Hunter Sports High News Term 4 - Week 10 - 2019

What's On?

  • Wednesday 18 December: Last Day of School for 2019
  • Tuesday 28 January: Staff Development Day
  • Wednesday 29 January: First Day of School for Year 7, 11 & 12 Students
  • Thursday 30 January: Year 8-10 Students Return for 2020

principal's message

Well that went quickly! It's hard to believe another year has come and gone at Hunter Sports High. We started 2019 celebrating the opening of our new school and it has been a great year with outstanding student engagement and our attendance campaign making a real impact throughout the school and the local community. Our students have achieved some excellent results throughout the year - our NAPLAN results were the best they've been in the past seven years with some exceptional results in writing for both Year 7 and 9 students; our Aboriginal students continue to perform above the State average in reading, writing and comprehension; our TSP program has achieved great success again with nine Australian and 48 state representatives this year; and our HSC students received some pleasing results, particularly in Extension 2 Maths and English. Many students have been granted early entry into university courses, while others will go on to study at TAFE, complete apprenticeships, join the workforce or travel the world! We wish them all the very best.

It was great to see so many parents, carers and community members here at school last Friday for our Presentation Day Assembly and at our recent Minimbah Celebrations night too. These events are always a highlight on our school calendar and give our school community an opportunity to come together to reflect on and celebrate the efforts, success and dedication of our students. Congratulations to all who were recognised at these events - more details are included further in the newsletter.

A big thank you to all our amazing staff for the outstanding job they have done this year. Our teachers, support staff and administrators work hard to engage our students every day and to keep the school running like clockwork. We have the most amazing staff here at Hunter Sports High who all have our students' education and wellbeing at the forefront of everything they do. We say a temporary goodbye to some much-loved staff members with Mr Duncan Handley, Ms Belinda Dalby and Ms Emily Sykes all taking 12 months leave in 2020, and Mrs Shanelle Ingram taking up a consultancy position for Term 1 next year. A number of our fabulous temp teachers will move on to other opportunities next year - we wish Ms Heidi Barker, Ms Jacinta Parmeter, Ms Alicia Dunne and Mr Roy Capitao all the best and we may see them back in a casual capacity throughout the year.

We wish all our students and families a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy summer holiday. Thank you for your efforts throughout the year to support your children in their education and for your support of our school. Enjoy the break with your family and friends and we look forward to another exciting year at Hunter Sports High in 2020.

Ms Rachel Byrne - Principal

HSHS staff got in the Christmas spirit on the last day of school and enjoyed a staff lunch to celebrate the end of another fantastic year!

presentation day celebrates student success:

2019 Presentation Day

Family and community members joined special guests and students last Friday 13th December to help us celebrate another successful year and acknowledge the outstanding academic achievements of 2019. The assembly was impressively hosted by our new school leaders and was a great way to cap off a great 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 in the top five per cent in each subject, and also to the many students who represented the school in cultural, academic and sporting pursuits 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: Isabella Lewsam
  • Year 8: Ivy Aiken
  • Year 9: Ryvah Shoesmith
  • Year 10: Lashelle Holland
  • Year 11: Zachery Renshaw
2019 Dux of Year Award Winners
Principal's Awards: for consistent application and commitment to all aspects of schooling
  • Year 7: Reinhard Lloyd
  • Year 8: Cody Carruthers
  • Year 9: Lucy Edwards
  • Year 10: Alana Griffiths
  • Year 11: Demi Hilditch
2019 Principal's Award winners
other Major Awards:
  • Annette Heywood Memorial Award: Xavier Steadman (Year 8) - for diligence and consistency throughout the year (Years 7-9)
  • Pat Conroy Citizenship Award: Jessica Hanson (Year 11) - for a student who has actively participated in many aspects of school life
  • Jodie Harrison Community Service Award: Jack Gillett-Faulkner (Year 11)
  • P&C Association Community Service Award: Elijah Clark (Year 10) - for an outstanding contribution within the school community
  • Big Picture Excellence Award: Erin Stow (Year 11)

2019 minimbah celebrations

Photos from our 2019 Minimbah Celebrations

The incredible efforts and contribution of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were celebrated at our annual Minimbah Celebrations Night on Thursday 5th December. Parents, carers, staff and students enjoyed a great night which highlighted the talents and success stories of our Indigenous students, with many awards presented for academic, cultural and sporting achievements.

Guests heard inspiring stories of success from guest speaker Raylene Gordon, CEO of Awabakal, as well as former student Zyane Pirnke-Saunders. Newcastle Knight Connor Watson presented a major sports award and our fabulous Minimbah Dance Group closed the night with an Aboriginal dance performance. Congratulations to all the students on a fantastic year and for their commitment and dedication to their education throughout 2019. Special thanks also to the Minimbah Team who worked so hard to make the night such a big success.

Major award winners
  • Les Saxby Memorial Award: Krystal Dallinger for outstanding achievement in the arts
  • Fiona Clarke 'All Rounder' Award: Brody Perry for a student who strives to be the best they can be in all aspects of schooling
  • Community Contribution Award: Jessica Hanson for participation in and promotion of Aboriginal culture within the school and wider community
  • Academic Excellence Awards: Hannah Jarvis (Year 7); Lainee McFadyen (Year 8); Ryvah Shoesmith (Year 9); Ethan Weatherly (Year 10); Shayla Dwyer (Year 11); Devolyn D'Aguiar (Year 12).
  • Academic Achievement Awards: Shayla Dwyer (Year 11); Sabbath Sparks (Junior Big Picture); Acacia Johnson (Senior Big Picture); Braedan Dakin (Junior Life Skills); Letrelle Bamblett-Frew (Senior Life Skills)
  • Consistent Effort Awards: William Selway (Year 7); Taimana Elers (Year 8); Jordan Oldfield (Year 9); Kynan Toomey (Year 10); Byron Lawrence-Carr (PAL); Tamika Bull (Year 11); Krystal Dallinger (Year 12).
  • Outstanding Attendance Awards: Logan Coffey-Price, Lainee McFadyen & Riley Jones
  • Female Sportsperson of the Year: Hannah Jarvis
  • Male Sportsperson of the Year: Kynan Toomey

2020 orientation day

190 Year 6 students joined us for Orientation Day recently, getting a taste of high school life before they start Year 7 at HSHS in 2020.

Orientation Day for our incoming Year 7 students for 2020 was held in Week 8 and we welcomed 190 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 Mrs Kellie Rose 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 2020.

The orientation day consisted of some getting to know you games as well as fun and informative workshops aimed at student collaboration. Mr Tull and Mr Martine took the 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 2020.

Year 7 Swim School

Year 7 students participated in their annual Swim School at Charlestown Swimming Pool last week. Students were involved in a range of fun, structured and interactive practical activities to prepare them for safe participation around pools, at the beach or being involved in any water-based activity. Groups rotated through designated activities, swimming a variety of strokes, practicing safe entries, scull/tread/float challenges, safe exits, dive/recover, rescue skills, first aid, water competition, water safety and sporting bonanzas. The students demonstrated a willingness to have fun and build their capacity to make safe choices around water. Water safety and survival techniques are an essential and mandatory component of the Stage 4 curriculum. In addition, what a fabulous way to wind down the big year that was Year 7! Well done Hunter Sports High School students. The HSHS staff and Charlestown Pool lifeguards were impressed with your skills, manners and overall behaviour. Woohoo!

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

students on track: PBL Rewards Excursion

Forty-two fabulous Hunter Sports High students from Years 7-11 were rewarded for their outstanding commitment to our school values of respect, responsibility and success throughout the year and were invited to attend the first day of the Newcastle 500 race weekend. Students witnessed the action of the team garages, racing and many activities around the circuit. A great day was had by all and we look forward to doing it all again next year.

Some of the fun from trackside at the Newcastle 500 PBL Rewards excursion!

science news

This term has been a big term in our Science Faculty. We welcomed a new staff member, Mrs McKenzie (nee Goodwin), as Head Teacher, relieving for Mr Jovanovski as he tries his hand at Deputy at another school.

Brodie Volkiene, Constantine Toa and Samantha Gale have settled into Year 12 Chemistry and are working on colourimetry to determine an equilibrium constant.

Year 10 should have received VALID10 results with most of our Year 10 students having positive growth from their VALID8 results. Well done Year 10! Year 8 will receive their VALID8 results early in 2020. Also as part of the Year 10 transition program, students have had the opportunity to learn and explore key concepts and skills from Stage 6 Biology and Investigating Science.

Students from each of our enrichment classes participated in the ICAS Science assessments with a number of students achieving credits and a distinction. These are global assessments and great results for our students!

Our hard-working science teachers are always looking for ways to engage and enrich the learning of all our students here at HSHS. Ms Dalby had her Support class explored the impacts of potting mix and compost on plant growth with incredible results. The students were engaged, watching and recording the changes happening in front of their eyes.

2019 has been a big year and we look forward to more amazing learning in 2020.

Support investigation - seedling growth over 6 weeks. Left pots used potting mix, right pots used compost.

this term in tas

2019 has been an amazing 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 first-hand our modern facilities and wealth of knowledge from our experienced staff members. TAS Faculty staff for 2020 include: Mrs Carolan, Mr Conn (TSP Cricket), Mr Davies (TSP Athletics + Duke of Edinburgh Award), Mr Hanlon, Mrs Hines (Head Teacher TAS), Mr Hogan (Careers Advisor), Mrs Poole (SASS Kitchen Assistant), Mr Winter (Head Teacher Administration) and Mr Westcott (Science & TSP Athletics).

From our families to your family, we wish you a safe and happy holidays! 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!

famous faces in art class

This semester in Visual Arts Year 7 have been exploring portraiture. Students have created a portrait painting of a famous Australian and have chosen a vast range of people that inspire them including many actors, sportspeople and musicians.

Year 7 portraits

language news

Earlier this month Mrs Ingram and Miss Smith took students to visit the Japan Supernatural Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW as part of their Japanese and Visual Arts studies. The exhibition showcased artworks ranging from the 18th Century through to new works. Students had opportunities to interact with digital art works, reflect on various art styles and sketch their own supernatural artwork. Afterwards students visited Market City and Chinatown. It was great to see many students eating Japanese food for lunch and purchasing Japanese snacks in the supermarket there. The Emperor’s Puffs in Chinatown were very popular with our students and a great day was had by everyone.

We were fortunate to host a visit from students from Shohoku College in Japan who are currently studying English at Newcastle University. Hunter Sports High students joined with the Shohoku College students to play games, make origami, compete in a trivia competition and speak Japanese. Many of the Shohoku students were wearing casual summer kimonos known as a yukata together with thongs which made for a great mix between Australian and Japanese clothing styles.

Students in Year 7 have completed video-conferencing with students from Suncheon Dongsan Girls Middle School in South Korea. The most recent video conferences have included sharing information on teen culture and language. The video conference on language was very interesting for our students who learnt about the history of the Korean language and about the Korean alphabet known as Hangul. They were able to have a go at pronouncing various Korean greetings and phrases. The Korean students enjoyed learning about what the students presented about English and Aboriginal languages. They had a go at pronouncing many of our words and really enjoyed our colloquial words and phrases which they had never heard before. The video conferences have been successful in building a connection between the students as well as enhancing intercultural understanding. HSHS students have been able to compare, contrast and reflect their knew knowledge with both Australian and Japanese perspectives. We were also fortunate to receive a large box of gifts from Suncheon Dongsan Girls Middle School including food, stationary and souvenirs. Mrs Ingram organised a box of gifts for them in return.


We are very excited that our second school trip to Japan will take place in 2020. There are 15 students travelling with Mrs Ingram and Mr O’Hara in the September/October holidays. Students will visit various places in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka during their time in Japan. Could all parents/caregivers of students travelling to Japan in 2020 please contact Mrs Ingram via email ASAP at shanelle.ingram@det.nsw.edu.au so an email list can be created. There will be a meeting early in Term 1 where the itinerary, permission notes and other documentation will be distributed. Please ensure passports are purchased or renewed before this meeting.

angus awarded master builders scholarship

Congratulations to Angus Hile who was recently awarded a trade scholarship to help him in his school-based construction studies.

Congratulations to all students who took part in the Newcastle Master Builders Association School Based Scholarship Scheme application process and special congratulations to Year 10 student Angus Hile who was awarded one of ten $5000 scholarships for 2020. The scholarship will run for two years in conjunction with his Certificate II Construction Pathways course delivered at school. The scholarship will include a selection of tools and equipment as well as provide monetary payments to assist with travel for work placement or course expenses. Angus will participate in 12 weeks of work experience over the two years. The work placements will take place in the last week of Terms 1, 2 and 3 and the first week of each of the corresponding school holidays. Work placements will be hosted by a member of the Master Builders Association. We encourage all students in Year 10 2020 who are interested in the construction trade and wish to participate in the Certificate II Construction Pathways course for their HSC, to enquire and consider this opportunity from the Master Builders Association. Contact Careers Advisor Mr Hogan for more details next year.

careers & transition news

As part of the Career and Transition program, students in the Personalised Accountable Learning (PAL) class participated in the Lake Macquarie PCYC Fit for Work program during Term 4. The program was very successful and students gained increased confidence working in team settings to collaborate and solve problems. Furthermore, students achieved Barista and First Aid certificates as well as completing White Card training. Congratulations to Zac Davis, Emily Burrows, Jasmine Fatches, Zachary Woods, Kyle Cant, Jess Love, Jordan Lesley and Mitchell Layton on your graduation today.

Twenty-seven Year 10 students have recently completed the EVET (External Vocational Education & Training) program that has been delivered by JobQuest trainers over the course of the year. The program was developed to assist Year 10 students to further develop key foundation skills relevant to the workplace. Students also planned and managed their own projects or events to put their developed skills into practice. On completion of the course, students receive a Statement of Attainment for completed units, or a Certificate I in Skills for Vocational Pathways if all units have successfully been achieved. A big thank you to JobQuest for their work with our students. JobQuest has asked us to thank all students involved in the program this year and they look forward to delivering their next EVET program in 2020.

Our PAL students have been undertaking a variety of work experience placements throughout the year. I would like to acknowledge the success of all students in the PAL class for their positive attitude in their work placements and the maturity they displayed. The following students have successfully gained apprenticeships and part-time employment as a result of their approach to work:

  • Zac Davis: Apprentice cabinet maker at SafetyBuild Gateshead
  • Jay McIntyre: Apprentice mechanic at KIA Service Centre Cardiff
  • Ethan Kirkwood: Apprentice builder at GG’s Building
  • Jesse King: Part-time employment at Coles Mount Hutton
  • Dylan Bulmer: Part-time employment at Coles Mount Hutton

A big thank you to Mrs Hannah Pryke (SLSO) for her ongoing and tireless support to the PAL class.

Year 10 students participated in JobQuest's EVET program this year

hunter class gives back

Boys from our Year 9 Hunter class worked collaboratively on their final Personal Interest Project (PIP) for the year. After much discussion the students decided that they would like to leave a gift for a boy, their age, under a giving tree. They decided that a bike could be a form of entertainment as well as a means of transport. The students researched the types and costs of bikes and the necessary accessories. During the term the class made a variety of chocolate wreaths and chocolate boxes, they calculated the cost of raffle tickets and then created posters to advertise these goodies. After a week of advertising and selling raffle tickets to their fellow students and teachers the boys raised $380. They were very pleased with this amount as it meant that they were able to buy two bikes. The students skilfully assembled to bikes at school during their PIP lessons. The bikes, helmets, locks and some footballs were delivered to Lake Macquarie Square last week and placed under the Alambi Care Giving Tree. What an amazing act of kindness and a great learning experience too. Well done boys!

Zoran Jeremic delivers the bike to the Allambie Caree Christmas tree


The students from 8Y enjoyed a Pool and Pizza Fun Day to celebrate their achievements for 2019. They attended Speers Point Pool where they participated in some fun team building water activities and thoroughly enjoyed a pizza lunch. A big shout out to Dean Conway from Independent Carpets at Bennetts Green whose generous donation assisted with this fun student rewards day.


Silver medals all round at Australian School Basketball Championships!

Congratulations to our brilliant basketballers who all came home with silver medals from the Australian School Basketball Championships held in Melbourne earlier this month. The boys went down 75-37 to Marcellin College (Victoria) in the Under 17 Division 1 final, and the girls lost narrowly 46-38 to Lilydale High (Victoria) in the Under 17 Division 2 decider. Special thanks to Coach Mallon, Mr Sims, Ms Sykes, Sam Adams from Newcastle Basketball, and of course the team of supporters who cheered on Hunter Sports High throughout the Championship week. The entire squad thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the experience of travelling interstate to take part in this high-level competition. They were impeccably behaved and represented our school and community with pride. Well done to all!

medals for lainee at all schools athletics

Congratulations to Lainee Harrison who competed at the Australian All School Athletics Championships in Perth recently. She claimed a bronze and two silver medals competing in the 100m, 200m and long jump events. Well done Lainee!


As we race towards the end of the school year, our students continue to achieve outstanding results in the sporting arena. Congratulations to the following students for their recent selection in rep teams for rugby, softball and cricket.

  • Shanti Evans (Year 10) was selected in the 2019 Open Girls First Nations Rugby Team, formerly the National Indigenous team. She competed at the U17 Nationals on the weekend and heads to New Zealand this weekend for the U18 World School 7's. This tops off a great year for Shanti where she's been an integral part of our senior rugby program and has represented Hunter, NSW Country and the University of New England Lions. We wish her the absolute best of luck in NZ.
  • Jackson Newcombe (Year 10) received his State cap and pin at the NSW Softball State Teams Dinner last Thursday night. Jackson was selected in the 2020 NSW U16 Men's Team that will compete at the National Championships in Melbourne in January.
  • Piper Hooke (Year 9) was selected in the 2020 Hunter Open Girls Cricket Team after trials held last week.
sporting blues awards

Some of Hunter Sports High's finest athletes were recognised for their sporting achievements earlier this month at the Hunter School Sports Association Awards held at McDonald Jones Stadium. Congratulations to the ten Hunter Sports High students who were awarded Hunter Region Sporting Blues Awards for 2019:

  • Brett Allen - Baseball
  • Kaia Isaac - Basketball
  • Jai Smith - Basketball
  • Allison McGrath - Cricket
  • Keegan Hughes - Football
  • Adam Sherratt - Football
  • Te Reremoana Walker - Football
  • Anthony Wood - Football
  • Hamish Ellison - Golf
  • Boston Kerapa - Rugby Union
2019 Hunter Blues award recipients

Year 12 formal

Some of the fun from the Year 12 Formal - we think they all looked amazing!

entertainment book

Thank you to our parents, carers, friends and school community who have helped us raise funds for Hunter Sports High by purchasing Entertainment Books through the school. These funds are directed back into the school for resources and equipment that benefits all the students of Hunter Sports High. If you're looking for a last-minute gift idea, and Entertainment Book could be the perfect option. To explore offers and purchase a book just follow the link below.

community notices

merry christmas & happy holidays from all the staff of hunter sports high! see yoU in 2020!