Hunter Sports High News Term 4 - Week 10 - 2023

What's On?

  • Friday 15 December: Last day of term for students. Year 7-10 reports issued
  • Monday 18 - Tuesday 19 December: Staff Development Days
  • Monday 18 December - Wednesday 31st January: School Holidays
  • Tuesday 30th - Wednesday 31st January: Staff Development Days
  • Thursday 1st February: Students return for Term 1, 2024

principal's message

As we approach the end of another memorable year at Hunter Sports High School, I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride and gratitude. It has been an extraordinary journey filled with triumphs, challenges, and countless moments that have shaped us into the remarkable community we are today.

First and foremost, I want to extend my deepest appreciation to our dedicated and passionate staff. Your unwavering commitment to our students and their growth is truly commendable. The sacrifices you make, the late nights spent preparing lessons, and the unwavering support you provide do not go unnoticed. You are the heart and soul of our school, and I am forever grateful for your tireless efforts.

To our incredible students, you have shown resilience, adaptability, and a thirst for knowledge throughout this year. You have embraced change, overcome obstacles, and have continued to shine. Your determination and enthusiasm inspire us all, and I am confident that your future holds endless possibilities.

Parents, your trust, support, and collaboration have been instrumental in creating a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. Your involvement in our school community has fostered partnerships that have greatly benefited our students. Thank you for entrusting us with your children's education and for being an integral part of their growth.

Reflecting on the year, we have witnessed remarkable achievements across various fields. Value add data from Years 7 - 9 highest result to date and placing us the 'Excelling' category as a school and ranked as one of the highest schools in the state for Value add 7 -9.

Value add 9 - 12 is also highest to date and is an area of focus for the school, so I look forward to seeing continued success in this area.

NAPLAN changed from bands to Proficiency levels this year and our Year 9 students again had a very successful year with 54% of students achieving the top 2 levels level of either 'Strong' or 'Exceeding' in the areas of Reading Numeracy, writing and language conventions.

HSC results were released on the 14th December and showed a continuation of growth in students achieving in the top 3 bands in their subjects. We already have had 29 students out of 34 receive offers of early entry to university and all students in Big Picture who applied and presented to university have been offered a position for 2024.

Beyond the classroom, our high school has become a bustling hive of artistic expression, athletic prowess, cultural sharing and linking with our community.

The CAPAL showcase night, held this term was a great night. It was an opportunity for our students to share their talents and display their skills through a static art display and a wide variety of performances – dance, vocal and musical.

Our sporting programs at an individual and teams level has produced its best results on record – 202 Hunter region representatives, 82 NSW representatives, 21 National representatives, 10 State title winning teams, reached the top 4 or top 2 in over half the competitions entered, and most recently received a gold medal at the National Basketball Championships held on the Gold Coast. This year we became an Olympic Pathways School, one of only 7 schools nationally and internationally.

Robert Jovanovski our Deputy Principal was acknowledged for his work and commitment to the Hunter Region Sports Association and awarded life membership, which is a tremendous honour, but also recognition of his efforts over the last 20 or so years. At the same ceremony we had both boys and girls athletes of the year for the Hunter Region - 9 students receiving Hunter Region Sporting Blues, and 3 students presenting the awards, a testament to the standing of our school in the region.

Our Minimbah team continues to build the knowledge and experiences of all of our staff, students and community. The team provided so many opportunities throughout the year with events such as Sorry Day assembly, NAIDOC celebrations, NRL school to work, Bro Speak, Sista Speak to name a few. The dance group continues to grow and the number of requests for performances also continues to grow. They are in high demand as they a quality group and we are lucky to have them at our school. The successes of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were again recognised and celebrated at our Minimbah celebration night, held at the school in recent weeks.

The LEAP team (school leadership team) continued to build its presence in and out of the school through their role in a number of events across the year. Our 2023 charity was Hunter Homeless Connect and the LEAP team organised events such as Valentine’s Day roses, jersey days, pyjama day and Easter hampers.

In our GEM Academy there has been an abundance of activity, marked by both excitement and creativity. One of the highlights has been the Personal Interest Projects, where students delve into their passions, resulting in inspiring presentations to their teachers and peers each term.

The Coffee Shop program, a weekly indulgence for our dedicated staff, continues to be a favoured tradition. Every Thursday, the GEM Academy has treated staff to delectable delights, reaching a pinnacle with the extraordinary Christmas lunch that brought us all together in festive celebration.

Our students have actively engaged in diverse Work Experience and TAFE opportunities, expanding their horizons and gaining practical insights into various fields. 2024 will see a continuation of these programs plus much more – watch out for details.

T2 Academy continues to provide countless opportunities for our student to gain work experience, School based apprenticeships and traineeships – and in many cases transition from school to full time employment as trainees and apprentices. 2024 will see the introduction of our T1 program, which provides preparation and skill development for students looking at transitioning to the workforce or further external training.

Hunter Academy was newly introduced this year and has also seen significant growth in our students personally, socially and academically – particularly in literacy and numeracy. It has provided a nurturing environment for our students to grow.

These are just some of the programs running at our school – there are many more. Rachel Byrne will be returning to school in 2024 to resume as our principal. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our school community for your support this term while I have been relieving principal. I wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season, filled with love, laughter, and cherished moments with your loved ones. May the new year bring us renewed energy, fresh opportunities, and boundless success.

Mr Nicholas Davies - Relieving Principal

Science Faculty News

Radioactive Made Attractive.

In term 4 this year, Year 9 Science were asked to answer the question: “Could / should coal-fired power stations in the Hunter Valley be converted to nuclear power station?”

To complete this task students were required to demonstrate an understanding of nuclear power at the atomic level (how does nuclear fission work?), and were also asked to consider the implications of using nuclear power versus coal power at the power-station, local area and global level.

Working in groups, students demonstrated their knowledge in a couple of ways. They created an annotated display of models of atoms and power stations and then completed an online Quiz. In addition, enrichment students gave a five-minute presentation on their models and their findings.

As well as contributing to their formal assessment, our Laboratory Manager, Ms. Jones judged the models and the students’ approach to the task. She was spoilt for choice with a variety of physical models, posters, 3D drawings and virtual models to evaluate.

Ms. Jones said the choice was difficult. To help her with her decision, she not only considered the final product, but also how diligently and thoughtfully the students approached the task.

In the end Ms. Jones awarded first prize to Edward Sawers and his group. Ms. Jones said that “not only did Edward and his team build an outstanding model, but they also threw themselves into learning more about how nuclear power worked and the implications for having nuclear power in the Hunter Valley”.

When being awarded first prize, Edward said he found learning about science by solving problems and presenting solutions as being “challenging and frustrating, but a good way to learn”.

Second prize was awarded to the group consisting of Reece New, Joshua Patterson and Jeremy Thorton who together created an impressive virtual three-dimensional model of a power plant. Ms. Jones said these students were awarded second prize because of their original approach, but also the quality of the model and their ability to describe how the model worked.

In the end the year 9 groups made a range of recommendations. Some said we should continue with the coal-fired power stations because of the cost of converting to nuclear power, but other groups recommended converting to nuclear power because of the reduced impact on climate change.

Only time will tell.

Edward Sawer and team member Zaylen Ekepati showing their award-winning model to Mr. Handley
Nate Ward working on his power station model
Garvish Gulati and Cohen Riddell inspect the power station model they have constructed
Year 11 Students get Introduced to the World of Human Disease

In November our two Year 11 Biology Classes had an excursion to the Museum of Human Disease at UNSW Sydney. The Museum houses over 2,500 diseased human tissues specimens. It was established in 1959 and is a key disease education facility for NSW university and high school students.

On arrival at the museum, our students received a 45-minute presentation on a range of human diseases and their causes. As part of the presentation students were able to view preserved samples of body parts and organs that had been affected by a disease. The presentation included a detailed introduction to cirrhosis of the liver and aortic aneurism. Following the presentation, students took a self-directed tour through the museum, completing comprehensive worksheets on a range of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

The excursion forms a key part of the students’ depth study of infectious diseases. The depth study is an opportunity for students to dig deep into the topic to help them gain a better understanding of the content being taught. The depth study runs over about three weeks, and in addition to the excursion, includes an experiment testing for antibiotic resistance and research task on the prevention, treatment and control of disease, which is followed by a brief test of knowledge.

HSHS Year 11 Biology Students getting a taste of university life at the UNSW Museum of Human Disease

TAS Faculty News

2023 has been an amazing and very fast year! Our students have excelled in all subjects in the TAS faculty. We’ve had many students in both Year 8 and 10, choose electives in Stages 5 and 6, experiencing first-hand our modern facilities and wealth of knowledge from our experienced staff members.

VET Hospitality Students

Our VET Hospitality students have completed competencies through the operation of The Dugout Café, serving delicious food and beverages before the show and at intermission for the CAPA Showcase evening. The current Year 12 class have now finished the course with 85% of students achieving a Certificate II Qualification in 2023. Year 8 Food & Agriculture’s sustainable vegetable garden is thriving, with the help of The Dugout’s Café's leftover coffee grind. Students studying Food and Agriculture this term have had the opportunity to prepare, cook and eat the fresh vegetables harvested from the garden and prepared into healthy Caesar salads and stir-fries.

Marine Studies

Recently students from the year 9 and 10 Marine Studies classes visited Nelson Bay for a snorkelling experience at Fly Point and a trip up Tomaree Head Lookout. At Fly Point, students were fortunate to see a Wobbegong Shark not far from the shoreline and an abundance of different fish species, giant flat head fish over 1.5m long, and a turtle cruising slowly in the shallows. Thank you to Mr Davies and the ‘Let’s Go Adventure’ instructors for organising these unique experiences for our students.


Our best wishes go to the HSC cohort of 2023 in VET Hospitality, VET Construction and Industrial Technology Timber who received their examination results on Thursday 14th December 2023.

Staffing Updates

In 2024 the TAS Faculty will have three newly permanently appointed staff: Mr Harmer will be delivering VET Construction and Industrial Technology Timber, Mr Peachey will be teaching Stage 4 Technology as well as an advisor in the T2 Academy, and Mrs Rodgers will be teaching Hospitality, Stage 5 Food Technology and Stage 4 Technology. The TAS Faculty will have 9 staff, including Mrs Carolan, Mr Davies, Mrs Hines (Head Teacher TAS), Mr Hogan, Mrs Connell (SASS Kitchen Assistant) and Mr Winter (Head Teacher Administration).

From our families to your family, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!

PDhpe Picks

Year 7 Swim and Survive

In Week 9, Term 4 all Year 7 students from Hunter Sports High School participated in a Swim and Survive 3 Day Program that meets their PDHPE syllabus requirements for Aquatics. The weather gods were in our favour and we had three days of sunshine and heat, with Charlestown Pool beckoning the kids to indulge in the water.

Students were assessed on day 1 and then placed in groups to circulate through the 8 stations of learning over days 2 and 3. They were taught the skills of dive and discovery, rope and object rescues, swim technique and endurance, first aid and CPR, treading water, and even clothed swims. Don’t forget a little fun thrown in too with novelty games, sporting extravaganza and water polo challenges!

Overall, the students were extremely well behaved, organised, respectful and suitably enthusiastic. The general public and the pool staff were very complimentary and agree that this group was one of our best ever!

Congratulations Year 7, 2023! You have gained some aquatic knowledge and skills to take you into the summer holidays and made the PDHPE staff very proud.

GEM Academy News

$20 Boss Market Day

GEM Academy students and Year 8 Project REAL students have undertaken a $20 Boss project in term 4. In small groups, they came up with a small business idea creating products for sale. All this hard work came to fruition on Friday 1st December when over 100 students set up their market stalls in the amphitheatre and began demonstrating their sales skills. Hunter Sports High School students and teachers were joined by some of their parents and students from Wiripaang Public School to go on an early Christmas shopping spree. Big thanks to Mr Tait and Mr Strachan who manned the sausage sizzle, along with all the GEM and Project REAL teachers who supported the students in their enterprise.

The students are to be congratulated for their outstanding participation in the market day, a success both as an opportunity for our students to develop their enterprise skills and creativity, as well as a fundraiser for our school charity this year. The day was a great demonstration of the Hunter Sports Way!

T2 Yearly Wrap Up

We have had a busy year in T2. Over the year, an impressive 75 students engaged in internships. Some places we have been to include: Cardiff Toyota, Stone Real Estate, Gerry Wubbels, Mt Hutton Child Care Centre, Felton Street Preschool, Bluewater Cruising Yachts, Gibbo’s Auto Electrics, Safety Build P/L, Fern Air, Muso’s Corner, AMP Control, Buddy & Co, Kinda Kapers, Hunter Primary Schools and Event Cinemas. We attended TAFE for beauty, hairdressing, animal care, electrotechnology and hospitality, as well as attending the Oz Harvest Nourish Program and PCYC Fit For Work. We also attended the Central Coast Community College for Engineering, Fabrication & Manufacturing.

We are proud to have secured 29 apprenticeships this year. These have been in Hairdressing, Carpentry, Electrician, Boilermaker, Animal Care, Concreting, Locksmith, Shipwright and Automotive Mechanic.

This term we have signed up 18 SBAT’s. These are in a variety of settings including Educational Support, Fitness, Childcare, Assistant in Nursing and Business (Medical Administration).

The strong links that we have established with community and potential employers will allow us to continue to support our students to progress in their chosen pathway in 2024.

T2 Student Reflections

"I am grateful for the T2 opportunity because I have been successful in gaining a SBAT as an SLSO. I also appreciated the staff, especially Nat, Buzz and Mitch who have been with me every step of the way." Brayden

"I appreciate HSHS having the T2 program as I feel I may have dropped out of school because mainstream wasn't working for me. I like the setting, working independently and having the support of the T2 teachers. The program has given me many opportunities like work experience, an SBAT and connecting with community organisations." Jaylah

"T2 has been good for me, helping me get set-up for life during my school years rather than waiting to finish Year 12. I like being able to work closely with Nat, Buzz and Mitch each day I'm at school as they help me stay on track with tasks." Ralph

Students who successfully transition to employment have their names displayed in the room as a reminder of the many success stories to come out of T2

Careers Corner: Semester 2 Recap

As we bid farewell to Semester 2, it's time to reflect on the incredible array of opportunities and experiences that have enriched the educational journey of our students at Hunter Sports. From hands-on excursions to eye-opening workshops, the past semester has been nothing short of inspiring.

University Early Entry

85% of year 12 students who applied for the University Early Entry Program received an offer to the University of their choosing before they even sat the HSC!! Congratulations!

Pathways Presentations

Students from across all year groups participated in presentations from professionals across diverse industries. Students had the chance to interact with experts, gaining valuable insights into the skills and attributes required for success in their chosen fields.

University of Newcastle Campus Experience Days

Our students had the unique opportunity to explore the University of Newcastle through Campus Experience Days. Visits to the Central Coast Clinical School, Callaghan, and City Campuses allowed them to envision their future academic pursuits and discover the vast range of possibilities awaiting them

Work Experience

Our students had the chance to step into the real world and gain valuable insights into various professions through our Work Experience program. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to explore potential career paths and develop essential workplace skills. Some have gained employment from their work experience placements.

EPP Boating and Marine Immersion

Navigating the waters of knowledge, our students embarked on an exciting three day Boating and Marine excursion. This immersive experience deepened their understanding of careers in boating and marine.

EPP Animal Care Excursion

Furry, feathered and finned friends took center stage during the Animal Care excursion. Students got hands-on experience in caring for a variety of animals, providing a glimpse into the world of veterinary science and animal welfare at Irukandji Shark and Ray Centre and Oakvale Farm.

EPP Girls on Fire (Fire and Rescue)

Breaking stereotypes and embracing empowerment, our female students participated in the Girls on Fire program with Fire and Rescue. This initiative aimed to inspire and encourage young women to consider careers in firefighting and emergency services.

EPP Wicked the Musical

Students attended the spectacular performance of "Wicked." This cultural outing not only entertained but also fueled creativity and appreciation for the arts.

EPP Active and Outdoor Expo

Promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, the Active and Outdoor Expo showcased a variety of recreational activities. Students explored options for sports, fitness and outdoor adventures, encouraging a holistic approach to well-being and careers in the outdoors.

EPP Stage 4 Immersion Day

Our Stage 4 students delved into a day of immersive learning, gaining insights into various careers and discovering their interests and strengths with hands-on activities.

EPP Head Start - Pre Apprenticeship Program at the Central Coast Community College

The Head Start program empowered students to kick-start their journey into the trades. By gaining practical skills and industry knowledge, they are better prepared for the exciting challenges that lie ahead in the world of apprenticeships

EPP Start your Future, Make-up and Beauty

Start your future courses were held every term with students in years 10-12, with a range of courses to choose from. Over 70 HSHS students have participated in these hands-on, free courses at TAFE throughout the year.

TAFE Courses

In collaboration with TAFE, our students explored a diverse range of vocational courses, providing a pathway to practical skills and qualifications. These experiences opened new doors to future careers and educational pursuits.

Year 10 O Weeks and Year 10 Rewards Excursion

The Year 10 students immersed themselves in Orientation Weeks, preparing them for the challenges and choices of senior years. A well-deserved Rewards Excursion followed, acknowledging their hard work and dedication throughout the semester.

As we look back on Semester 2, it's clear that Hunter Sports High School, in collaboration with Educational Pathways Program (EPP), is dedicated to providing diverse and enriching experiences to shape well-rounded individuals ready to take on the world. Here's to a future filled with endless possibilities for our students!

Thank-you and see you all next year for more exciting Career based learning!

Mrs Slaney and Mrs Schubert

A big year for Minimbah

2023 has been one of the biggest years to date for Minimbah. An exceptional amount of highs, in and out of the classroom, on and off the sporting fields/courts, and being culturally immersed at every opportunity.

This semester we welcomed two new staff members in Bree Poulton and Nathan Darcy as Student Learning Support Officers and while term 3 was extremely busy, term 4 has been as big as the rest of the terms. Amongst this term we have seen our twelve Year 12 students either sitting the HSC or completing their schooling and preparing for their life beyond Hunter Sports. Students have been engaged in programs and excursions, including the dance group, who have been highly sort after with a performance at least once per week this term. Students have also been sharing cultural knowledge with partner Primary Schools, delivering the Acknowledgement at many events, assisting with orientation for Year 6 students, Opening Primary Schools Yarning Circles through dance performances, Delivering Perspectives in class, NRL School to Work program, SistaSpeak & BroSpeak, Mentoring Program from Fighting Arts Gym, performing in the HSHS Showcase, Academic success, celebrating plenty of student success during our time spent in the classrooms, and of course … Minimbah Celebrations.

This term the Dance Group has exceeded expectations in performance numbers, student participation and the high calibre of events they have been invited to. More specifically, we have been invited to and attended the Newcastle Knights Reconciliation Action Plan launch and made the top 25 groups from across Australia to compete at the Dance Rites competition at Sydney Opera House. This was a huge feat alone to be selected. The selected dancers combined with Yangkay Cultural Connect and on day one performed so well with their 8 minute dance, they were selected as one of the top 8 groups to perform in the finals on day two. On day two was the ‘Wildcard Category’ for all groups to compete in, comprising of a 3 minute dance. The students danced above and beyond their years with passion, pride and commitment as they proudly represented their group, our school, their mob, their communities and their families. Although disappointed not to place top 2, the raving reviews they received from the other performers, from their supporters and from strangers in the audience, proved that they were the crowd favourites! They were humble in defeat and gallant as the Wildcard category winners for 2023.

The Minimbah Team is extremely proud of all our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their achievements in 2023. These achievements were acknowledged at last weeks Minimbah Celebration. Another huge night to reward all students, acknowledge their efforts and participation, present our Certificates of Recognition, Achievement Awards and reward our Major Award Winners. We look forward to another big year in 2024, full of opportunities, cultural immersion, knowledge sharing, wellbeing help and overall mentoring and guiding you all.

~ Minimbah Team

Sports Academy

Message from your Sport Director

As we approach the end of another thrilling year at Hunter Sports High School, it's a pleasure to reflect on the outstanding achievements and memorable moments in the realm of sports. Our student-athletes have once again demonstrated exceptional dedication, sportsmanship and resilience throughout the various competitions and events.

The collective efforts of our teams have not only showcased the talent within our school but also reinforced the values of teamwork, discipline and perseverance that are integral to the spirit of sportsmanship. From exhilarating victories to hard-fought battles, each game has been a testament to the commitment and passion that our athletes bring to the field.

Beyond the scores and medals, we've witnessed personal growth and character development among our students. The lessons learned on the sports field extend far beyond the boundaries of the game, shaping individuals who embody the principles of leadership, respect and responsibility.

As we celebrate the successes of the past year, we also look forward to the opportunities and challenges that the upcoming year will bring. The unwavering support from parents, coaches and the entire school community has been instrumental in fostering an environment where our athletes can thrive. Your encouragement and commitment to our sports program are truly appreciated.

May the holiday season provide a well-deserved break for our students, allowing them to recharge and return in the new year with the same enthusiasm and determination that have defined our sports culture. Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

James Pascoe

Director of Sport


A big congratulations to Year 12 students Taimana Elers (Touch Football & Rugby Union) and Chloe Walandouw (Football), who were named the 2023 Hunter Region School Sport Associations Male & Female Sports People of the Year.

Taimana & Chloe have been wonderful role models for the entire Hunter Sports High School student community for many years and thoroughly deserve this outstanding recognition.

As part of their award Chloe and Taimana received individual charactures, individually produced by local artist David Green
Rugby League Excursion

The Rugby League Academy visited the Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence this week. They completed skills and drills on the field run by NRL Assistant Coach, Blake Green and Head of Pathways, Michael Dobson. They received a tour through the building and visited the coaches offices, gym, pool and ice baths room. The day finished with a seminar from Pathway Welfare & Education manager, Jarrod Crane and Head of Pathways Strength & Conditioning, Sam Kennedy about how to look after themselves both physically and mentally. The boys learned about team athlete professionalism and how those skills and character traits are transferable to the workforce as an employee.

There is a strong connection being reestablished between Hunter Sports and the Newcastle Knights and we look forward to more days like this in the future.

Australian School Championships - Basketball

During week 8 students from the Basketball TSP program travelled to the Gold Coast to compete in the Australian School Championships, leaving a lasting mark with their impressive performances. The U15s Men's team showcased extraordinary teamwork and determination, exhibiting promising signs of talent and potential that bode well for the future. Close games, though not always resulting in victories, have become valuable learning experiences, contributing to the team's resilience and determination.

Simultaneously, the U17s Women's team displayed incredible potential, competing fiercely and leaving a positive impact on the championship. Despite their younger age, their enthusiasm, talent, and positive attitude contributed to their success, making the school proud as they navigated through tough matches.

The U17s Men's team faced initial challenges, finishing 4th in their pool. However, their unwavering resolve and strategic prowess propelled them to a remarkable comeback as they went on to secure victory in their division. This impressive turnaround not only demonstrated their resilience but also highlighted their ability to adapt and thrive under pressure. Their journey from a challenging pool stage to clinching the division title showcased the true spirit of competition and resilience within the team, earning them well-deserved accolades.

The Gold Coast excursion not only provided a platform for intense sports rivalry but also fostered camaraderie and enduring memories among the students from all teams.

School notices

Apply now for 2024 school bus travel passes


Will your child be catching the bus to school next year? Applications are now open for a Bus Travel Pass. As it’s a busy time of year, we highly recommend you make this application before the end of the year. It’s also good to check the bus timetable to make your child’s journey to school is as easy as possible. Here is how it works:


All students catching the bus in 2024 will need a school travel pass.

Under the School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS), eligible students can apply for free or subsided travel between home and school.

For more information about the School Student Transport Scheme and how to apply for a school travel pass, visit from a desktop computer.


Busways is one of the school bus operators that runs your schools’ bus services. To find your child’s school bus timetable, visit the Busways website by using the following steps:

1. Go to

2. Click on ‘school services’ in the navigation bar and then proceed to ‘school timetables’

3. Enter the school’s name in the field that says ‘enter a school name’

4. Select the school’s name and the timetable should open on your device. If you are unable to find or search for the school’s name, use the drop-down menus on the same web page to find the school.

5. Once the timetable is opened, you will be able to identify which school bus services are available in your area for your child to use.

Red Bus Services

Please we aware that the end date of Red Bus school routes for 2023 will be 19th December 2023 (inclusive). Services will resume on the 29th January 2024.

Community notices