Annual Report 2022

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2022 certainly provided another instalment of challenges, especially for our Principal, Mrs Rebecca Butterworth and her leadership team. Coming into a new school, after two years of the ravages of COVID-19 combined with significant staff changes, and being tasked with re-establishing calm and stability in the School community, Rebecca has done a remarkable job, approaching the challenges with skill, intelligence and determination, tempered by grace and compassion; she is an inclusive leader. During 2022, our School staff continued to show resilience, loyalty and professionalism in their endeavours and I thank all of them for their good work.

There is renewed optimism at Hunter Valley Grammar School, which was evident at School events throughout the year, from the weekend sports to the more formal special occasions, such as the School musical, Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Days in the ELC and Junior School, and the Year 12 Farewell Assembly. It was really heart-warming to see parents back on campus and the excitement of the students in having them there.

After years of cancelled events and activities, our School newsletters were again full of the achievements of our teachers and learners, sportspeople, musicians and performers, and a source of great pride and inspiration.

During 2022 HVGS engaged in extensive consultation with parents, students, and staff. Coordinated by the Principal, the Board and key staff and senior leaders we considered our strategic priorities for the future of HVGS. This consultative process has informed the School’s new Strategic Plan to be shared with the broader School community in 2023.

While 2022 had many positives, the damaging flooding in the Maitland area affected the School farm and the rowing facility, and many of our School families also suffered. While it was devastating to see great loss, in times like this we are often reminded about the spirit of our community and how we come together for each other in times of need.

Members of the School Board have worked tirelessly over the last three rather turbulent years: without the expertise, generosity, wisdom and support of Dr Ken Dobler, Mrs Heather McLaren OAM, Mr Tony Dockrill, Mrs Michelle McPherson, Rev Dr George Garnsey, Ms Jodi Stapleton, and Mrs Gillian Geraghty, HVGS would not be the school it is, and my job would be impossible. My sincere thanks to all.

In closing, I wish to extend my congratulations to the Class of 2022 on their outstanding success in the HSC examinations and the IB Career-related Programme. We look forward to hearing about all the wonderful futures that await.


Hunter Valley Grammar School is the region’s own premier independent, coeducational school for students from Preschool to Year 12. Centrally located in East Maitland, we serve families of the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and beyond.

At Hunter Valley Grammar School parents are our partners and children are safe to be themselves, in an optimistic, healthy learning environment. We unashamedly believe that students benefit from striving for high standards and from an education that is anchored in our School’s Values for Life.

HVGS students enjoy outstanding facilities on 13 hectares of beautifully landscaped, tree-studded grounds. They benefit from the commitment and care of professional staff. Students can choose from a wide range of region-leading academic and cocurricular programs for their personal development and growth.

Our teaching and learning programs are designed to prepare young people for a life beyond school, equipping them with a mindset of lifelong learning and the attributes they will need for the workplaces of the future. In an increasingly global economy, greater value will be placed on ‘entrepreneurial’ skills. Young people will need to be flexible, think critically and creatively, collaborate, innovate and communicate.

With 1117 students at the end of 2022, a teaching staff of 115 and 72 non-teaching staff, HVGS students enjoy a student teacher ratio of less than 10:1 and the school benefits from a range of dedicated staff beyond the classroom to ensure extensive support for students and staff. This enables a personalised learning experience and strong student-teacher relationships. Dedicated support and operational staff know students equally well as teachers, and HVGS prides itself on ensuring every child is nurtured and supported to achieve their potential.

Two percent of HVGS students identify as indigenous and eight percent have a language background other than English. Of the 1117 students at HVGS in 2022, 638 were in the secondary school and 479 in the junior school. The Early Learning Centre had 98 enrolments at its height in 2022.

In 2022, Hunter Valley Grammar was ranked in the top 150 NSW schools for excellence in academic success with the HSC. The School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school offering the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme and the Career-related Programme (IBCP). 2022 marked the first graduating cohort for the IBCP at Hunter Valley Grammar School and currently HVGS is the only school in NSW offering the programme. This supports our values in action and fosters global citizenship, service learning in action and a culture of care across the school community. HVGS students strive to embody the IB Learner Profile in all their endeavours

HVGS students experience a balanced education. As a teaching and learning community that encourages the pursuit of excellence in all areas, our exhaustive and extensive range of cocurricular activities challenge, broaden and develop our students beyond the classroom.

The opportunities cut across a broad range of interests: academic challenge, gifted and talented programs, the creative and performing arts, sport, debating and public speaking, STEAM, and agricultural clubs and associations.





Hunter Valley Grammar School participated in the 2022 National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Achievement for students in each year group was reported on a five band scale across specified skill categories in numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation. A common scale divides NAPLAN attainment levels into 10 bands: Bands 1-6 for Year 3; Bands 3-8 for Year 5; Bands 4-9 for Year 7; Bands 5-10 for Year 9.

The national minimum standard was defined by ACARA as attaining results in: Band 2 (Year 3), Band 4 (Year 5), Band 5 (Year 7), and Band 6 (Year 9). Further detail, in addition to the following tables, regarding the performance of Hunter Valley Grammar School in the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy may be found on the My School website at



In 2022, 68 students in Year 3 sat their first NAPLAN tests.


In 2022, 69 students in Year 5 participated in the NAPLAN tests.


Compares the percentage of Junior School students at HVGS achieving abovetheNational MinimumStandardfor Literacy and Numeracy with State data across Years 3 and 5


Compares the percentage of Junior School students at HVGS achieving in the top three reported performance Bands compared with State attainment across Years 3 and 5

Year 3

% Achieving Above National Minimum Standard (Band 3 and above)

Year 5

% Achieving Above National Minimum Standard (Band 5 and above)

Year 3

Year 5 % Achieving in the Top Three Reported Performance Bands

Achieving in the Top Three Reported Performance Bands



In 2022, 105 students in Year 7 participated in the NAPLAN tests.


In 2022, 112 students in Year 9 completed their final NAPLAN tests.


Compares the percentage of Secondary School students at HVGS achieving above the National Minimum Standard for Literacy and Numeracy with State data across Years 7 and 9

Year 7 Year 9

% Achieving Above National Minimum Standard (Band 6 and above) % Achieving Above National Minimum Standard (Band 7 and above)


Compares the percentage of Secondary School students at HVGS achieving inthetopthree reportedperformanceBands compared with State attainment across Years 7 and 9.



The Record of School Achievement (RoSA) credential recognises course completion and attainment levels for students who may leave school after Year 10 and before they receive their Higher School Certificate (HSC). Information on the RoSA is available on the NESA website:

The formal Record of School Achievement (RoSA) credential was awarded by NESA to six students.


In 2022, 90 students sat examinations for the HSC at HVGS. Of these, 90 students were eligible for the award of the Higher School Certificate, however, 4 had partial patterns of study.


There were 73 mentions on the Distinguished Achievers List, with 33 different students awarded the distinction (approx. 37% of the cohort). Student achievement at Band 5/6 level (or equivalent) reflects 57% of all HSC results across all courses, whilst student achievement at Band 4+ (or equivalent) reflects 91% of all results achieved across all HSC courses; a result considerably better than equivalent State (average) attainment.


In addition to the awarded HSC credentials, three students completed the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme and as such became the first students to graduate from this program in NSW. Four students (4% of graduating cohort) undertook vocational or trade training. One student completed a SBAT in Health Services Assistance, one student completed Design Fundamentals. One student completed Screen and Media: Animation and Game Design and one student completed Early Childhood and Care.


Higher School Certificate achievement over the past three years.

Where a dash replaces a number, the course didn’t run that year.

**Marks not shown for small candidature (10 students or less) are marked with a dash to protect individual's privacy.

Higher School Certificate achievement over the past three years.

Where a dash replaces a number, the course didn’t run that year.

**Marks not shown for small candidature (10 students or less) are marked with a dash to protect individual's privacy. HIGHER SCHOOL CERTIFICATE – 1 UNIT EXTENSION COURSES



Professional Learning Program at HVGS continued to be an area of growth in 2022. This year, the focus was on the implementation of a new student management system and compliance system in which there were school-wide professional training and learning sessions.

The other three main professional learning priorities for 2022 were as follows:

• Intercultural Competency . All teaching staff were engaged in sessions provided by Associate Professor Eeqbal Hassium. His work with staff was centred on intercultural competency across the community and honed in on what intercultural learning might look like in classrooms. His work with the HVGS school community included regular meetings with a focused steering group throughout the year.

• Safe Talk Training . Teaching staff from Stage 3, 4, 5 and 6 engaged in SAFE Talk training presented by LivingWorks Education Australia. This is suicide prevention training focused how we have conversations with students we are concerned about.

• Cognitive Coaching was a priority area for Executive, Senior and some Middle leaders. It is a powerful methodology for changing the nature of professional conversations in a learning community. Staff participated in 4 days of training, stating the workshops were intense but highly practical.

Professionally, staff continued to engage in regularly scheduled collaborative staff meetings, discussing teaching, differentiation, assessment techniques, and well-being matters of students. Mandatory compliance and child protection training was regularly undertaken through a range of short online courses.


Summary of teacher professional learning in 2022.




The staff at Hunter Valley Grammar School are committed to providing an effective learning environment for all students and are highly qualified to fulfil their designated roles. HVGS chooses not to invite staff to disclose their indigenous origin to the School, staff can voluntarily disclose their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status. There are two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander staff members at HVGS. TABLE 10

HVGS workforce





Student attendance rates in 2022, Kindergarten – Year 12.

Note: School attendance data 2022 declined due to the impacts of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and high influenza outbreaks, and floods experienced in certain regions across Australia at that time.


The School records and retains the daily attendance and absence of all students enrolled in the School by maintaining a daily register for each class.

Student absences from classes or school are identified and recorded in a consistent manner by the staff member responsible.

Unexplained absences from classes or school are followed up in an appropriate manner with the student and/or their parent or carer

The School notifies parents and/or carers in an appropriate manner where a student has a poor record of school or class attendance.

Where unsatisfactory class or school attendance is identified, the attendance issue and any action taken is recorded, as appropriate, on the student file.


At the conclusion of 2022, 97 students graduated from the school at the end of Year 12. This represents a retention rate of 84% from end of Year 10.

Whole school attendance rate data may be found on the My School website:


Student attendance rates in 2022, Year 1– Year 10.



87 students from the Class of 2022 were offered a university place in NSW/ACT for Semester 1 intake.

The remaining students have either joined the workforce, gained an apprenticeship, taken a break from study for travel, accepted offers to study interstate, or have plans unconfirmed.

The majority of our 2022 HVGS graduates have gone on to study degrees at the University of Newcastle.

Engineering, health, sciences and society and culture fields remain the most popular areas for further education.



School enrolment policies are detailed on the following pages.

Enrolment Policy

Policy Code: POL-STD-003

Approved By: Board

Approval Date: 21 September 2022

Effective From: 20 October 2022


The Hunter Valley Grammar School Enrolment Policy endeavours to reflect our guiding values of respect, responsibility, compassion, citizenship, courage, optimism, gratitude and integrity and our motto “Success through Endeavour” As an inclusive and diverse school community, we welcome families who aspire to share in our ethos, values, and vision

Hunter Valley Grammar School is a non-selective, co-educational, secular day school located in the NSW Hunter Valley

The School consists of an Early Learning Centre, Junior School (Kindergarten to Year 6) and Senior School (Years 7 –12) Hunter Valley Grammar School (HVGS) is committed to providing high-quality, global-focused education which promotes the development of each students’ learning, life and growth through the School.

HVGS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school authorised to deliver the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Career-related Programme (CP) which aligns with the Australian Curriculum and NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabus requirements


This policy outlines Hunter Valley Grammar School’s principles and considerations for enrolment at Hunter Valley Grammar School across all programs.


This policy applies to all Hunter Valley Grammar School programs and enrolments, including the Early Learning Centre, Junior, and Senior Schools.

Enrolment Policies

Kindergarten to Year 12

Parents may enrol their child in Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if the student turns 5 years of age before the end of February that year. The Education Act 1990 mandates that all children must be in compulsory schooling by the age of 6 and the school will give priority for Kindergarten enrolment to students turning 6 in that school year

Enrolment is at the discretion of the School with regard to the date of application and the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Discrimination Amendment Act 2005

Enrolments for students with complex needs are reviewed by an Enrolments Panel comprised of the Principal, Heads of School and other key leadership and support staff The role of the panel is to review these applications to ensure necessary support is available to facilitate successful enrolment

Places will be offered to students on a waiting list for a specific year level based on consideration of a variety of factors including the date of application, currently enrolled siblings, and children of Alumni

Early Learning Centre

The Early Learning Centre is licenced for 60 children per day Children may be accepted for up to 5 days per week should vacancies exist

Enrolments in the Early Learning Centre will be based upon NSW Start Strong Guidelines for Community Preschools (Priority Access) The NSW Start Strong (Priority of Access) Guidelines followed by all State funded Preschools are defined by NSW State Government funding Agreements

Hunter Valley Grammar School Early Learning Centre will follow the Priority Access Guidelines at all times when enrolling children. The waiting list application will reflect these guidelines to ensure that access is provided to families using these priorities.

In no particular order, these are:

Children who are at risk of harm

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Children from low-income families

Children with disabilities

Children with English language needs

Children in their year before school (with highest priority given to children closest to school entry)

Children who have attended the ELC as a 3-year-old will be given priority for positions as a 4-year-old

Principle of Inclusion

The Hunter Valley Grammar School Values promote inclusiveness within our School community In line with these values, no student will be discriminated against including on the grounds of their race, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, language background, disability, caring responsibilities, sexual orientation, transgender status and marital or domestic status, when enrolling in Hunter Valley Grammar School.

It is a requirement of the Australian Disability Standards for Education (2005) that all educational facilities make reasonable adjustments to allow students with disabilities to participate in educational activities on the same basis as a student without a disability Hunter Valley Grammar School will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that students with a disability can apply to enrol and be admitted to the School on the same basis as students without a disability in line with these standards

Termination of Enrolment

Continuing enrolment is contingent upon compliance with the School’s Conditions of Enrolment (K-12) and ELC Conditions of Enrolment. Termination of enrolment will occur

- at the time of graduation from the ELC

- at the time of graduation from year 12

- upon notice in writing from parent and carers of withdrawal from the school

The School also reserves the right to exclude any student and terminate enrolment:

- in line with the Behaviour Management Policy and Guidelines, Student Bullying and Prevention Policy, Student Assault and Harassment Policy, or - where fees are not paid as per the Conditions of Enrolment

- where a parent or carer acts in contrast to the School Community Charter

- any other serious breach of Policy or School values by a student or parent/carer.

Record Keeping

The NSW Registration Manual (3 8 and 3 6 2) requires the School to keep a register of student enrolments The School will also maintain enrolment records for the Early Learning Centre that capture information to support adherence to the NSW Start Strong Guidelines for Community Preschools (Priority Access).

Hunter Valley Grammar School keeps a digital register of students using The Alpha School System (TASS). Student’s enrolment information and other relevant original documents are also stored securely in hardcopy.

This register is retained for a period of seven years (three years for the Early Learning Centre) after the last entry is made, and copies of information in the register are securely stored digitally off-site at regular intervals


Position Responsibility Parents/Carers

Parents and carers have the responsibility to enrol their child in school and provide all necessary information to ensure that the school is able to support the student including informing the School of any risk assessment or support plans for their child.

The School

The school is responsible for ensuring that:

- Information about enrolment processes is available

- That this policy is implemented in all enrolments


Term Meaning


NSW Education Standards Authority

ELC Early Learning Centre

International Baccalaureate

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

Career -related Programme (CP)

NSW Start Strong Guidelines

Related documents

Policies and procedures

An international educational framework designed to develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect” (Source:

A program of the International Baccalaureate framework for students aged 3-12.

A program of the International Baccalaureate framework for students aged 1116.

A program of the International Baccalaureate framework for students in Years 11 and 12.

Start Strong funding for community preschools provides funding for the provision of preschool education delivered for the 2 years before school to children enrolled in community preschools in NSW

• Student Anti-Discrimination Policy

• Student Duty of Care Policy

• Student Welfare Policy

• Scholarship Policy

• Sibling Discount Policy

• School Community Charter

Regulations and Guidelines

• NESA Registered and Accredited Individual Non-Government Schools (NSW) Manual

• National Quality Standard (NQS)


• Education and Care Services National Regulations (2011)

• Education Act (1900)

• Disability Standards for Education 2005

• Disability Discrimination Act 1992

• NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977


Governance Officer: Enrolment Officer

Accountable Officer: Principal

Document information and review


The Board is responsible for evaluating compliance with the policy Evaluation will be facilitated by means of:

a. Principal’s Report to every Board Meeting; b. Minutes from Board Committee Meetings;

Enrolment Terms and Conditions

1. All initial Applications are processed within the School’s Enrolment Policy and must accompany the nonrefundable Application for Admission Fee of $250

2. Full disclosure of any special circumstances relating to the applicant including but not limited to known medical conditions, special gifts or talents, special needs, psychological test results or English as a second language must accompany the application. Non-disclosure may result in the application/enrolment being cancelled

3. Prior to entry and an offer being made, all prospective students and their Parents/Guardians may be invited to attend an interview with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Head of Junior School, or member of the Senior Management Team if required.

4. An offer of enrolment is subject to and conditional upon the Parents/Guardians acceptance of the School’s Conditions of Enrolment and by way of confirmation, payment of the Enrolment Bond of $1250 per child. This confirmation is required within 14 days or prior to commencement at the School, whichever comes first, to secure the position. This Bond is refundable providing all conditions of enrolment are met (refer clauses 9 & 10)

In the event the Enrolment Bond has been paid and the position is not taken up, the Enrolment Bond will be forfeited (refer clause 10 ) .

5. Fees are subject to alteration by the School from time to time Notice of any such alteration will be given in advance

6. Tuition Fees and associated costs are payable on the 1st day of Term, or as otherwise agreed with the School Fees not paid by the due date are liable to incur recovery costs Students for whom charges remain unpaid by the 2nd week of Term, without special arrangements in place are required to contact the Chief Financial Officer Failure to do so will compromise the student’s place and may result in the enrolment being withdrawn

7. The default in the payment of fees or other charges will render the Parent or Guardian liable to legal action for recovery of the unpaid fees and other charges including debt recovery costs and legal fees

8. No remission of fees is allowable in the event of absences from the School

9. A full Term’s notice, in writing, to the Principal is required to be given by the Parents/Guardians before a student leaves the School, and if a Parent/Guardian intends to withdraw a child on the last day of a particular Term, then notice would have to be given at the start of the Term. In default of such notice, the Enrolment Bond will be forfeited

10. The Enrolment Bond is refundable given these Conditions of Enrolment are met. Written application has to be made to the Principal, within 6 months of the student leaving the School, to receive the Bond Part or all of the deposit may be retained to offset any outstanding monies owing to the School. Any Bond not claimed within these 6 months will be gratefully accepted as a donation to the School’s Building Fund and a tax invoice will be issued The bond is not refundable where a position has been accepted but not taken up

11. Students are responsible for their personal belongings and the School will not be liable for any loss of these belongings.

12. The student abides by the School Regulations and conforms to the disciplinary authority of the Principal and those to whom authority may be delegated.

13. We accept that the School may determine which particular courses and activities are offered and/or provided at any time and which of these courses and activities are compulsory

14. Parents/Guardians agree only to access the School through the School’s Administration Office and to observe School security procedures for the protection of students from direct contact with those outside the School during school hours

15. Exclusion from the School

a. If the Principal, or any person with delegated authority of the Principal, considers that a student is guilty of a serious breach of the rules or has otherwise engaged in conduct which is prejudicial to the School or its students or staff, the Principal may exclude the student permanently or temporarily at their absolute discretion.

b. If the School Board or the Principal believes that a mutually beneficial relationship of trust and cooperation between a Parent/Guardian and the School has broken down to the extent that it adversely impacts on that relationship, then the School Board or the Principal may require the Parent/Guardian to remove the child from the School.

c. The School will only exercise its powers under this clause to exclude a student permanently if it has provided the student and the Parents or Guardians of the student with details of the conduct which may result in a decision to exclude the student and provided them with a reasonable opportunity to respond.

No remission of fees will apply in relation to any of the above cases

16. Except in the case of illness, misadventure or circumstances beyond their control, a student must be in attendance on all days, on which the School is open, unless an “Exemption from School Attendance” has been completed and permission granted in advance All absences, with the exception of approved exemptions, require an explanation and consent in writing from a Parent or Guardian within 7 days of the absence Prolonged absence from School without reasonable explanation may compromise the enrolment.

17. Parents/Guardians are reminded of their responsibility to notify the School of a change in address or circumstances, including a change of address, email, and phone contacts

18. It is a requirement that both Parents/Guardians sign the Enrolment Application and Conditions of Enrolment. In the case of a sole parent, a written understanding of the situation is required and in the case of parenting orders being in place, a copy of such orders is to be submitted with the School with the Application

19. If a student needs urgent hospital or medical treatment of any nature and the School is unable to contact the Parent or Guardian after making reasonable efforts, the School is authorised to give permission for such treatment The School, its employees and agents are indemnified in respect of all costs and expenses arising directly or indirectly out of such treatment

20. The Conditions of Enrolment may be amended in the absolute discretion of the School Board provided not less than two Terms notice is given and the conditions take effect from 1 January in the following year.

21. The above outlines the current Conditions of Enrolment, however, these Conditions may change and Parents/Guardians will be advised of the Conditions in place at the time of acceptance of a position and those Conditions will be binding


A summary of School Policies in the areas of student welfare, anti-bullying, student discipline and complaints is provided below. Details of the full policies can be obtained from the Hunter Valley Grammar School (HVGS) Parent Lounge or from the School.


Student welfare encompasses everything that Hunter Valley Grammar School does to enhance the wellbeing of students and to meet their personal, social and learning needs. It involves recognising, valuing and developing each student as a total and unique person, and fostering attitudes of mutual respect and confident participation.

The School’s Values are Responsibility, Integrity, Respect, Citizenship, Courage, Compassion, Optimism and Gratitude, and are the foundations used to develop a community in which all participants feel included and have the support and opportunities needed to grow physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Student wellbeing has the individual as its focus and is an integral part of the school philosophy and curriculum. It promotes respect for the rights of every person and is fostered by cooperation between all members of the School community.


The School cares for each individual student through a well-developed whole school wellbeing structure:

• The sub-schools are managed by the Head of Senior School and the Head of Junior School;

• In Junior School the classroom teacher is the primary wellbeing carer. The Heads of Stage advise and support classroom teachers and individual students, and they are responsible to the Head of Junior School;

• In Senior School (Years 7-12) the wellbeing structure involves the Heads of Stage and Heads of Year, who have oversight of student wellbeing. Heads of Stage and Heads of Year are in turn supported in their work by a team of Mentors that each Senior School student sees daily.

• Student wellbeing is supported by the Principal and School Psychologists.

The following policies support the School’s Student Wellbeing Program and incorporates the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice:

• Student Welfare Policy;

• Student Duty of Care Policy;

• Student Bullying Prevention and Intervention Policy;

• Student Behaviour Management and Discipline Policy;

• Anti-Discrimination Policy;

• Critical Incident Policy;

• Child Safe Policy;

• Student Services Policy;

• Pastoral Care Policy;

• Student Attendance Policy; and

• Complaints Management Policy and Procedures

The School’s behaviour management strategies include addressing issues such as behaviour management and discipline, bullying and harassment, student health and wellbeing, improved relationships and personal achievement. These strategies empower students to build social skills, resilience and responsibility. The policies incorporate, as appropriate, principles of procedural fairness, natural and restorative justice, and expressly prohibits corporal punishment by both School and non-School persons.


Hunter Valley Grammar School is committed to the maintenance of a positive relationship with the school community, and to the timely resolution of any grievance of a parent or student.

The School aims to provide a prompt response to all telephone and written enquiries, and subject to the need for any further investigation and evaluation in relation to a particular complaint, the complete resolution of an issue as soon as practicable.

Enquiries should be directed to the appropriate staff member as per the procedure. If the grievance concerns that staff member, or if it is believed that the issue has not been dealt with expeditiously by that staff member, a more senior person should be informed. The School will acknowledge each complaint; investigate and take appropriate action to address the complaint. The School will then advise the complainant of the findings and of what actions may have been taken to address the concerns.

Complaints relating to behavioural issues are dealt with in line with HVGS’s Behaviour Management and Discipline Policy.

If the complaint is in relation to allegations of staff misconduct, or a reportable conduct matter, the handling of this complaint will be as per the School’s Child Safe Policy and investigation process.

The following table provide a summary of relevant policies in place at HVGS including any changes in 2022.


Summary of relevant policies in place at HVGS including any changes in 2022.



The School aims to support the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of students through:

• Creating a safe, secure, supportive and caring environment

• Delivering effective teaching and learning

• Provide early intervention programs for students at risk

• Providing a positive climate and good discipline; and

• Encouraging community participation.


The Student Bullying Prevention and Intervention Policy addresses issues involving bullying and harassment and student health and wellbeing. The policy clearly outlines the responsibilities of school staff, students and parents/carers.


The Behaviour Management and Discipline policy incorporates principles of procedural fairness and involve parents in the process of procedural fairness for suspension and expulsion.

The School expressly prohibits corporal punishment and does not sanction the administering of corporal punishment by non-school persons, including parents, to enforce discipline at the School.


The Complaints Management Policy and associated Procedures endeavour to provide a prompt response to all complaints and grievances to resolve issues as soon as practicable.

The policy uses procedural fairness in dealing with complaints and grievances. The processes incorporate how parents can raise complaints and grievances and how the School will respond.


No changes were made in 2022

This Policy was reviewed and updated in May 2022. including a name change and updates to highlight the importance of prevention work in this space.

The full text of the Student Welfare Policy can be accessed via the HVGS Parent Lounge or on request from the Principal.

No changes were made in 2022.

The full text of the Student Bullying Prevention Policy can be accessed via the HVGS Parent Lounge or by request from the Principal. Excerpts are included in the Student Diary.

No changes were made to this Policy in 2022.

The full text of the Behaviour Management and Discipline Policy can be accessed by request from the Principal and from the Parent Lounge. Excerpts are included in the Student Diary.

The full text of the Complaints Management Policy and procedures can be accessed via the HVGS Parent Lounge and by request from the Principal.


In 2022, Hunter Valley Grammar School completed a community-wide survey (AIS Perspectives Survey), Community Engagement Workshops based on the survey data and an exploration of the HVGS identity and future directions, as well as staff Listening Post Sessions to better understand the current and future challenges. This process contributed to the development of the HVGS Strategic Plan to be published in 2023.

Areas of strength noted in the parent Community Engagement Workshops included:

• The uniqueness of the HVGS identity as a coeducational, secular school.

• The spaciousness of the HVGS grounds, including the School Farm and School Rowing Shed.

• The provision of bus services.

Both parents and staff noted that community and connection are an important part of the HVGS identity, but COVID-19 and significant leadership changes in 2020 and 2021 impacted this sense of connection. Likewise, parents identified that communication needs to be streamlined.

From 2023, parents and staff are seeking leadership, direction and stability, and a deeper understanding of the purpose and significance of the IB Programmes for student learning. The breadth of co-curricular options for students in the Junior School was also noted as an area of development under the leadership of a new Head of Co-Curricular.

Staff were strongly supportive of the HVGS core identity as a school that values holistic learning, a culture of care and compassion and provides opportunities and pathways for all students.

The HVGS Strategic Plan (2023 - 2028) will include a strong focus on student and staff agency and autonomy as well as ensuring excellence in holistic education and diverse pathways for students as they move through the school. Meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse Student population is a key for HVGS into the future.


In the ELC the Regio Emilia and play-based philosophy centres student experience and supports an emerging sense of self. The IB Learner Profile, concept-based teaching and learning, inquiry methodology as well as approaches to learning across Years K – 10 ensures a student-centred approach to classroom practice. The Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes, as well as the IB Career-related Programme, foster a global mindset that encourages students to speak and act from a place of respect and compassion. By engaging students in robust lines of inquiry, driven by age-appropriate issues and students' own curiosity, we guide our young people towards becoming active, compassionate life-long learners who can apply our School Values to the pursuit of a better world.

In the Senior School, wellbeing programs seek to address some of the main issues our students encounter as they mature – for example cyber safety, drugs and alcohol education, respectful relationships. Further, student wellbeing is bolstered in a structure which seeks to support and nurture students – House based groups, Mentor Teachers who remain with the students from Year 7 to Year 12 is an example of this. This works alongside and in step with strong Academic Services and Psychological Services provided by highly trained personnel.

Further, we continue to enhance the incorporation of restorative practices as part of our approach to discipline matters when they arise.

Attention has been focused on the Commendation Program, which recognises student contribution across Academic, Service, Sporting and Co-Curricular domains. Further work will continue on this in 2023.

In 2022, student voice has become more of a feature of what we are doing as a school. Groups such as Student Leaders in Years 11 and 12 and the Affinity Group representing a cross section of students are promoting a sense of inclusion and belonging within the student body.

‘Uniquely You Day’ was borne from this work and is a new whole-school initiative dedicated to celebrating each individual's identity and uniqueness in the School.

Hand-in-hand with the above, the creation of an environment in which students feel they will be listened to, and that their advice will be sought has been a key focus for the Senior School team.

A cross-section of Senior students have also engaged with Dr Eeqbal Hassim on articulating and mapping the intercultural development of the School across the intercultural continuum. The importance of this work was highlighted on Uniquely You Day, R U Ok Day and through several conversations with students about their experience in the classroom.

This important work is creating more space for students and staff to express who they are, and to share when they think we are being lessinclusive than we could be as a school, it equally important to build everyone’s capacity to have conversations sensitively. Going forward HVGS will be looking at our policies, procedures and practices through an inclusion and intercultural learning lens.


In 2022, the AIS Perspectives survey was undertaken at HVGS. Of note were the high numbers of people who completed the survey. Respondents included parents from ELC to Year 12 and students from Years 5 – 12. The survey data was used in community engagement workshops and to develop the HVGS five-year Strategic Plan. The survey was undertaken in May, five months into the tenure of the new Principal.

Across the five Domains surveyed (School Environment, Teaching and Learning, Student Wellbeing, Leadership and Community) HVGS maintained high mean scores on a 1 – 6 scale.

The vast majority of parents are proud to have their children attend HVGS, highlighted through the high mean score of 5.23 and comments such as these provided in the survey:

“Iappreciatetheprofessionalismandhardworkthatthe staffputintotheeducationofmychild.Thankyouforall thatyoudo.”

“Iwouldliketocongratulatetheteachingstaff,theyare trulywonderfulandtakesuchaninterestinallstudents andarealwaysreadytoassist.”

“Ithinktheschooldoesafabulousjob.Especiallythrough thechallengesthatthepandemiccreated,Iwas impressedwiththeteacher'sresilienceandkindness.”

Areas of strength noted in the survey:

Our SchoolEnvironment(encompassing vision, mission and values, sense of safety and physical environment).

• Students, parents, and non-teaching staff felt a strong sense of alignment between policies and practices in the School and the School’s Values for Life, with some variation amongst teaching staff.

• The physical environment had an overall mean of 5.08, which confirms the high-quality facilities (including ICT) at HVGS.

• The vast majority of students feel safe in their classrooms (mean of 5.02; teacher mean 5.25 and parents 5.30).

• The vast majority of students feel safe with their peers on social media (Mean – 5.04)

In addition, opportunities for ProfessionalLearningfor all staff (Teachers Mean of 5.00 and Non-Teaching Staff Mean of 4.88) were rated highly.

Student and community engagement, including cocurricular activities and service learning, had an overall mean of 4.97. As one student stated: “I like the school as it has lots of choices with co-curriculum and activities, our school is unique and has a gift.” – Year 5 student.

Areas of development:

“Thereneedstobeamuchlargerfocusondiversityand acceptanceforall.Disabilities,neurodiversitypeople, genderdiverseandsexualityhastobediscussedfor peopletofeelmoresafe.” – Year11student

“Thereshouldbefacilitiesfordifferentculturalpractices ofdifferentreligions.” – Year5student

“Ithinkthatpeopleshouldbeabletoexpresshowthey feelopenlywithoutpeoplecriticizingthemandpeople shouldbeabletospeakoutaboutrealworldproblems andnotsugarcoatit.Ithinkpeopleshouldalsosaytheir genderpreferencesandpronounswithoutfeelingasif theycouldgetshamedorfeeluncomfortable.” – Year6 student

Students, parents and staff provided invaluable feedback on areas of growth for the school.

While the majority of students felt as though they belong in the School, some students feel as though HVGS could be more inclusive in its practices. This was most clearly captured in student comments and some of the data points noted below:

• “I feel like I belong at the School” (Mean 4.46)

• “Some students find learning hard and some find it easy. Teachers help all of them.” (Mean 4.50)

• “People are treated the same at this school regardless of their race, ethnicity, faith, gender or sexual orientation.” (Mean 4.65)

• “Staff use inclusive language that respects diverse identities (Mean 4.58)

Work needs to be done on supporting students with using more inclusive language:

• “We treat each other with respect at this school.” (Mean 4.06)

• “Students use inclusive language that respects diverse identities (Mean 4.31)

In the area of TeachingandLearning there were variations in the perception of students and teachers. Teacher awareness and understanding of students’ home background was identified as an area of focus by students and teachers.

Staff expressed concern over their wellbeing and workload, as well as opportunities to grow and develop as leaders and the way in which change was being communicated across the school. This matches general concerns about teacher workload currently in Australia.

Parents clearly articulated a need to review communication processes and systems so that they are streamlined and support “just in time” communication.

In 2022, feedback from the AIS survey was shared with parents through the Newsletter, Principal’s Blog and the Community Engagement Workshops led by the Principal.



Hunter Valley Grammar School will maintain the relevant data and will comply with reporting requirements for NESA. The Annual Report will be provided to NESA via RANGS online and be available for public disclosure on the School’s website from June 30, 2022.

Copies can be provided for those who cannot access the internet.

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