Hunter Sports High News Term 4 - Week 5 - 2021

principal's message

Dear Parents and Carers,

We're finally back at school! After more than nine weeks learning from home and zooming our way through lockdown, we are so happy to see our students and staff back at school! A huge thank you to all our parents and carers for the incredible effort they put in to supporting their children through this challenging period, and to our amazing and dedicated staff who went above and beyond to ensure our students remained connected and continued in their learning throughout the lockdown period and in their transition back to school. It really has been a huge team effort and I am so proud of the way everyone has worked together and for the understanding and patience shown throughout.

Thank you also for your patience earlier this week during the two-day lockdown. It was another new situation for us all and a strict process was followed between the school, the Department of Education and NSW Health. The school was thoroughly cleaned, all close contacts notified and we're back on deck now and hoping for a smooth run for the last six weeks of the year.

Next week our Year 12 students finally commence their HSC exams and we wish them all the best as they embark on this final step in their education. Their senior years have been like no others have experienced but they have shown strength in adversity, resilience, determination and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing situation that COVID has presented over the last two years. I have no doubt the lessons they have learnt in this time will help them as they continue their path to further education or into the workforce. Good luck Year 12! We look forward to celebrating with you following the exams and welcoming you back for your farewell and graduation ceremony next month. Please make sure to check in with your teachers, youth workers or counsellors if you need any additional support during the exam period - they are all here to help and support you.

We've become experts in technology over the last two years and have had to host many online events in place of the face-to-face versions. Many parents and community members joined us for our 2022 Information Night recently and also for our Term 3 Consistent Effort Assemblies in Week 1. It was wonderful to be able to recognise so many students for the effort they put into their learning throughout the term - both at home and at school . Certificates have been mailed home to all awardees.

A big congratulations to our 2022 school leaders who were announced earlier this term. In another first, our Year 11 nominees prepared video recordings of their speeches that were played to all their peers in year meetings, followed by online elections via a Google Form. Our new leaders were announced online too and we look forward to inducting them in-person at an upcoming assembly. All our new leaders (pictured above) are deserving recipients of these important roles at Hunter Sports High and we know they will represent our school proudly over the next 12 months. Congratulations to the following students, and see more below from our LEAP team.

  • Captains: Elana Lloyd and Joey Summers
  • Vice Captains: Kimberly Trappett and Chelsea Palmer
  • GEM Academy Captain: Marcus Covino
  • Prefects: Farisha Khan, Elijah Aliimalemanu and Maggie Greentree

I also want to thank our outgoing Year 12 leaders Elijah, Layla, Brianna, Caleb, Sophie, Felicity and Kaia for the fantastic job they have done as leaders of HSHS over the past 12 months. It has been a tough year but they continued to lead and guide our students throughout, to keep our community connected, and work with staff and the LEAP team to raise funds and create a positive culture and collaborative environment within our school. It has been a pleasure to get to know these outstanding young people. You should all be very proud of yourselves and keep seeking opportunities to lead in life outside of school. I have no doubt you will continue to a make a positive impact on those around you in the future and I wish you all the very best. Thank you again for being outstanding role models for your fellow students at Hunter Sports High.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more information about the following end of year events:

  • Tuesday 7th December: Minimbah Celebrations
  • Wednesday 8th December: Year 12 Graduation Assembly
  • Thursday 9th December: Sports Academy Awards
  • Friday 10th December: Year 7-11 Formal Assemblies

Thanks again for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the school on 4943 5755. Take care and stay safe.

Ms Rachel Byrne - Principal

Term 4 Roadmap

school photos

School photos have finally arrived and have been distributed to students on their return to school this week. If your child hasn't received theirs yet they can collect photos from their Year Advisor.

Sports Academy photos can now be ordered. Students have been provided with an information flyer including their Shoot Key Code access. The photography company has advised that orders need to placed by 5th November (today) to allow for delivery before end of this term. They can still be ordered after this date but unfortunately delivery in Term 4 can't be guaranteed. Please contact MSP Photography on 4966 8292 or admin.nhvcc@msp.com.au if you have any questions about photo orders.

introducing our new school leaders

Introducing our 2022 Senior Leadership Team

As the year rapidly comes to a close, the LEAP team are busy considering how we might run one final fundraiser for our focus charity, Hunter Animal Rescue. This year we have already raised over $3000 for this important cause, and we are hoping one final group effort will allow us to really drive home the amazing things that our school community can do when we work together to achieve a common goal.

The LEAP team has not been able to meet in person for a significant amount of time, but this hasn't stopped us from working together and continuing to look for ways to improve our own leadership capabilities and in turn, benefit the students we represent.

A meeting with Jodie Harrison MP allowed us to delve into the world of leadership in our community, and connect with someone who has chosen a career pathway in politics. The LEAP team thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with Ms Harrison and were able to ask a range of questions ranging from the changing face of politics, to the specific role of a Shadow Minister.

It is with great excitement and pride that we also take this opportunity to formally introduce our new Senior Leadership Team for 2022.

  • Prefects: Farisha Khan, Elijah Aliimalemanu and Maggie Greentree
  • Vice Captains: Kimberly Trappett and Chelsea Palmer
  • GEM Academy Captain: Marcus Covino
  • School Captains: Elana Lloyd and Joey Summers

Congratulations to these students, who all presented their reasons for wanting to lead Hunter Sports High School in clear and engaging ways. The LEAP team are looking forward to seeing what initiatives this group can drive in 2022.

As 2021 comes to a close, we would like to remind all students of Hunter Sports High to consider joining the LEAP team next year, when we will continue to introduce leadership opportunities and strive towards making a difference in both our school and wider community. It is nearly time to elect our new focus charity for 2022, so if any students have ideas about an organisation that would benefit from the support of our school, please pass on the details to any LEAP representative.


Hunter Sports High School's 2021 NAPLAN results have been the most impressive results since NAPLAN began in 2008 and are a true testament to the hard work of our students and dedicated teachers. Students in Years 7 and 9 will have received their NAPLAN results via mail during the beginning of this term. This information is useful data to inform families how students are performing across the areas of Reading, Numeracy, Writing, Spelling and Grammar and Punctuation. As a school we gain detailed information about how our students are performing and we can identify strengths and weaknesses that warrant further attention.

We have been recognised as ‘Excelling’ in our Value-added results across Years 7 – 9. This means our school achieved results significantly above the Value-added score by the average school. On average our student’s Literacy and Numeracy levels increased significantly between Year 7 and Year 9. In 2021 we also doubled the percentage of students achieving in the Top 2 bands from the previous NAPLAN (2019). This shows that we have a number of students performing at the very top levels when compared with students across the state.

As a school we have had a sustained focus on growth in Reading and Numeracy over the past three years. Our teachers have been researching and modifying their practice based on best practice models and current student data to ensure our students' core Literacy and Numeracy levels grow because of the learning that occurs in all subject areas. Our teachers have effectively incorporated the essential skills of Literacy and Numeracy into their lessons and these results are a very welcome reassurance of the work we have done. We will recognise the outstanding results and growth of individual students at the End of Year presentation assemblies later this term. Congratulations to all the staff and students involved in producing these outstanding results!

This year's NAPLAN results are our best ever!


I'd like to take this chance to welcome our Sports Academy families back to on-site learning and Sport Academy sessions. All Sports Academy students and staff have made a great start back to school life since returning to school. Our sessions have operated smoothly under the restrictions we are still faced with and it has been great to see everyone back outside, active and enjoying themselves.

As this term progresses please be mindful that the temperature will heat up. Students should bring a water bottle each day that they can fill up at our re-fill stations as well as get into the habit of applying sunscreen and wearing a hat if applicable during their outdoor Sports Academy and PE sessions. The following information suggests ways for families to start a Sun Safety conversation with your teens. Hope it helps.

Mr Pascoe - Director of Sport

Students are encouraged to be sun safe at school and at sport
knights seeking homestay for students

The Newcastle Knights have signed a number of young players from outside of Newcastle region and are currently in the process of relocating them to Newcastle. The club is seeking expressions of interest from any families interested in becoming a homestay parent and taking a young player into their home to give them the best opportunity at finding their feet in Newcastle.

Two players will be attending Hunter Sports High School and the Knights are hoping a HSHS family might be able to help them transition into Newcastle life. For both young men, this will be the first time they have left their family environment. Ideally, they are looking for a homestay environment where they are included as part of the family by being included in family mealtimes.

If you have ever considered being a homestay parent and would like to positively impact the life of a young player starting out on their football journey, please contact Newcastle Knights Wellbeing & Education Manager Mat Morriss on 0459 886 351 or mmorriss@newcastleknights.com.au to find out more. There will be further discussions around financial compensation to assist with rent and food payments as a part of the homestay arrangement.

acpe partners with hshs
Find out more about new scholarships opportunities with ACPE in the link below

We recently announced that in partnership with the NSW Sports High Schools Association, Hunter Sports High School and the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) have entered into a multi-year agreement which aims to deliver new initiatives that support the overall development of our students and provide a clear pathway to Higher Education. To read more about this exciting partnership, available scholarships and ACPE’s new learning resource called ‘The ACPE Education Hub’, click here: https://acpe.edu.au/sportshighschools/

ethos physio changes


Welcome back to the last term of 2021 and a huge congratulations from the English faculty for an outstanding period of online learning. We are so pleased to be back in the physical classroom with you all, and can’t wait to see what Term 4 has in store for the amazing students of English. How the year has flown!

We would like to start by acknowledging our Year 9 cohort, who in 2021 have received the most successful NAPLAN results to date at Hunter Sports High School. It feels like so long ago we were preparing for NAPLAN! Well done Year 9 for working so hard to prepare and for proving to yourselves what can be done with some effort and thorough preparation.

With this in mind, we would like to wish our Year 12 students the very best of luck as they commence their HSC exams. This marks the beginning of the end of an educational journey unlike any other. You have taken the adversities thrown at you, and worked through them with confidence and focus. We have no doubt you will make us and yourselves proud as you complete this final step in graduating from your high school studies.

In Term 3, we marked another important educational milestone - Book Week 2021! The English faculty worked swiftly to transform the celebrations onto an online platform so that we could all still recognise and enjoy this momentous occasion. We hope you all enjoyed the week and took the time to re-engage with reading.

This term we have some really exciting learning plans for the English classrooms. Year 7 has started a fascinating Animation unit, Year 8 is exploring engaging 21st Century Stories and Year 9 is delving into the world of Comedy, learning about the different language techniques that are used to make us laugh! Year 11 have started their HSC modules, and there has been some movement between courses as students finalise their pathway to graduation. We wish them well in the final leg of their high school journey.

We hope that being back in the physical classroom continues to allow us to converse, debate and share ideas as we find ourselves quickly approaching the end of the school year.

currently reading...with mr mallon
Mr Mallon reviews his current read: The Second Worst Restaurant in France
  • Greetings Mr. Mallon! Tell us, what are you currently reading? Well, hello there! I’m reading a novel titled The Second Worst Restaurant in France, by Alexander McCall Smith.
  • How did you hear about this book? I enjoy reading other books written by Alexander McCall Smith, so when I was browsing in my local book shop in Maitland, I saw this new title and thought, well, I like the sound of that! So I purchased the book and I’m really enjoying the characters and the story.
  • Would you be able to give us a quick overview of the plot and characters? Of course I can! Let’s see: a man is writing a book about the philosophy of food and experiences writer’s block. At the same time, he is experiencing some tumult in his personal life. So, when his eccentric aunty invites him to go to stay with her at a small and quaint village in France, he accepts the offer thinking it will inspire his writing. Once there, events occur which sees him become deeply implicated with a rather under-performing restaurant - indeed, it is the second worst restaurant in France. The main character, because of this new circumstance, begins to understand things about food, people and himself that are surprising and profound.
  • Has this book taught you anything? Yes, many things. I know now that French Onion Soup is best made with real onions! The book has also taught me about love, coffee, aunties and the importance food plays in all our lives.
  • What would you give this book out of ten? Oh, let’s say, 8/10. It’s a fine, fun read.
  • Would you recommend this book to others, and if so who do you think would particularly enjoy it? I would recommend this book to those who like quirky stories with characters who are thinkers. At the heart of Alexander McCall Smith’s writing is human beings and how we relate to the world around us. This is a gentle, meandering read about something as simple and ordinary as food - but therein lies its beauty and appeal.

Minimbah news

The Minimbah team have been hard at work over the last few months ensuring our ATSI students and their families have received the support and encouragement they have needed throughout the online learning process. With online learning affecting everyone in the school community, our team have been there to help guide students through this challenging period and were very excited to see them all back last week to finish off the year! Also, a special shout out to Chelsea and Jesse who have helped man the Minimbah fort over the last few months, your work does not go unnoticed!

We would also like to congratulate our Year 12 students for completing their studies. To Josh, Jarmaine, Shanti, Riley, Jordan, Tash and Kynan, we wish you all the best for your upcoming exams and hope that your future endeavours are successful, whatever you decide to do.

We are also excited to announce that our Minimbah Celebrations will go ahead in December, so keep an eye out for more information soon. We look forward to finishing off the year with our students and to work towards the future!

HSIE history buffs

HSHS students achieved great results in the Australian History Competition

In May, select History students in Year 8 and 10 participated in the Australian History Competition. Mr Harrison, the Head Teacher of the HSIE faculty is delighted at the large number of students who achieved well above national average results. In an analysis of competition results over the past few years, students from Hunter Sports High School are increasingly performing above the national average in most sections of the exam. The HSIE faculty have introduced practice lessons into their teaching and learning programs to prepare students for success and to ensure students feel confident sitting the exam. Well done to all students who participated in the competition this year.

gem academy is back!

A big welcome to Carly Tjakuapi (aka Mrs TJ) who has joined the GEM Academy recently. Mrs TJ will be working mostly with our Opal Class and will be replacing Ms Smith who is currently on maternity leave. I know that Mrs TJ has been super impressed with our wonderful students and the quality of work they are producing.

Learning from Home

The GEM Academy students were very keen to get back to school and into the classroom, but we did see some fantastic participation during our time spent at home with online learning. All classes engaged in lessons that were set on the Google classroom. We had students participating in daily Zoom meetings with their class teacher and SLSO, and we also enjoyed our Friday Zooms with the Ruby, Jet and Opal classes combining. Some highlights throughout our time learning at home included Book Week (and all the fabulous activities set by the English faculty), sharing funny Flipgrid videos, participating in art lessons led by the amazing Miss Smith, daily drawing activities and our virtual Leaving to Learn lessons.

Fridays in GEM were a fun way to finish each week of online learning. Starting with some themed Zooms to set the day, the students had a chance to show off their crazy hats and favourite t-shirts. Minecraft challenges were a huge hit where students were able to use their creativity to design zoos, recreate famous landmarks and forecast what a post-COVID world might look like, complete with zombies. Some teachers and SLSOs created videos of leaving to learn experiences showcasing some of the fantastic walks that our LGA has to offer, encouraging the students to get outside and explore. On other occasions the students were offered virtual trips to Italy and Greece and got some cooking lessons from the HSHS My Kitchen Rules team.

STEM Paper Challenge

The GEM students had an absolute blast in their first week back learning face to face and really enjoyed seeing their friends again. One lesson which was particularly fun was our Wednesday morning STEM Paper Challenge. Each group was challenged to design an outfit for a model out of newspaper. The winning criteria was a) the most fashionable outfit, b) the outfit that stays on the best and c) the most confident and charismatic model. It was very impressive to observe the exceptional level of teamwork and lateral thinking occurring around the room and to watch our models (Levi, Flynn, Marcus, Nelson and Jasmine) strut their stuff down the catwalk. Congratulations to the winning team which was Flynn, Lachlan, Levi and Nickolas. Great job everyone!

the world of wellbeing

Back to School

We were all very excited to return to face-to-face learning on October 25th. To allow us time to reconnect and readjust to school routines, we spent the day involved in a range of wellbeing activities. Students were able to engage in normal class groups and within year levels to participate in activities such as online breakout rooms, gratitude activities and photo challenges.

Students spent Day 1 back at school engaging in wellbeing activities and re-connecting with friends and teachers
World Teacher’s Day: October 29th
HSHS students wrote some beautiful messages to their teachers for World Teacher's Day last Friday

World Teachers Day is a moment to celebrate and acknowledge the professionalism of our teachers and the vital role they play in the lives of young people. This year, we also recognise how critical teachers have been to the pandemic response. Through all the challenges, they have kept our students and young people connected to their education. To show appreciation for the efforts of teachers before, during and after lockdown, students shared messages of thanks with their teachers.

Self Care Tips for Teenagers
Butterfly Foundation is offering a FREE live webinar for parents providing important tips on supporting body image in children and teens.

Let's Talk Body Confident Children and Teens

Resilience in our teens parent webinar

community notices

PCYC Safer Drivers Course

PCYC NSW offers a helping hand for Learner Drivers and their families by offering a $100 discount on Safer Drivers Courses across the State! PCYC NSW is a leading provider of Transport for NSW’s Safer Drivers Course (SDC) for Learner Drivers and after months of lockdown we know everyone is keen to get back out there and conquer the road!

We are offering a $100 discount, until the end of the year, to help young people get back on track to obtain their Provisional Licenses. This discount means families will only pay $40 for the course, instead of the usual full fee of $140. Participants receive 20 Logbook Hours when they complete the course.

By booking a Safer Drivers Course through PCYC NSW, you’re supporting our mission to empower and transform the lives of young people, and give back to the community. Find a course near you and sign up now!