it is the vital human capabilities of critical thing, working independently, problem solving, working collaboratively, being flexible and resilient that will see our children achieve success when faced with adversity. Throughout this year I have been very proud of how our students have coped and adapted to the unknown. It was great to be able to recognise academic growth, achievement and excellence at our end of year presentation last week and at our Minimbah Celebrations too.

At our Presentation Day assemblies last week I congratulated all students for their commitment to their studies and thanked parents and families for the support and commitment you showed to ensure education continued during the learning from home phase. For the award winners, it was great to recognise how they were able to go above and beyond this year to achieve academic success. Special congratulations to those students and families.

  • COVID Restrictions: At this stage there are still Covid restrictions in place for the start of 2021. Parents and carers are only allowed onsite in small gatherings of no more than 30. I’m hoping that the start of next year may see these restrictions ease. For now though, parents and carers are only allowed onsite to drop off and/or collect their child from school or for any pre-arranged learning support meetings.
  • COVID Intensive Learning Support Program: Earlier this week we received information on the Covid Intensive Learning support program to be implemented in 2021. The Department of Education website has more information about the program: “$337 million COVID-19 intensive learning support program will help schools identify students who could benefit from small group tuition as a result of this disrupted year”. Our school will start planning for the implementation of this program early in 2021 and more school specific information will be emailed to parents early next year. See more here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/inside-the-department/covid-intensive-learning-support-program/communication-resources#For0
  • 2021 School Timetable Changes: There are some exciting things planned for Hunter Sports High School as we start the implementation of a new school planning cycle. We have just finished reviewing all the school programs and have got some great new things happening that we will share early next year. An outcome of the review processes has seen some slight changes to the school timetable and bell times. See below.
  1. We will be changing to a 6 x 50-minute period day to allow more flexibility across the timetable
  2. Students will remain at school until 2.30pm on Tuesdays
  3. Sports programs will be integrated across the timetable and not locked into Periods 1 and 2. TSP programs will have 8 x 50 minute periods across a two week cycle.
  4. TSP students will meet the compulsory physical activity minutes through their involvement in TSP and will not participate in whole school sport in 2021.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their support during 2020. I am sincerely grateful for the community support I have had this year through an unprecedented set of circumstances. The staff have worked so hard and have taken all the challenges head on that this year put to them with regard to teaching and learning. I am so thankful for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to improving the learning outcomes for all students at Hunter Sports High School.

Sadly, we say goodbye to a number of much-loved Hunter Sports High staff this year. Head Teacher Science Mr Robert Jovanovski, after 20 years in the labs of HSHS, has been successful in gaining a Deputy Principal position at Rutherford High School. Congratulations Rob and thank you for your dedication to our students over the years - you will be greatly missed. We also farewell HSIE teacher Ms Karen Jubb who is making a move into school counselling, our Aboriginal Education Officer Shaun Skuthorpe who is leaving us for a 12-month stint in another Hunter high school, and our School Counsellor Judy Wall. We wish all these staff the very best in their new roles and thank them for the incredible contribution they have made to HSHS and our students.

The last day of school for students is tomorrow, Wednesday 16th December. School reports will be available on the Parent Portal from 2pm on Wednesday, and on Friday 18th December our Year 12 students will receive their HSC results. We wish them all the very best for a bright and happy future whatever path they choose to follow. I'd like to wish all our students and families a very happy and safe Christmas and holiday period. Once again, thank you so much for your patience and support during the year that was 2020.

Ms Rachel Byrne - Principal

2021 Bell times

presentation day celebrates student success:

Last Friday 11th December we celebrated the outstanding academic achievements of our students in 2020 at our annual Presentation Day assembly, divided into two sessions due to Covid restrictions. Unfortunately we weren't able to have parents and family members join us on the day, and we had some technical issues for our planned livestream, but we hope you've been able to watch the recordings of the ceremonies on our school website (link below). The assembly was impressively hosted by our new school leaders and was a great way to cap off a very different but successful year at Hunter Sports High. Congratulations to all award winners and to all who tried their hardest and achieved improvement throughout the year.

Awards were given to acknowledge the efforts of our students, with certificates presented to all students who placed first in subject, in the top five per cent in each subject, and to many students who have applied themselves to their learning and made significant improvements throughout the year. Congratulations to the following students who received major awards on the day:

Dux of Year Awards: for the highest academic achieving student across all subject areas
  • Year 7: Tori Adamson & Harry Beckett
  • Year 8: Reinhard Lloyd
  • Year 9: Dusty Cameron
  • Year 10: Ryvah Shoesmith
  • Year 11: Alana Griffiths
Principal's Awards: for consistent application and commitment to all aspects of schooling
  • Year 7: Cory Everett
  • Year 8: Caoimhe Waldron
  • Year 9: Lara Gooch
  • Year 10: Joey Summers
  • Year 11: Sophie Bultitude
Growth Awards: for the greatest growth in pat assessment results
  • Year 7: Sierra Hudson (Numeracy) and Alleya Scrivens (Reading)
  • Year 8: Charlie McGrath (Numeracy) and Brayden Skuthorpe (Reading)
  • Year 9: Benjamin Tuckett (Numeracy) and Jacob MacNeill (Reading)
Deadly awards: for the highest achieving ATSI student and for showing commitment and dedication to their studies
  • Year 7: Mahney Jenkins
  • Year 8: Hannah Jarvis
  • Year 9: Taleah Dodd
  • Year 10: Lucy Edwards
  • Year 11: Jenna Brown
other Major Awards:
  • Annette Heywood Memorial Award: Isaac Elson (Year 7) - for diligence and consistency throughout the year (Years 7-9)
  • Pat Conroy Citizenship Award: Elana Lloyd (Year 10) - for a student who has actively participated in many aspects of school life
  • Jodie Harrison Community Service Award: Alana Griffiths (Year 11)
  • Long Tan Leadership Award: Lainee Harrison (Year 10)
  • Minimbah Emerging Leader Award: Julia King (Year 10)
  • P&C Association Community Service Award: Lashelle Holland (Year 11) - for an outstanding contribution within the school community
  • Big Picture Excellence Award: Hollie Finley (Year 10)
  • Strive Award (Support Unit): Jaykob Holzigal (Year 11)
Presentation Day Photos

2020 minimbah celebrations

The incredible efforts and contribution of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were celebrated at our Minimbah Celebrations Assembly on Thursday 3rd December. Although we couldn't enjoy our usual evening of celebrations with families, we recognised the successes of our Indigenous students with many awards presented for academic, cultural and sporting achievements. Congratulations to all the students on a fantastic year and for their commitment and dedication to their education despite the challenges of 2020. Special thanks also to the Minimbah Team who worked so hard to organise this year's celebrations and the NAIDOC Day celebrations too.

2020 Minimbah Celebrations
Major award winners
  • Les Saxby Memorial Award: Jessica Hanson for outstanding achievement in the arts
  • Fiona Clarke 'All Rounder' Award: Kynan Toomey for a student who strives to be the best they can be in all aspects of schooling
  • Community Contribution Award: Katelyn Lockwood for participation in and promotion of Aboriginal culture within the school and wider community
  • Academic Excellence Awards: Mahney Jenkins (Year 7); Hannah Jarvis (Year 8); Taleah Dodd (Year 9); Lucy Edwards (Year 10); Jenna Brown (Year 11); Jack Gillett-Faulkner (Year 12); Jessica Hanson & Braedan Dakin (Big Picture); Rikki Franklin (Life Skills)
  • Consistent Effort Awards: Jaylan Bishop & Alexys McKenny (Year 7); Brandy Simpson (Year 8); Taimana Elers (Year 9); Keisha Newberry (Year 10); Jenna Brown (Year 11); Katelyn Lockwood (Year 12).
  • Outstanding Attendance Awards: Kallen Barker, Jaylan Bishop, Sarah Graham & Brandy Simpson
  • Female Sportsperson of the Year: Milan Hammond
  • Male Sportsperson of the Year: Lauchlyn Spicer Douglas


Hunter Sports High students and staff celebrated NAIDOC Day during Week 8 and it was a fantastic day for all our students as always. Our Minimbah team organised a day full of culture, learning and fun as students participated in Indigenous games and workshops throughout the day. Workshops included arts and crafts with Jodie Stewart, Bush Tucker and Medicine with Rodney Lake from Yamuloong, Aboriginal Dance by PJ Gordon, a Racism No Way workshop by Nathan Towney, Cultural Awareness by Sarah Corrigan from Rainbow Crow Cultural Collective and a special presentation by Uncle Darryl French who spoke to students about this year's NAIDOC theme - Always Was, Always Will Be. Thank you to our Minimbah team and to all our special guests who joined us this year.

NAIDOC Day celebrations

2020 orientation day

Over 160 Year 6 students joined us for Orientation Day recently, getting a taste of high school life before they start Year 7 at HSHS in 2021.

Orientation Day for our incoming Year 7 students for 2021 was held in Week 8 and we welcomed over 160 fresh faces to Hunter Sports High to meet their peers and get to know their new school. Students were greeted by Ms Byrne and their Year Advisor Mr Craig Martine before heading to the COLA for their first roll call experience where they were divided up into roll call groups ready for their first day of high school in 2021.

The orientation day consisted of some getting to know you games as well as fun and informative workshops aimed at student collaboration. Mr Tull took students on a school tour, pointing out all the important places including classrooms and kitchens, the Student Services office, the Youth Room, stadium and gymnasium, and one of the most popular places in the school, the canteen! Students participated in team-building activities and active games before learning how to read a high school timetable and getting a rundown on our core Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) values of respect, responsibility and success. They heard about Project REAL, talked about technology and BYOD with Mr Tait, met our fabulous youth workers and Minimbah team, and relaxed in a minfulness and meditation session to show them the importance of taking time out when life gets stressful.

Orientation Day was a great opportunity for our incoming students to get comfortable in their new setting and to see what life at Hunter Sports High will be like. Participation in all activities was exceptional and students made the most of getting to know their brand new school. We're looking forward to seeing their excited faces on the first day of school in 2021.

On a side note... we hoped to be able to welcome parents to the school on the first day too but restrictions currently only allow small groups of visitors. If restrictions ease further in the new year we will contact parents to advise of arrangements, but at this stage parents are only able to drop off and pick up students.

fitness and fun in pdhpe

Term 4 has been a busy one for the PDHPE faculty and we wish to congratulate all students for their application heading into the break. Sport has been in full swing and students have been busy completing assessments and course work to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding of health and physical development concepts.

Weekly sport has had to run a little differently due to Covid restrictions but the unforeseen circumstances and challenges have given rise to opportunity in the form of year group House v House competitions. Every week this term students competed in a number of sports with houses and individuals collecting points for wins and application reflecting our PBL and Hunter Sports Way values. The end of this sports cycle culminated with a house fun run which added to the overall tally. At the end of this event, the following students were awarded the MVP for their year group:

  • Year 7: Anika McCarthy
  • Year 8: Zion Forbes
  • Year 9: Shiwa Dull
  • Year 10: Lucas Fox

The final standings for the house championship were as follows:

  1. Beachley
  2. Webb
  3. Rafter
  4. Kewell

In Stage 4 (Year 7 & 8), portfolios have been a major component of assessment. Students have created websites and google slide shows to collect and reflect on samples of work from the semester as evidence of learning. The work sample below is from the Street Smart (risk-taking) unit in Year 8, in which students had to look up current statistics and trends on youth smoking and develop an article around their findings. This sample belongs to Sierra O’Meley from 8E.

Year 8 PDHPE work sample by Sierra O'Meley

Year 7 have also been a part of some key PDHPE initiatives this term, the first being the Minimbah inclusion and discrimination talk presented by our Aboriginal Education Officer Shaun Skuthorpe. This talk complimented the unit students had been doing called ‘Same Same, but Different’. Students were given an indigenous perspective on the challenges and discrimination faced by our first nations people and various determinants that had contributed to this. They also worked in groups to discuss what an all-inclusive Australia looks like, acknowledging the importance of valuing diversity and inclusive behaviours. The PDHPE faculty would like to thank Shaun for giving his time and continuing to educate and support our young people.

Mr Skuthorpe discussed discrimination and inclusion with Year 7 students.

The last and most recent initiative was Year 7 Swim School which took place at Charlestown Pool over three days in Week 9. Students participated in swim survival activities suited to their abilities after they were initially assessed. They were challenged, given key information and they practiced important skills to help protect themselves and others in water environments. The weather was near perfect and students were all amazing participants having plenty of fun and learning a long the way. A big shout out to Mrs Hoffman and Mr Strachan for organising the Swim School program and ensuring it ran smoothly.

On behalf of the PDHPE faculty we would like to wish all staff, students and families a very happy and safe holiday. We would also like to wish our HSC students luck with the return of their results on Friday. Take care, Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2021.

Ms Wilson and the PDHPE Faculty

Year 7 students can enjoy a safe summer after learning important water safety and survival skills at swim school

this term in tas

Students have been productive in a busy term of TAS!

2020 has been a relentless and very fast year. Our students have excelled themselves in all subjects in the TAS faculty. We’ve had many students in both Year 8 and 10 choose electives in Stage 5 and 6, experiencing firsthand our modern facilities and wealth of knowledge from our experienced staff members.

Our VET Hospitality students have completed competencies through the operation of The Dugout Café, serving our staff delicious beverages and food. Year 10 Food Technology have also been busy manufacturing and supplying healthy muffins to students at our Breakfast Club on Friday mornings. Year 8 Food & Agriculture’s sustainable vegetable garden is thriving, with the help of The Dugout Café's leftover coffee grinds. Best wishes to the HSC cohort of 2020 in VET Hospitality and Industrial Technology Timber who will receive their examination results on Friday 18th December 2020.

In 2021 TAS Faculty staff include Mrs Carolan, Mr Conn (TSP Cricket), Mr Davies (TSP Athletics), Mr Hanlon, Mrs Hines (Head Teacher TAS), Mr Hogan (Careers Advisor), Mrs Poole (SASS Kitchen Assistant) and Mr Winter (Head Teacher Administration). From our families to your family, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!

We thought we'd finish the year off with a little game of trivia to test your knowledge of the TAS Faculty and what students have been up to this year. If you've been reading the newsletter this year you should know all the answers!

Answers: 1. b; 2. d; 3. False; 4. True; 5. False

skating and creating in art

Miss Smith’s Year 9 Visual Arts students exhibited their skateboard works of art for students and teachers last week. The theme for the project was World Issues. The skateboards were complemented by lino prints created by Years 7 and 8. The students’ diligence and creativity were apparent in their very professional exhibition. Meanwhile Year 8 art students have been learning the art of sculpture with Mr Frazier, creating amazing fantasy dragon heads this term. Well done everyone!

Students have displayed amazing creativity with their skateboard and dragon head designs

learning language

This term in Japanese, Year 9 and 10 students created bilingual websites that showcased an aspect of Japanese culture which they had an interest in. Some great examples of student work can be viewed in the links below:

In line with NAIDOC Day and celebrating Indigenous culture, in Week 8 Japanese classes learned about the experiences of the Indigenous people of northern Japan, the Ainu. Students were able to demonstrate an understanding of aspects of Ainu society, the treatment of Ainu people and also created paper designs based off Ainu symbols.

Our support classes have also been learning to love language this term, and learning to love Japanese food too. Our Jet and Opal classes have learnt all about eating in Japan, working hard on their menus and enjoying a cooking demonstration about the Japanese dish, Okonomiyaki - a dish that originated from Osaka but is now a well-known Japanese meal. Students were able to develop cooking skills, enjoy great food and learn about Japanese meals and customs.

An Ainu paper design by Year 9 student Ella Daly; and our support class enjoying Okonomiyaki.



What a year it has been, am I right? We can officially say that we have all made it through Covid-19, but for anyone who was affected by the pandemic at one point or knew someone who was, we send all of our love and affection.

This year in the Big Picture Academy at Hunter Sports High has been both exciting and challenging - everyone has been extremely flexible through the tough times supporting each other along the whole journey! The whole Big Picture Academy has shown courage and bravery through the uncontrollable times that we have all been through. The academy this year has been through online learning from March to May, all the students and advisors have made it through the technical difficulties, the bed hair, the blanket covers, the foreheads on the zoom calls and the kitchen master chefs in the background of the zoom calls as well, you name it we’ve done it. Besides making it through the global catastrophe, the cold mornings, the early zoom calls and the separation anxiety from our friends we have settled back into our daily routines and are more than excited to be back at school ready to learn each day. Our lovely advisors, Craig Martine, Michelle Handyside, Paula Quigley-Walker, David Staley joined the students each day on a zoom meeting to discuss questions towards work, work schedules, one-on-one meetings with parents, etc. An amazing contribution from the advisors who had made it through three months of online working, the dealing with the students while also taking care of their own families, making it fun for all of us to learn through the pandemic, but in all areas for being with the students through the whole isolation period, no one could ever wish for a better bunch of advisors!

This year the academy, from Year 8 to our lovely Year 12s, have been able to share a whole swimming pool worth of memories as the year has gone by, some of these include: our bushwalk excursion from Dudley to Redhead, where we met these humongous, fierce red fire ants that like to climb everyone’s legs. The time we lost the Year 10 boys after they ran through the whole bush track and finished fifteen minutes before everyone else, or even Mr Martine’s favourite memory of them all, “Getting an egg smashed over my head for my birthday!”. From here, there are many more memories to come!

Each advisory has put in 100% into all their work this year and now that it is coming to an end for 2020, it is almost time to stack up the chairs for the last time this year. A satisfying moment for everyone involved was the Year 12 students who just graduated. “My class of 2020, what a memorable resilient bunch of young people they are!” quoted Ms Quigley, whilst the Year 11’s are settling in nicely into their spots, the Year 10’s have just completed their Gateway presentations, the Year 9’s are getting ready to move into Year 10 and the Year 8’s are making every moment last! Every student is pushing that little further to finish off the term on a high note, but also going into the six-week break knowing that they have worked their hardest they could this year. In Big Picture this year, everyone has come together every week to help each other out, no matter the situation. The town hall meetings most Fridays have been a way to show off everyone's achievements and goals. The check ins and check outs each week in every advisory has been a way to talk about weekends and events but also a time to get everything out on the table whether it has been, work related, sport related or even a funny dad joke!

Exhibitions have just come to a finish, narratives have been summed up exceptionally well, exhibition reflections have been placed where it is supposed to be and now the students are kicking back and starting to think about next year's work! We are looking forward to gaining a whole new bunch of amazing and talented students into the academy next year. Everyone is super excited to see what challenges and surprises they are holding for us!

The year that was in Big Picture 2020!


It has been great to see our students getting back into sport this term with a number of competitions, development days and friendly games against other schools.

football gala day

Our Year 7 and 8 TSP football squads competed recently in a Sports High gala day. The Year 7 & 8 girls held their own against a very strong Westfields squad. They took a 1 nil lead after 45 minutes of play but went down 5-1 after 90. Our Year 7 boys put 2 solid performances. They drew 2-all with Westfields and beat Matraville 1-nil which was a great reflection of the way they have applied themselves during TSP. Year 8 were unlucky not to come away with something from their match against Westfields. They created some good chances but Westfields were able to score in the final minutes of the game. Against Hills they dominated with a 6-2 win. All students should be commended on how they conducted themselves both on and off the pitch and it was just great to see them getting the chance to compete against other schools.

Rugby boys win steve merrick cup

Our Under 16 Boys Rugby Union team took out the Steve Merrick Cup at Merewether High late last month. The boys played five games throughout the day and came out on top against Tomaree High in the final. All students represented Hunter Sports High in great spirit and there were some outstanding skills on show. Congratulations to all involved and a special shout out to Coach Carl Manu for getting the boys in such good shape.

Our victorious Under 16 boys rugby union team and Coach Carl Manu

Our Year 7 and 8 TSP Netball girls travelled to Sydney for a gala day against Westfields Endeavour and The Hills Sports High schools at the end of November. It was a highly competitive day and the girls played outstanding netball, really challenging the other schools and putting on a great game each and every time. There were no winners on the day but the girls came away with some great experience and a better understanding of the high level of netball across our sports high schools. And an added bonus was that they got some one on one time with Australian Diamond players Paige Hadley and Keira Austin!

TSP netballers travelled to Sydney for a gala day last month

student wellbeing

Year 10 students participated in the Love Bites program in Week 8. Throughout the day the students engaged in learning about relationships and how to look out for the signs of when a relationship can become unhealthy. Students also learnt about the difference between being a bystander and an active bystander and what types of support people and services are available. In the afternoon session, students demonstrated their knowledge by creating pieces of artwork. Some of these art pieces are going to be transformed into stickers and posters that will be displayed throughout the school during relationship awareness events in 2021.

Students designed posters as part of the Love Bites program

Students also took a stand on White Ribbon Day last month. To raise awareness of this important social movement our school leaders spoke to students about the global campaign working to eliminate gendered violence as we strive for an Australian society where all women and children are safe. White Ribbon Day engages men and boys to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equality and create new opportunities for men to build positive, healthy and respectful relationships. Students were invited to sign a pledge showing their support for the cause by standing up and speaking out against domestic violence.

Students took a stand against domestic violence on White Ribbon Day

community notices

Some healthy screen time tips for the holidays from ySafe

Year 12 graduation & formal fun

merry christmas & happy holidays from all the staff of hunter sports high! see yoU in 2021!