From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann 

Understanding by Design

One of the great strengths of Brighton Grammar School is that we are one campus. What this means is that we can really focus on processes, practices and ways that are boy-centric and unified. The benefit of this is that from a boy’s perspective, it all ‘makes sense’ and is aligned. Your son can see where he is going, that he is making progress and that he knows the BGS way of doing things. He feels a sense of belonging; that he is part of the story. As I have previously written, the primary road map for this is the Effective Learner model.

A major program that is occurring in the background for our curriculum (the lessons that are delivered from ELC to VCE) at present is the incorporation of the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework. Our new Director of Curriculum and Assessment (Patrick Sanders) is charged with working with the staff and boys on this framework.  And, whilst I won’t go into the details of the project, I can illustrate its importance most simply in this way:

Do you remember being in class and wondering, ‘Why am I learning this?’ or ‘How does this relate to anything?’

The UbD framework firstly looks at answering this question in all classes. What are the big ideas we want the boys to know? How does it link to what they might already know? Rather than just teaching content in what can be a fragmented way (for instance, writing an essay in English or History – this is the same skill), the boys can build an understanding of knowledge and demonstration of skill and transfer it into different contexts. In the modern and changing world, we need the boys to be able to do this to prepare them for the future.

The bottom line is that we want our teachers to:

  1. identify the desired learning results (what it is essential that your son knows, what we want him to be able to do independently)
  2. determine the acceptable evidence that your son is achieving these results (and report it back to you).
  3. plan the instruction necessary to gather this evidence and achieve the desired results.

As always, if you would like to know more about our learning model, please feel free to email Crowther or call.


Crowther Parent Workshop Program

The Effective Learner at Home: Building Better Routines

By popular demand, we’re running this workshop again. 

Date: Monday 18 March 2019

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: Crowther Wellbeing Centre

Please register to attend The Effective Learner at Home: Building Better Routines.


Topics for upcoming workshops include:Tweens, Teens and Technology; The Effective Learner; Study Habits; and Difficult Conversations. More information will be available closer to the date via the Crowther Centre eNews.


Strong Mothers, Strong Sons – Save the date

We are delighted to announce that we will again be hosting the internationally renowned psychologist Megan de Beyer and her program ‘Strong Mothers, Strong Sons’. Megan ran this workshop at BGS last year and received extremely positive feedback.

Aimed at mothers of adolescent boys, the workshop covers topics including: communication, good relationships, how to manage change, conscious parenting and dealing with your son’s emotions (including anger).  

When – Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May 2019 (8.00am–4.00pm both days)

Where – Wellbeing Centre, Brighton Grammar School

Cost – Free to BGS mothers

Bookings – Opening soon, to be advised when bookings open subscribe to the BGS Crowther Centre