A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston
Bring a Dream to Life
Last June, I was astounded by the way our community came together to support the Annual Appeal. We had 431 members of the BGS community make donations, large and small, within the 24-hour window set aside for giving. It was an extraordinary Appeal and enabled us to offer two means-tested scholarships. That means a BGS education for two boys who would otherwise have missed out.
This year, we hope to establish an Indigenous Scholarship funded with the support of our community. We have strong links with two remote Indigenous schools – in Milikapiti and Pormpuraaw. And, currently, four boys from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School are completing their education at BGS. The richness of cultural exchanges and the perspective that our Indigenous students bring to the School is incalculable. Via an Indigenous Scholarship, we seek to continue these relationships and ‘bring a dream to life’.
Click here to follow the countdown to our Annual Appeal and be part of something special. If you haven’t already watched the Appeal video please see below. And get ready for another astounding 24 hours on 22 May.
Have a great week. And a special mention to all BGS mums – have a great Mothers’ Day this Sunday.
From the Head of Junior School – Peter Tellefson
I enjoyed my time with the Year 4 boys at Camp Burnside on the Anglesea foreshore last Thursday. It was fantastic to see the boys having fun, supporting each other and enjoying each other’s company as they rotated through canoeing, surfing and beach games. The boys are very fortunate to have the variety of learning experiences available at BGS. The Outdoor Education program is an extension of the classroom in many ways. Circle Time, Mindfulness and the Effective Learner model were all evident across the three days. Congratulations to the boys and thank you to Alison Main, Tim Medlyn, Michael Stephens and the Outdoor Education staff: James Hilditch, Carly West, David Gemmell and Nathan O’Malley.
Best wishes to the Year 3 and Year 5 boys, who will be participating in NAPLAN testing next Tuesday to Thursday. This testing provides a ‘simple snapshot’ of results on a given day in comparison to what I would describe as an ‘ongoing video’, which is of greater value over the course of the year. There has been no particular ‘build-up’ to this testing for the boys with the aim of avoiding unnecessary stress or anxiety. Fortunately, the boys are provided with regular opportunities to complete work under ‘test conditions’, which enables them to complete the NAPLAN testing with confidence.
Junior School happenings and reminders
- Boys and staff are looking forward to the Prep to Year 6 Mums joining us tomorrow from 8:30am for the Mothers’ Day Celebration. In light of the weather forecast, it would be wise for mums to bring an umbrella. Special thanks to Brigitte McGregor and the JPG and their team of helpers for the superb organisation and gift-wrapping. Best wishes to all our Mums for Sunday – enjoy your day.
- The Year 6 Outdoor Education Program commences on Monday, with 6 Investigator and 6 Endeavour heading off to the Gippsland Lakes. I look forward to spending time with the boys and staff next Wednesday and Thursday; Dean Bryan will be responsible for the Junior School in my absence.
- The next Ute Full of Food will be on Friday 18 May. Items particularly requested are: breakfast cereals, sugar, jams and spreads, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, noodles, biscuits, tins of vegetables, fruit and fish, meals-in-a-can, toilet paper, bathroom supplies.
- Having a sense of pride in themselves, their appearance and presentation is particularly important for boys. When wearing the winter uniform, there is an expectation that boys have their top button done up and shirt tucked in. I would ask parents to support us by reinforcing these expectations.
Healthy Minds in the Early Learning Centre
A main focus in the ELC is promoting a positive mindset for the boys, and our daily practice of Mindfulness plays a big role in setting up our day of learning. Whether it’s practising self-regulation and breathing techniques, or slow yoga positions, the boys certainly begin their day in a calm and positive way.
We are really proud of the boys’ independence skills during meal times when opening packages, choosing healthy options and drinking water to keep hydrated. The boys are great at understanding that they need ‘Brain Food’ for morning tea, and although having only fruit or vegetables for our morning snack can be a challenge at times, we notice the benefits of the sugar reduction. Many thanks to our parents for supporting this and providing a few options, as the boys do get quite hungry, especially when having growth spurts.
The Outdoor program will continue and as we head into the colder months, we ask that the boys are equipped with gumboots and a wet weather jacket. We rug them up and ensure that they’re cosy and warm whilst enjoying the outdoor environment. Puddles and rain have never stopped a boy from enjoying his learning, that’s for sure!
At the end of this term, we will be holding Parent Teacher Discussions across all of our rooms. This provides us with the opportunity to share your son’s development over the first semester, and set new developmental goals for Term 3. We will also be sending home Individual Portfolios for you to share and reflect on. More information will be distributed closer to this time. However, please feel free to make contact with your son’s teacher at any time if you have questions in regards to the program or his development.
We would like to wish all of our ELC mothers a wonderful day this Sunday and hope you get spoilt with love.
Director of the Early Learning Centre
Click here to view this week’s Parenting Tip: What rules should you have around digital devices?
On Friday 4 May, all Year 6 boys participated in a cybersafety session with Susan McLean, a leading expert in the field of cybersafety and young people. She spoke about the concept of a digital footprint and the importance of building a positive digital reputation from an early age (what someone thinks about you based on what they find online). For the children and adolescents of today, it will be their digital reputation that gets them over the line when competing for future opportunities. As Susan reiterated to the students, the internet is permanent, and once something is out there, it is almost impossible to erase. The session created lots of opportunities for discussion around obeying age restrictions on games/apps/sites/social media accounts. Parents can find more information on topics such as cyberbullying, sexting, problematic internet use and internet safety tips via the parent link at www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au.
Junior School Psychologist
Teaching and Learning
Year 3 Firbank visit
One of the highlights of the school year for all year levels is visits to Firbank. This long-standing tradition involves the boys hosting the girls on one occasion and being guests at Firbank on another. These visits provide all the students with so many learning opportunities. The boys and girls are given the chance to explore each other’s school environment, to develop new friendships, to enhance their social skills and to experience a series of new and exciting educational activities.
Last Thursday, the Year 3 boys enthusiastically hosted 27 equally excited Firbank girls. For the majority of 3 Wills and 3 Burke boys, the half-day provided them with the opportunity to consolidate many already strong friendships forged during previous sessions conducted during their Lower Primary years. For boys new to BGS, it was a new and exciting experience that lay the foundation for many get-togethers in the future.
Three interesting activities were presented to each student. Over several hours, the boys and girls participated in a problem-solving task during which they were challenged to construct the highest free-standing tower that they could in a set time. Another group was invited to engage in a series of information technology activities, again designed to develop problem-solving skills. The final rotation was a fun-filled and demanding outdoor game led by Stuart Thompson. All the staff involved noticed how well the students interacted with each other, how impressively the boys conducted themselves as hosts and how polished the thank you speeches were from selected students from both schools.
This opportunity was yet another one of the many elements of our Wellbeing program that contributes to each boy’s overall development.
3 Wills Classroom teacher
Prep – Year 6 House Cross Country
Perhaps the most physically demanding activity the Junior School boys undertake during the year, the House Cross Country always take the boys out of their comfort zone. Although we celebrate our best runners, the focus of the event is everyone ‘giving it a go.’ Regardless of ability and fitness level, we encourage every boy from Prep to Year 6 to run the course for their event. Whether you are the fastest boy zipping around the course, or one of the slower boys just trying to finish, the effort boys make is a great source of pride.
Over the last four years, the distance for all year levels has increased. This has required the boys to not only increase their level of effort in training, but also build their determination and resilience. To cast your eyes around the 2km course during the Year 6 race and see every boy running is inspiring. It yet again emphasises the Junior School House events mantra, you don’t have to be the best, you just have to give your best.
This whole-school House event gives the boys a chance to demonstrate House Spirit and Pride. The colour and noise from the sidelines as boys compete helps the boys across all year levels develop a sense of connection with the boys in their house, and also within the Junior School as a whole.
Hancock House was the victorious on the day. Armstrong House was a close second but managed to claim the House Spirit Awards.
Win a Semester of Private Music Tuition
Buy a ticket in the BGS Friends of Music Raffle and current and prospective Music students can win a semester of tuition (value $595).