A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Parenting in the digital age

I think most parents would agree that the digital age has added an extra layer of complexity to parenting these days. It is therefore with interest that I read last week of the latest research from the eSafety Commissioner regarding parents’ views on this topic. Some of the key findings include:

  • 94% of parents agree their child’s online safety is important.
  • When it comes to their kids’ online safety, parents are most concerned about: exposure to inappropriate content, unwanted contact from strangers and being bullied online.
  • Only 46% of parents feel confident dealing with online risks their kids might face.
  • Only one third of parents actively seek out information on how to manage online safety.
  • 95% of parents agreed they need additional online safety information.

I would encourage all BGS parents to spend 10 minutes reading the eSafety Commissioner online safety guide (why not sign up for their eSafety news) and the full report mentioned above can be found here. Of course, Dr Ray Swann and the Crowther Centre have our very own position paper on screen time (and hard copies are available at all school reception areas).

As Secondary School parents would know, we have been exploring how best to support a culture of positive online engagement with the boys and are in the process of launching a unique partnership approach to cyber safety across the Secondary School through Family Zone. This complements our commitments to online safety as an eSmart School, where we work with parents to raise a generation of smart, safe and responsible young men who are capable and compassionate both on and offline. A reminder to Secondary School parents of our upcoming information night.

Have a great week.


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

I spent the end of last week with our musicians on Music Camp at Rutherford Park, Daylesford. The boys worked hard, the intensive rehearsal schedule (10 hours in total) is equivalent to a term’s ensemble rehearsals in two days! Thank you to Hayley Blakiston for her excellent leadership and coordination, to Jared Furtado, Kurt Abell, Alex Beamont, Nathan Juriansz, Estelita Rae, Lauren McAlister, Terry-Anne Ashley and Hayden Brown for their time commitment on camp and to Monica Le Couteur, Rob Bater, Fr Chester Lord and Jane Lowe for their time last Thursday and Friday with the boys and Music staff.

The hard work from camp was evident at our Music Concert on Tuesday evening. Our Year 4 to 6 musicians provided superb entertainment to a ‘full house’ at St Andrew’s Church. Congratulations to all boys, particularly those who performed to an audience for the first time. The sustained applause our musicians received was most appropriate as the standard of presentation and performance was outstanding. Special mention to our Year 6 leaders: Conrad Retschko, Jared Thomas and Trent Vincent who compèred the evening and to our soloists: Frank Wu, Will O’Leary, Isaac Pels, Trent Vincent, Thomas Dunne and Luca New.  I appreciate the excellent work of all Music staff, Hayley Blakiston for her overall coordination, to our Friends of Music and to all parents and family members for your continued support thank you.

Our involvement in the Year 5/6 APS Sport Program is essential to the ‘all boy’ educational experience. The emphasis is on participation; there is no ladder or premierships awarded at the end of a season. Boys have a choice of 34 sports to select from each term. Our boys are expected to train on a weekly basis to improve their skills, game plan and fitness levels.

Representing our School with pride, the importance of organisation, the wearing of their uniform correctly, and the emphasis on sportsmanship, are all key elements to the Program. Our boys are fortunate to have this weekly opportunity and I congratulate and thank all staff for their commitment and involvement.  Next week is our final round of APS Sport for our Year 5/6 boys. Sports for Term 3 are: Soccer, Basketball, Hockey and European Handball.

Junior School happenings and reminders

  • Our Prep and Year 1 boys look forward to hosting their Grandparents and Special Friends on the following dates from 9.45am to 11.00am:

Prep – Thursday 20 June

Year 1 – Friday 14 June

  • Our next Ute Full of Food will be this Friday 14 June. Items requested are: breakfast cereals, sugar, jams and spreads, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, noodles, biscuits, tins of vegetables, fruit and fish are particularly welcome, meals-in-a-can, toilet paper, bathroom supplies.
  • Prep to Year 6 Semester 1 Reports will be available online from 4.00pm on Thursday 20 June via the Synportal. Parent Teacher Discussions are scheduled for early next term on Wednesday 31 July and Thursday 1 August.  Information in regards to bookings will be emailed at the start of Term 3.  Homeroom Teachers and Specialist Staff will be available to meet with parents.
  • Next Friday will be our final day of Term 2. The following is an outline of the day:

9.00am – Chapel – Prep to Year 6

9.30am – End of Term Assembly, St Andrew’s Church

11.10am – Free time for the winning House

12.20pm – JPG Lunch – please note NO tuck shop orders available

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

3.20pm – Normal dismissal


Student Achievements

Congratulations to the following boys from Years 3–6 who will be presented with Semester One Music Effort Cards and Year 5/6 APS Sports Awards at tomorrow’s Assembly, St Andrew’s Church at 9.30am:

Specialist Effort Cards

Class Music

Lucas Judah, Fletcher Cowan, Luke Lawrence, Eason Ma, Isaiah Harper, Anthony Tian, Kenneth Yeung, Evan Raglin, Ned Overend-Stevens, Conrad Retschko, Bryn Cory, Huw Thomas, Charles Zhao

Wilson House Guitar Ensemble

Daniel Cameron, Will O’Leary

Wilson House String Orchestra

Kylan Thompson, Sebastian Naccarella, Lachlan Reid, Frank Wu

Wilson House Concert Band

Isaac Pels, Nic Hewison, Charlie Sabin, Alex Hill

Borwick House Choir

Trent Vincent, Jared Thomas, Nate Woff, Stefan Bandura, Anthony Tian


APS Sports Awards

5A Football Most Outstanding Player: Jasper Williams

5A Football Best Team Player: Sandro Macnab

5B Football Most Outstanding Player: Jordan Rose

5B Football Best Team Player: Flynn Quill

6A Football Most Outstanding Player: Jody Cripps

6A Football Best Team Player: Ollie Sutherland

6B Football Most Outstanding Player: Addison Amor

6B Football Best Team Player:  Fletcher Brougham

Year 5A Volleyball Most Outstanding Player: Matheus Judah

Year 5A Volleyball Best Team Player: Tom Hara

Year 5B Volleyball Most Outstanding Player: Bolin Chen

Year 5B Volleyball Best Team Player: Matvey Kononchuk

Year 5C Volleyball Most Outstanding Player: Harry Eyers

Year 5C Volleyball Best Team Player:  Stefan Bandura

Year 6A Volleyball Most Outstanding Player: Isaac Pels

Year 6A Volleyball Best Team Player: Frank Wu

Year 6B Volleyball Most Outstanding Player: Aidan Hearne

Year 6B Volleyball Best Team Player: Harry Heaselgrave

Year 6C Volleyball Most Outstanding Player: Corey Gendala

Year 6C Volleyball Best Team Player: Thomas Lipovetsky

Year 5 Cross Country Most Outstanding Runner: Eli Botha

Year 5 Cross Country Best Team Runner: Leo Reeve          

Year 6 Cross Country Most Outstanding Runner: Wil Rattray

Year 6 Cross Country Best Team Runner:  Conrad Retschko          


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre Amelia Barrow

Artists in residence in the ELC

What a wonderful celebration our Art Trail was last Thursday night in the Wellbeing Centre. As this was our first year hosting it outside of the ELC, we were mindful of creating the passion and energy in a new space. I think you would all agree that the event was memorable for all involved. With our ELC4 boys attending the Wellbeing Centre earlier in the day, they were able to view the art whilst practising respectful behaviour. This certainly added to their excitement when they returned in the evening to share their work with family members and friends.

It was wonderful seeing all of our boys arrive with such enthusiasm and pride (almost running in) to explore the beautiful Wellbeing Centre at night. The ELC3 boys proudly guided their guests around and excitedly pointed out their artwork first – a high priority to each boy! With each boy creating their own unique piece of art and sharing their ideas and stories that went with their creations, we really could celebrate the boys’ individuality. The feedback shared by parents and siblings was lovely to read at the end of the night and highlighted the blessing of having such amazing school facilities we can all access. A big thank you to all of the ELC team for their hard work and dedication over the past month to support each boys’ creative adventures, and also setting up our own little Art Gallery right here at BGS. Thank you also to all of our families for taking the time to share with the boys a special evening. I’m sure the boys look forward to having their artwork at home in a special location to admire.

Although this has been a short week, it certainly was packed with energy and learning! We still can’t believe that next week is our last week of Term 2 – where does the time go? Don’t forget that the JPG are preparing a delicious end of Term lunch, so sign up if your son would like a hot dog lunch. Kirstie McCormick has sent home the Holiday Program information and requests that forms are returned as soon as possible alerting us of your son’s attendance. The boys certainly have an amazing few weeks planned over the winter break. Don’t forget to rug the boys up on the colder days – although they don’t feel it, we certainly want them to keep warm and protected over the colder months.


This week’s parenting tip

Online pornography

Experts say that the internet is sexualising children too soon. The internet makes it easier for children to engage with pornography, both by choice and inadvertently. Parents are being forced to have the ‘birds and the bees’ chat with their children at a much younger age as they are bombarded with sexual content online. From a young age, parents should be continuously educating their children on sex and sexuality (with age appropriate information) and monitoring. Whilst parents naturally want to protect the innocence of their children, some are having to tackle conversations around pornography with children as young as eight. Read further information on SchoolTV for tips on:

  • What parents need to know about online pornography
  • What you can do to limit a child’s exposure to pornography
  • Key messages parents should give their children about online pornography
  • How to talk to young people about pornography without shaming them
  • How parents can change the online landscape for children. 


Teaching and learning

Junior School Music Camp

Much fun was had by the boys in Borwick House Choir, Wilson House Concert Band and Wilson House String Orchestra as they attended Music Camp at Rutherford Park in Blampied last Thursday and Friday. It gave our ensembles a chance to perfect repertoire for the Junior Choral and Instrumental Concert, as well as other upcoming performances. To have boys focus on their music in a concentrated forum is a wonderful opportunity. The development of technique, music reading skills, musicianship and ensemble performance is huge. Boys had fun not only practising music together but also enjoyed playing trivia and performing for each other. A particular highlight for the boys, which was mentioned on several occasions, was the delicious lasagne for dinner! Camps that include boys from a variety of years are very special – allowing them to learn and form friendships with older and younger students. Many thanks to the incredible Music team I work with, as well as the Junior School staff for their support and assistance on camp. I hope you continue to enjoy the work of our talented musicians in their upcoming performances.

Hayley Blakiston
Head of Junior School Music


Year 6 Art

The Year 6 boys have been learning about ‘Graffiti Art’. They had an incursion with Graffiti artist, Ashley Goudie. Ashley explained the history of Graffiti from the subways and train tracks of New York, with their lettering and wild styles, to extensions to the scene today such as miniature sculptures and wire and yarn bombing. He defined the differences between subway and street art, and the legal ways to create this style. Together, they explored the branches included under the Graffiti Art umbrella: subway, street, sculptural, stencil, sticker bombing and paste ups. Graffiti is art not vandalism was also debated in classes.

The unit culminated in a Street Art Tour lead by street artists throughout the laneways of Melbourne. Their prior learning and understanding of Graffiti Art was evident as boys identified paste-ups, stencils, tags, pieces and ‘burners’ on the walls. The guides added to the boys’ knowledge giving background to the artists who produced these works. The Year 6 boys were very excited to see up close, two of the last Banksy pieces to be found in Melbourne. There was particular interest in spotting works on the Street Art Tour of the Melbourne artist they had researched individually.

Mandy Foulds
Junior School Art Teacher


A golden ticket raffle! Final Call! 

Friends of Music has been lucky enough to secure two VIP tickets to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical. 

This will be the final call, as the raffle will be drawn on 20 June.

Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 – get yours now!


BGS Pink Dinner – Save the date

When – Thursday 19 September 2019

Full details to follow soon.