Dear College families,

As our school prepares for the end of year celebrations, we take the opportunity to thank our community members for their support in managing the restrictions required to maintain the health and wellbeing of our students and staff throughout the year. I’m sure that our experiences during this year will be different for each family and ones that we will not forget. In a similar way, our Valedictorians will be able to tell of an exceptionally different Year 12 than they had imagined. There is one thing about which we will be sure and that is our graduates will be people of good character, well-educated citizens, willing to serve others, kind and generous in spirit.

We will host a Valedictory Assembly for all Year 12 graduates and their families on Friday Morning 3rd December, following the completion of the HSC examinations the day before. As a community, we will congratulate them on their achievements as school leaders in their final year and wish them well for their future work and studies. Many of these young people have already received first-round offers for University Courses and we wish them well as they move on to tertiary education, TAFE courses, and their working life. We hope that they will remember school fondly and become members of our recently formed Alumni. The Right Reverend Dr. Peter Stuart will join us on this special occasion. Covid Safe vaccination provisions will apply at this function.

We had planned to host our Speech Day and Prize Giving at the Great Hall, the University of Newcastle on Thursday, December 2nd signifying a return to normal College events, however, this is not to be due to Covid -19 vaccination restrictions in place until 15 December. Following the success of our online Speech Day in 2020, we will host this important event streamed from Batty Hall on the College Campus. All students who are to receive prizes will walk to the Hall to receive awards and back to their classrooms to view the celebrations online. We do hope all parents will join us online to view their children receiving their awards. We are pleased to welcome Assistant Bishop Sonia Ralston to congratulate our students on this last day of school for 2021.

Similarly, our Year 6 students will celebrate moving on to Secondary School and joining new friends and new teachers in Year 7. The transition from primary school to Secondary is a big moment for children as they tackle new subjects, new ways of learning, and managing the school day. While we have not had the opportunity to host transition events at school this term for Year 7s, we have such opportunities planned for the commencement of 2022.

Parents of our youngest students will agree that the occasion of a child moving from Preschool to Kindergarten is also a right of passage, (sometimes felt by parents as well, as they watch their children move to Big School). The transition in the Early Years is just as momentous as in Year 12, bringing uncertainty, new friends, new teachers, new ways of doing things, and excitement for the new learning to come.

Moving from one stage of growth and development to the next wherever it occurs is an important ‘right of passage’ for children and young people because at each transition they will learn to think differently about their world, grasp new ways of doing things, and step up with greater confidence to the next phase. It’s a time not to be taken lightly but rather to be undertaken with due honour, carefully reflected upon and preferably, with a guide by their side and a mentor to encourage them to make the jump up toward greater challenges. Parents, teachers, and extended families can play a vital role in this journey.

Let us as a community, support them at each stage of their learning and growing, and wish them all well as they take these next steps.

Finally, a special mention of our Sustainnovation Challenge Team who have been working with the City of Newcastle New Skills and Living Lab Projects presenting the youth’s voice on disability. We were all so pleased to turn on ABC Radio this morning to hear Khiera Bartlett represent her team members Meghan Williams and Eli McLean-Phillips talking so well about their visionary ideas to make Newcastle more accessible and inclusive.

Ms. Suzanne Bain


Preschool featured image


Gems This week we purchased a worm farm to set up for the children to learn more about composting and caring for worms embedding learning …




This week we purchased a worm farm to set up for the children to learn more about composting and caring for worms embedding learning about caring for our earth through care and respect for the environment. The children helped unpack the compost bin and set it up, first by collecting water to soften the coconut mulch then adding the worms once the mulch was ready. The children were then involved in discussions around what the worms need to eat to live and what foods they can and cannot eat.

They can eat watermelon – Piper

Broccoli – Aanya

Banana – Sophia

Blueberries – Cormack

Carrot – Theo

Old food scraps – Joshua

They can’t eat

Mandarins because they are sour – Meha

Limes – Ashton

Eddie – lemons

We then talked about creating a sign for our worm farm with images of the food they can and cannot eat. Zaylee suggested “we can put a tick for the foods they can eat” and Enzo suggested, “yes and across for the ones they don’t eat”. The children then worked collaboratively to create their own sign for the worm farm, drawing images, writing words, and making symbols allocating roles collaborating and co-constructing their own learning.


The children in the treasure room have continued their project work concerning the native birdlife within the preschool grounds. They have been working collaboratively to create an inviting environment that will not only encourage the existing birdlife to stay but will invite new birdlife in to live too. One of the children’s main focuses was to create a birdhouse. The children had previously drawn up plans and blueprints to gather their ideas and had begun to create a 3D replication using wooden blocks and collage materials. The children took the opportunity to reflect upon what they had created when they noticed a few essential items missing such as fans, alarms, and lights.

Logan ‘We need to make the birds an alarm so it keeps out all the bad guys.’

Lachlan ‘Yeah it goes WOOOP WOOP!’


Hayden ‘And it scares the bad guys away from the nest so they can take the baby birds.’

Stella ‘I think we don’t have lights either.’

Zoey ‘How will the birds see in the house without lights . . . .especially after bedtime when it’s all night time.’

Theodore ‘I think we forgot the fans too cause when it is hot the birds will need a fan to cool off all their feathers.’

The treasure educators could see that the children wanted to add these working items as they saw them as being vital to the birdhouse. After some careful thought, discussion, and research, the educators provided the children with a simple circuit set. The educators explained how the moving parts could be placed in a sequence to make a working light and light switch, an alarm, and a fan. This immediately sparked the children’s curiosity and they set to work on the challenging task. They worked collaboratively to follow the pictorial directions and carefully choose the correct part. The children successfully placed the pieces in the correct order to create a working light, fan, and alarm and help complete the finishing touches to the birdhouse.

Hayden ‘That’s amazing!’

Zoey ‘Look it works!’

Theodore ‘No bad guys are getting into the nest now!’

Stella ‘And the birds won’t be scared anymore cause they can turn on the lights!’

Theodore ‘I love this!’

Lachlan ‘Me too!’

Zoey ‘This was so much fun!’

This particular facet of the project has allowed the children to explore STEAM within a meaningful context. The children have been given the opportunity to work with electricity, problem solve, negotiate and collaborate their ideas. More importantly, by following the children’s true lines of inquiry, educators were able to continue to instil a genuine love of learning within the preschool setting.


The Sparkles friends have extended their interest and hands-on tactile learning through making playdough this week. They assisted the Educator to measure and mix ingredients to make the dough and then rolled, manipulated and cut out shapes to create gingerbread cookies, cupcakes, and ice creams. These types of sensory experiences allow the children to further develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and social skills when working with peers in a collaborative play environment. This provided opportunities for imaginative play when making ice creams and gingerbread men and we discussed the idea of making our own gingerbread men cookies or salt dough ornaments.

The home corner shop continues to support the group’s social and emotional development through role-play opportunities using the cash register, computer keyboard, shopping baskets, and real-life food containers. The friends have explored their senses further during the week by smelling the tomato paste container and herb jars. We are looking forward to providing further opportunities to use our senses by adding herbs to the playdough and spices to our gingerbread men decorations.

Sustainability- recycle week

The Preschool Children have participated throughout the week in waste audits where they have monitored and documented the recycling, compost, and rubbish in our morning tea and lunch boxes. Along with this, the Children had the opportunity to use our art area paper waste to create new paper by shredding it into small pieces and mulching it with water over a few days. It was then added to our paper frame to dry. We are looking forward to using it for Christmas cards and tags.

Educators have supported the Children in choosing the correct bins for rubbish, recycling, compost, and soft plastics along with collecting our yoghurt lids for lids for kidz. Thank you to those families who have donated items to be recycled and the many bags of lids to donate.

Sustainability Project/Outdoor art area

The children have shown an interest in working on a small project creating a laughing kookaburra using recycled materials. This started as Meha drew a kookaburra and Educators admired her work. Matilda joined in the conversation and said that she can make beautiful things using stuff. The educator wondered and asked her about the stuff that she was talking about. Matilda said that she can make things using bottle tops. This conversation continued on and pictures were shown from an exhibition in Charlestown where all the artists had made and displayed their art using recycled stuff. Riley was very excited and asked if they could make one.

The educators were amazed by their ideas and interest as they engaged in a conversation about using recycled stuff. We thought and talked about all the experiences that they have been working on this year using recycled materials. Meha said that she is happy to draw the template for her peers to add the recycled materials. We invited them to share more ideas and recorded them. We collected items and also asked the girls to collect some if they can.

We have made connections with Rachel from Sustainable neighbourhoods asking her for more support. She has sent ideas and links to the website and has also suggested the opportunity to include our work in her socials and in the exhibition next year.

We are very excited to see where this leads.

Kindergarten Orientations

Our Preschool friends participated in their first orientation visit to Kindergarten on Thursday. This visit helps children and families familiarise themselves with their new school, teachers, and peers and helps to form first connections and relationships with their school community prior to starting school. The children were very excited to be a part of this important event and proudly wore their new shirts to Preschool.

We have been very lucky to be part of the school community and build on these relationships throughout the year with our extra-curricula activities.

Michelle Neylan
Preschool Director

Primary featured image


As we move closer to the end of the year, teachers are finalising the student reports that will summarise the academic and personal development for …



As we move closer to the end of the year, teachers are finalising the student reports that will summarise the academic and personal development for Semester 2. Due to Covid-19 and the subsequent movement of schools to an online learning model, the report has been amended from our usual format. The report conveys areas within our curriculum that have been offered to students during this time and general feedback on your child’s engagement.

Taking into consideration the different circumstances at home, understandable variances in student engagement, and the inability to hold our usual pre, formative and summative assessments, our Semester 2 reports for this year will not include the traditional A to E grades. Teachers have been able to identify academic growth and development, so a three-tier model has been developed to demonstrate student achievement under the unique learning environment we experienced in Semester 2. No child or parent should experience anxiety regarding a judgment on progress under such conditions. Instead, we see this as an opportunity to congratulate all our students on their resilience and the positive attitude they have shown throughout the semester.

End-of-year awards to be acknowledged on speech day have also been modified to reflect Semester 2’s learning experience. Each class teacher will allocate the following five awards:

Academic Excellence x3; for students who have produced high-quality work both at home and at school throughout the year. They completed all set work both at home and at school to the highest standard, strived, and worked hard for academic excellence.

Academic Engagement x1; for students who are dedicated and engaged with all lessons across all KLA’s. They contribute to class discussions and are actively involved in group lessons to the best of their abilities. They accept the rights of others to learn and complete every lesson and task to the best of their abilities. They completed all set tasks to their own highest standard and have demonstrated growth in their learning throughout the year.

Service Award x1; students in recognition of outstanding qualities of leadership, positive attitudes, co‐operation, reliability and trust, and consideration towards others.


Kindergarten students, along with the entire College, stopped their lessons at 11 am on 11th November to remember the soldiers who fought in the First World War. We also watched a short, animated video that helped us understand why people wear a poppy on Remembrance Day. We enjoyed making these beautiful poppy artworks.

Year 1

Year 1 are poets and they didn’t even know it! The ONE-derfuls have been learning about different styles of poetry and have even tried their hand at composing their own poems. Although a little bit challenging for some, the ‘I Am’ poems encouraged the students to use their imaginative side and reflect on themselves and their emotions. We then turned our attention to some ‘Shape’ and ‘Diamante’ poems. Diamante poems required the students to think of 2 opposite topics that  and compare them in a way that represents the shape of a diamond. Some of the creative topics included winter and summer; night and day; mouse and elephant; apple and banana; and even superhero and villain!

Year 2

Have had a great fortnight getting back into school routine in the classroom learning environment. In English, we have continued to read our novel ‘George’s Marvelous Medicine’, and have been thinking about how some of the substances in George’s medicine might react to each other, using our knowledge from our Science topic. We have begun to put our understanding of procedural structure and language into practice by creating Christmas craft procedures. Students have then followed their own procedures to make a piece of Christmas craft. This has been a lot of fun and has really made us think about how specific our instructions really need to be. In Mathematics this fortnight, we have been looking at money, finding combinations to make particular amounts, adding money together, and giving change. We also had some students bring in currency from different countries which sparked great interest and discussion. In Geography we moved to look at Fraser Island as a World Heritage Listed Site and assessed the significance of the Butchella people to Fraser Island. Science saw more hands-on experiences where students looked at how to separate substances after they had been mixed and what tools would be appropriate for different types. We enjoyed celebrating the Out of Uniform Day this week, getting ready for another warm summer.

Year 3

It has been all hands on deck this past week, or so, as the Year 3 students have been exploring HEAT and the energy it can create. It all started with an inquiry into How Popcorn Pops! I can’t wait to see where it goes next… We have sadly now completed the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane which was a beautiful story that took both students and teachers on a roller coaster ride. It was all about a special china rabbit that taught us to be thankful for what you have and to be aware of your feelings in a variety of settings. Our swimming lessons as per the Sport program have begun successfully with all participating students buoyantly enjoying the time at West Wallsend swimming pool. As we move towards the last few weeks of 2021 (where has the time gone?) we are reinforcing many of the concepts we have studied over the course of both semesters in Mathematics and Literacy. Given the interruption of online learning, it has been encouraging to see our Year 3 students settle back into positive routines in our classrooms.

Year 4

Splish, Splash, It’s Summer Again

Year Four, along with the rest of primary, were blessed to have Mr. Eddy somehow find a way to squeeze in a swimming program this year. With lockdowns, pool closures, and cancelled lessons it has never been more important for children to get a refresher on their swimming before the glorious summer months. The complaining stopped as soon as children realised that the pool was indoor and heated and nothing but fun has been had since. Children have been revising swimming strokes, remembering the basics, doing laps, playing games, jumping, splashing, kicking, and enjoying every minute.

Year 5

It has been a busy fortnight in Year 5! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Farming Convention last week, where students presented their research and persuaded their audience to be environmentally sustainable with insect farming. In Geography, the students have been continuing to look at the impact of Bushfires on our environment and have been learning the best way to prepare for a bushfire. They created a ‘Quick Tips’ card to go on their fridge at home for their families to follow in preparation for a bushfire. In Literacy, we delved into procedural texts and began designing a food truck company. Students have embraced their creativity to design a menu, recipes, and a 3D model of their company food truck. It has been wonderful to be able to venture into our community every Thursday for our swimming program. The students have really enjoyed strengthening their swimming strokes and splashing around in the water with their friends. They have also enjoyed learning some valuable skills in the pool, just in time for summer!


Year 6

have had a very productive two weeks, enjoying their last days here in the Primary School, busily preparing their final presentations for the school community at their graduation. In English, students have used their narrative writing skills to write short and engaging picture books for a younger audience. In Mathematics students have continued to be challenged using the Math Pathway program, completing daily modules and  energisers. This week in Science, Year 6 have continued to learn how data is processed and how computer networks connect. To consolidate this understanding, they have begun using Scratch to program a fun and engaging Christmas game. In Geography, students have been collaborating to design and make products that improve a global connection Australia has that has been affected by the pandemic. Health lessons have centered around students assessing how much physical activity they do in a week, making goals and designing ways to become more physically active.

Congratulations to Kosta T who had a very successful weekend of Water Polo, playing in both U14 and U16 competitions in Newcastle and Sydney representative teams. Well done!

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School

Secondary Academic featured image

Secondary Academic

Students Online – Students Online are the source for students to find information about their senior school study, from Year 10 to the HSC. …


Secondary Academic

Students Online –

Students Online are the source for students to find information about their senior school study, from Year 10 to the HSC. Find information about school-based assessment, HSC exams and results, including grades, how the HSC works, preparing for exams, and more. Students Online are developed and delivered by the NESA.

Year 10 students need to activate their accounts in order to be able to access this information.

Year 11 Results Release – 23 November 2021.

Year 10 Results Release – 10 December 2021.

All students will need their NESA student number to log on or activate their account – available in CALEB – by clicking ”My NESA number” on a student’s profile page.


There are many advantages apart from deeper learning and improved results to making the most of class time. By completing more work in class you will have less to do at home, your teacher will be pleased with your application and so will your parents when they read your report, and of course, you will learn more! And if you don’t use class time efficiently? Well, you will have to do more work at home, you will find you don’t always understand the work, your teachers will have to be continually disciplining you and you may even make it harder for other people in your class to learn. It’s a no-brainer!

What does working effectively in class mean?

  1. Sit next to someone who will help you stay on task rather than someone who distracts you.
  2. Ask questions whenever you are unsure, unclear, or do not understand something.
  3. Be polite and respectful of your teacher and your classmates at all times.
  4. Come prepared for the lesson with all the books, technology, and equipment you will need.
  5. Contribute your thoughts and ideas at the appropriate times.
  6. If you find yourself daydreaming, ask yourself questions about what is going on or take notes about what is being discussed so you regain your focus.
  7. Try at all times to stay on task and be engaged in the work you are doing.

Ten Top Tips to Make the Most of the End of Year School Report

  1. Before the report arrives home, a useful exercise would be to ask your child to write their own school report. Make up a grid similar to this (below) for all subjects, and ask your child to pretend to be the teacher and write about themselves. You could also create a grid that simulates your child’s previous school report.


Subject Grade (A-E) Effort


Teacher’s comment





This gives your child the opportunity to reflect on his/her own performance at school. It can provide parents with useful insight and can be a reference to compare the teachers’ perspectives with your child’s viewpoint. It is also a good discussion point when the school report arrives home. And a discussion should take place to help your child reflect and evaluate the report with you.

  1. Read your child’s report with your child. This immediately indicates openness and provides direct encouragement and support to your child. Wherever there are positives, in either comments, grades, effort, and so on, point them out to your child first. Most students will have areas to commend and should be acknowledged by the parent. 
  1. The report should be viewed as a vehicle to move forward, and not be perceived as a final judgment of a child’s ability – because it is not. It’s a “screenshot” and not the whole story. It is important students know they have the ability to modify and change their work ethic or study strategies, and they can improve. Reinforcing that the report is an opportunity to highlight strengths and weaknesses, which will happen throughout their working life through appraisal or performance reviews, can help the student develop goals for next year. 
  1. Compare the yearly report to the Semester 1 report and last year’s report.

This can be useful to identify specific subject areas where there has been an improvement or a decline.  If grades improved, celebrate this achievement. If grades have declined, ask your child why this may be the case. For example, Semester 1 report grades may have been based on assignments and not exams. This could flag that exams were either not fully prepared for and study skills should be reviewed, or your child needs exam practice as they are a very different mode to demonstrate knowledge, or perhaps new concepts were introduced in Semester 2 and these could be weaknesses to work on!

  1. Don’t just look at grades, focus on effort also.

A child’s performance is not measured solely by grades. Not every child will receive an A or B, in fact, the average child would most like to achieve a C grade (which typically represents the middle 60%). Effort grades however can reflect the teacher’s perspective on how hard your child worked, his/her commitment to fulfilling homework, assignments, and contribution in class. A child who achieved a C grade, or 55%, yet gained an A for effort should be congratulated. Again, as the report should be viewed as a discussion and evaluation, if the effort grade is lower, ask your child why this might be the case, and make a note of this to form one of the goals for next year.

  1. Consider the “year average” mark or grade.

Many schools will include the year average grade as well as your child’s grade. This is important to consider. If your child attained 75%, and the year average was 62%, then your child is well above the average. Celebrate this.

  1. Teachers’ comments.

The teachers’ comments are valuable when discussing the report with your child. Ask him or her if they agree with the comment, or why, if they don’t.  Encourage your child to consider the teachers’ comments. Obviously, if there is a consistent thread from multiple teachers, this needs to be addressed. For example, if many teachers comment on your child’s lack of concentration, or need to focus on answering the question, then the comments suggest a specific area of weakness. Similarly, if multiple comments commend your child on commitment, determination and diligence, it suggests your child’s attitude to school is solid.

  1. TALK to your child about the report, and LISTEN.

Help your child not to blame someone or something that resulted in a disappointing report. Blame does not lead to action. If there are extenuating circumstances for a disappointing report (such as a difficult family situation like parents separating, or relocation or demanding co-curricular activities etc), acknowledge these may have affected your child’s focus and give understanding. However help your child accept that they perhaps did not put in the effort, or had not established an effective revision program, or had not given the required commitment. Asking your child what they could do next year to improve or maintain excellence is a good start. Again, it would be worthwhile jotting down your child’s comments to establish goals. Reinforcing that a yearly report is a vehicle to move forward is vital.

  1. Grades vary between subjects and compare exam results with assessment results.

Identify specific subjects where grades were ‘low” and where others were ‘high’. It is not uncommon for students to have strengths in some subjects and weaknesses in others. Few children excel across all subject areas, particularly in Years 7 – 10 when they have not yet been able to refine their academic program to areas of interest or strength. Talk to your child about why grades may vary, as there could be good reasons. For example, if your child’s report grades range from 98% to 62%, ask why? Most students would be able to articulate the divergence and it could be simply that they did not study for a subject at all, or had misread a heavily weighted question. Again, make a note of your child’s comments, to form goals or strategies for next year. Similarly, compare exam grades against assessment grades. If your child’s exam marks are noticeably less than the assessment grades, it could easily identify a weakness in exam technique and/or revision, and not be a reflection of ability or understanding. Remember, examinations are just one medium for determining a child’s knowledge.

  1. Establish goals for next year and consider a holiday review program (even if only 1 hour a week).

The report can, and should, be read as an instrument to create goals for next year, and possibly plan a holiday review program. As students in December typically focus on the long summer holidays, freedom, and unstructured days, it’s natural for school work to wane. However, now is the time to create goals for next year, whilst the academic year remains in their recent memory. It is more difficult to establish goals in February. Goals are best determined by the child, yet parental input after discussing a yearly report is prudent and can provide direction. Identify 3 – 5 goals for Semester 1, 2015. The goals should be in response to you and your child’s discussion of the report and teacher recommendations. Some goals could be:

  • Focus on reading the question in assignments/exams carefully to ensure the question is answered.
  • Ensure I make summary notes when I finish each topic.
  • Do at least 30 minutes reviewing what I learned at school each day, in addition to homework.
  • Ask the teacher if I don’t understand a concept.
  • For example, if Maths is a weakness, spend 1 hour a week doing extra Maths practice.

When the goals are listed put them in a prominent place – fridge, bedroom wall, notice board etc.

It would also be prudent to develop a holiday review program if there are specific subjects or areas of subjects that are weak. This does not need to be extensive, in fact, shouldn’t, however regular practice of specific subjects that will be required for cumulative learning next year can make an enormous difference.

Examples of subjects where knowledge learned this year would be assumed knowledge for next year can include Maths, Science, English, and Languages – as well as many others!

Holiday review programs can easily be incorporated into your child’s vacation plans. For example, if your child sees a movie, they could write a review, or analyse the film techniques. If your child reads a newspaper or magazine or internet site, they could write a short paragraph about bias, purpose, persuasive techniques, etc.

If you are very concerned about your child’s report, you should contact the school.

Finally, a special mention of our Sustainnovation Challenge Team who have been working with the City of Newcastle New Skills and Living Lab Projects presenting the youth’s voice on disability.  Khiera Bartlett, Meghan Williams, and Eli McLean-Phillips have impressed Newcastle judges in Challenge 1 with their visionary ideas to make Newcastle more accessible and inclusive for everyone in the community. We’re looking forward to students’ further collaborations with Lab partners to turn their vision into reality with the help of all those involved.


Ms. Tania Lloyd

Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary

Secondary Pastrol featured image

Secondary Pastrol

Introducing The Resilience Project Starting in 2022, the secondary school is pleased to be introducing The Resilience Project’s online wellbeing curriculum in our classrooms. The …


Secondary Pastrol

Introducing The Resilience Project

Starting in 2022, the secondary school is pleased to be introducing The Resilience Project’s online wellbeing curriculum in our classrooms. The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs and provides evidence-based, practical strategies to build resilience.

The Digital Program consists of online presentations and lessons for students, professional development for staff, and a video series for our parent and carer community.

In the beginning weeks of 2022, we’ll be sharing the Parent and Carer Program with you. The videos are 5-10 minutes long and will walk through the key pillars of resilience: Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness. You’ll hear stories and be introduced to activities to show how these strategies can support our students’ learning and development, and also support you as parents and carers.

This program is an important part of our College’s effort to look after the mental health of our community.

View the first presentation of the series here: Part 1: Meet Hugh van Cuylenburg and learn about The Resilience Project

In this presentation, Hugh shares a personal experience about his sister’s battles with Mental Illness.

Note: This video contains a story about an Eating Disorder that may be triggering. Please consider this before watching.

We will re-share this introduction and the remainder of the program, including research and wellbeing activities to integrate into day-to-day life from the beginning of 2022.

Novocastrians are also very fortunate to be able to experience Hugh van Cuylenburg live at the Civic Theatre on November 27th – bookings available here:

From the Heads of 7-9 and 10-12

Throughout Weeks 6 and 7, Secondary students have been involved in Social Kindness Day and International Kindness Day activities. These included the Wrinkled Heart activity (as seen on the BTAC Facebook page) and taking to the walkways with coloured chalk to decorate the school with messages of kindness. Students gained a sense of enjoyment and empathy because of this activity, experiencing positive emotions that flowed as a result of reflecting upon ourselves and the kindness we give. Thank you to the students who assisted Mrs. Carlson with organising this initiative.

We were lucky enough to have another special Guest speaker during week 6 for our third ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’. Gill Davies spoke to our students about growing through stress which was a timely message in the midst of the year in which we find ourselves. We want to thank Gill for her time and the ways in which she engaged and enthused our students.

This week, Year 10 is participating in Australian Business Week. Students are simulating the running of Tech companies over the course of the week including the development of trade displays, websites, advertisements, and company reports. It’s a week of intense group work and always a wonderful experience for our Year 10 students. Mrs. Gurr’s Year 9 Hospitality students will be providing an amazing luncheon on Friday to celebrate the efforts of the Year 10 students and teachers across this busy week.

In Week 8 on Friday, Year 10 hospitality students are offering staff the chance to purchase some amazing menu items, allowing Year 10 Hospitality students to showcase their skills and allowing staff to experience these culinary delights. Thank you, Mrs. Gurr, for organising these lovely end-of-year experiences.

This Friday, Year 11 students, families, and staff will be attending the Year 11 Semi-formal. We wish the Year 11 students a wonderful evening. There are more exciting events happening for students prior to the end of term. Keep an eye out for these notifications that will be coming to your inbox soon.

Teachers have been handing out ‘U-Coins’ to Secondary students who are upholding correct uniform procedure, and looking great as representatives of our College. Students can cash in these ‘U-Coins’ at any staffroom in exchange for a Zooper Dooper. Well done to those students who have already received one or more ‘U-Coins’.

Finally, we wish all students a happy and healthy last two weeks. Remember to continue to try hard and be the best person you can be. Even though we are all tired after a busy and unorthodox year, it is still important to try our best and be kind whether we are at school, on social media, or out and about in the community.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Mr. Cummings and Mr. Bull

 Ms. Tania Lloyd

Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary School

Creative and Performing Arts featured image

Creative and Performing Arts

Primary Instrumental Performance Program (PIPP) update As we come to the end of what has certainly been a challenging year in Music Education, the College …


Creative and Performing Arts

Primary Instrumental Performance Program (PIPP) update

As we come to the end of what has certainly been a challenging year in Music Education, the College would like to take this opportunity to thank our instrumental staff, Stage 2 and 3 class teachers, and of course the parents and caregivers of Years’ 3 to 5 students, for the amazing efforts to support student’s engagement and learning this year, particularly during the lockdown period whilst sectional rehearsals were being conducted online.  

During the course of our recent lockdown period, these lessons/rehearsals provided the opportunity for students to challenge themselves in mastering new skills, self-regulate and take responsibility for their own development, and develop resilience, patience, and adaptability. There is also a keen sense of collaboration within each instrument group which expands the students’ social connections outside their own class and friendship group. We have been very impressed with the outcomes of this program, such as the remarkable improvements in both instrumental skill and overall student confidence. One of the goals of the program this year was to form a first tier of Primary large ensembles, with students in Years 3 through to 5 combining to form a Large String Ensemble, Extension String EnsembleGuitar EnsembleExtension Guitar EnsembleDrumline, and of course, Concert Band

Please enjoy the following clips of students’ first combined Years 3 – 5 Concert Band rehearsal that occurred only weeks prior to lockdown. 

As previously announced, we are excited that in 2022, the PIPP will be expanding to encompass all students from Years 3 through to 6. This program initiative, coupled with timetabled music lessons taught by specialist music staff, the College’s Instrumental Peripatetic Lesson program, the Gifted and High Potential (GAHP) music program, and of course the College’s Co-Curricular Ensemble Programdemonstrates the College’s exciting and comprehensive investment in Music education. 

Instrumental Lessons 

At Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, we embrace proven research that shows a clear correlation between the engagement in learning and playing a musical instrument, and brain development in young people – even from as early as infanthood: 

1“a strong case for the benefits of active engagement with music throughout the lifespan. In early childhood there seem to be benefits for the development of perceptual skills which affect language learning and which subsequently impact on literacy. Opportunities to be able to co-ordinate rhythmically also seem important for the acquisition of literacy skills. Fine motor co-ordination is also improved through learning to play an instrument. Music also seems to improve spatial reasoning, one aspect of general intelligence which is related to some of the skills required in mathematics. While general attainment is clearly affected by literacy and numeracy skills, motivation, which depends on self-esteem, self-efficacy, and aspirations, is also important in the amount of effort given to studying. Engagement with music can enhance self-perceptions, but only if it provides positive learning experiences which are rewarding. This means that overall, the individual needs to experience success. This is not to say that there will never be setbacks but they must be balanced by future aspirations which seem achievable and self-belief in attaining them.” 

1 Hallam, S. (2010). The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, social, and personal development of children and young people. International Journal of Music Education, 28(3), 269-289.

Instrumental lessons are available on campus before, during, and after College hours. The College proudly boasts some of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s most talented and experienced instrumental and vocal staff. To enquire about lesson availability, fees, etc, please go to CALEB – Co-Curricular – Instrumental Music Lessons. Here you can follow the links to contact Instrumental staff directly. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Ross. 

Gifted & High Potential Music Program (GAHP) 

The new 2022 College year heralds the return of the College’s Gifted and High Potential music program. This program runs each Wednesday afternoon from 3.10pm through to 4.15pm. Our dedicated music staff, along with a rotating roster of specialist instrumental staff and guest artists, offer students the opportunity to participate in Performance Masterclasses to demonstrate and hone their stage performance skill-set, and Theory & Musicianship Workshops to build their musicianship.  

If your child has achieved Grade 3 or above, they would be very welcome to join this dedicated and enthusiastic group. Please follow the link below to fill out the Expression of Interest. We also request that parents of the current cohort fill out this form for the new school year, should their child wish to continue with the program. 

Click to Download Expression of Interest Form 

For further information, please contact Mr. Gareth Ross  

Year 8 Music 

Year 8 Music students have delved into the world of composing and arranging using the digital audio workstation, Soundtrap. Please sit back and enjoy a small snippet of their work from the recent assessment task. Who knows, we may even have the next Mark Ronson at our College.   

2022 Calendar of Events  

Event  Term  Week  Date 
Bishop Tyrrell Day  1  7A  Wednesday March 9 
Mother’s Day Breakfast & Stall  2  2A  Friday May 6 
PIPP Concert  2  9B  Wednesday June 22 
Instrumental Peripatetic Showcase Concert  2  9B  Thursday 23 June 
College Musical Production  3  2B  Wed July 27-Sat July 30 
Father’s Day Breakfast & Stall  3  7A  Friday September 2 
PIPP Concert  3  10B  Wednesday September 21 
Instrumental Peripatetic Showcase Concert  3  10B  Thursday September 22 
Year 12 Valedictory Assembly  3  10B  Friday September 23 
Year 6 Graduation  4  8B  Friday December 2 
Speech Day  4  9A  Thursday December 8 

Instrumental Teacher Highlights  

Ms Chin-Hwi Ang – Limited places available! 

 Viola and violin teacher, Chin-Hwi Ang, has limited vacancies for students from Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College to enrol for private music lessons in 2022. Chin-Hwi is a registered provider under the Creative Kids initiative and is passionate about the value of music education. 

To enquire about viola or violin lessons for your child with Chin-Hwi here at the College please email: 




 NEW STAFF – Introducing Ms. Jennifer Hankin

Jennifer Hankin is a passionate musician and educator. She began her flute lessons at the age of 10, and since then has completed her A.Mus.A, Diploma of Music Performance, and Bachelor of Music with Honours in Flute, Piccolo, and Composition. She is currently undertaking a Masters of Creative Industries through SAE and is the 2022 Dots and Loops Composition fellow. She has over 10 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings, including school band, jazz band, and orchestral ensembles. 

As well as playing flute, she sings, plays the ukulele, and regularly composes for a variety of instruments. In 2020, she released her Debut series of solo work for flute titled “5 Short Thoughts” and an EP titled “Folksy Dreams Vol 1”. Jennifer performs regularly with a number of Newcastle and Sydney bands, including Othrship, Lachlan X Morris, The Button Collective and Vanishing Shapes. 

We look forward to welcoming Jennifer to the College in the new year. 


Mr. Gareth Ross

Head of Creative Arts and Performance  

Sports Corner featured image

Sports Corner

The past fortnight has seen students enjoying College Sport once again. Secondary students kept warm as they flew around the Ice Skating ring at Warners …


Sports Corner

The past fortnight has seen students enjoying College Sport once again.

Secondary students kept warm as they flew around the Ice Skating ring at Warners Bay. Having the facility to themselves, students have enjoyed a relaxing, yet challenging skate. The comments of, “this is more tiring than I thought”, and “I made around without falling over!”, have been enjoyable to hear. The rain held off and the sun was out as students took to the water and sand at Nobby’s Beach for swimming and beach walking. Always a popular Sport choice, students had a ball swimming between the flags as staff and Council Lifeguards watched over them closely. Backflips and slam dunks were the highlights at Revolution, with students enjoying greater access to all novelties. College Sport was enjoyed on-site, as students participated in cricket, basketball, and walking.

Years 2-6 students have enjoyed two weeks of Swimming at West Wallsend Swim Centre. After being assessed in week one, they hit the water with greater confidence and enthusiasm during week 2. Working with skilled swim coaches in small groups is allowing them to be challenged and supported at a level that is suitable to them.

K-1 are continuing with Motiv8 sports and are loving the high-energy activities that are on offer.

As we wind down for the year, please keep an eye out for information on the upcoming C-Curricular and Sport Presentation on the 25th of November.




Rob Eddy

College Sport Coordinator & Year 5 Teacher

Chaplain – Samaritans Giving Tree 2021 featured image

Chaplain – Samaritans Giving Tree 2021

We are off to a great start with our Samaritans Giving Tree 2021! Thank you to those who have donated for your generous support of …


Chaplain – Samaritans Giving Tree 2021

We are off to a great start with our Samaritans Giving Tree 2021!

Thank you to those who have donated for your generous support of this activity brought to you by the Campus Ministry Team.

There is still time to donate until the end of Week 8, so please keep bringing those gifts in!! Remember this is a House competition and there will be a prize for the House which collects the most donations.

One of the most special aspects of this ministry is speaking with young people who have put some thought into helping to choose gifts. It is incredible to see the level of empathy in even very young children, who are able to use their imaginations to think of what will give joy to others at Christmas.

Other families have donated gifts from home which their children have never opened or used. The children have spoken about how it has made them think about how fortunate they are to have so many presents that they can afford to put them away and forget all about them!

This ministry with Samaritans is a significant part of our young people’s faith development as well as serving the community.

If you’re unsure about how to donate, please see the Samaritan’s flyer below for suggestions. We would love to see wrapped gifts with a post-it note or gift label indicating who the gift would be suitable for. But if you don’t have time to wrap, we will find some elves to help! You may wish to indicate your child’s House on the gift as well to ensure it is collected in the right group.


With warmest wishes and prayers,

Rev. Jacqui Weston


Library featured image


Book Fair A big thank you to all the parents who supported our Book Fair by purchasing book/s! We were able to raise nearly $800 …



Book Fair

A big thank you to all the parents who supported our Book Fair by purchasing book/s! We were able to raise nearly $800 to go towards purchasing even more great books for our library collection thanks to your generosity, and I’m sure your kids are grateful for the new books too. One of the biggest reasons children read (according to research by Scholastic and others) is because they can choose their own books, so your support is developing the literacy skills of your own child, and all of the students here at Bishop Tyrrell.

MS Read-a-thon

Congratulations to Abby R from 3SH for completing the MS Read-a-thon this year! Abby read over 20 books in one month and helped raise hundreds of dollars towards research into multiple sclerosis.

Adrianna Demmocks 

Librarian and Careers Advisor • Library