Hunter Sports High News Term 4 - Week 11 - 2021

What's On?

  • Thursday 16 December: Last Day of School for 2021
  • Friday 28 January: Staff Development Day
  • Monday 31 January: Staff Development Day
  • Tuesday 01 February: First Day of School for Year 7, 11 & 12 Students
  • Wednesday 02 February: Year 8-10 Students Return for 2022 (all students back)

principal's message

We've made it to the end of 2021 and what a year it has been. This year has brought many challenges for our students, families and staff but I am very proud of all Hunter Sports High students and the wider school community for their resilience, cooperation and support during the most challenging of times. I would like to say congratulations to all our students, parents and carers for all your efforts at home when we were unable to physically be at school. I am very thankful for everyone's efforts during a very difficult time. It is wonderful to be a part of a such a caring, supportive and collaborative community.

Last week was a big week of celebrations at Hunter Sports High School. We celebrated a year of successes and accomplishments with our Year 12 Graduation assembly, Minimbah Celebrations, Sports Academy Awards and our Year 7 -11 presentation assemblies.

I congratulated all students for their commitment to their studies and ability to adjust to changes in their learning environments. For the award winners, it was a great opportunity to recognise how they were able to go above and beyond this year to achieve academic and sporting success. A special congratulations to those students!

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the incredible work of our Hunter Sports High staff throughout the year and for their ongoing support. Our staff have worked hard and have taken all challenges thrown at them head on. I am so thankful for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to improving the learning outcomes for all students at Hunter Sports High School.

Today is the last day of school for our students. In 2022 Year 7, 11 and 12 will return to school on Tuesday February 1st followed by Year 8,9 and 10 on the Wednesday February 2nd. On Monday 24th January our Year 12 students will receive their HSC results. We wish them all the very best for a bright and happy future on whatever path they choose to follow.

I'd like to wish all our students and families a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy summer holiday. Thank you for your efforts throughout the year to support your children in their education and for your support of our school. Enjoy the break with your family and friends and once again thank you for your patience and support during the year that was 2021.

Ms Rachel Byrne - Principal

presentation day celebrates student success:

Last Friday 10th December we celebrated the outstanding academic achievements of our students in 2021 at our annual Presentation Day assembly, divided into two sessions due to COVID restrictions. Unfortunately we weren't able to have parents and family members join us on the day, and we had some technical issues for our planned livestream, but we hope you've been able to watch the recordings of the ceremonies on our school website (link below). The assembly was impressively hosted by our new school leaders and was a great way to cap off a very different but successful year at Hunter Sports High. Congratulations to all award winners and to all who tried their hardest and achieved improvement throughout the year.

Awards were given to acknowledge the efforts of our students, with certificates presented to students for academic achievement and to many students who applied themselves to their learning and made significant improvements throughout the year. Congratulations to the following students who received major awards on the day:

Principal's Awards: for consistent application and commitment to all aspects of schooling
  • Year 7: Lily McCraw
  • Year 8: Isaac Elson
  • Year 9: Reinhard Lloyd
  • Year 10: Jade Ferguson
  • Year 11: Chelsea Palmer
Deadly awards: for the highest achieving ATSI student and for showing commitment and dedication to their studies
  • Year 7: Mahli McIlwain
  • Year 8: Anika McCarthy
  • Year 9: Hannah Jarvis
  • Year 10: Taleah Dodd
  • Year 11: Ryvah Shoesmith
Leadership awards
  • Service In Leadership: Reinhard Lloyd, Brooke Xavier, Ozzie Cameron & Angie Dwyer
  • Action In Leadership: Reinhard Lloyd
  • Personal Leadership: Keelan Waldron & Mackenzie Bell
  • Distinction In Leadership: Joey Summers & Elana Lloyd
other Major Awards:
  • Annette Heywood Memorial Award: Lea-Bella Foa'i-Auimatagi
  • Pat Conroy Citizenship Award: Chloe Walandouw
  • Jodie Harrison Community Service Award: Matthew Holmes
  • Long Tan Leadership Award: Charlie Norton
  • ADF Future Innovators Award: Dusty Cameron
  • Minimbah Emerging Leader Award: Taimana Elers
  • Big Picture Excellence Award: Sophia Walton
  • Strive Award (GEM Academy): Flynn Hellawell
  • Nanga Mai Award: Lauchlyn Spicer

2021 minimbah celebrations

The incredible efforts and contribution of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were celebrated at our Minimbah Celebrations Assembly on Wednesday 8th December. We celebrated the successes of our Indigenous students with many awards presented for academic, cultural and sporting achievements. Congratulations to all the students on a fantastic year and for their commitment and dedication to their education despite the challenges of 2021. Special thanks to the Minimbah Team who worked so hard to organise this year's celebrations.

Major award winners
  • Les Saxby Memorial Award: Natasha Telfer
  • Fiona Clarke 'All Rounder' Award: Lauchlyn Spicer
  • Community Contribution Award: Ralph Binge
  • Academic Excellence Awards: Mahli McIlwain (Yr 7), Anika McCarthy (Yr 8), Hannah Jarvis (Yr 9), Taleah Dodd (Yr 10), Tyra Jarrett (Yr 10), Ryvah Shoesmith (Yr 11).
  • Consistent Effort Awards: Kyan Gordon (Yr 7), Samantha Pearson (Yr 7), Allira Peterson-Walford (Yr 7), Isaac Elson (Yr 8), Braedan Dakin (Yr 9), Brandy Simpson (Yr 9), Taimana Elers (Yr 10), Jordan Oldfield (Yr 11), Riley Jones (Yr 12).
  • Outstanding Attendance Awards: Kyan Gordon (Yr 7), Chase McFadyen (Yr 7), Samantha Pearson (Yr 7), Kallen Barker (Yr 8), Anika McCarthy (Yr 8). 
  • Female Sportsperson of the Year: Milan Hammond
  • Male Sportsperson of the Year: Joshua Benson

Sports Academy Award Ceremony

The school's Annual Sports Awards were held on Thursday 9th December 2021. Even in this COVID-interrupted year the quantity and quality of exceptional individual and team performances was a credit to all involved in the Hunter Sports High community. Recognition of these outstanding performances was spread across the following categories:

  • Squad Captains
  • Principal's Award Winners
  • NSW Representatives
  • Australian Representatives
  • Squad Person of the Year Awards
  • Fitness All-Rounders
  • Sportspeople of the Month
  • Sportsperson of the Year

A highlight of the Awards presentation was the appearance of former student and current Olympian Mariah Williams as our guest speaker.

Jesse Southwell (pictured above with Ms Byrne, Mariah Williams and Mr Pascoe) was named our 2021 Sportsperson of the Year

Congratulations to all our 2021 Sports Award winners and also to those students who did not receive an award. It is the combined efforts of everyone who continue to make Hunter Sports High the outstanding school that it is.

The Sports Academies wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas & New Year period and we look forward to doing it all bigger and better in 2022!

Murrook Cultural Excursion

On Friday 19th of November , our Year 7 students had the privilege of attending the Murrook Cultural Centre in Williamtown where they learned about the cultural significance of the Worimi lands and listened to important Aboriginal perspectives and historical events from Uncle Justin Ridgeway and his colleagues at Murrook. After an extremely tough year, the students enjoyed getting out and about, adventuring through the sand dunes whilst connecting to culture and hearing from the amazing staff at Murrook. This excursion is something the Minimbah team and the school is proud to provide annually to all Year 7 students. The students were very respectful and had a great day along with the Hunter Sports High staff that attended.

Year 7 students enjoying their Murrook Cultural excursion

Leaps and Bounds

It’s hard to believe that this is the very first year that our new-look leadership body - the LEAP Team - was implemented at our school. What is also hard to believe is that despite lockdowns, COVID restrictions, cohorting rules, and a plethora of other obstacles, we still managed to make a huge difference in our community.

This year, the LEAP team organised events like Pyjama Day, the Cross Country Colour Run, Easter Egg raffles and sausage sizzles, events that made it clear that the school spirit of Hunter Sports High School is one of positivity, generosity and (to borrow one of Mr Mallon’s famous lines) camaraderie.

The Hunter Animal Rescue has been our local organisation for 2021, and the incredible staff and students of our school have been able to raise over $3000 for this worthy cause. We started the year with a goal of $1000, and the LEAP team would have been thrilled to hit that target. To see what we achieved, despite the obstacles that came with 2021, makes us so proud to represent the school community that we do. Imagine what we can achieve next year, and the year after that, if we continue to work with and for one another like we did in 2021.

As the year draws to a close, we would like to take the time to acknowledge the students who have come together to form the first ever LEAP team of Hunter Sports High School. While we are going to recognise some of the outstanding individuals we have been lucky enough to work with this year, we do want to come back to the incredible sense of community these students have been able to foster. Because the LEAP team recognises that we can come up with every idea under the sun, but without the support of the entire school community, those ideas don't become a reality.

  • Mackenzie Bell: Macca has attended every LEAP meeting, and is one of the most mature and level-headed Year 8 students we have ever worked with. She is a true leader in every sense of the word and it has been a pleasure getting to know her. We are already expecting big things from Mackenzie in 2022!
  • Imogen Budsworth: Imogen is a quiet achiever, who has impeccable organisational skills. Often the person to point out the little things that have been overlooked, she has been a valuable contributor to every school event run by LEAP this year. Imogen attained formal recognition for Personal Leadership in 2021.
  • Reinhard Lloyd: Our first ever Hunter Sports High School Junior Captain, and there couldn’t have been a more deserving young man for the job. Every time Reinhard has represented the school we have been met with positive feedback. He makes an impact on everyone he meets and is just a really great influence on those around him. The year for him culminated in his achievement of Action in Leadership.
  • Keelan Waldron: Keelan is a very intelligent and thoughtful person, who used his logic and pragmatism to run events in the Cross Country colour run. He also applied for the Youth Parliament Program, and it would have been amazing to see where this may have taken him if the year had not been subject to lock downs and restrictions. We are very hopeful that Keelan offers his time and skills to the LEAP team again next year.
  • Ozzie Cameron: Our first ever Junior Vice Captain, Ozzie is someone who we have really enjoyed getting to know this year. He has been the first to offer his time and help to every event we have run, and he has been an absolutely integral part of our team. Whether it was running to the office for an Eftpos machine, or to the kitchen for more foil trays, everything Ozzie did,he did with a smile, thanks Ozzie!
  • Angie Dwyer: What a great year Angie has had. This young lady took on so many challenges and it has been such a highlight watching her thrive and grow in her role as our first ever Junior GEM Captain. Angie has addressed whole school COLA assemblies and always worked with the LEAP team with a positive outlook. Her contribution to the Book Week celebrations earned her a gift card, and she was able to collect significant donations on Pyjama Day.
  • Royden Taape: Royden was a great contributor to the team this year. Achieving Personal Leadership in Semester 1, he worked tirelessly to ensure the footy throwing game at the colour run carnival was operating smoothly. This activity ended up raising a significant amount of money for the Hunter Animal Rescue thanks to Royden’s hard work and commitment.
  • Jett Robards-Hassell: Another student who achieved Personal Leadership in Semester 1, Jett attended every LEAP meeting and was always willing to help when needed. Working alongside Royden in the footy-throwing game, he made a big impact on the funds we were able to donate to our charity this year.
  • Lea-Bella Foa'i- Auimatagi: Lea-Bella has been a consistently positive energy at LEAP meetings and throughout the year. She has always been willing to help her peers and represented the team with pride and professionalism a number of times. Another talented sportsperson, Lea-Bella has offered so much of her valuable time to develop the positive culture of our school.
  • Riley Watson: Riley was a star this year, and anyone who purchased a sausage sandwich from him when he was dressed in either his Hawaiian shirt or Santa suit will attest to his charisma behind the BBQ and his commitment to the LEAP team. Riley’s insistence on a “hands in” and “on 3 - 1, 2, 3, LEAP TEAM” will go down in Hunter Sports High School history.
  • Emmett Bough: Joining the LEAP team later in the year, Emmett was a somewhat unexpected addition to the group, but certainly a welcomed and valued one. Emmett’s commitment was evident as he barbecued sausage after sausage in sweltering conditions, putting comfort aside, to do what had to be done for the good of the team. What a legend he is and how lucky we were to have him on board in 2021.
  • Charlie Norton: Charlie is a young woman with a plan, and when it came to needing things done, Charlie was the go-to member of the LEAP team. Her impressive management skills were a driving factor behind every successful event run this year, and everyone who meets Charlie agrees, there are big things ahead for her. .
  • Dusty Cameron: Dusty was always first to offer his assistance and definitely has an eye for detail, a quality that came in very handy when planning whole school events. A great public speaker and a very deep thinker, Dusty has been an extremely valuable addition to our leadership body. He demonstrated a great ability to manage his commitments in sport, with his very demanding academic schedule, alongside his leadership roles.

There are many other students who have been integral members of the LEAP team this year, and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of you. While we may not have been able to personally mention every student involved, please know how important your role has been.

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime." – Babe Ruth

Thank you in particular to Ms Byrne who put so much trust in us as a team and allowed us to try so many new things this year. We would also like to thank the staff of our school for the support they showed us, whether it was buying a sausage sizzle, organising the equipment for the BBQ, setting up the BBQs, providing us with last minute EFTPOS machines, wearing their pyjamas, supervising the colour run, taking photos of events, face painting, or organising music for assemblies.

Next year we will be lucky enough to have the creativity of Miss Smith joining us as another staff coordinator for the LEAP team. Welcome Miss Smith, we are excited to work with you in 2022. We would like to finish by sincerely thanking the following local businesses for their generosity and support this year:

  • Bakers Delight - Mount Hutton
  • Coles - Mount Hutton
  • Woolworths - Mount Hutton


Year 7 Swim School

In Week 9, Year 7 participated in a fantastic three days of Swim and Survival Aquatics at Charlestown Pool. This was a mandatoy course designed to meet the aquatic based outcomes that are now part of the PDHPE curriculum! They were involved in a myriad of circuit activities over the three days including Dive and Search, Rescue techniques, Endurance Swimming, Stroke Production, Water Safety Education, First Aid/CPR, Treading Water/Survival Scull, Sporting Bonanza and many more. The students were on their best behaviour and represented Hunter Sports High School with pride. There were lots of smiles, sunshine and of course...swimming! Congratulations Year 7!!

Year 7 Swim School

English Write Now

As 2021 comes to a close, the English faculty would like to say a huge thank you to the entire community for making what was without doubt a challenging year, memorable and enjoyable. In this, our final edition of English Write Now for 2021, we asked some of our English teachers to reflect on the year that was, and share their highlights for 2021.

  • Ms Crossland: “Book Week 2021 was the best Book Week that Hunter Sports High has ever seen. I love that I work with people that don’t mind having a bit of fun, even if it is often at our expense. Every teacher in our team has been so valuable in making this year one that I will, strangely enough, look back on fondly. I feel very grateful to have had staff and students around me who made me smile and laugh every single day. The sausage sizzles with LEAP 2021 have also been so much fun, I had no idea cooking a sausage sizzle could be a career highlight for me, but it was!”
  • Mr Mallon: “As I contemplate the year that was, the ‘home learning lockdown lounge’ appears out of the Covid mist… And there I am with Year 7E, reading Storm Boy, and all of us together in those drifting, strange days with Mr Percival, skimming through the beautiful Coorong... And birds like that never really die... And here before my tired eyes is 9Y and the Australian idiom dictionary - they were bonza days and we revelled in talkin real Ocka and that’s right! And what of Year 10H - and Wilder Country and a virus that changed the world. And all of us in the Australian bush, staying alive and eating wild rabbits - such days I’ll not see again. Then out of the fog comes Year 11 Advanced... and Othello’s madness and jealousy in tow and poor, poor Desdemona... We did zoometh and ponder the atavism within us all. It was grand and wondrous strange and I loved it all... And up to the surface comes Year 12 Standard, in their final moments, playing Kahoots and writing TEEEC paragraphs and the hours of the clock reverberating around us, through us…go well young ones. And so it went, and so it goes…”
  • Mr Doyle: "As I sit here pondering the year that was, I cannot but think that even though this was one of the most challenging years I have known, being a part of Hunter Sports High School has been one of the highlights. Even under such trying conditions, I have witnessed people, young and old, facing adversity and achieving personal success during challenging times. Amazing. I’d like to farewell my esteemed colleagues, Miss Baldwin and Mrs Outred who are off on other adventures. What a pleasure it has been. Also, it’s been a blast to pick up a guitar again to perform and to hide behind a camera to capture the incredible moments displayed by students and staff across so many great school events. Thanks to each and every one of you.”
  • Miss Baldwin: “I feel lucky to have been able to work with such a great group of people and have been surrounded by staff and students who have kept me both motivated and entertained. Seeing the students who led the Sorry Day and Reconciliation Assembly share their pride in culture and embrace their leadership roles was a definite highlight for me this year. A shout out to all of the awesome students who I have been fortunate enough to teach this year.”
  • Miss Outred: “Taking on the role as Senior Studies Coordinator and Academic Enrichment Coach alongside my English classes has been such a great experience for me this year. I loved the challenge of extending students’ literacy and study habits as well as supporting their classroom teachers with differentiating content. I will also take this opportunity to farewell my wonderful faculty and the community of Hunter Sports High School. My 9 years teaching and learning here has been so joyous and character building!”
  • Miss Lewis: “Working in the role of Academic Enrichment Coach this year has been a great opportunity for me to work one on one with students improving their writing skills, and allowed me to work closely with my English teaching colleagues providing extra support. Our English faculty is a supportive and often hilarious collective of teachers who work very hard to get the most out of our students, and this year has really been a challenging one. The highlight for me has been going into different classrooms, witnessing the great work our teachers are doing and assisting wherever I can.”
  • Mrs Bredenbac: "I have enjoyed watching our Year 7 students adapt, mature and enjoy their first year of high school. I have felt incredibly proud of our Year 12 students, having watched them grow and become strong young adults since they began in Year 7, congratulations to the graduating class of 2021! I have also enjoyed teaching in our Big Picture Program and being involved in the innovative things that happen in those classrooms.”
  • Mr Horne: "I am beyond proud of everyone (staff and students) who showed tremendous resilience in what was just an absolute dumpster fire of a year. However, like all dumpster fires, it wasn’t without its bright spots. Here are some of a few highlights that’ll go down in the history books for me: My year 10 boys class being able to analyse Nolan films and write me some high quality reviews, my year 9 class telling me exactly how sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine Nine work, and lastly, every single student who shared a great story or laugh with me in this rough year.”
  • Mrs Knight: “I thoroughly enjoyed the staff and student performances in the Term 1 Lunchtime Concert and Art Exhibition of student work. It was fantastic to see students so proudly demonstrating their creative talents and being supported and encouraged by their peers. This was definitely my highlight, and of course returning to face to face learning and being able to see everyone again.”

While many of our families and students are probably rather relieved to see 2021 come to close, our faculty is unfortunately saying goodbye to two key members of our team as the year ends.

We have, over the last 2 years, faced adversities that have never been seen before. It is in these challenging times that you come to heavily rely on the support and humour of those you work with, and these two ladies are integral people who make the heavy days so much lighter.

Miss Baldwin joined our team at the start of 2020 after relocating from Wagga Wagga, and in that time she has made fundamental differences in the classrooms of our school. An expert operator and with unrivalled organisational skills, we were lucky enough to have Miss Baldwin with us for a marvellous two years. Unfortunately for us, she was recently appointed to Morisset High School where she can return to teaching both English and Drama subjects. We wish Miss Baldwin nothing but success as she works her magic with her new students and school - how lucky they are.

After nine years at Hunter Sports High School, Miss Outred was successful in being appointed into an executive position at Catherine McAuley Catholic College as Pedagogical Mentor. We know without doubt that she will thrive in this role, and while we have had many moments wondering what we will do without her knowledge and willingness to share and support anyone who needs it, we know that our loss is certainly their gain. Her extensive curriculum knowledge will be of huge benefit in her new role and new setting. We wish her and her beautiful family all the very best in the future. On this note, we should also offer a second massive congratulations to Miss Outred, who will begin her time at her new school as Mrs. Carrigan.

Merry Christmas from us to you! Keep reading and learning. The English Faculty

Science News

Year 7 Students Embrace Problems of Martian Proportion

This term Year 7 students were thrown a challenge to test their problem-solving skills and to get them to learn about Science in a totally new way.

Student were placed in groups and told they had travelled to Mars on the Space X Mars Explorer as part of a pre-colonising team. Their mission was to separate Martian red dust and muddy ice into their constituent parts so the next round of explorers could use the “life-saving” resources for their survival.

Students were given resources that described a range of separation techniques including distillation, filtering, chromatography, and evaporation. It was up to the students to research the separation techniques and decide which techniques would allow them to separate the substances they had been given. After hours of debating, researching and trial and error, many students were able to use a combination of filtering, crystallisation, evaporation and melting to produce chalk, copper sulfate, water, and dust.

Science Teacher and Problem Master, Mr Westcott said he was really pleased with how his students approached the problem. “The best thing about seeing students learn this way is watching the “ah ah” moment sweep across a group of students as they figure out the next step in the process”.

Problem-based learning will become a key element of learning for all Year 7 Science students in 2022.

Samples of the "Mars" resources given to the Year 7 students
Year 7 Students Aaliyah Kilroy and Henry Grandelis proudly showing the first stage of their dust separation using filtration.

TAS: The term that was

2021 has been a year to remember for so many reasons and in Term 4 our students have continued to excel in all subjects in the TAS faculty. We’ve had many students in both Year 8 and 10, again choose electives in Stage 5 and 6, experiencing first hand our modern facilities and wealth of knowledge from our experienced staff members.

Our VET Hospitality students in years 12 and 10 have completed competencies through the operation of The Dugout Café, serving our staff delicious beverages and food. Our Year 11 Hospitality class catered for three events in Week 10, including the Year 12 Graduation morning tea, Minimbah Celebrations afternoon tea and the School Leader induction morning tea, serving students, staff and parents individual boxes of gourmet food. Our Year 8 Food & Agriculture’s sustainable vegetable garden is thriving, with the help of The Dugout’s Café leftover coffee grind. Students have also been monitoring the growth of plants using Micro:bit technology, coding the devices to take temperature and soil moisture readings.

Outdoor play kitchen

Year 11 VET Construction students have been busy designing and making an outdoor play kitchen for the playground at Windale Public School. The students have been using the experienced to achieve course competencies and complete a community-based project as a part of the certificate pathway qualification.

Year 11 VET students designed and built an outdoor kitchen for Windale Public School
Year 9 and 10 Marine and Aquaculture Technology classes Snorkelling excursion

Year 9 & 10 Marine and Aquaculture Technology classes participated in snorkelling at Fly Point, Nelson Bay on Monday 6th December with Mr Davies. Student’s completed the practical component of the snorkelling unit with ‘Let’s Go Adventure’ instructors. Students were lucky enough to see a large variety of fish species, including wobbegong sharks and stingrays in the marine reserve.

Gem Academy BirdHouses
Gem Academy with Birdhouses made in Technology

Best wishes to the HSC cohort of 2021 in VET Hospitality and Industrial Technology Timber who will receive their examination results on Monday 24th January 2022.

A huge thanks to Hannah Pryke for stepping up and relieving as the TAS Faculty SASS Kitchen Assistant for the past three terms in 2021. Hannah has done an amazing job and has made life easier for the TAS staff and students. Thank you so much Hannah!

In 2022 TAS Faculty staff include Mrs Carolan, Mr Davies (TSP Athletics), Ms Field, Mr Hanlon, Mrs Hines (Head Teacher TAS), Mr Hogan (Careers Advisor), Mrs Poole (SASS Kitchen Assistant) and Mr Winter (Head Teacher Administration).

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

Capal CREATIves


A lot of this term has been completed online and students from all Years have been working hard to complete activities and perform on their virtual pianos.

Year 8 have been learning about Music in the Media and how important music is in supporting and enhancing scenes and moods from their favourite films. They have been learning about Superheros and Villians and the differences in their theme songs. They have also been playing some of these themes on a virtual keyboard and finally, back on our keyboards and guitars.

Year 9 and 10 have had quality listening lessons about Original Vs Cover music and how the Concepts of Music work in both versions of the same piece. Year 11 are working hard on their solo pieces ready for their HSC in as little as 10 months time and Year 12 have completed their final HSC written exam. The Music Department is looking forward to the easing of more restrictions next year so we can get back to opening the Music classroom several lunchtimes a week, preparing for end of term concerts and assemblies, and holding our fabulous MADD night in Term 3 2022!

Visual Art

We’re going out with a bang for the end 2021 here in Visual Arts. Jet have been honing their watercolour skills to create beautiful Christmas wreaths. Year 7 have been exploring mandalas and patterns, working hard to create their own lino printing. Year 8 have been studying ‘Under the Sea’ and Pop Art creating lino prints and paintings. Year 9 have been exploring Still Life creating lino prints. Year 10 are working towards resolving paintings themed ‘suburbia’. Year 11 have recently started their HSC year and are researching and experimenting for their final Body of Works. Year 12 have completed their final HSC Visual Arts exam and we wish them all the best for the future.

Tori and Taylah were selected in the Nagoya Art Exchange which was announced in the newsletter last term. They were presented with artworks for our school from students all the way from Japan. The students were also awarded certificates and a little gift for their participation.

CAPAL staff would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe Christmas and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2022!


Here we are again, the end of what has been a wobbly year. From learning from home for half of the year to being back at school; masked up, socially distanced and ready to finish this year with a bang, the Big Picture Academy has found some time to give back to our community. Over the last six weeks the Year 8, 9 and 10 Big Picture Students have stormed up ideas for a way to give back to the community, including:

  • Year 8 and 10 - Christmas Cards and Gifts for the Elderly at the Aged Care Facility at Redhead and a little santa for all the office staff and teachers to show our appreciation.
  • Year 9 - Hosted a Teacher Car Wash

The Year 8 and 10 advisory, have made little santa’s, handmade christmas cards, candles and more. Giving to those who might not be able to spend Christmas with their loved ones. The Year 9 advisory, washing the teachers cars, delivering coffees, as well selling sausage sizzles for the students. They have raised over $700 for Run DIPG, which is a foundation that raises awareness and money for patients and their families who are impacted by the deadliest type of childhood cancer. This Is called brain stem cancer or occasionally known as Diffuse Instinct Pontine Glioma. They were lucky enough to get a few sponsors for the car wash, including; Repco at Gateshead, Whitebridge Butchery and Designer Delights Bakery. The Big Picture Academy had so much fun organizing and putting together these projects as well as giving to our community.

It has been a big finish to what has already been a fully loaded year. Our Year 8’s have presented their exhibitions to their new advisor, Kellie Rose. The Year 9’s have accomplished their second year in the academy and are more than ready for Year 10. Gateway exhibitions have been exhibited for the Year 10’s who are intended to pathway into senior years 11 and 12. Our seniors are getting ready to move on and explore more places outside of the academy. T2, transition classes have presented their first exhibitions which have gone extremely well, and we can’t see what more is to come from them.

From the Big Picture Family at Hunter Sports High School, we are wishing you a happy and safe Christmas break, and hope to see you in the New Year!



NSW Relay Championships were held on the weekend of 20th and 21st November at Sydney Olympic Park. The competition ranged from age group to open senior level competition in a team relay format. In the throwing disciplines the relay in a combination of all throws added together with the longest total distance being the winner. Emily Richardson and Amara Low were in a Hunter team that competed in u18 and Open women's achieving outstanding results. 1st u18 Discus, 1st Shot Put, 1st Opens Women's Discus, 2nd Shot Put.

Other positive results where from Hannah Jarvis whom came 2nd in the 4x400m Relay Opens woman's and Brooke Xavier whom came 3rd in the U20 4x100m.

NSW Relay Championships

The athletics program had a number of athletes compete at the NSW All Schools competition at Sydney Olympic Park from Thursday 9th -Sunday 12th of December.

  • Amara Low - Top 10 in the State Finish for Discus
  • Jake Pappas - Top 10 in the State Finish for High Jump
  • Anika McCarthy - Top 10 in the State Finish in the 100
  • Nate Ward - 3rd in the 1500 & 5th in the 800.
  • Keira Callaghan - 3rd in the 800.
  • Emily Richardson - State Champion in the Shot Put & 5th in the Discus
  • Hannah Jarvis - State Champion in the 3k & Silver medallist in the 1500m.

Fantastic results well done to the athlete and coaches.


Gem Academy Backpacks

Each year the GEM Academy supports students from Wirripang and Windale Primary Schools by supplying backpacks for Year 6 students in need for transitioning into High school.

This is our fourth year and we would like to acknowledge our very generous sponsors. For the past 4 years Brooke from Sanbah Surf shop in the Junction has supported us with quality backpacks. This year Ellie from Stuart and Dunn Office Choice has generously made up book and stationary packs to be packed into the backpacks for each student. We also decided this year to up our numbers of backpacks to 40 and fortunately Garth from Stash House made up the extra ten backpacks for us so that we could make that happen.

We could not make this initiative happen without our sponsors and we greatly appreciate their support.

the world of wellbeing

Year 10 Transition Program

Week 10 saw Year 10 students participate in a Transition to Year 11 Program. The week consisted of the LoveBites positive relationships program, HSC All My Own Work program and taster sessions for their Year 11 courses. The program is an opportunity to prepare students for Stage 6 and allow them to have a successful start to Year 11. Any students who have missed mandatory components of this program will need to complete the required modules at the beginning of 2022.

Creating chances coaches congratulations

A number of our Year 9 students have been participating in a youth development program called Creating Chances. The program builds leadership, self awareness and employment related soft skills. We were fortunate enough to be able to continue the program via zoom during lockdown and students were still able to connect with facilitators Jayme, Emily and Rob each week planning their coaching sessions and maintaining their social connections and sense of belonging.

The students were not able to coach primary school students as planned and instead facilitated coaching sessions with other students from our school. The participants have demonstrated increased confidence and organisation skills, along with improved communication and social skills as a result of completing the program. The students appreciate this opportunity and are grateful to facilitators Jayme, Emily and Rob, as well as Mr. Gleeson and Mr. Horgan for their mentoring and support. The participants have done themselves and HSHS proud and we applaud their efforts.

Creating chances
Stay healthy these school holidays

Holidays can be challenging. Without routine, it's still important to stay healthy and look after yourself.

For some young people, this time of year can be challenging. It can feel as though you've been taken away from your usual routine of school or work and you may not get to see your friends, teachers or workmates as often as you would like to. This can leave you feeling bored, unsupported, upset and sometimes anxious. It’s important to stay healthy and look after yourself. There are a number of ways to help you do this, and we've suggested a few tips below.

Ways could include...

Eating well - It’s important to have a good balanced diet with less of the bad things (like junk food and lots of sugar) and more of the good things (such as veggies, fruit, whole grains and water). This can help with sleep, energy levels and general health and wellbeing.

Sleep well - Getting a good night’s sleep helps you feel energised, focused and motivated. Developing a sleeping routine can help you sleep much better. To do this, try to wake up around the same time each day, get out of bed when you wake up and go to bed around the same time each night.

Be socially active and get involved - Social relationships are vital for your general wellbeing. Spending time with friends is also really important for keeping and building on existing friendships. Getting involved with volunteer work, hobbies, clubs or committees, or sports can help you feel connected to your wider community while also meeting new people.

Play - Play is important for staying mentally healthy. Devoting time to just having fun can recharge your battery, revitalise your social networks and reduce stress and anxiety.

Activities to try over Summer

Find a casual job - Earn extra pocket money, gain skills and meet new people. There are heaps of websites that can you help you to create your resume online.

Organise and explore - List places you want to visit and things you want to do. Newcastle Libraries often have a range of free activities/courses you could enrol in.

Creative projects - Get your creative juices flowing! Revamp your bedroom or create an art piece. Invite a friend over or ask a parent to help.

Get active - Get out on the oval and kick a footy with mates, check out the local skate park or go for walks.

Volunteer - Give back to the community and gain some great experience.

merry christmas & happy holidays from all the staff of hunter sports high! see yoU in 2022!