Hunter Sports High News Term 4 - Week 6 - 2020

What's On?

  • Tuesday 1 December: Year 6 Orientation Day, 9.30am-2.00pm
  • Thursday 3 December: Minimbah Celebrations Assembly
  • Friday 4 December: NAIDOC Day Activities
  • Tuesday 8 - Thursday 10 December: Year 7 Swim School
  • Friday 11 December: Year 7-11 Formal Assembly
  • Wednesday 16 December: Last Day of School for 2020
  • Friday 29 January 2021: First Day of School for Year 7, 11 & 12 students
  • Monday 1 February 2021: First Day of School for Years 8-10 students

principal's message

With only four weeks of school now remaining for 2020, a year that has been like no other, we have many reasons to celebrate our students over the weeks ahead. The celebrations got underway last week for our Year 12 students with the completion of the HSC exams followed by a fabulous night at their formal, and then a final day at school on Friday for their Graduation Assembly where we recognised their many achievements and the outstanding contribution they have made to Hunter Sports High over the last six years.

As I said to our Year 12 students at the Graduation Assembly, they truly are an incredible group of students. They have had everything thrown at them this year and many additional hurdles to overcome in an already tough final year of school. They have shown incredible resilience when faced with the unknown, they have adapted, changed course and come through it as possibly the most life-ready and well prepared group of students we have ever seen at Hunter Sports High. They are the last year group who started life at Hunter Sports High having assemblies in the binishell, they learnt and lived through the transformation of our school throughout their junior years and they finished their senior years in the amazing new school with their own senior space which no doubt provided stability for them during this tough year. And now they go out into the world unbreakable! We wish all our Year 12 students all the very best for a wonderful future, whatever path they choose.

It was wonderful to have many parents join us for the Graduation Assembly and, given the limited numbers allowed on site at school, we also live-streamed the event for the family and friends who couldn't be there on the day - another first for us this year! Special thanks to Ms Kim Hulbert for the fantastic job she has done as Year Advisor for this group over the past four years (and Ms Wilson before that), and especially for the support and guidance she gave them through a challenging final year of high school. Thanks also to Senior Studies Advisor Ms Lee Schubert and Deputy Principal Mr Scott O'Hara for all they did to support our Year 12 students through their senior years - what an amazing team they had on their side. See photos and more details from the Graduation Assembly further in the newsletter.

Year 12 students celebrate at their Graduation Assembly last week

Meanwhile, students in Years 7-10 will complete final assessments over coming weeks and our Year 11 students have commenced their Year 12 HSC coursework. Yesterday we held a revised version of our Talented Sports Program Awards event, and with very limited opportunities for competitive and representative school sport this year, we couldn't announce a Sportsperson of the Year but we were able to recognise the efforts of our students in their training and academic endeavours - see further in the newsletter for more details.

Our Minimbah Celebrations will also look very different this year and while we can't join our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for the special awards evening as usual, we will be acknowledging the incredible efforts and achievements of our ATSI students at a special assembly on Thursday 3 December and will follow with a day of NAIDOC activities on Friday 4 December.

The Year 7-11 Presentation Day Assembly on Friday 11 December will also go ahead in a revised format - further details will be communicated over coming weeks. These events are always a highlight on our school calendar and we'll share all the details and photos on our Facebook page and in our final newsletter in Week 10.

Over recent weeks we've also held many online events including our Information Night for next year's new students and families, and our Community Forum in which we discussed ideas for our new 2021-2024 school plan that is currently under construction! Thank you to all the families who joined us for these events and for the valuable thoughts and ideas discussed. We hope you got an insight into life at Hunter Sports High from the Information Night. If you missed it, most of the information can be found on our school website, or please give the office a call if you have any questions. Year 6 students coming to Hunter Sports High next year will get the opportunity to see the school on Orientation Day on Tuesday 1 December and we are hopeful that we'll be able to invite parents on-site early in 2021.

We certainly have a lot to pack into the next four weeks and look forward to sharing it all with you. Thank you for your continued support and enjoy these final busy weeks of term.

Rachel Byrne - Principal

2021 school development days & student start dates

The Department of Education has made a change to scheduled Staff Development Days (SDD) for 2021 in order to support a strong start to the year. This change allows for two development days at the beginning of Term 1 and as a consequence there will only be one SDD at the end of Term 4. There will be no change to the allocation of one SDD at the commencement of Terms 3 and 4. Given this change, school start dates for students are now as below:

  • Wednesday 27 & Thursday 28 January 2021: Staff Development Days
  • Friday 29th January 2021: Year 7, 11 & 12 students commence
  • Monday 1st February 2021: Years 8-10 students commence

Year 7 Orientation Day

Orientation Day for Year 6 students coming to Hunter Sports High School in 2021 will take place on Tuesday 1st December. We got to virtually show them and their families around HSHS during our online Information Night recently but we're looking forward to meeting them all in person at the Orientation Day and showing them around our amazing school. Year 7 Advisor Mr Martine has a fun day planned for our newest recruits! They'll get to find their way around, learn how to read a timetable, sample some fun classes and activities and get to know their new teachers and classmates. Students should wear their primary school uniform and arrive at Hunter Sports High by 9.30am (pick up at 2.00pm). Students must enter the school via Gate 1 (opposite the 7-Eleven service station) and make their way to the stadium meeting point. Please note that parents/carers are not allowed on-site at the school but we will have staff and student leaders at the gates to greet and direct our new students. Please contact the school office on 4943 5755 if you have any questions regarding the Orientation Day.

2021 student leaders announced

Introducing our 2021 student leaders, pictured here with Principal Ms Byrne and Year 11 Advisor, Mr Tull.

Hunter Sports High's 2021 Student Leaders were announced earlier this term, a little later in the year than usual given the restrictions that were in place last term. With no full school assemblies allowed, our Year 11 candidates got in front of the camera to record their speeches which were delivered by video link to roll call classes, and online voting took place via Google forms. Congratulations to the following students who were elected by their peers to lead our school in 2021 and are committed to upholding our school values of respect, responsibility and success.

  • Captains: Layla Whyte & Elijah Clark
  • Vice Captains: Brianna Williams & Caleb Trowbridge
  • Prefects: Sophie Bultitude, Felicity Skliros & Kaia Isaac

We would also like to thank our outgoing Year 12 leaders Brodie, Kayla, Zachery, Tamika, Jack and Jai for the excellent job they did as school leaders in such a challenging year.

Year 12 graduation

Year 12 students celebrate the end of their school days at Friday's Graduation Assembly

Last week was the end of an era for our Class of 2020 who were farewelled at the Year 12 Graduation Assembly to bring 13 years of schooling to an end. There were cheers and tears, both at school and from loved ones watching the live-stream from home, as we acknowledged this amazing group of young people for their outstanding achievements and for their incredible contribution to Hunter Sports High over the past six years. The Graduation Assembly was expertly hosted by our new school leaders who thanked Year 12 for the great example they have set for all other Hunter Sports High students to follow. Outgoing school captains Brodie Volkiene and Kayla Waldron gave an emotional final speech on behalf of Year 12 before the roll was called one last time and they were cheered out of the hall.

Many students were recognised for their hard work, dedication and outstanding achievements in Year 12 2020. Congratulations to the following major award winners:

  • Caltex All Rounder Award: Brodie Volkiene
  • Reuben F Scarfe Award: Jasmin Evans (for consistent effort and improvement)
  • Vivienne White AM Big Picture Excellence Award: Abbie Leyshon & Emrah Manning
  • Learning & Encouragement Award: Herbert Oaharo
  • ATSI Award: Tamika Bull
  • Victoria Ale Award: Daisy Durham (for diligence and consistency)
  • Pat Conroy Citizenship Award: Zachery Renshaw
  • Jodie Harrison Award for Community Participation: Kayla Waldron
  • Andrew Harris Memorial Award: Lorien Saunders (for excellence in music or art)
  • ADF Long Tan Leadership & Teamwork Award: Kayla Waldron
  • University of Newcastle Academic Excellence Scholarship Award: Demi Hilditch
  • Principal's Award for Academic Excellence: Zachery Renshaw
Some of the special moments from the Year 12 Graduation Assembly

Talented sports program awards

Our Talented Sports Program Awards ceremony was held yesterday to recognise the efforts and achievements of TSP students throughout the year. As our Director of Sport Mr Pascoe said to TSP students, no-one needs reminding that this year has been a year like no other but despite the challenges, the effort and commitment from students, coordinators and external coaches to keep everyone's sporting development tracking in the right direction has been truly inspiring.

TSP award winners at yesterday's TSP Assembly

With very limited school sport taking place this year the focus has been on fitness, skills training, academics and our school values of respect, responsibility and success. This year's award categories changed to reflect the year that was with the following awards being presented at today's TSP Awards assembly.

  • Squad Captain Awards
  • Principal's Awards: awarded to the Top 10% of students in each TSP squad who best reflect the core values of respect, responsibility and and success. They are always well prepared, on time and ready to train to the best of their ability.
  • Online Achievement Awards: One of the biggest differences we faced this year was the lockdown situation when students (and teachers) had to quickly adapt to a new way of learning. These awards recognise the students who displayed a great level of flexibility, discipline and self-pride during our online learning period.
  • Player's Player Awards: These awards were presented to one person from each TSP Squad who has gained the respect and recognition from their peers for their consistent effort, attitude and leadership in maintaining both individual and squad training standards throughout the year.
  • Squad Person of the Year Awards: Similar to Player's Player Awards but selected by TSP Coordinators and external coaches, these awards also reflect consistent effort, attitude, work ethic and improvement in TSP in 2020.
  • Fitness All Rounder Awards: These awards are normally given to students who achieved the best results in Semester 1 & 2 fitness tests. With these tests not going ahead this year, the award winners were selected by Strength & Conditioning Coach Mr Trypas based on their attitude, application and overall improvement in strength and conditioning sessions throughout the year.
  • High Achiever Award: This award is presented to the male and female TSP student who has best combined their full focus and effort towards achieving in both their sporting and academic endeavours.
Congratulations to the following award winners:
  • High Achiever Awards: Abbie Leyshon & Brodie Volkiene
  • Fitness All Rounder Awards: Xander Wowries & Ryvah Shoesmith

HSIE happenings

During the Covid-19 pandemic, two classes of Year 7 Geography students participated in the Australian Geography Competition. Head Teacher HSIE, Mr Harrison recently received the results and is very pleased with how students performed. “We have a number of student Geographers at our school who performed to a high level in the competition this year. To have a significant amount of students achieve well above the state average shows that our students are developing a high level of geographical knowledge and skills”. Congratulations to all students who participated in the competition in what have been challenging times. Well done to the following students for their outstanding results:

  • CREDIT: Archie McIlwain and Matthew Aitchison
  • DISTINCTION: Samuel Caldwell, Reegan Ingram and Ava Kennedy
  • HIGH DISTINCTION: Tori Adamson
Geography competition coordinator Mrs Slaney (right) congratulates students on their outstanding results

Students in Year 8 have continued their studies of History and are focusing on the colonisation of Australia. There have been plenty of interesting discussions and much wonderful work completed by students. Mr. Skuthorpe and the Minimbah staff kindly delivered a presentation to all Year 8 students giving them an opportunity to handle artefacts and also discuss issues facing Indigenous people in Australia today. Students are to be congratulated on the respect and maturity displayed.

Students in Mrs. Graham’s Year 10 Aboriginal Studies class have been creating their own Aboriginal artworks relating to their life story. This has seen the students integrate culture and language into some creative and meaningful pieces. Before putting brush to canvas, students drafted their designs and also consulted with staff from the Minimbah team for inspiration and ideas.

Students have been learning about colonisation and aboriginal art and culture in HSIE classes this term

support unit news

Support Unit students are getting out and about in the community!

Support Unit students have been enjoying getting out and about on our Leaving to Learn excursions this term. We have been visiting various outdoor locations, where the students have assisted in preparing barbecue lunches, enjoyed playing ball games and even doing a bit of fishing. We look forward to doing some swimming in the coming weeks as the weather warms up.

The Ruby Class have been busy working on their Personal Interest Projects (PIP). Noah has been showing off his building skills by making various items out of Lego, including an extremely impressive looking car that he made entirely on his own at home. He brought it in as it ties in with his PIP on the Nissan Skyline.

Finally, a big congratulations to Year 12 student Patrick Molloy who has been offered paid work at the new local Bunnings store. Patrick had been doing work experience at Bunnings Belmont for some time now and has obviously impressed his supervisors. Well done Patrick - you and your family should be very proud!

embracing everyday maths

Students and their parents are being encouraged to embrace mathematics with a new campaign aiming to shift attitudes towards the subject. The campaign is part of the broader NSW Mathematics Strategy, which is supporting schools and students to succeed in a critical subject for students' education and that will equip students with the mathematical skills that they will need to succeed in life.

The new campaign will feature a campaign and resource hub, Everyday Maths, aimed at involving parents and carers in their children's mathematics learning, and supporting them to feel more confident in talking with their child about mathematics.

As part of the NSW Curriculum Reform, the NSW Department of Education will work with the NSW Education Standards Authority and Skills and Higher Education to design and develop mathematics courses for students K-12. Students will have the opportunity to study mathematics in every year of their schooling, increasing their post-school pathways and life options.

It’s never too early to start empowering brains with maths. Encourage your child to use maths around the home and put their skills to use with these fun indoor activities on the new resource hub, Everyday Maths (link below), or go to http://education.nsw.gov.au/everyday-maths

Minimbah News

Our Minimbah team has been busy running programs in school and getting out and about in the community this term.

Our Minimbah team have been busy again this term. Brospeak and Sistaspeak are in full swing. In Brospeak we have been fortunate enough to have Ray Fuller, Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer with NSW Police, come in as a special guest and share his story and for Sistaspeak Jodie Stewart from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs gave her time to speak to the girls about her journey. Students have been working on cultural projects in both programs. The Brospeak boys have been hands on making clapsticks and didges and the girls have been doing art and cooking with bush tucker products.

We have continued our Careers and Transition partnerships this term with Career Links, Wollotuka, NRL School 2 Work and Aboriginal Employment Strategy. The Salvation Army and PCYC have kindly invited two of our male students to be involved in a mentoring program called REEL Chats which is focused on building skills in a range of areas for young Aboriginal men, all done while fishing together on the lake.

Minimbah staff have been delivering Aboriginal perspectives in many different subject areas around the school this term. This has been an educational and enjoyable experience for all involved, students and staff, and we look forward to growing this initiative in the future. We've been out and about in the community too, facilitating NAIDOC Week workshops for people with disabilities (JUSTIZ Community) last week and we visited the RAAF earlier this term to explore opportunities available for students in the Air Force and defence forces in general.

Our own NAIDOC celebrations will be held on the Friday of Week 8 (4th December), with a fun day of indigenous education and cultural activities planned for all students. This will follow our annual Minimbah Celebrations, taking place as an assembly this year rather than our usual dinner event, on Thursday 3rd of December.

Homework centre

A reminder to parents and carers that our Homework Centre is available to all HSHS students, giving them a chance to complete schoolwork and assignments after school with support from HSHS staff. The Homework Centre operates in the Innovation Centre four days per week: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 3.15pm - 4.30pm; and Tuesday 2.15pm - 4.30pm. All students are welcome! If you have any questions about the Homework Centre, please contact the school office on 4943 5755.

Goodbye & good luck Year 12

Year 12 students enjoyed a number of fun activities in Week 1 this term before the HSC exams commenced, including dress ups, a farewell barbecue lunch and a much anticipated Fun Day, held onsite at school this year due to Covid. The students were clapped out by staff and students on their last day of school and we were very happy to see them enjoying their last days of school on such a happy and positive note. Students were glad to get their HSC exams underway on October 20 and our school captains Kayla and Brodie even made an appearance on NBN News after their first exam (see link below). Fast forward a couple of weeks to the end of exams and after a tumultuous year they were finally able to celebrate at their formal last Thursday night at Noah's. They looked fabulous and all had a wonderful night. We'll share more photos from the Formal and Graduation Assembly on our Facebook page next week. Congratulations, goodbye and good luck Year 12.

Fluoro and fun for the last days of school for Year 12


From January onwards, there will be a number of School Opal cards expiring, as the physical card has reached its lifespan. These are cards for students who will be in Years 8 to 12 in 2021, and only those Opal cards which haven’t been replaced in the last five years. Impacted students and/or their parent/guardian will be contacted directly by Transport for NSW via email or post. They will be asked to confirm their details online in order for a new School Opal card to be sent to the correct postal address in time for the new school year. If contacted by Transport for NSW, details should be submitted online by December 1, 2020 at the latest. Affected students who do not confirm their details in time will have a new School Opal card posted to the address currently on file with Transport NSW.

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