A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

The 2019 NAPLAN results for boys in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 arrived last week. Parents have been sent their sons’ individual results. Information from ACARA on how to interpret results can be found here.

While NAPLAN results are not an all-encompassing tool of measurement and do not tell the whole story of academic success, they do provide one measure to monitor the effectiveness of the School’s agenda of an improved academic culture via the Effective Learner model.

A key area of focus is the progress that year levels (cohorts) make across two years: from Years 3–5, Years 5–7 and Years 7–9. This year’s cohort progress results are broadly comparable to the cohort progress results from 2016, 2017 and 2018; a positive indicator of stability and consistency. More specifically, one of the most pleasing aspects for 2019 was strong gains in Numeracy across all year levels.

Overall, we are pleased with our 2019 NAPLAN results; they are another indicator that we are on the right track with our emphasis on the academic culture of BGS and particularly the school-wide Effective Learner model approach to teaching and learning.

A reminder that you have the opportunity to provide me with feedback on how we are performing as a school by completing our School Improvement Tool parent survey which remains open for parents until tomorrow.  

Have a great week.


From the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Junior School – Peter Tellefson

This week the Junior School community has come together to see our Year 6 boys with our Firbank ‘sisters’ to shine on stage as Singin’ in the Rain Jr comes to life.

There was real excitement for boys and girls as the week progressed through the various stages of performance week to the opening show.  The standard of Singin’ in the Rain Jr is extraordinary.  At times throughout the first performance last night, I needed to remind myself these were primary-aged children performing!  Congratulations to all Year 6 boys and to BGS staff: Rob Bater, Hayley Blakiston, Cathy Box, Luke Fensling, Monica Le Couteur, Jess Taylor and FGS staff: Rebecca Bland, Jodie Fernandez, Jon Kemp and Karla Nyhuis. To those of you who are fortunate to have a ticket for the final performance tonight, I know you will enjoy the entertainment, just keep reminding yourself they are Junior School students on the stage!

Today we celebrate R U OK?Day across the School from ELC to Year 12. We have an obligation to continue to develop a caring and nurturing environment amongst the boys.  The Buddy system in the Junior School certainly assists us to develop positive attitudes towards each other.  All boys at Wilson House received a wrist band today reminding them to ask ‘Are you ok?’

I will be travelling with the Year 6 boys and staff while they are on exchange at Hangzhou Changjiang Primary School in Hangzhou, China next week. Dean Bryan will be responsible for the Junior School in my absence.


Junior School happenings and reminders

  • Term 3 Interim Reports will be available to parents for all Prep to Year 6 boys from Thursday 19 September. These reports do not assess achievement, but focus on attitude, effort and the development of various personal and social skills. These reports will be available online.
  • Friday 20 September will be the final day of Term 3. The following is an outline of the day:

    8.50am – Chapel/Assembly – Prep to Year 6

    10.00am – Free time Winning House

    12.15pm – JPG Lunch – NO Tuck shop orders available

    1.30pm – Tabloid Sports – boys wear their Sports uniform with House polo 

    3.20pm – Normal dismissal

  • As marked in the Date Card, classes conclude for Term 3 on Friday 20 September at 3.20pm. The first day of Term 4 is Tuesday, 8 October 2019 when classes resume at 8.30am. All boys from ELC to Year 6 are to wear their Summer uniform.

Student Achievements

  • The House System is an essential part of the day-to-day activities of the boys’ participation in House Swimming, Cross Country, Athletics, Tabloid Sports, Chess, Spelling, Mathematics, Public Speaking, Debating, Trivia and Poetry which are all competitions that generate a greater sense of connectedness and belonging. The House Point System is a positive affirmation for the boys’ actions which are recognised at weekly Assembly. In recent weeks, I have enjoyed the opportunity to judge the Prep – 6 House Poetry Competition.  The standard of competition was very high and we congratulate the following boys as Year Level winners. 

Prep               Oliver Heath

Year 1            Tom Saadie

Year 2            Barnaby Heath

Year 3            Quinn Wang

Year 4            Des McDonald

Year 5            Angus Beaton

Year 6            Harry Heaselgrave

  • Daniel Arnold completed his Joey Scout Promise challenge recently.  Earlier in the year, he had to present his challenge to his fellow Joey Scouts plus leaders.  He completed the challenge by picking up litter at BGS, the beach and Karkarook Park.  The picture below shows a proud Daniel receiving his badge and certificate.
  • Congratulations to the following boys from who will be presented with Term 3 Year 5/6 APS Sports Awards at tomorrow’s Assembly in St Andrew’s Church at 9.20am:


Most Outstanding Player

Best Team Player

6A Basketball

Tom McMullen

Hamish Featherston

6B Basketball

Arty Woodward

Alex Gao

6C Basketball

Carter Russell

Tom Fischer

6D Basketball

Declan McCormack

Ben Ride

5A Basketball

Jack Curwood

Sandro Macnab

5B Basketball

Luca Cleret

Angus Beaton

5C Basketball

Zac Mongey

Neo Yan

5D Basketball

Bolin Chen

Christian Field

6A Soccer

Edward Mitrevski

Luke Sexton

6B Soccer

Harry Heaselgrave

Thomas Lipovetsky

5A Soccer

Domenic Todarello

Tom Hara

5B Soccer

Nic Hewison

Arthur Coste

6 Handball

Fletcher Brougham

Jerry Mei

5 Handball

Xavier Chepurov

Lucas Lin

6 Hockey

Harvey Newstead

Robbie McNaughton

5 Hockey

Tom Anderson

Anthony Tian


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre – Amelia Barrow

Busy Bees in the Early Learning Centre

We have ridden the Melbourne weather roller-coaster with style this week as the boys didn’t even notice an impact on their program. As the old saying goes, ‘rain, hail or shine’, we had another fun packed week of learning. The ELC4 boys were excited in the lead up to the Twilight games night session on Tuesday night.  It was fun for them to be in the ELC at night when no one else was at school, have a pizza dinner, followed by the chocolate crackles made during the week. The boys then explored their classrooms in the dark with their torches before a dance off between the Wallabies and Bandicoots in the disco. A big thank you to the ELC staff in preparing and supporting this wonderful night – what a special memory for the boys.

All classes have been enjoying the focus of the AFL finals season, with art and craft activities as well as outdoor kick to kick. This is in preparation for the ELC Footy Day next Thursday 19 September when we will be trained by the famous BGS First Football players. We will also have a treat of party pies and sausage rolls to ensure our little players have enough energy to keep them going. An invitation was sent out last week and is also displayed on the foyer display board.

We look forward to a busy but fun last week of term. A reminder that attendance forms are due and should be returned to Kirstie McCormick or me if your son is enrolled in the 48 week Long Day Care Program.


This week’s parenting tip –  Depression

Children can often feel depressed about a friend’s cold shoulder, a bad result at school or sometimes they just feel down for no reason at all. It can become a concern if your child continues to have such feelings frequently over a long period of time. If it starts to interfere with their ability to manage at home and at school, then you should seek help from a skilled professional. Please click here for the SchoolTV link for information on:

  • Do primary school aged children get depression?
  • What are the differences between depression and sadness?
  • Who do you see to assess your child for depression?
  • How do the signs of depression differ between young people and adults?


Teaching and learning

Prep – Year 6 House Poetry Competition

Term 3 has been a busy one with the boys learning about the different aspects of poetry. Rhythm, rhyme, syllables and alliterations are some of the many features boys have studied. They have learnt many types of poems: limericks, haikus and cinquains, but have also studied and memorised a poem of their choice as part of the Poetry Competition. The boys combined their ability to memorise their poems with the ability to act. The importance of eye contact, voice modulation, expression and hand gestures were outlined to the boys as a way to enhance their presentation. The Poetry Competition is an enriching learning experience for all boys across the Junior School as they build up their skills, courage and resilience to perform in front of an audience. Congratulations to all boys who made the finals and to the winners of each year level.


Jollybops Show brings Science alive

Last Wednesday, 43 fortunate science enthusiasts from Year 3 to 6 elected to attend the STEM Centre after school to watch an interactive chemistry performance. Through a series of experiments, the boys saw how liquid nitrogen liquefies air, metals burn, gases explode and colours of liquids instantly change.  There were loud bangs, fizzes, flames and loads of fun. The lucky volunteers loved assisting with the demonstrations, however  Junior School Science teacher Laura Hall was a little more hesitant when asked to hold a balloon that was popped with fire! The boys were engaged from beginning to end. The show certainly helped reinforce the boys’ love of all things science and may even set them on the track to becoming scientists themselves.


Design & Technology in the Junior School

The big focus in Design Tech this term has been creating the Year 5 pinball machines.  In pairs, the boys researched, designed and then created a device that measured 900 x 450mm. Throughout the unit, the boys were faced with problems to solve, such as how to create flippers with just the right amount of power and how to angle bumpers to create the most interesting play pattern. They needed to ensure that the machine was symmetrical by carefully measuring each section before cutting, create an appealing theme and decide, often through trial and error, what was the best method to attach the components. The end results were very rewarding. The boys now look forward to seeing who can achieve the highest score possible on their machines.


JPG News

JPG End of Term Lunch – Friday 20 September – order via Flexischools

Family Fun night – Friday 22 November


Dates for the Diary