Hunter Sports High News Term 3 - Week 5 - 2020

What's On?

  • Friday 28 August: Whitecard Course
  • Wednesday 2 September: School Plan Online Community Forum
  • Friday 18 September - Friday 25 September: Year 11 Exams
  • Friday 18 September: Year 7 & 10 Vaccinations
  • Friday 25 September: Last Day of Term 3
  • Monday 28 September - Sunday 11 October: SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
  • Monday 12 October: Students return for Term 4
  • Tuesday 21 October: HSC Exams Commence

Principal's Message

We've had a busy start to Term 3 and have packed in a lot in the first five weeks. We welcomed hundreds of prospective students during Weeks 1 & 2 for our Year 7 2021 Talented Sports Programs Trials. The revised format for the trials saw the Year 6 students complete a full day of testing including an academic test, fitness tests and sport-specific skills testing for all 13 sports. Our coaches saw a lot of talent and potential and we're looking forward to welcoming all our new students next year. Trials were also held last week for students looking to transfer from other high schools into our Year 8-12 TSP programs.

Schools across NSW celebrated Education Week in from 3-7 August. The theme 'Learning Together' has never been more important than it has been this year and we acknowledge the incredible work of our staff to ensure continuity of learning for all our students and also the important role that parents and carers have played in their children's education, especially over the past few months. Working together with our school community is more important than ever and we celebrate all that has been achieved in recent times and know we will continue to 'learn together' throughout your child's time at Hunter Sports High.

Our Year 12 students, who've been so incredibly resilient and accepting of the changes they've had to adapt to this year, passed another major milestone with the completion of their Trial HSC examinations last week. With only five weeks of classes remaining this term as well as Week 1 in Term 4, they are now focused on finalising their course content and assessments and revising their work before the end of the term. They'll have the holiday period to study and will commence HSC exams on October 21. To help with their studies during the uncertainty of the COVID siuation, the NSW Department of Education has recently launched a new online HSC Hub. This online resource provides students with access to online lessons, practice exams, support materials and demonstrations across all subject areas. Students are encouraged to have a look at the hub and speak with their teachers or our Senior Studies Coordinator Ms Schubert if they need support in preparing for their exams. Visit the HSC Hub in the link below:

Given current restrictions, our usual end of Year 12 traditions and celebrations will unfortunately have to look a little different this year but we want to celebrate our students and give them the fitting farewell they so thoroughly deserve. We're working on plans for this now and will provide more information for our students and parents over coming weeks.

Enjoy reading about some of the great things our students have been up to in classes and in the community this term in the articles below, and remember that if you would like an update or feedback from any of your child's teachers at any time, please contact the school office on 49435755 to leave a message or arrange a suitable time for the teacher to contact you. We've also included some contact names and details in the Student Wellbeing section below if you have any concerns you would like to address with your child's Year Advisor or our Wellbeing staff.

school plan Community Forum
Save the date for our online community forum to discuss our new school plan

We're coming towards the end of our current school plan period (2018-2020) and are in the process of setting new strategic directions for our next School Plan (2021-2023). As part of this process we would like to consult our parent community for input and discussion. On the evening of Wednesday 2nd September we'll be holding an online forum (likely a Zoom meeting but more details will follow) and would love you to join us and share your ideas. We'll be in touch with more details when confirmed.

covid-19 update

We remind parents and carers to check their email inbox regularly (including junk folders). As our main form of communication with parents and carers, we will communicate any updated information regarding the current COVID situation and all other usual school activities via email. The recent local coronavirus cases rightly caused concern for some in our school community but we reassure you that if we do ever have confirmation from NSW Health of a positive case involving students or staff from our school, we will communicate this with parents as a matter of priority. There are strict guidelines and plans in place from NSW Health, the Department of Education, and also at a school level for how we proceed if cases are confirmed amongst our school community. The school would receive notification at around the same time that an infected person receives a positive test result and these thorough plans and procedures would be put into action.

You should have received an email from the school with some general information about what would happen if that scenario ever arose and another with more information about the new restrictions for all NSW schools that were announced earlier this week. If you haven't received these recent emails, please contact the school office on 4943 5755 to ensure we have your correct contact details. All students have been advised of updated procedures and restrictions in roll call classes and should be aware of what would happen should a case be confirmed from our school. The good news is that there have been no further cases reported in the Hunter region since the three cases two weeks ago.

Further restrictions for NSW schools were announced this week and are now in place at Hunter Sports High. These include:

  • Students and Staff presenting as unwell: If a student exhibits cold or flu-like symptoms they are to be sent to sick bay immediately. Students must then be collected by a parent/caregiver and be tested for COVID19. Students and staff can only return to school when a. the testing is negative and school is provided with the results, and b. they have recovered from the illness and have a medical certificate to support full recovery.
  • Term 3 School Sport: Changes to school sport will be implemented for Week 6 (next week) onward. Further information will be available in the coming days regarding these arrangements. The guidelines restrict us moving outside our local community area and recommend keeping sport in year or stage groups.
  • TSP and Sport Competitions: For Term 3 TSP programs will continue as normal. Any changes to training venues will be communicated directly with individual TSP programs. All inter-school competitions outside of our local community will not run. Round robins and gala days involving more than one school are not permitted.
  • Excursions: All excursions are on hold (other than approved field trips - must be in our local area)
  • Year 12 End of Year Activities: The current advice is for School Formals to be cancelled. The Year 12 graduation assembly will be able to run in an adjusted format. Details of this will be sent to families as they come to hand, however it is likely restrictions will be in place.
  • Wearing Masks: Masks are not a requirement in NSW DoE Schools. Hunter Sports High School however will support staff and students who wish to wear masks as per NSW Health Guidelines, for health reasons, though correct application of the masks is essential for effective use.
  • Parent Visitors: Parent visitors will be greatly reduced on site. School canteen volunteers are allowed. All parents and approved visitors need to sign in via the front office and acknowledge the Community Use and Visitor Guidelines and will have to adhere to new Front Office requirements once developed and in place.
  • Music: Choirs and singing in groups and wind instruments cannot continue in Term 3.

If you have any questions about these latest restrictions, please contact the school office. For all the latest information from the Department of Education go to: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families and you can keep up-to-date with accurate local information regarding cases in our area on the Service NSW website or the Hunter New England Health Facebook page (see links below). There is also a Department of Education School Updates app available to download - you can select any school/s you would like to receive notifications from to update on temporary closures etc. These are all great tools to help you keep informed.

NRL Indigenous Round

Hunter Sports High students helped to inspire the Newcastle Knights ahead of the Indigenous Round at the end of July, with the video below played to the team ahead of their match against the Melbourne Storm. Unfortunately the result didn't go the Knights' way, but our indigenous students helped show the Knights why the Indigenous Round is so important to our community.

Many of our students helped in the making of the above video as part of the NRL School to Work Program while others designed and painted boots for the players to wear during the game as part of the Boots for Brighter Futures Campaign. Edward Foote (Year 11) and Ralph Binge (Year 8) designed the boots for Connor Watson and Edrick Lee. Connor's boots, which unfortunately he didn't get to play in due to his season-ending injury the week before, featured the sand goanna - his family totem and protector. Edrick's featured Torres Strait Islander colours to represent his heritage. Well done to Edward and Ralph on their deadly designs and special thanks to the NRL for the great opportunities they provide for our Indigenous students.

Some of the amazing designs created by HSHS students for the Indigenous Round!

homework help

Some great resources for homework help

Does your student need some help with their homework? Or would you like to know how to support them with their homework? Newcastle Libraries are now offering a free, after-hours homework help service called Studiosity. It’s online, on-demand study help for local families, available for free through Newcastle Libraries.

Students can log in anytime through the library website https://studiosity.com/connect/clients/newcastle-l..., connect with a Subject Specialist and ask a question they’re stuck on during homework – questions in Maths, English, Bio, Physics, Chemistry, Commerce, and more. Your child can also get writing feedback on any essay or written assignment, in less than 24 hours. For more information about Studiosity visit https://www.studiosity.com/howitworks and if you have any questions you can use the 'Contact Us' form on their website.

HSHS Homework Centre

Remember that the Hunter Sports High Homework Centre is also available for all students each Monday-Thursday from 3.15pm - 4.30pm. The Homework Centre operates in our Innovation Centre and is supervised by HSHS staff who are available to support students with their homework and assignments.

world tours and apple mummies in hands-on hsie classes

Ms. Gaynor's Year 8 History class have been getting hands-on, experimenting with apples to investigate the mummification process used in Ancient Egypt.

We might not be able to get out and about on excursions at the moment but our HSIE classes are having plenty of fun at school investigating geography and history in engaging and hands-on lessons.

Year 7 and Year 9 students are continuing their studies in Geography this term. Students in Year 7 are focusing on the variety of landscapes and landforms and the strategies in place to ensure that these unique and diverse features of our world are protected for the future. Students in Mr. Harrison’s class have been investigating the different values people hold for a variety of landscapes around the word and using Google Tour Creator to create a virtual reality tour around the world. Year 9 students are investigating geographical issues of personal interest and significance to them, and conducting a geographical inquiry. A wide range of important topics are being explored and should see some wonderful projects completed this term.

Students in Years 8 and Year 10 are continuing to investigate the history of our world and the significance of people and events in shaping our modern world. Students in Year 8 have undertaken a study of ancient societies and Ms. Gaynor’s class even experimented their ability to mummify an apple. Jai Callaghan from 8E details this excellent experience below.

Jai's Mummy Experiment:  Last term, Year 8 studied Ancient Egypt and learnt about the mummification process. Throughout Week 6, my class and I participated in an activity that required us to mummify several pieces of apple. Before we started the activity we were asked to split into groups of two to help improve both collaboration skills and to ensure we have more success with this activity. The aim of this activity was to determine which type of mixture worked best to preserve a piece of apple. To successfully find the best preserved piece of apple we poured seven different combinations of mixtures into a plain plastic cup, where one piece of apple sat at the bottom of each cup. The mixtures consisted of bicarb soda, Epsom salt and table salt. After we poured each combination of mixture into each plastic cup we went back into the classroom and predicted which mixture should best preserve each piece of apple. The most common answer throughout the class was bicarb soda - this was because bicarb soda removes moisture. After one and a half weeks since we first placed the preserved pieces of apples into a shed we brought them back into the classroom to see the results. It was then evident that the piece of apple from the third combination, which consisted of 4 tablespoons of bicarb soda, clearly demonstrated that it had been the best preserved piece of apple. Jai Callaghan

For our senior students, Year 11 will soon sit their end of course examinations for the preliminary course. Students should be revising their course notes and seeking advice from their teacher. The end of term 3 will see the end of face-to-face lessons for Year 12. With all HSIE assessment tasks completed, now is the time for Year 12 students to be consolidating their knowledge and to begin studying for their final HSC examination. Year 12 are reminded that they need to attend class as vital content is still being taught and revision lessons will be held.

support unit NEWS

coffee shop is back
Students and staff were very happy to see the Coffee Shop return recently!

Staff and students were extremely excited to see the return of the Coffee Shop last week after more than a whole term out of action. Students were keen to try out their skills using the new EFTPOS machine while changing their running methods with takeaway orders only (new COVID safe procedures). Mrs Mogg and the awesome group of students prepared a scrumptious menu providing the staff with the options of two main meals and two desserts. Menu options were:

  • Mains: Spinach and Ricotta Quiche with Salad OR Stuffed Mexican Spuds
  • Sweets: Insanely Delicious Banoffe OR Chocolate Mud Cake with Raspberries & Cream

Miss Smith and Mrs Mogg would like to congratulate Blake on a successful first shift, and recognise the top 'behind the scenes' work of Emily, both who provided incredible efforts throughout the day. The Coffee Shop is a huge hit with teachers across all faculties and holds immense value to our Support Unit students.

Leaving to Learn
Support Unit students out and about for 'Leaving to Learn'

Leaving to Learn returned this term and it's all about ‘Outdoor Recreation’. Each fortnight the students participate in outdoor activities providing them the opportunity to learn valuable life skills whilst also having a really fun time. Mrs Streatfeild, Mrs Slee, Mrs Dickson and Ms Stewart’s group visited Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens enjoying fish and chips by the water at Tea Gardens. The highlight of the day was watching dolphins playing just metres away. Miss Smith and Mrs Mogg's Leaving To Learn group are focusing on setting up our Year 12 school leavers with lifelong physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices by visiting local off-road walking tracks. Last week they visited Walka Water Works, where they enjoyed home-packed lunches and were able to get some fresh air with great conversations. They even stopped by to visit Miss Smith's horses on the trip home.

Work Experience

Seven of our senior students - Rikki, Patrick, Samantha, Bradley, Herbert, Justin and Jessie - are currently participating in work experience. Students are working in areas such as hospitality, retail, engineering and animal care. This invaluable work experience provides the students with a taste of what it would be like to work in the chosen field. Students are loving the opportunity and reports indicate they are working extremely well.

Diamond class sporting afternoon

The Diamond class had a long-awaited sporting afternoon at Springloaded in Week 3. All students thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon on the trampolines and gym equipment. It was fantastic to see them showing off their skills and working together as a group. The sports afternoon was a reward for great application and attitude in class.

A passion for shooting hoops leads to positive local action

Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison shoots a few hoops with HSHS students who contacted her as part of their Passion Project studies about an issue in their local neighbourhood.

A big shout-out to Banjo, Ethyn, Sam, Boyd, Jayce & Sean of Year 7 who, as part of their learning in Passion Projects this term, addressed a real-world problem related to their passion for basketball. They took positive action to work with council to have a shared resource improved for the community. The boys contacted local Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison to get some help. Here's what Jodie had to say on her Facebook page earlier this week:


Last week I met up with Sean, Boyd, Ethyn and Banjo at Carbeen Street Reserve in Gateshead. The boys are all Year 7 students at Hunter Sports High School and they're all avid basketball players. Boyd, Banjo and their mate Sam gave my office a call because the basketball hoop at the Reserve had been bent and they were trying to get it fixed. I put a call in to Cr Kay Fraser - Lake Macquarie Mayor, and we got it fixed in time for the boys and I to shoot a couple of hoops. I even managed to score a point! I want to thank all the boys who contacted me about the basketball court at Carbeen Street Reserve. Without you guys, we wouldn't have been able to get this done.

Young people have a lot of ideas about how to improve our community, and it was great to see them take such initiative. Boyd tells me he's going to put a few more ideas about how to improve the area in an email, and I look forward to seeing what I can do to help. I'd like to encourage any young people in the Charlestown Electorate with ideas to give my office a call. You never know what we can accomplish until we try!

Ms Ladas interviewed Banjo on behalf of him and his peers Sam, Ethyn, Boyd, Jayce and Sean about their Passion Project and what they've learnt from this experience.

  • What have you been doing in Passion Projects this term? We've been doing Personal Interest Projects and we get to take our learning into our own hands and do a project on something we are passionate about. For me, that was basketball. When we were asked to think of a real-world problem, we thought about how our local basketball court hoop was broken and what we could do about it. We called up the local MP Jodie Harrison and asked her if she could fix the basketball hoop because it was broken and the surface was run-down. She spoke to us and had the hoop fixed in only a few weeks. From this experience I've learnt that you can make a positive contribution to the community by contacting local MPs and brining issues to their attention.
  • How did it make you feel? It made me feel great that we did something good for the community.
  • What responses did you get from other people? Everyone has said "good on us". There are a lot more people there now using the space.
  • How did you come to identify this as a real-world problem and something you wanted to address? Because we really like basketball and you couldn't play on the court the way it was and there are no other courts in the area. We thought maybe other people in the area might want to play too and so we thought why not do something for everyone and see if it can be fixed.
  • How have you found exploring your own passions in Passion Projects this term? I like that I can work on something I have a passion for. This makes it my own learning and something that I like so I try really hard at it.

around the grounds: sport news

cricketer of the year awards for aaliyah & Austin

Congratulations to two of our talented Year 7 students who won big awards during the last school holidays. Austin Berry and Aaliyah Hiskens were announced as the Male and Female Junior Cricketers of the Year by the Newcastle Junior Cricket Association. These awards can go to any player from Under 6 to Under 16 age groups across all clubs in the Newcastle area so these students have achieved a great honour given they are both in the Under 12 age group. Congratulations Austin and Aaliyah! Our new nets are certainly doing wonders for our cricketers!

going the distance - meet TSP athletics coach scott westcott
HSHS teacher and distance coach Scott Westcott puts our TSP athletes through their paces

Hunter Sports High's Athletics program is going ahead in leaps and bounds with experienced coaches such as Olympic distance runner Scott Westcott on board to mentor our student athletes on the track and teach them in our classrooms too. Scott has been teaching Project REAL, TAS and Science classes this year at HSHS and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on to his students.

Scott was an avid runner as a teenager, winning the 5000m at State Championships. He placed fourth in the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon in Melbourne. In 2013 Scott recorded a time of 14 minutes 53 seconds in Parkrun (5km) - the best time in Australia. For his 40th birthday in 2015, his family allowed him to enter the Berlin Marathon where he finished in Olympic qualifying time. He was selected for the 2016 Olympics, his first Olympics, at the age of 40, and ran a time of 2:22:19 in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

TSP Athletics Coordinator Mr Davies is very happy to have Scott on board as Distance Coach for the program and is looking forward to some great results from our athletes when they can get back on the track. Mr Davies says there are many quality athletes now coming to Hunter Sports High with several State and National standard athletes applying to be in the program.

safe, responsible and respectful use of digital technology

Stay safe online!

Our children and young people have grown up with digital technology and it is woven into their lives. During COVID -19 many young people are using digital technology more often to learn and to socialise.

Supporting children and young people to use technology in a safe, respectful and responsible manner allows for more active online learning that can increase student engagement and participation. It also supports access to a broader range of content and learning resources that can supplement students’ learning experiences.

Being safe online is a shared responsibility for students, teachers, parents, carers and the broader community. It is important that families can communicate with their children about the how to use digital technology in safe, responsible and respectful ways. Here are some key reminders for children and young people of how to stay safe online:

  • Protect personal information, including name, address, school, email address, telephone number, pictures and other personal details.
  • Never share user names or passwords and only use your own
  • Ask a teacher or other responsible adult for help if anyone online asks for personal information, wants to meet or offers money or gifts.
  • Let a teacher or other responsible adult know immediately if anything online that is suspicious, harmful or inappropriate.
  • Never hack, disable or bypass any hardware or software security, including any virus protection, spam and filter

Further information can be found at on the Digital Citizenship website: https://www.digitalcitizenship.nsw.edu.au or the website for the Esafety Commissioner: https://www.esafety.gov.au/ The department’s Student use of digital devices and online service policy supports schools to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of digital environments, and prepare students for life beyond school.

digital parents careers showcase

The Skills and Thrills Digital Parents Showcase is an engaging and informative 20-minute video created to highlight Vocational Education and Training (VET) and the success stories that emanate from VET pathways. The Digital Parents Showcase will help parents better understand vocational pathways, including apprenticeships/traineeships and school-based apprenticeships/traineeships, and give parents the knowledge they need to help their children make informed subject selections and career choices post high school. The video will be available to view until Friday September 4. Register for viewing information at www.skillsone.com.au

student welfare news

Wellbeing Support

How students feel about themselves and their own wellbeing changes over time, in different situations and circumstance and in response to community and environmental factors. If your student is requiring additional support or you have any wellbeing concerns please contact one of the following staff:

  • Youth Worker: Keira Taggart (keira.taggart@det.nsw.edu.au)
  • Head Teacher Wellbeing: Natasha Knight (natasha.reynolds1@det.nsw.edu.au)
  • Year 7 Advisor: Kellie Rose
  • Year 8 Advisor: Jayson Strachan
  • Year 9 Advisor: Jenny Hoffman
  • Year 10 Advisor: David Staley
  • Year 11 Advisor: Matt Tull
  • Year 12 Advisor: Kim Hulbert

Other support links that may be useful include:

  • https://headspace.org.au
  • https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/young-people
  • https://kidshelpline.com.au
  • https://au.reachout.com

A big thank you to our Youth Worker Jess Rixon for her hard work to support Hunter Sports High staff, students and families over last three years. Jess has been appointed in a new permanent Youth Outreach role at Whitebridge High School and we wish her the best of luck.

uniform donations

Hunter Sports High keeps a pool of pre-loved uniform items for students in need. The pool is running a little low at the moment so if you have any old or outgrown uniform items that you no longer need we would love to put them to good use. All donations, boys and girls items of all sizes, will be gratefully accepted. Students can drop off donations at the Student Services office before school 8.55am, or parents can drop them into the school office. Thanks in advance for your help.

support the hshs breakfast club at grill'd charlestown

From Tuesday 1st September, get into Grill'd at Charlestown Square to support the HSHS Breakfast Club. Every burger ordered gets a token to place in the Grill'd Local Matters jars. Our Breakfast Club is one of three worthy causes you can support for the month of September and we'd love your help to help us win between $100-$300 to stock up our Breakfast Club supplies for Term 4 and help nourish our hungry students! Thanks in advance for your support.

Drop your Local Matters token in the HSHS Breakfast Club jar at Grill'd Charlestown Square!

School vaccination clinics continue into Terms 3 & 4. Our final vaccination clinic at Hunter Sports High will be held on Friday 18th September.

What if my child has missed a vaccine? If your Year 7 or Year 10 child has missed any vaccinations throughout 2020, they will be offered these missed doses at the next clinic at school.

What if my child has not received consented vaccines before the end of 2020? If any Year 7 or Year 10 student has returned a signed consent form in 2020, they are eligible to receive:

  • Year 7: any missed doses of HPV & dTpa vaccine in 2021
  • Year 10: any missed dose of Meningococcal ACWY vaccine in 2021
  • Additionally, any 2020 Year 8 student who commenced HPV vaccination while in Year 7 and are yet to finish the course of HPV (and who has not received any from their local doctor) can still receive this at the next clinic at their school (as long as 6 months have elapsed).

Please note, as of July 2017 any student who has missed school program vaccines or any childhood vaccines can now receive these vaccines from their local doctor. Don’t forget a Record of Vaccination is given to each student for each vaccination. Parents/guardians should ensure that this record is kept for future reference and should not assume that their child has been vaccinated if they do not receive this Record of Vaccination. Any questions, visit the NSW Ministry of Health website at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/schoolvaccination.aspx

opal cards: tap on & off every time

Data gathered by Newcastle Transport shows our students could be doing much better in tapping on and off with their School Opal cards. Hunter Sports High, along with 22 other government and private high schools in Newcastle, is participating in a campaign with Newcastle Transport this month to encourage our students to use their Opal Cards correctly. We're reminding our students to tap on and tap off every time and they're all in with a chance to win one of six $300 gift cards - a pretty good incentive! The campaign will run until the end of August. If you have any questions regarding School Opal Cards contact Newcastle Transport on 131 500 or visit www.newcastletransport.info

community notices