View filtered version
Select an archived edition

Pulteney Review Week 6 Term 1 2020

From the Principal
Opening Address – Commissioning Service

Reprinted below is the speech provided by Mr Cameron Bacholer upon the occasion of his commissioning as the 22nd Principal of Pulteney Grammar School.

Your Grace, The Most Reverend Geoffrey Smith - Archbishop of Adelaide, my wife Louise, daughters Adelaide, Elizabeth and Madeleine together with members of my family, distinguished guests, Mr Allen Candy – Chair of the Board, members of the Board past and present, Mr Colin Dudley President of the Foundation, trustees of the Foundation past and present, Captains of the School Jessie Aldridge and William Rooke, Old Scholars, Parents, Staff, and most importantly, students of Pulteney Grammar School, Good Morning.

I find it a discomforting experience to see my name typed any larger than around size 12 point font and suffice to say I stand here this morning suitably humbled. As the longest welcome which I have ever provided attests, I also stand here fulfilling myriad relationships. At this moment, to various members of this audience I speak as a father, a son, a brother, a husband, a nephew, a colleague, a peer, and indeed, perhaps importantly today, a Principal. Now with various degrees of success and failure, I have fulfilled almost of all of these roles for a sufficient period of time be comfortable both with their expectations and demands. The role of Principal though, is, as this morning’s service suggests, a role with which I am slightly less familiar.

The expression to stand on the shoulders of giants is used to describe how in life we use the understanding gained by those who have gone before to make progress; in aiding my understanding of the term principal, I can think of no more apt metaphor. I am fortunate that today some of those shoulders upon which I have personally stood join us in the audience and it is my privilege to acknowledge Mr Stephen Newton OAM, former Principal of Hamilton and Alexandra College and Caulfield Grammar School; Ms Kate Hadwen Principal at Pymble Ladies’ College; and Mr Allan Shaw, Principal at The Knox School, for the lend of their shoulders throughout my life and career. Thank you for your support; your guidance; your inspiration.

Our mentors teach us much through their thoughts, words and deeds, but they are, in a sense, a narrow frame of reference; after all, and as was famously observed many years ago now: for every known unknown there are far more unknown unknowns. Knowledge is also by its nature contextual, relevant to a time, a place, a circumstance and in this, the past principals of Pulteney Grammar School offer an illuminating insight into the role of principal. And so, it was to the pages of the School’s history that I took in order to learn more.

As many will be aware, the Pulteney Street School is woven into the fabric of Adelaide; the threads of its history lying in the last few months of 1847. The first Principal, or HeadMaster as the term was at the time, was the Rev Edmund Miller a man whom I can best find description of as, and I quote, ‘fully competent for the situation’, which, as far as a character reference is concerned, seems to be a little lacking in insight. Nevertheless, under Miller’s Principalship, the school opened with 27 students on day one; rose to 50 students by the end of the week, and some 263 students by that Christmas. Faint praise for his personality to one side, Miller must have been doing something right and perhaps offers the first lesson of note from Principals of Pulteney Grammar School: have vision.

Amongst the twenty other Principals who have held this privilege two giants lurk bearing the broadest and strongest of shoulders: W. P Nicholls and Cannon W. R. Ray. It was Nicholls who in 1911, the tenth of his forty-one as Principal, introduced what is now the iconic elliptical emblem of the school replete with sword, book, and quotation from Psalm 90 with which we are so accustomed: O prosper thou our handiwork. Nicholls  was also, as I have learned, widely admired for having ‘a good baritone voice and a mane of white hair’; thus while I promise to treasure the symbols and traditions of the school, I fear I may never live up to some of Nicholls more defining qualities.

Then there is Cannon Ray, whom I fear I have already disappointed as I understand from the pages of our history that he forbade male teachers from growing beards. Can’t sing, no flowing white mane of hair and now a beard: It seems I’m not making a strong start.

Ray’s indelible mark on the school is enormous and continues to this day. Of the many lessons to be learned from Ray, the self-evident truth that the strength of a school’s culture can be measured by the strength of its community looms as perhaps the greatest.  

And so some traits and markers begin to emerge to guide the path as it progresses along South Terrace. Have vision. Value the School’s traditions. There is strength through community. There is great wisdom in these seemingly simple lessons. To them, I add two final thoughts.

Immediately following Cannon Rae, Jock Mackinnon served as Principal for ten years, a man who, in his own words, sore it as the principal’s duty ‘to know about every person involved in the day to day life of the school as far as that is possible’ because ‘education, is very much, a matter of relationships’. It is to this ideal, in the presence of those assembled here this morning, which I now dedicate myself for as Jock so aptly stated, ‘education, is very much, a matter of relationships.’

The final thought I offer on the role of the principal is draws from beyond the gates of South Terrace and are words from John Rae, Headmaster at Westminster School in London, between 1970-1986. Rae, no relation to Canon Ray, summarised as best he could the skills required as principal in his book Letters from School, when he wrote that, in his experience, a principal needs ‘a thick skin, a quick wit, stamina, a steady nerve, political dexterity, and a keen sense of the absurd.’ Perhaps more a survival guide than pearls of wisdom, Rae’s thoughts sit comfortably alongside the aforementioned lessons from principals of years gone by. 

More than a commissioning, ladies and gentlemen, today is a celebration of Pulteney Grammar School. A celebration of 172 years of history; a celebration of the twenty-one Principals who have served and forged this school and on whose shoulders I now stand, of the countless students who have walked through its gates, the teachers who have devoted their careers to bestowing the gift of education to the young men and women of the Navy Blues.  To all those who count themselves a member of the Pulteney Grammar School community past, present and indeed future I offer my gratitude and commit myself to your service. This School stands to rise or to fall by our name. We are part of this school from the time we begin it, we are part of this school for the rest of our life. May we all prosper by our collective handiwork.

Cameron Bacholer


From the Deputy Principal
“Shake it off and step up!”

“The greatest quality of success is the willingness to become.” by Mike Murdock

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule “braying” or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving.  Instead, he called his neighbours together and told them what had happened and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.  Initially, the old mule was hysterical!  But as the farmer and his neighbours continued shoveling and the dirt hit the mule’s back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. ‘Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up … shake it off and step up!’ he repeated to himself.  No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!  You’re right!  It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well!  What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him.  All because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

Today, our students face a variety of challenges. Managing a healthy balance between time spent on their studies and co curricular activities, maintaining friendships and family time can often be difficult. The ability to remain positive in all situations is not only impossible but also unrealistic.

However, what is important is the fostering and developing of skills such as resilience within our students so that they feel empowered and have strategies to cope during difficult times rather than attempting to avoid or escape the pitfalls of life. As parents and teachers we play a pivotal role in the building of positive self-esteem within our young people. A positive self-esteem enables students to take risks and so meet life’s challenges with enthusiasm, confidence and optimism. Self-esteem is closely linked with feeling valued. Our young people realise they are valued when their efforts and contributions are welcomed, encouraged and appreciated.  Both family and school hold the key to valuing, guiding and supporting our students in their quest to set realistic goals, practice good work habits, rise above disappointments and celebrate achievements and in so doing be encouraged in the discovery of their strengths and acceptance and improvement of their weaknesses. As role models, parents and teachers have the responsibility to provide regular opportunities to share, listen and be of assistance regarding the difficulties, hopes and aspirations of our young people. As educators we are acutely aware of the link between positive self-esteem and academic and social success.

Moreover, just like the mule demonstrated, it is very rewarding when one can step out triumphantly, confident in the knowledge that despite the outcome they have given of their best and have been supported by people who love, care and value them.

Greg Atterton

Deputy Principal



Pulteney is a school that values wellbeing. Our Pulteney developed Attributes of Wellbeing outline the importance of a number of factors that contribute to overall wellbeing. Our Year 6 students recently participated in a conference day with one of our professional wellbeing service team members, Annecke Redelinghuys. The following reflection outlines the objectives and students perspectives of the day. Thank you to Annecke, the Year 6 teaching team and most of all the Year 6 students for their participation in the day.

Neuroscience and Learning Conference - 2020

The Year 6 students had the privilege to participate in their first Neuroscience and Learning Conference on 11 February 2020. This is the first of a series of conferences that will take place during the course of the year.

The main objective is for students to learn more about their brain and how their understanding thereof, can positively impact their learning (academic performance) as well as their mental wellbeing. Research has shown that there is a significant link between Neuroscience and Learning. As the brain is the seat of all emotions, thoughts and behaviour, their understanding of the brain can help them to self-regulate and control these aspects. This can support positive development of their mental health and wellbeing and enhance and optimise their potential.

During the first conference, the students learnt about Brain Basics such as:

  • What the brain looks like externally / internally
  • Structure and functions of neurons (brain cells)
  • How neurons communicate and form networks (synapses, neurotransmitters)
  • Who am I (thoughts, experiences, dreams, memories, knowledge)
  • Thoughts (what they are, thinking patterns, neural pathways)
  • Can the brain change (neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, FMRI scans, environment)
  • Major changes in the teenage brain (pruning and myelination)
  • How “reliable” is the brain

The students enjoyed different activities during the day. For example, they had to “connect dots” in order to simulate the connections that neurons make in the brain. They also did a memory exercise to determine how good their memories are and they built a neuron with playdough. The students asked many questions and could share their own thoughts and perspectives. At the end of the day, they participated in a quiz during which they could earn house points.

Mr King was turned into a human neuron!  Annecke placed a helmet on his head that had cable ties sticking up, which represented the dendrites of a neuron. He had a “ping-pong-ball-nose” that represented the nucleus, toilet paper around his body (myelin) and his toes represented the axon terminals (which by the way, were painted!)

Here is what some of the students had to say:

“The activity I enjoyed the most was the one where we learnt about neurons communicating. They got us to draw 10 lines from 10 different dots each. Then after the 100 lines were drawn, the presenter explained the link between the lines and how the neurons communicate. Understanding the brain is very complex and illustrates how amazing our brains can be. I understand that it is important to understand the brain because it could help us in future situations.” – Olivia Purdie

“In week 3, year 6 had a brilliant neuroscience conference learning all about the brain. I feel it is very important to know how your and other brains work because our brains are developing and gathering a large amount of information. I learnt a lot during the full day experience of neuroscience, including neurons and how they work, brain facts, how the brain stores things and many other interesting facts. I enjoyed making neurons out of play-dough which was difficult but achievable. I also really enjoyed learning new facts about the brain, they were very interesting. Another good thing was Mr King’s “dad jokes” about the brain which were very funny.” – Archie Shaw

Although it was a long day that was packed with new information, the students reported that they had a great experience and that they are looking forward to the next conference.

Steve McCulloch

Head of Student Wellbeing



This year in our Early Learning Centre the students have begun lessons with Specialist Teachers including Visual Arts, Music, Library, Health and Physical Education lessons. This is very exciting for our youngest students as they discover the benefits of a Pulteney education. As our ELC staff have access to our School’s extensive resources, technology, grounds and facilities, our ELC students build on their inquiring minds in a happy, stimulating and caring environment. The Music program includes singing, creative movement, use of percussion instruments and listening for appreciation. The Visual Arts program exposes students to the joy of creation as they use a range of materials to express themselves through the artistic process. The ELC students visit the library each week and discover the joy of a wide variety of literature and investigate authors and illustrators. Our Physical Education Program aims to encourage children to gain confidence in their gross motor and coordination skills including ball skills and game experiences. Health lessons ensure children receive important messages regarding social skills, core values and keeping safe and healthy. The children also participate in various school incursions throughout the year and regularly spend time over in the Parklands linking the curriculum with outdoor learning. These opportunities to appreciate and be involved in a range of learning areas allows students to learn about the world around them and build on their fundamental skills through fun, play-based experiences.

Natalie Natsias

Head of Kurrajong 

Languages and Culture Celebration Week

Week 11

The Languages faculty is excited to be introducing a few new events into the Languages and Culture Celebration Week this year! A Bubble Tea event for senior students and Chinese Kite construction and flying for Kurrajong and Prep students are just two of the new additions to the week. Once again, our students will be offered a large variety of activities and culinary delights, both in and out of the language classrooms.

On Monday at lunchtime students will have the opportunity to watch Mr. Bachelor, Mr. Atterton, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Brice battle it out for the Golden Watermelon trophy. This Suikarwari competition is a Japanese tradition and very amusing to watch!

On Wednesday April 8, there will be an International themed Casual Day, fashion parade and International Lunch. Last year this was a great success and we encourage parents and students to have the conversation about costumes early. There will be prizes for the best costumes and the lunch orders can be submitted through the Qkr! App.

Exchange Returnees

Over the summer, 3 of our students travelled to Germany on exchange and scholarships.  Lachlan Perry travelled to stay with former PGS exchange student Annunciata, for 8 weeks. He had a very culturally rich experience and worked hard on his language skills with great success. Max Soester and Will O’Dea were the lucky recipients of a scholarship from the Hermann Thumm and Josepf Landherr Foundation. The duo spend 8 weeks  in Alzenau, where they attended school, travelled and visited many beautiful Christmas markets. Upon their return they attended a lunch with the Foundation and delivered excellent speeches in their much-improved German. We are very proud of these students for grasping these opportunities and putting themselves out of their comfort zones.

Schiller Prize

We are thrilled to announce that old-scholar Eleanor Champion has been awarded the Schiller Prize by the South Australian German Teachers Association. Eleanor came equal second in South Australia for German in 2019! She will be awarded the prize at the SAGTA conference in March.

Wir gratulieren dir Eleanor!

Languages Events


Chinese New Year was celebrated on February 14 at Pulteney. Our Kurrajong students did a wonderful job of marching around the School after the Dragon making as much good-luck noise as possible. They must have scared away the beast ‘Nian’ as it has not been sighted at the School anywhere! Prep and Kurrajong students then enjoyed a Chinese lunch to celebrate. Thank you so much to the parents who once again assisted in making sure the lunch was organised and delivered to the respective sub-schools. A big thank you also to our senior school students who performed with the dragon and led the parade.

Kirsty Hickman
Learning Area Leader Language

Career Expos and Open Days

There are several Career Expos held throughout the year and I would strongly encourage you and your child to attend any that are of interest, especially if you are wanting to explore post-schooling options with your child. Two expos I am currently aware of are the Tertiary Studies and Careers Expo, which will be held on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 April at the Adelaide Convention Centre ( and the National Careers and Employment Expo which will be held on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May at the Adelaide Showgrounds ( At these expos, students will be able to discuss their study, career and employment options with a large number of representatives from numerous exhibitors including the universities from South Australia, some interstate and overseas universities/colleges, private education colleges, TAFE SA, Government Agencies, Professional Associations, Local and National Employers and the Defence Forces. A number of seminars will also be held during the TSCEA expo and a list of these can be found on the website. In addition to these expos, all of the major SA universities and TAFE will hold Open Days on the weekend of 14 – 16 August and several faculty areas within the universities will also be holding specific information events, which will be advertised to the students throughout the year.

Naval Shipbuilding College presentation

At a recent one ninety assembly, representatives from the Naval Shipbuilding College presented the many and varied opportunities that are available to young people in this growing industry, including trade and university options. The Naval Shipbuilding College is an Australian Government initiative, established in April 2018, to help develop and skill a national workforce to deliver the continuous National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise. During the presentation, the College promoted educational and career pathways leading to jobs and careers in the naval shipbuilding, sustainment and supply chain industries. For students wanting further information, they are encouraged to go to:

UCAT 2020
The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is an admissions test used by many universities in Australia and New Zealand in their selection process for their medical, dental and clinical science degree programmes. The test helps universities to select applicants with the most appropriate abilities and professional behaviours required for doctors and dentists to be successful in their clinical careers. The UCAT is a two-hour computer-based test delivered in Pearson VUE test centres throughout Australia, New Zealand and at some overseas locations.

Registration for the UCAT is now open and closes on 11 May. The UCAT consists of five separately timed subtests, each of which contains a number of questions in a multiple-choice format. The test sittings are held between 1 and 31 July. For a listing of universities requiring the UCAT, go to For more details of the UCAT, go to

Australian National University (ANU) application and selection processes

In 2019, ANU changed the application requirements (including an earlier application deadline) and selection criteria for undergraduate courses. Details of the requirements can be found at Applications are now open and close in May. International applicants have a different process. Please see for more details.

Useful websites for exploring university/career information

Students wishing to explore career options and/or university/TAFE pathways are advised that there are many websites available to assist in their explorations. The first place to start is the Pulteney Futures website (, which has a myriad of information and links to external sites. There is also a student’s secure area, where students are able to take several careers mini quizzes, that might assist them with their career exploration. In addition, if students are looking for information to help them choose an institution, or an undergraduate course, they can go to the Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching (QILT) website, which will give feedback from thousands of students about their experiences studying higher education in Australia. Go to for further information. Another useful website, which has been created by current university students and recent graduates, is The website provides information on undergraduate degrees and universities around Australia, as well as advice and articles on making the transition to university, gap years, travel, student accommodation, part-time jobs and much more. For students (and parents) looking to explore career pathways more broadly, the ‘My Future’ website is a one-stop-shop for career information. Students are able to take more career quizzes, match their strengths and likes with particular occupations and also research job details and statistics to see which industries will potentially provide the most job growth into the future. Visit to begin (or continue) the career ‘journey’!

Centre for Creative Photography (CCP) Information Night - Wednesday 11 March

If you are interested in exploring Photography as a possible career area or for further study, then you are invited to attend the Centre for Creative Photography information evening, being held at 138 Richmond Road, Marleston, on Wednesday 11 March at 6pm. The evening will allow you to see behind the scenes at the Centre for Creative Photography’s boutique photographic school to get a feel for what it’s like to study or work in their studios. For further information, or to register, go to:

AIE Information Evening - Thursday 19 March

If you are interested in exploring study and career options in game development, 3D animation and visual effects, then you are invited to attend the AIE Information Evening, being held on Thursday 19 March, 6-8pm at 3/32 Grenfell Street, Adelaide. The AIE campus will be opening its doors to visitors eager to find out about upcoming full-time and part-time courses. There is also an opportunity for students to study at AIE, as a part of their SACE. The evening will include presentations on different areas of industry to get into, as well as information about AIE courses and entry requirements. Student work will be on display and the teachers will be available to speak with you about their courses and how AIE can get you into a creative career. For further information, or to register, go to:

University of Adelaide STEM Careers Night - Tuesday 12 May, 5.45 – 7.45pm

Students in Years 10 -12 who are interested in exploring science, technology, maths and engineering careers are encouraged to attend the University of Adelaide STEM Careers Night on Tuesday 12 May. Academics and current students will talk about their experiences and emerging career opportunities. For further information and to register, go to:

Light refreshments will be provided.

University of Adelaide: subject based admissions

In 2019, The University of Adelaide introduced a subject-based admission requirement for selected degree programs for 2020 and beyond. The program bypasses the ATAR, and requires applicants to achieve a minimum grade in subjects to gain an offer into one of many University of Adelaide degrees – Arts, Media, Commerce, Psychological Science, Health & Medical Science, Science and selected Engineering degrees. Further information can be found at

Flinders University: subject based admissions

Flinders University is also offering a new admission pathway to a range of their undergraduate degrees as an alternative to the ATAR entry selection. Students will be eligible for the new subject-based admission pathway if they complete the SACE and receive two “B” grades and a “C” grade or above for their 20 credit Tertiary Admission (TAS) subjects. Students are automatically considered for this pathway when they apply through SATAC and have included a Flinders University degree as one of their preferences. There are a wide range of courses that this pathway will apply to, but not all Flinders University courses are included. Students will still be required to meet any other additional requirements for the course, such as any SACE prerequisite subjects or portfolio assessment. To explore the full list of eligible courses, go to:

Engineering at The University of Adelaide in 2021

From 2021 intake onwards, all engineering programs at the single, double and combined level at The University of Adelaide, will have standardised pre-requisite subjects to ensure students studying engineering are best prepared for the level of mathematics required. For all engineering courses (except Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering) the pre-requisites will be SACE Stage 2: Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics and Physics. For Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering, the pre-requisite subjects are SACE Stage 2 Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics and Chemistry. For further information about Engineering at The University of Adelaide, go to:

For students who are unable to meet all of the course prerequisites, the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – Engineering Pathway allows students to enter into engineering at The University of Adelaide through a specially designed program where they are supported to study any missing pre-requisite requirements. On successful completion of the program pre-requisite requirements, students are guaranteed transfer into their engineering discipline of choice.

Lattitude Global Volunteering Australia
Lattitude is a large international volunteering organisation which has been running for 45 years. It supports around 1000 young people globally every year. As a non-profit organisation, Lattitude provides a cost effective and comprehensive support for participants. With placements available in 13 countries, lasting between 6 weeks and 12 months, there is an extensive range of volunteer programs. For more details, go to or

Immerse Education

Hosted at locations across the UK, the Immerse academic programmes aim to stimulate students’ intellectual curiosity and to motivate them as they embark on decisions about their university studies, and future goals. Immerse will be running academic programmes for 13-15 year old and 16-18 year old students. These two-week residential programmes take place in University of Cambridge colleges during July and August. Enrolment for Immerse Programmes are now open and details can be found at

Tax File Numbers

Students requiring a TFN for employment or further study need to complete an online application form and then visit an Australia Post Office outlet to have their identity verified. For further information and to apply for a TFN, go to:

If you have any questions concerning Careers, please feel free to contact me on or 8216 5553.

Have a great week!

Leeanne Johnston-Bryan

Coordinator of Futures

Congratulations to our Rowing A Nationals Squad

Some great rowing results from the weekend’s lengthy racing program. After a fantastic but tough training session on Saturday morning, Pulteney’s A Nationals quad jumped straight back into a coxless boat to win the U19 State Title comfortably over some strong competition. Then on Sunday, having already completed half a dozen races each across other categories, the boys also took out the title in a hotly contested Schoolboy 4X+ final by a significant margin! Congratulations to Jesse, Will, Alex, Angus and Amelia on these incredible results. Well done to all rowers, coxswains & coaches for a great weekend of competition! We can't wait for the 2020 Head of the River, hosted by Pulteney, on Saturday 21 March!

Health and Physical Education, a period of transition.

“In a world that is constantly changing, education, teaching, and learning cannot remain stagnant.” – Georges Filippousis[1]

Recently there have been a number of changes occurring in the Health and Physical Education landscape at both national and state levels. In 2012, the National Curriculum for Health and Physical Education was proposed and two years later schools begun implementing this as part of version 6.0 of the Australian Curriculum to ensure consistency in the standards and content being taught around the nation. In 2020, the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is embarking on some of the most dramatic changes seen in the world of Physical Education in more than 20 years.

Traditionally, Health and Physical Education programs have been tailored towards those with sporting abilities and unless you had a high level of technical and tactical proficiency it was difficult for students to achieve high levels of academic success. As a consequence of this, traditional Health and Physical Education programs disengaged many students from a young age as it limited who was able to experience success and was preparing students with a skillset which the majority of the population is not going to find useful in the workforce. Research suggests that only 0.03% of high school students currently playing basketball will go on to become professional athletes[2].

The restructuring of the senior Physical Education program in South Australia has seen a significant shift away from solely focussing on the development of sport-specific technical and tactical elements, to one which is much broader in its emphasis. It now removes any necessity for students to be highly talented in a range of sporting endeavours, but rather provides students with the opportunity to critically analyse what they are doing. In conjunction with using contemporary technologies in sport and physical activity, students gather evidence of their performances with the aim of improving their own and or their team’s abilities. At Pulteney students have had the ability to use GPS, data collection and video analysis technology similar to those in elite-level professional institutions.

This new senior program that we are currently undertaking here at Pulteney gives greater scope for students to follow their passions in health and physical activity, rather than having the course dictated to them. Only last week in the new Stage 2 Physical Education course, students were investigating the impact of fatigue on sports performances. In the same class, at the same time, there were students shooting basketball free throws, others were setting volleyballs, passing soccer balls, shooting netballs, doing weights and serving tennis balls. This opportunity for students to be self-guided and have a choice in their learning has seen unparalleled levels of inquiry and engagement.

These changes at a senior level has meant that we at Pulteney, are rethinking the way that we approach Health and Physical Education in the younger year levels so that they are prepared for the demands of senior school and beyond. Beginning this year, students in the Preparatory School are being exposed to game types to allow for a greater application of learning across sporting endeavours. It is hoped that this approach will allow for students to transfer their knowledge, understanding and skillsets from one activity to another, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills and not see sports in isolation where they need to start afresh every term or year, when many sports share comparable key concepts[3].

Similarly, students in the Middle School will experience some changes pertaining to the structure of the Health and Physical Education course they take part in. Initially students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are participating in net and wall divided games, striking and fielding games and invasion games respectively to develop many of the aforementioned characteristics that can be drawn upon for future practical activities inside and outside of school. One of the most significant modifications that has been made in Years 7-10 Health and Physical Education pertains to student achievement and assessment. Assessment of, through and for learning in practical endeavours will see a broader emphasis, where the focus is not solely on one’s ability to perform the skills of a particular sport or activity. Whilst the physical nature of sport will always be central to what is done in Health and Physical Education, this will not be the only focus. Instead, each sport or physical activity will be used as a vehicle to develop sport specific abilities, alongside a range of other skillsets, which will allow them to be successful within Health and Physical Education along with many other academic areas. These include, but are not limited to verbal and non-verbal communication, leadership, teamwork, independence, reflection, initiative and organisation. Further evidence to support these being important skills for students to possess, many of these traits are considered to be highly sought-after employability skills for students entering the workforce from 2020 and into the future[4]

A few select schools in the Eastern states have already adopted a similar approach to the way in which Health and Physical Education is delivered and assessed and has been met with an overwhelming positive response from students and staff. Those associated with Elisabeth Murdoch College in Melbourne’s South East, found that the subject was more engaging, enjoyable and gave greater potential for all students to show development and moreover provide all students with the opportunity to achieve high levels of academic success[5]. With the work already undertaken by the committed Health and Physical Education staff and students at Pulteney, along with what is on the horizon, we are striving to be at the forefront of Health and Physical Education in South Australia and capitalise on this period of transition. In doing so, we will seize the opportunity to be innovative and forward thinking in the way that students learn and develop themselves as people in Health and Physical Education.

If you would like to know more about any of the aforementioned changes to Health and Physical Education at Pulteney in 2020, I would encourage you to speak with your son/daughter or with your child’s Health and Physical Education teacher.

Matt Down

Learning Area Leader – Health, Physical and Outdoor Education

Filippousis, G. (2019). Microsoft Education Blog. [online] Available at:[Accessed 16 Feb. 2020].

Manfred, T. (2012). Here Are The Odds That Your Kid Becomes A Professional Athlete (Hint: They're Small). [Online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Feb. 2020]

Webb, P., Pearson, P. and Forrest G. (2006). Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) in primary and secondary physical education. In primary and secondary physical education, ICHPER-SD International Conference for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance. [online] Wellington: research-pubs, pages 1-11. Available at: [Accessed 16 Feb. 2020].

Career connect (2020). Develop your employability skills. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Feb. 2020].

Alfrey, L. and O’Connor, J. (2019). How to transform your health and physical education curriculum so all your students have a chance to shine. [online] Available at:


Performing Arts

Halfway through term 1 and we already have completed several performances with Stage Band 1 working hard. The rest of term becomes increasing busy with some exciting performances around the corner. 

Fast approaching is our annual Cabaret, held on Saturday 28 March 7pm for 7.30pm in Wyatt Hall. Tickets are now available on trybooking, for $50 per head which includes a fantastic cheese platter from Bottega Rotolo as well as wonderful night of jazz provided by Stage Band 1 and 2 as well Jazz on the Terrace plus a set from our amazing Music Tutors Small Ensemble. Several Year 12 singers will also be performing. The tables all hold 10 people so get a table together now. There will be a bar on the night as well as a raffle (cash only) and an auction, so bring your credit card and have some fun!

Ensembles and Choirs

After a hectic few weeks we now have all 17 of our music tutors busily teaching your children. Nearly all of our scheduled ensembles and choirs are up and running, with only the new rock bands to yet be finalised. It has been great to see so many new students to Pulteney this term, get involved in the Grammarphones Choir, Concert Band and Percussion Ensemble in particular. If you feel your son or daughter should be in a group or choir and they are currently not, please contact me directly at We would love to see even more students involved in music co-curricular activities.

Instrumental/vocal Lessons

While we have all instrumental and vocal lessons up and running now, itr is never to late to get your child into learning an instrument or to sing. While vacancies are limited, if you would like to chat further about the opportunities please feel free to contact me.

Year 3 String Program – Prep School

I am very excited to announce that we are launching a brand-new program to Pulteney Grammar, the Year 3 Strings Program. In essence, we are trying to build our string program as well build the numbers of students who can experience learning an instrument in a small group situation.

This program is for the 2020 Year 3 students. Rather than doing a whole year level string program, I have designed an opt in Yr 3 String Program where if you would like your child (who is currently in year 3) to learn the violin or cello in a small group for terms 2, 3 and 4 for free (including free instrument hire, music resources and lessons) then all you need to do is respond to an email that will be sent to all year families in the coming week. This is a great opportunity for children to learn a musical instrument for free. We will also be supporting you, the parents so that your child has the best chance of experiencing success in this Yr 3 String Program. Please keep an eye on your email in the weeks ahead.

Nicholls – Performing Arts Centre

We are very excited to announce that the music and drama faculties will be moving into the newly refurbished Nicholls Building before the end of this term. This significant event has been years in the making as we can’t wait to share more about the planned opening of this new facility. Watch this space!

Music and Dance Leaders

Along with our Music and Drama Captains, I am thrilled to announce the student leaders for our ensembles and special programs. I congratulate all these wonderful students who are all so committed to their art. I look forward to seeing these students express their leadership through the year.




Edward Hoffensetz

Concert Choir

Sophie Penberthy

Jazz on the Terrace

Zoe Smith and Jordan Bender

Stage Band 1

Henri Pardoe and Luka Kilgariff-Johnson

Stage Band 2

Harry Oates

Concert Band

Tyson Nguyen and Declan Beard

Snr Handbell

Akacia Vanmali

Snr Drum Corps

Jack Kfoury

Senior Strings

Hugo Howell-Meurs

Dance Captains

Madi Schubert and Addi Schwartz


Jonathon Rice

Head of Performance and Instrumental Music

Learning Area Leader Performing Arts

From the Chaplain
Our Lenten Fundraiser

This year the Year 12 Prefects chose to raise money for the Vinnies SA Bushfire Appeal. We were aware that funds for this appeal were needed urgently, so the Pulteney community stepped out in faith and donated $3000 to Vinnies.

The Middle School Leaders and Prefects worked together to kick start our fundraiser with a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Lunch, where we raised $500 and donated leftover pancakes and toppings to The Hutt Street Centre. 

At our Junior and Senior Ash Wednesday Services, Year 6 students and Middle School leaders helped unpack the meaning of Lent and why we choose to think of those in need by unscrambling words, explaining symbols and participating in a pancake flipping competition. Students learnt that the Season of Lent is a time for us to think about our relationship with God and our neighbour and for us to be more reflective and prayerful. If you are choosing to enter into this season of Lent, may the following advice encourage and inspire you as it will me through this Lenten season.

Over the coming weeks, our school community will continue to engage in reflective Lenten practices and raise funds for the Bushfire Appeal by selling ice blocks and holding a tug of war with Year 12 students and staff on Athletics Day. We will also hold a Crazy Sock Day on Friday, March 20th. On Crazy Sock Day students can donate unwanted garden and shed tools to support our Old Scholars who have been assisting BlazeAid. The Pulteney Foundation has also been busy, donating a considerable number of bandages, lotions/topical ointments, dressings to go to the KI wildlife rescue/recovery centre in response to a call for these items for koalas and other injured wildlife.

Reverend Tracey

Head of the River

"It is my great privilege to join Pulteney Grammar School in this, our 60th year of rowing as we host the largest school sporting event in South Australia for the first time in 15 years: Head of the River. The event provides a wonderful opportunity for the School, in this, our 173rd year, for the school community: past, present and future, to join together in common celebration. I look forward to seeing you at the Pulteney Hosted Head of the River 2020." - Cameron Bacholer, Principal


We look forward to welcoming the entire Pulteney community to the Pulteney hosted Head of the River 2020, Saturday 21 March at West Lakes (100 Military Road, West Lakes Shore).

To make it easy for families to travel to and from the event, we are offering a free transfer service, with buses departing as below:
Pickup/Dropoff – both 25 minute journey time.
Outbound departure 8:30am 
Return buses depart West Lakes (as signposted) 12:45pm

Bus 1 – South Terrace 
Bus 1 South Terrace3
Bus 2 – Torrens Boat Shed
Bus 2 Torrens Boat Shed2

Other information: 

Regatta course: Alex Ramsay Regatta Course, 100 Military Road, West Lakes Shore
Races with Pulteney crews in run 9:25am -12:25pm
Food, drink and entertainment available on site.
All community members and beyond are welcome!
No tickets needed – just show up.