Hunter Sports High News Term 2 - Week 10 - 2024

What's On?

  • Friday 5th July - Tuesday 23rd July: School Holidays
  • Monday 22nd July: Sports Academy Yr8-11 2025 Applications Close
  • Friday 2nd August: Enrichment Academy 2025 Applications close
  • Tuesday 13th - Friday 16th August:Year 11 Snow Trip
  • Monday 19th- Friday 23rd August: Book Week
  • Tuesday 20th - Friday 30th August: HSC Trial Exams

principal's message

Dear Parents/Carers,

As we reach the end of what has been a busy and successful term, I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for your ongoing support in your child's education journey at our school.

I am really proud to share with you that our school has been selected as an excellence awardee at the 2024 Australian Education Awards for the Australian Government School of the Year and Australian Government School Principal of the year. This recognition is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our school community towards achieving excellence and personalising pathways in education. While the winner will be announced in August, being named as an excellence awardee is already a significant accomplishment and a reflection of the outstanding contributions and collaboration of our staff, students, parents and carers.

A quick update on our uniform policy, which has been updated and is located on our website at the following link.

HSHS Uniform Policy

On Monday’s and Wednesday’s students can continue to wear their sports uniform all day. The yellow PDHPE shirt will be removed from production at Lowes but students will still be allowed to wear these shirts. Lowes have also changed the material they are using for the lady’s blouse which should address community concerns with our current design. I can confirm that the following design for a school polo shirt will go into production with Lowes later this year. I would like to thank the staff, students and parents involved in community consultation throughout this term. These will be available as a uniform option early next year. It will not be a mandatory part of our uniform, with our button up shirts still the preferred uniform for students.

Finally, I’d also like to inform you about our new "Time to Switch Off" procedures regarding digital communication. Our school is committed to protecting our staff from digital communication interruptions outside of school operating hours. We understand that there may be times when you need to communicate with your child’s teachers or the school administration. However, we kindly ask that you adhere to our preferred communication channels during school hours to ensure important messages are not overlooked and to support the wellbeing of our staff. The link below takes you to our school communication protocols located on our website.

HSHS Communication Protocols and Procedures

Warm regards,

Ms. Rachel Byrne - Principal


University of Newcastle Forensic Day

During Term 1, Mr. Hine took his Forensics class on an excursion to the University of Newcastle Forensics Day. During the day students learned about crime in the media and how it can cause bias in real cases. The students then had to try and match photos of real criminals, like Ted Bundy, to the media portrayal of him. They met a real forensic anthropologist, and she was different to the way television portrays them. They looked at fingerprinting and skull features used to identify if a victim is male or female. They learned how eyewitnesses can unintentionally cause bias in a criminal case and their observation skills were tested while witnessing a crime. Finally, they visited a mock crime scene and helped gather possible evidence and learnt about the chain of custody of the evidence collected.

Mr Hine said the day was a great success and gave the students a chance to apply the lessons learned in the classroom. He says he will be back next year.

Mr Hine and “the usual suspects” waiting for their day of forensics.
The “real anthropologist” presents evidence to our students (left) and Mr. Hine being falsely accused - without any evidence (right)

HSHS Students Rise to the Engineering Challenge

Late in Term 1 Year 9 and 10 students attended the University of Newcastle Engineering Challenge. The students were divided into groups of two to four and then attempted a range of challenges.

These challenges included ElectraCITY where students needed to provide electricity to a city at the lowest cost; The Turbine where students used everyday materials to maximise the revolutions a wind turbine would make; and the highlight of the day was The Bridge, where students used a limited supply of balsa wood and masking tape to create a bridge strong enough to have a model train traverse the bridge. This activity formed the finale for the day where the bridges from each school were tested in front of all other schools where weight was added to the train until the bridges failed.

The Bridge - Izzy Morgan testing her team’s bridge in front of a crowed filled with anticipation. We didn’t win, but we were very close.

The Challenge was a great day for our students to explore their interests in the physics arena as a possible subject to study in years 11 and 12.

The Turbine – Anakin Richardson testing his team’s turbine.

Science and culture come on Awabakal excursion

On the 20th of June, Year 11 Biology classes undertook a field trip to the Awabakal environmental education centre in Dudley.

The Awabakal Environmental Education Centre provides environmental and sustainability education for students and teachers in Newcastle, the Hunter Region and surrounds. The class was exposed to 4 different ecosystems within the picturesque landscape of the Awabakal nature reserve in Dudley.

The students performed fieldwork to investigate the differences within each ecosystem involving quadrats, lux metres to measure light exposure, soil moisture and type, wind direction and speed, and the inclination of the landscapes. Environmental and sustainability education introduces students to connections between people, their culture, local history and their environment.

The students had an excellent day exploring examples of sustainable practices in a local context and environment learning about historical uses of the land and the lasting effects on the different ecosystems within the Awabakal nature reserve.

Students collecting data near the bluff.
Glenrock reserve offers our students many opportunities to explore different ecosystems.


Visual Arts

The wonderful world of clay

Term 2 has been gigantic for us in Visual Arts! Our talented students have been busy creating a wide variety of artworks, with many of these being ceramic, so… lots of clay! As you can imagine it is a very big job to make and fire over 300 student ceramic works – so we definitely need to give a big shout out to our wonderful cleaners who have been a fabulous support this term.

Year 7 have been busy making ceramic dragon heads for their Fantastic Beasts unit of work. They have proven to be a very enthusiastic and creative group, and we have seen some incredible and unique looking dragons so far. These are still underway, but there are lots of them almost ready to be fired in the kiln, ready to decorate in Term 3.

Year 7 'Fantastic Beasts'

Year 8 have been working on making some ceramic vases, decorated with designs based on plants that can be found in Australia for their Locally Grown unit of work. They have been learning a variety of hand building and decorating techniques to create their vases. They are also almost ready for firing in the kiln and are looking amazing! Gem classes have been busy with their clay too, with Gem Ruby making some lovely hot chocolate mugs using the same ‘sgraffito’ techniques.

Year 8 and GEM Ruby Ceremics

Stage 5 Visual Arts (Year 9 and 10) elective classes have been hard at work producing their own collection of functional ceramic pieces for their Home Beautiful unit of work. This talented group of students have been creating some beautiful pieces that we are busily in the process of firing in the kiln so that they are ready for a class tea party using their pieces in Term 3. This has been a character building unit of work that has allowed them to overcome the frustration involved with clay being somewhat unpredictable and taught them some valuable skills such as patience and resilience. Their perseverance has certainly paid off though!

Year 9 and 10 Ceremics

Year 11 have been finishing their unit of work based on Modernism, with some outstanding results. This project has allowed them to experiment with a variety of artmaking techniques and identify areas of strength within their skillset. They have now started the process of creating Portraits of HSHS staff members that have had a positive impact on them. When they are complete, the staff members will be invited to come and view their portrait in a mini-exhibition. We cannot wait to see how these look when they are completed!

Year 11 Modernism

We also had a special delivery from Mr. Oprea’s Year 9 Maths in Trade class earlier in the term. They gifted us with a set of easels they constructed which were amazing and will be perfect for our upcoming annual HSHS Showcase evening in Term 4. Thank you, Mr. Oprea and Year 9!

Mr. Oprea’s Year 9 Maths in Trade class

We would like to thank our amazing art students for such a fantastic term, and the people at home who have encouraged and supported your young artists (and possibly have done some extra washing when things got a bit messy!). We look forward to getting into the fabulous world of pop art, painting, drawing and portraiture next term.

The visual arts team;

Ms. McCarthy, Ms. Meikle, Ms. Mueck, Ms. Schubert, Ms. Sparks.


Countin’ the beat

As we reflect on this past term, our music students have showcased dedication and ingenuity. A notable highlight has been the innovative work of Cody and Noah, our students who cleverly reconfigured semi-acoustic guitar electronics to repair broken instruments. This hands-on project not only demonstrated their technical skills but also their resourcefulness and commitment to music. Thanks to Mr. Harmer for his efforts to assist in templating, cutting and loaning tools to ensure success with the repaired guitars.

In addition to their technical accomplishments, our students have shown remarkable growth in their musical abilities. Consistent lunchtime rehearsals have significantly contributed to building their confidence and enhancing their performance skills. These regular practice sessions have transformed our students into more polished and self-assured performers.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to those students and guitar guru teacher, Mr. Doyle, who seized the opportunity to perform at school assemblies. Your courage and talent have added vibrancy to our school community and inspired your peers.

We are excited to announce that students now have the opportunity to submit their compositions for Triple J Unearthed High. This prestigious platform offers a fantastic chance for young musicians to gain national recognition and potentially kick-start their music careers. We encourage all aspiring composers to take part in this incredible opportunity.

Looking ahead, we eagerly anticipate the upcoming NAIDOC Koorioke, where we will celebrate both staff and student excellence in music. This event promises to be a showcase of the rich cultural heritage and diverse talents within our school. The clear stand out performances last year from Mr Whitington, Ben and Tony, and the Skuthorpe family (To name a few) have set a high standard of singing for this year’s event.

Thank you to all our music students for their hard work, creativity, and enthusiasm. We are proud of your achievements and look forward to many more musical milestones in the future.

Lastly, we would like to acknowledge the wonderful efforts of Mr. Wett, our incredibly talented piano Music specialist teacher who has been extending our students through exemplary music performance demonstrations and entertaining practical activities filled with great humour and spirited instruction. We wish Mr. Wett all the best for his future travels.

The music team;

Ms. Hudson and Mr. Wett.


Spotlight on a specialist TAS teacher:

Mr. Grant Harmer

Mr Harmer has been teaching at Hunter Sports High School since the start of Term 1, 2021 He had previously taught at Cherrybrook Technology High School for 12 years as a specialist Industrial Technology Timber and VET Construction teacher. Mr. Harmer has recently updated his VET Construction qualifications completing the training at Meadowbank TAFE in Sydney, which provides our students with the most up-to-date industry-based training for the delivery of courses here at Hunter Sports High School.

Mr. Harmer is an expert home renovator with interests in Architecture and Design which he brings into his classrooms across all learning stages. He is an avid road cyclist with a wicked sense of humour and can be heard around the workshop singing his signature song ‘Better’ by The Screaming Jets’!

We are very fortunate to have Mr. Harmer on the TAS Faculty staff.



Students in Year 9 have been completing a unit on Food Equity this term. As a part of this topic, students have been involved in real world projects, providing support to those in need. At a community level, Food Technology classes made a range of muffins for the school’s breakfast club which is available to students on Tuesdays and Fridays. On a global level, students held a fundraiser and are donating to Oxfam. Students will be gifting chickens, goats, clean water and plants to help transform the lives of people living in poverty.

Our students in Stage 4, 5 & 6 electives have been designing and creating some amazing work and demonstrated creative practical skills this term, from Year 12 Hospitality operating ‘The Dugout’ café three days a week serving staff and senior students, Year 12 Industrial Technology Timber fine-tuning their major design projects, GEM Technology class creating mixed material projects to Year 8/9 Food & Technology classes fundraising for endangered species and communities in need.

Our Year 8 Food & Agriculture classes have been growing a variety of seasonal vegetables as a part of the Technology course. The students planted and cared for the gardens, with additional organic matter (coffee grind) coming from the Dugout café to enrich the soil. The students have also been taught sustainable agricultural practices, learning to use the offcuts of vegetables ie shallots to strike roots and then plant to grow more plants. The students have now harvested, prepared, and eaten delicious food from the gardens in several different ways, from stir fry to veggie bakes with creamy sauces.

From our student harvest!

PE Picks

School Carnival Results

The Athletics Carnival took place early this term. While the weather did not turn it on, the rain still could not dampen the spirits of our students. A few events had to be postponed but after catch up throws were helf at school we were able to finalise our house points, regional team and age champions. The following list of students were crowned age champions due to their outstanding results.

A big congratulations to these students.

Athletics Age Champions
Athletics Carnival Term 2

Child Studies Tour of Belmont Birthing Suite

Year 9 & 10 Child Studies participated in an excursion to Belmont Birthing Suite as part of the Newborn Care unit. This experience provided students with an immersive experience that enhanced their understanding of the childbirth process and the environment in which it takes place. By observing the birthing suite, talking to a midwife and new Mum and hearing the heartbeat of a baby inside the womb students gained insight into the physical and emotional aspects of childbirth, including the role of healthcare professionals, the use of medical equipment, and the environment's layout. This firsthand experience enhanced students' theoretical knowledge and helped them understand the various roles and career opportunities to support expectant months

Students visiting Belmont Birthing Suite

Year 7 Gymnastics

In week 9, year 7 participated in the annual gymnastics program used to support the delivery of mandatory PDHPE curriculum. Over half a day, year 7 students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities targeting balance, stability, body awareness and core strength. The participation and engagement was excellent and it was great to see students build confidence and challenge themselves, even finding reward success outside their comfort zone.

Check out this video from some of the sessions

Gymnastics 24.mp4

Year 12 CAFS Care Bag Assessment

Year 12 Community and Family Studies students have recently completed an assessment task with a 'twist". They had to get a little creative for this one and make a care bag/package that could be given to a social parent to help them starting out on their parenting journey. Students were able to pick the scenario of the family they were assisting. The students went above and beyond with this task and enjoyed it immensely. Sunny W (pictured) even crocheted her items - a book, drink bottle, apple and many more. Ozzie C created a package for a rural and remote family to utilise as he has a passion for this area of work (also pictured). Congratulations to the entire Year 12 CAFS class who have been working hard in the lead up to their HSC. Mrs Hoffman

Sunny W and Ozzie C, Year 12 Community and Family Studies students

High Potential Gifted Academies

Our High Potential Gifted academies meet during the 35min roll call on a Tuesday three times per term. During this time students participate in targeted activities and networking opportunities with like-minded students and their mentors.

Our academy mentors are:

  • James Pascoe - Elite Sports Academy for elite athletes
  • Chris Whitington - Creative Academy for HP students in the creative domain.
  • Wendy Beckett- Senior High Achievers, for students accelerating in their HSC from Years 10 and 11.
  • Felicity Hammond - ‘LEAP’ Leadership Academy for HP leaders.
  • Brooke Summers and Scott Westcott- Junior High Achievers, for Intellectually HP students in Years 7 -10.

During Semester one our Junior High Achievers have been developing their problem solving skills with our breakout kits as a lead in to an excursion to the Newcastle Escape rooms. Students and teachers thoroughly enjoyed experience and were certainly challenged to think ‘outside of the box’ and work together to ‘escape’!

Junior High Achievers visit Newcastle Escape rooms

We have recently sought nominations from our teachers for Year 7 and new students who they consider the HPG to be invited to join our academy program. Students who have been nominated have contacted and will participate in the academy program from Term 3.


Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

As we wrap up another dynamic term here at Hunter Sports High, it is my pleasure to highlight some of the outstanding achievements and milestones from our sports program. The dedication and passion exhibited by our athletes, coaches, and support staff have been truly commendable, resulting in a term filled with memorable successes and growth.


Our athletes have excelled across a range of disciplines, showcasing their talent in many ways. A brief snapshot includes:

State Champion Teams

Our AFL and Basketball Programs have all had teams crowned NSW State Champions at various events during Term 2.

AFL and Basketball State Champions
Individual Achievements

Individually during Term 2 we have had over 50 students represent NSW in their chosen sports with several students representing NSW in more than one sport. In addition we have had 3 students represent Australia at International sporting events this term.

Keira Callaghan, Ellazae Elers and Callum Martin (left to right)
Lea-Bella Foa'i-Auimatagi

Building for the Future

This term we hosted our 2025 Year 7 Sport Academy trials over a two week period. This is a large undertaking and this year saw our largest number of trialists in our history with over 320 Year 6 students here from over 50+ Primary schools showcasing their talents. This was a 50% increase on the previous years trialist numbers and highlights the esteem with which our programs are held.

We are excited to be able to offer over 110 new students placement into our Year 7 Sport programs in 2025.

Looking Ahead

We look forward to our students continuing their sporting development throughout next term and I extend my sincere thanks to our dedicated coaches, supportive parents, and the entire school community for working together as we have made Term 2 so successful.

Together, we continue to foster a culture of excellence at Hunter Sports High School.

Warm regards,

James Pascoe

Director of Sport


The AFL Sport Academy has been extremely busy this term, participating in various competitions. Firstly, the senior boys and girls wrapped up the Hunter Region qualifying round of the State Plate undefeated. During the State Finals held at Tuggerah, the senior girls team finished the competition in third sport with two losses and two wins. However, our senior boys continued their excellent form, winning the competition very comfortably. This is the first time that our AFL Sport Academy has won this competition at the senior level. Also, worth to mention that Louis Skinner, throughout the finals, was named "Best on Ground" by the officials.

Senior Girls State Champions
Senior Boys State Champions
Junior State Champions

Just like the senior group, our junior AFL boys and girls teams, have progressed to the State Finals undefeated. The State Finals will be held at Tuggerah later in the year. Some of our junior representative; Liam Bonham, Holly Winter and Emma MacCallum have also been selected for the NSW All Schools team and will compete at the National Championships in Gold Coast in July. Emma was voted the MVP and the captain of the CHS girls team.

CHS Representatives Liam Bonham, Holly Winter (left) and Emma Mccallum MVP and captain of the CHS girls team (right)

The Junior AFL U'15 boys' team have started their quest to win the 2024 Swan Shield. The boys' team is undefeated and won the Hunter Region stage of the competition. Currently the boys' team is waiting for their next opponent in the knockout stage.

The AFL Sport Academy program would also like to officially welcome Ben DiNardo as our second coach. Ben has played over 150 games as a premiership player for Newcastle City Football club. He is a keen and passionate young coach who is focused on increasing student's motivation and football ability. Ben is also studying Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Newcastle. We are extremely fortunate and excited to work as he shares his knowledge and expertise with our young players.

Welcome Ben DiNardo

School notices

Community notices

Hi there! We wanted to share some information about our family oriented Club that is a supportive and friendly environment for kids and adults to play Softball. We are focused on inclusivity and ensure there is a fun, healthy environment for all players to have a go and gain the benefits of team sport. There are lots of additional representative options for kids that gain good skill levels and want to further their playing. Belmont Softball Cub is a not-for-profit, low cost community sport option for kids ages four and up right through to some of our adult players in their 60s! We are hosting a series of FREE come and try days that include a BBQ sausage sizzle and the opportunity to talk to coaches and some of our State and National Representative Players.