BELMONT High School has paid tribute to year 11 student James Hayman, who drowned last week while on a family holiday on the state's Lower North Coast.
As previously reported, James, 17, and his Tingira Heights family were holidaying near Halliday Point last week when the tragedy occurred.
Belmont High principal Gareth Erskine used the school's Facebook page to pay tribute to James over the weekend.
Students and staff will be offered counselling when they return to school next Monday.
"Belmont High School extends our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of year 11 student, James Hayman, who tragically passed away this week," Mr Erskine wrote.
"Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time."
More than 70 members of the school community also expressed their sympathies online.
Karen Sawyer wrote James would be missed "forever and always".
"The moments you shared with us all at BHS will always speak of a great person that you were," she wrote.
"Our deepest condolences to family and friends, Rest In Peace."
Karen Newman wrote James' passing was a "loss to all".
"James was such a quiet & respectful young man," she wrote.
"He will be deeply missed - love & thoughts are with his loved ones."
Anne White wrote that James' "kind and gentle nature will be missed in the classroom".
"'What a beautiful difference a single life can make,' Ann Voshcemp," she wrote. "Rest In Peace, James."
Sharon Gregory said James' death was 'heartbreaking news for all of us".
"Deepest condolences to James' family.
"He had a gentle soul and taken way too soon."
Kylie Iles Jones wrote James had been "taken far too young".
"To all the Hayman family, sending our condolences to you all at this difficult time."
Steph Blackstock wrote James had "such a beautiful smile".
"Sending prayers and strength to your family."
The Newcastle Herald reported last week that emergency services arrived at Diamond Beach around 1pm last Wednesday after reports a swimmer was struggling in the water.
James's father Peter rushed into the water to try to help the teenager, but then also found himself in trouble.
Mr Hayman was later taken to hospital, suffering from water inhalation.
Manning-Great Lakes Police said first responders brought James from the water and performed CPR until NSW Ambulance paramedics took over treatment, but he could not be saved and died at the scene.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
James' grandfather Paul Hayman said last week his grandson was a "good kid".
"He got along well with everyone," Mr Hayman said.
"He was quiet but was a bit more outgoing around his friends.
"He had some good close friends.
"He liked doing things on the computer. He was interested in cooking. He had aspirations to become a chef."