Across the country Anglican schools are celebrating Reconciliation Week as part of each school’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which outlines their commitment to support all indigenous people in promoting the message #NRW2020 – #InThisTogether2020.  We pay our respect to all indigenous people in this important week and particularly those from the Awabakal and Worimi people, the traditional custodians of the land and waters of Newcastle.

Importantly, we want all Bishop Tyrrell students to understand the meaning of the “The Uluru Statement from the Heart” which represents a collective voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across our nation.  The Statement has evolved after generations of indigenous people have campaigned and lobbied for formal recognition as First Nations people.  If it hasn’t crossed your path you can find this statement, issued following the First Nations National Constitutional Convention held at Uluru in 2017, on  This week we have planned activities to awaken our students interest in this important topic for all Australians and especially for this younger generation, who will soon witness a strong focus on the drive for a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution.

You will find more information about the work of Reconciliation Australia, an organisation which facilitates and promotes respect and positive relations between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their catchy 2020 #InThisTogether2020 theme on

“The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2020 marks twenty years of shaping Australia’s journey toward a more just, equitable and reconciled nation.  Much has happened since the early days of the people’s movement for reconciliation, including greater acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights to land and sea; understanding the impact of government policies and frontier conflicts, and on embracing of stories of indigenous success and contribution”.

Progress for indigenous people in our area and across the nation, starts with our students having the knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and a commitment to seeking justice and equity for all people.

Reconciliation Week gives Australians the opportunity to affirm the sentiments of “Sorry Day” for the wrongs that were done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the past, and focuses our attention on the huge task for the Australian people to bring about proper reconciliation, through the plan presented in the Uluru Statement, 2017.

Suzanne Bain

Preschool featured image


Recently at Preschool the children have been having fun learning about things that fly. They listened to stories about flight and created a list of …



Recently at Preschool the children have been having fun learning about things that fly.

They listened to stories about flight and created a list of things that fly in transport such as aeroplanes, hot air balloons, helicopters and rockets, as well as animals and insects that fly such as birds, dragonflies, gliders, flies and bees.

The children created hot air balloons using patty pans, cups and paddle pop sticks and then looked at the design of a hot air balloon and discussed how it stays in the air.   Then they were involved in making helicopters out of paper and a paper clip and watching it really fly in the air.  They were also predicting which paper aeroplanes would fly the furthest by the way they were folded.

Through these creative experiences based on things that fly, the children have learnt interesting flight related principles and science facts such as;

  • The wings of birds and planes have what is called an aerofoil shape which keeps them in the air.
  • Hot air balloons work because hot air rises.
  • Helicopters feature spinning wings called blades or rotors on top.
  • As a helicopter’s blades spin, they create a force called lift that allows the helicopter to rise into the air.

We have also been cooking this week, with the children using single use ingredients so each child could create their own apricot bliss ball and a vegetable face sandwich.

To create the vegetable face sandwiches the children used cheese, tomato, alfalfa, sultanas and capsicum.   To create the apricot bliss balls they mixed together oats, honey, coconut, chia seeds water and coconut and then used their rolling skills to roll their own individual ball.

We then discussed healthy foods and sometimes foods and learnt that we eat healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, cereals and meats most of the time and sometimes foods such as donuts, chips and lollies as a treat.

By participating in hands-on cooking activities, it helps children develop confidence and skills.  Following recipes encourages children to be self- directed and independent and it also teaches them to follow directions and develop problem-solving skills.

April Cooke
Preschool Director

Primary featured image


We are so very excited to be welcoming all of our students back into the classroom.  The anticipation after so many weeks of absence is …



We are so very excited to be welcoming all of our students back into the classroom.  The anticipation after so many weeks of absence is obvious!  We understand that for some students it is going to be an adjustment returning to a formal setting and we intend introducing the return of the week with some calm talking, sharing time and ‘togetherness’.  It will be a chance to reconnect, laugh, enjoy the companionship of others and have fun playing at recess and lunch.  This ties in nicely with the Reconciliation Week (Wednesday 27th May to Wednesday 3rd June), with this year’s theme ‘In This Together’.  Being back at school will give us the opportunity to communicate, collaborate and participate in learning experiences again.  We would like to thank parents who have guided their children at home with their learning and we appreciate that it has not always been easy.

Staff loved welcoming back Kindergarten students on their special House days last week.  The children are enjoying seeing their friends and returning to school routines.  We have been learning new sounds and building words with them.  During Maths activities, we have been investigating equal groups and making fair shares.  During our Well-Being lessons we continue to think about being like ‘Oscar Organisation’.  We are amazed by the effort from parents and children to work remotely, and are so proud of the independence we are seeing in the students as they return to school.

Year 1 are loving their Science lessons this term – who knew light and sound could be so interesting!  The students (and staff) had their minds blown by a simple light refraction experiment, showing how light bends when it hits water.  We are also investigating different celebrations around the world.  Some students shared their personal experiences of Diwali, with some classrooms even displaying fairy lights on the ceiling.  This week sees our Muslim students celebrating Eid.  Deema from 1AH was even kind enough to bring in some gifts for her teachers and friends, thank you Deema!

Year 2 students have continued to show their resilience and perseverance as they have been returning to school more frequently over the last couple of weeks.  It has been so lovely to see all of their faces in person.  We have continued learning about forms of communication and enjoyed looking at Morse Code and making our own Semaphore flags.  We have also been hearing some wonderful pieces of News from students during our daily Zoom catch ups.  More recently, Year 2 students have been using their visualising skills to imagine animals such as dragons and sharks, and have then been describing in detail these creatures, as well as drawing them.

In Year 3, the week ahead brings the usual spelling, grammar, reading strategies and comprehension but we will be introducing Dreaming Stories and students will have the opportunity to write their own stories.  We will continue with our investigation into day and night.  In History we look at the changes in communities and follow the story of ‘Storm Boy’ and his pelican Mr Percival. The students are certainly looking forward to Band and outdoor P.E.

It has been wonderful having the Year 4 children back at their desks and seeing all of the smiling faces in the classroom.  As we continue to explore Australian History in Year 4, it has been interesting to be part of history and not just studying it, but we are all relieved to be back.  Although no one is missing Zoom Pictionary, Team Meetings, Bad Joke Friday or Mr Russell’s backgrounds yet, in a few weeks it will be forgotten and students will be asking to use their iPads again.

To say Year 5 were a little excited to see their friends again would be a huge understatement.  Students have relished in the opportunity to engage in their learning amongst their peers once again. They have begun looking at the Gold Rush and how it shaped Australia as we see it today. Students are learning the art of poetry and have created some entertaining pieces modelled on the rhyming couplets method Roald Dahl employs in his ‘Dirty Beasts’ poems.  Year 5 were extremely excited to get back to playing some modified sport and PE against peers. We look forward to another great week as we head towards the middle of the year.

It has been wonderful to see our Year 6 students return to the classroom, eager to move forward with their learning and excited to be among friends again. They have been wonderful helpers at Kiss and Ride of a morning, assisting in walking younger students to their classrooms and should be commended on their efforts.  Within the classroom and during History, we have continued to investigate how people have come to live in Australia, either as migrants or refugees. We have heard many fascinating stories of people that came during the ‘Populate or Perish’ campaign, post the Second World War, as well as people who have arrived as refugees, including comedian Anh Do.  In Health, we have been thinking about the connections to our community, including the clubs we belong to and the organisations we know and support.  In Maths, we focused on fractions and decimals and how to create surveys in order or collate accurate data and information.  Within English we continue to study the novel Little Brother, delving further into the times where the Khmer Rouge ruled Indonesia.

Angela Hollingsworth
Head of K-2

Leah McNab
Head of 3-6

Secondary – Studies featured image

Secondary – Studies

The staff at Bishop Tyrrell are to be applauded for the time and effort they have invested in preparing our online teaching and learning program …


Secondary – Studies

The staff at Bishop Tyrrell are to be applauded for the time and effort they have invested in preparing our online teaching and learning program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Teachers have gone above and beyond in an effort to provide their students with the best resources possible to continue their learning with minimal interruption.

Teaching and learning in an online environment presented many new and difficult challenges for both teachers and students alike.  Humans use many different ways to communicate; many of them non-verbal.  Most of us realise that one of the key things that makes a teacher effective is the way they are able to connect with their students.

Some food for thought from teachers about the online learning environment:

“I’m going to miss my kids when I see them. So many of my introverts thrived and would send me amazing video diaries of their work. I have loved this time getting to know my students in a different way.”

“I have been thinking to myself that I need to think hard about how to restructure my classroom and my lessons to give more opportunities to the introverts to be leaders.”

“I noticed those students who normally grumble about school and try to get out of things, actually really loved their days back so have already vowed to be happier about being at school from now on.  This has definitely been a catalyst for me to look at the way I structure my days and weeks in the classroom.”

Feedback gathered from staff and students showed that the majority of students found lesson resources easy to find and interact with on CALEB and Teams. Students responded that video conferences with their teacher via Teams or Zoom helped them understand aspects of a lesson and they felt they could learn successfully in an online scenario.

Since starting the online learning process, the following data has been collected from our use of Microsoft Teams (for years 4 to 12):

  • 140,982 channel messages (approximately 9 per student per day)
  • 118,211 chat messages (approximately 8 per student per day)
  • 2,155 meetings (these are the class lessons)
  • 1,306 one-to-one calls (learning support lessons)
  • 6,310 group calls (approximately 160 per teacher)


Time online for all students and staff (including class and non-class time):

  • 7.8 million minutes audio time (average of 6 hours a day per person)
  • 7.3 million minutes video time (average of 5 hours a day per person)
  • 450 thousand minutes screen sharing time (average of 50 minutes per day per person

Thanks to the outstanding work done by staff, combined with the high level of engagement and maturity displayed by our student body, Bishop Tyrrell is very well placed to continue engaging in online learning and should any further impacts from the current situation eventuate, we will be prepared.

Tania Lloyd
Deputy Principal

Secondary – Pastoral featured image

Secondary – Pastoral

It is fantastic to have all our students back in the classrooms and although some really enjoyed the home learning, which allowed for more sleep …


Secondary – Pastoral

It is fantastic to have all our students back in the classrooms and although some really enjoyed the home learning, which allowed for more sleep and constant access to the fridge, I’m sure seeing their friends in real life is better than on the screen. We still have restrictions in place but staff will do what they can to make coming to school fun and enjoyable.

This week we recognise Reconciliation Week where we are encouraged to build and maintain our relationships with indigenous Australians.  This is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.  Over the next week, Secondary students will be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of indigenous cultural experiences and activities.  Our Primary and Secondary Captains did a magnificent job in creating their own Acknowledgement of Country video earlier this week which has now been shared on social media.   You can watch the video on the College Facebook page via this link.

Also, a friendly reminder that we are now in our winter uniform which means students need to wear their blazer to and from school.

If students are not able to wear the correct uniform on a particular day, please send a note explaining the reason.  It is also important for the boys to read the guidelines for hair length and style to ensure they are meeting the standard set by the College.

Mark Durie
Dean of Students

Sport featured image


Primary It has been great to see all the students back at school this week. Their energy and enthusiasm has been missed on the grounds …




It has been great to see all the students back at school this week. Their energy and enthusiasm has been missed on the grounds at Bishop Tyrrell.

Whilst students have now returned to school, it is important to recognise that there are still many activities, in particular physical activities, that have not yet recommenced. With community sport still suspended, many students are missing out on valuable time being active.  Please encourage your children and your whole family to continue to be active at home.  You can use the various physical activity suggestions on the Primary Sport CALEB page.

School Sport Update:

  • School Athletics Carnival has been cancelled (modified events may take place during school sport time)
  • All HRIS Gala Days and Carnivals have been cancelled for Term 2 and 3.

We will continue to provide opportunities for students to be physically active at school whilst, adhering to the current school risk assessment.

Adam Ezekiel
Head of Primary Sport


“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” ~ Michael Jordan


On Monday, our students walked back through the school gates en masse for the first time in a couple of months and it was great to see. The unwinding of some very tight restrictions is now prompting many of our community sporting organisations to consider what the near future could possibly hold for their game. Notably, our iconic game of NRL recommenced on the 28th May with a few key changes, as the game has been “COVIDified” to make it safer. Our school environment is no different and there have been numerous changes we have made to the way we currently operate.

The NSW Department of Education has adopted the Australian Institute of Sport Level B Recommendations for the safe return to sport starting from Monday 25th May, as have we, and this represents the first real loosening of sport restrictions we have seen in a while. Essentially, this means there can be minor sharing of sports equipment and I know that many of our students are craving the interaction. Handball, with some key changes to the rules to fit Level B restrictions, will hit the playgrounds once again. The general Level B recommendations involve the following:

  • Maximum of 10 people per activity, adequately spaced.
  • Some sharing of sporting equipment permitted such as kicking a football, hitting a tennis ball, use of a skipping rope, weights and mats.
  • Non-contact skills training. Accidental contact may occur but no deliberate body contact drills. No wrestling, holding, tackling or binding.

In school sport news, the HRIS Heads confirmed decisions last week about school representative sport for the remainder of the year. Essentially, all college and HRIS representative sport is cancelled for Terms 2 and 3. Specifically, the following Secondary representative sport has been cancelled:

Term 2
• HRIS Open Football Gala (Week 8)
• HRIS Open Basketball Gala (Week 9)

Term 3
• HRIS Athletics (Week 2)
• HRIS 15 years Basketball Gala (Week 4)

For our top-level athletes, there may still be pathways for higher level representation and we will provide advice about this as plans unfold for CIS and NSW All Schools. For now, it will be nice to enjoy the changes that allow us a small degree of freedom and we can keep hopes alive that further unwinding of sport restrictions will occur. As always, we continue to be mindful of the role our sporting community plays in keeping our whole community safe.

Yours in Sport

Mr J Cruickshank
Head of Secondary Sport and PDHPE

Performing Arts featured image

Performing Arts

How learning to play an instrument enhances all learning Have you ever wondered why awards for academic excellence and leadership in schools are received in …


Performing Arts

How learning to play an instrument enhances all learning

Have you ever wondered why awards for academic excellence and leadership in schools are received in disproportionate numbers by students who also learn and play a musical instrument?

Did you know that the University discipline with the highest academic requirements (Medicine), is also the only tertiary faculty that typically fields its own complete music ensembles outside of the Music faculty – not just in Australia, but all around the world?

New studies have revealed that engagement in learning and playing an instrument enhances social and cognitive functions such as mental focus, spoken and written language, self-control and empathy – all considered powerful tools to enable young people to make sense of the world.

Research has also proven there is a clear correlation between engagement in learning and playing an instrument, and brain development in young people, even from infanthood.  Please take the time to view this short clip. 

There have also been numerous controlled and published studies revealing that on average, students who learned to play a musical instrument for a number of years, and were now involved playing in a school band or orchestra, were the equivalent of about one academic year ahead of their peers with regards to English, Mathematics and Science skills.

What is the significance for your child? Why should you consider enrolling your child in instrumental lessons at Bishop Tyrrell?

In 2013, Google founders revised their previous hiring algorithms after reviewing their managers/staff performances.  They identified skills such as communication, insight into others, cooperation and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, and ability to make connections across complex ideas, were imperatives and consistently evident among their top employees. What this shows is that these qualities, which are inextricably linked to involvement and ongoing experiences in learning and playing an instrument, enhance all learning and are integral in preparing students for the real world – regardless of their future career endeavours.

At Bishop Tyrrell we offer instrumental lessons with some of the most qualified and experienced instrumental teachers in the Hunter region.  Lessons are currently available both on the College Campus before, during and after College hours and online throughout the week, according to the availability of the individual tutors.  For details on the Instrumental Music Lessons, click here to visit the Co-Curricular page on Caleb.

The College would like to extend a warm welcome to Mr Joshua Rea who joins the College Instrumental Staff team, teaching both Cello and Piano.

Joshua is a multi-instrumentalist teacher and performer from Newcastle, Australia.  Born in the UK, he was taught and progressed through the grades on piano and cello, completing grade 8 with distinction on both instruments at the age of 14.  Upon moving to Newcastle at aged 15, he continued his musical journey through high school, followed by completing a postgraduate Bachelor of Music, majoring in Cello performance, from the University of Newcastle.

Joshua has been teaching a variety of instruments for a number of years now, as well as writing with various artists, touring and recording as a session musician under the Universal Music label and restoring vintage pianos through his side project ‘The Glassfront Project’.  Through the years, Joshua has continued to learn and develop his skills in many musical directions. He now performs and records on a professional level on six different instruments.

Gareth Ross
Head of Creative Arts and Performance