A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Not too much victory royale…

Apparently, Oscar Wilde said, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” Personally, I think the Greek poet Hesiod expressed it slightly better when he wrote: “Observe due measure; moderation is best in all things.” Add to these thoughts a note my youngest daughter left for her big brother at the start of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. It simply said, “Don’t play too much Fortnite.” Wise words from an eight-year-old.

As parents of boys, there’s a fair chance you’re acquainted with Fortnite. Depending on how your household operates, this video game might be a carrot you can dangle to get the homework finished and the dog walked or it might be a cause of great stress. Either way, there is a number of articles out there offering parents advice and ideas about how to manage it. A good example is this article from the ABC News website, which gives some insights into why Fortnite is so popular. It also includes some thoughts from University of Sydney lecturer in digital cultures Dr Marcus Carter about why the game can be a good thing (perhaps when played in moderation). It’s a short read and I commend it to you.

More broadly, Fortnite is simply one example of the challenges we face as parents with regards to the technological world our children are living in. To offer you some guidance in navigating this world, the Crowther Centre plans to offer a seminar during Semester 2 on the subject of managing technology. Please stay tuned via the Crowther Thinking eNews.

Have a great week (of moderation).


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 have worked hard with an 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. Thanks also to Jared Furtado, Bradley Todd, Kurt Abell, Mirko Guerrini, Imogen Manins, Nathan Juriansz, Tatiana Oskolkov, Terri-Anne Ashley and Isaac Mouskovias for their time commitment on camp. And to Cindy van Dijk, Monica Le Couteur, Hamish Leahy and David Turner for their time last Thursday and Friday with the boys and Music staff.

The hard work from camp was evident at the Music Concert on Tuesday evening. The Years 4 to 6 musicians provided superb entertainment to a ‘full house’ at St Andrew’s Church. Congratulations to all boys, particularly those who performed in front of an audience for the first time. The sustained applause was most appropriate as the standard of presentation and performance was outstanding.

Special mention to the Year 6 leaders Tom Jorgensen, Alistair Liddle and Josh Carr, who compered the evening, and to the soloists: Jackson Chen, James Tan, Ethan Rowe, Lachlan Kwong, Harry George, Elden Zeng and Zach Murphy.  

I appreciate the excellent work of all Music staff, Hayley Blakiston for her overall coordination, to the Friends of Music and to all parents and family members for your continued support.

The involvement in the Year 5/6 APS Sports 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 3–4 sports to select from each term.

The boys are expected to train on a weekly basis to improve their skills, game plan and fitness levels. Representing the School with pride, the importance of organisation, the wearing of their uniform correctly, and the emphasis on sportsmanship are all key elements of the program.

The boys are fortunate to have this weekly opportunity and I congratulate and thank all staff for their commitment to the Sports Program.  Next week is the final round of APS Sport for the Years 5 and 6 boys. Sports for Term 3 are Soccer, Basketball, Hockey and European Handball.


Junior School Happenings and Reminders

  • The Prep boys are looking forward to hosting their Grandparents and Special Friends from 9.45am to 11.00am on Thursday 21 June.
  • Prep to Year 6 Semester 1 Reports will be available online from 4.00pm on Thursday 21 June via Synportal. Parent–Teacher Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 1 August and Thursday 2 August, when Homeroom Teachers and specialist staff will be available to meet with parents. Booking information will be emailed on Monday 23 July.
  • Next Friday is the final day of Term 2. The following is an outline of the day:
    – 8.50am: Chapel – Prep to Year 6
    – 10.00am: Free time Winning House
    – 11.20am: Assembly
    – 12.20pm: JPG Lunch – Please note there are NO Tuckshop orders available
    – 1.30pm: Tabloid Sports – boys can wear their Sports Uniform/House Polo Shirt
    – 3.20pm: Normal dismissal


Student Achievements

Congratulations to the following boys from Years 3–6, who will be presented with Semester 1 Music Effort Cards and Year 5/6 APS Sports Awards at tomorrow’s Assembly (12.30pm in the G.B. Robertson Hall):

Specialist Effort Cards

Class Music – Josh Carr, Oliver Chang, Lachlan Lewis, James Lipovetsky, Luca New, Aiden Retief, Charlie Sabin, Luke Sexton, William Tan, Jared Thomas, Anthony Tian, Kenneth Yeung, Murphy Zeng

Borwick House Choir – Jackson Chen, Tuur Craps, Tom Jorgensen, Zac Murphy

Wilson House String Orchestra – Stefan Bandura, Luca New, Frank Wu, Kenneth Yeung

Wilson House Concert Band – Harry George, Lucas Hiscock, Isaac Pels, Luke Sexton

Wilson House Guitar Ensemble – Will O’Leary, William Tan, Jerry Zheng


APS Sports Awards

6A Football Most Outstanding Player – Zac Travers     

6A Football Best Team Player – Nicky Robertson 

6B Football Most Outstanding Player  –  Angus Roberts   

6B Football Best Team Player – Aidan Williams

 5A Football Most Outstanding Player – Jody Cripps   

5A Football Best Team Player – Arty Woodward   

5B Football Most Outstanding Player – Jesse Lacey

5B Football Best Team Player – Kylan Thompson

6A Volleyball Most Outstanding Player – Tom Jorgensen 

6A Volleyball Best Team Player – Hugh Langdon   

6B Volleyball Most Outstanding Player – Will Kissane 

6B Volleyball Best Team Player – Sam Trainor   

6C Volleyball Most Outstanding Player – Tomas Stewart

6C Volleyball Best Team Player – Sam Walters

5A Volleyball Most Outstanding Player – Charlie Sabin       

5A Volleyball Best Team Player –Bowen Ke 

5B Volleyball Most Outstanding Player – Lachlan Avats

5B Volleyball Best Team Player – Alex Jin 

5C Volleyball Most Outstanding Player –  Frank Wu 

5C Volleyball Best Team Player – Huw Thomas 

Year 5 Cross Country Most Outstanding Runner – Lewis Porteous 

Year 5 Cross Country Best Team Runner – Billy Burgess 

Year 6 Cross Country Most Outstanding Runner Hugo Richey

Year 6 Cross Country Best Team Runner Felix Wolfe


Action-packed adventures in the ELC

As we always say, a short week is a busy week – and this week has been no exception! As the boys rushed back through the doors on Tuesday morning after their exciting long weekends, we couldn’t wait to start our week of learning.

The ELC4 classes have been extremely busy preparing for their twilight session tonight. Both classrooms have been transformed into incredible space wonderlands with planets, spaceships, robots and astronauts. On Tuesday, the kitchen was buzzing with sausage roll creations and space rocket slices.

When we re-open the doors tonight, we’ll enjoy glow-in-the-dark activities, an outdoor treasure hunt and roasting marshmallows while singing songs around the campfire.

Our ELC3 groups haven’t had a quiet week either, with the highlight today being the Wild Action incursion. The boys loved getting up close and hands-on with a variety of Australian animals. We may have a few budding zoologists or veterinarians in the building!

Thank you to those parents who have booked in their Term 2 Parent–Teacher discussions. Please access Synportal if you have not yet booked in your interview time.

Early next term, as part of our documentation of each boy’s development learning, we will send home your son’s Individual Portfolio for your reflection and review.

Due to calendar clashes, we have cancelled the remaining PMP lessons this term. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our parent helpers throughout the term – we couldn’t do it without you!

Kirstie McCormick has sent home Holiday Program information for those boys booked into the 48-week Long Day Care option. Please return your anticipated attendance sheet to either Kirstie or me by tomorrow (Friday 15 June). For any questions regarding the program, please contact Kirstie.

We look forward to a busy final week in Term 2.

Amelia Barrow
Director of the Early Learning Centre


Parenting Tip

Click here to view this week’s Parenting Tip: Dealing with video game crazes:  Fortnite and fanaticism


Teaching and Learning

Music Camp

What a wonderful two days of music making! Boys in Borwick House Choir, Wilson House Concert Band and Wilson House Orchestra attended Music Camp at Rutherford Park, Blampied, last Thursday and Friday.

It gave the ensembles a chance to perfect their repertoire for the Semester 1 Concert, as well as other upcoming performances. To have a concentrated effort on the boys’ music learning is an incredible opportunity.

The development of technique, music reading skills, musicianship and ensemble performance was huge. Boys had fun not only making music together but also playing trivia and performing for each other.

For many boys, a highlight of the camp was the amazing food at Rutherford Park, with the lasagne being a particular favourite!

Camps that include boys from a variety of years are very special, allowing them to learn and form friendships with older and younger students.

The camp takes a lot of preparation and hard work from a team of staff. I would particularly like to thank the incredible Music team I work with and the junior classroom staff for their support and assistance throughout. I hope you enjoy the music the boys have prepared for our upcoming performances.


Hayley Blakiston
Acting Head of Junior School Music


Indigenous Exchange Program 


As part of Brighton Grammar’s ongoing commitment to developing a greater understanding and awareness of Indigenous Australia, eight Year 6 boys and two staff travelled to the Milikapiti School on the north coast of Melville Island in the Tiwi Islands. We were welcomed by shouts of “Brighton Grammar!” and “BGS boys!” – clearly, our arrival was eagerly awaited and the connection between our two schools is as strong as ever.

The boys spent time working in the Kinder to Year 6 classrooms, helping the local students with their work as well as working with some Milikapiti classes to create a piece of work that discussed the differences between our hometowns, but more importantly, highlighted the similarities.

In addition, locals took the boys mud-crabbing and showed them how to use hand reels to fish.  As “I got one, I got one!” echoed over the Mudloe area, the boys rushed over to witness Gus Calder reel in a small Barramundi – the first catch of the day. Other highlights of the trip boys were a visit to Taracumbi Falls for a refreshing swim (and clay fight), and hearing about Tiwi history and culture at the Karslake Peninsula and the Jilamara Art Centre.

But by far the biggest highlight of the trip (as voted by the boys) was the relationships they built with the Milikapiti students. Testing our football and basketball skills at every opportunity, working in the classrooms or just chatting on the street allowed our boys to strengthen their individual relationships and Brighton Grammar’s relationship with this Indigenous community. 

Luke Fensling & Ben Ryan
Year 6 Teacher and PE Teacher 


An Indigenous exchange is an amazing opportunity, whether it be to Milikapiti on the northern coast of Melville Island in the Northern Territory or to Pompuraaw on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula.

The very fortunate eight boys and two teachers who spent seven nights in Pormpuraaw had an experience that none of us will forget.

 The BGS boys spent time working in the classrooms – in particular, helping the younger students learn their sounds and with their reading.

The THRASS program has been introduced at the school and each morning all the students competed in different THRASS-related games.


The boys also spent time using hand reels to fish, swimming in a waterhole and visiting a working crocodile farm.

The Pormpuraaw Community Art Centre is at the heart of the town and we had the good fortune to meet a number of Indigenous artists. We watched them paint and create some fabulous sculptures from ‘ghost nets’ (damaged fishing nets that are illegally dumped into the ocean by commercial fishing vessels). The creative use of ghost nets by Pormpuraaw artists has helped raise awareness of the immense environmental impact of these nets on our oceans.

The boys went ‘in Country’ and were welcomed with a water blessing before using watercolours to paint landscapes with some of the artists.

Sitting around a campfire hearing stories of the past and Dreamtime stories about the area kept us all enthralled. One night, the BGS boys cooked 400 sausages to thank the community.

Highlights for the boys included the afternoon sessions climbing trees, hunting for bush tucker and playing a local game called ‘Edoor’.

The boys have made firm friends and are looking forward to the chance to welcome some of the Pormpuraaw Year 6 students to Melbourne to show them their ‘Country’.

Amanda Foulds & James Hilditch
Junior School Teacher & Outdoor Education teacher

For more on Teaching & Learning at BGS, visit Crowther Thinking

What Parents Need to Know About Mental Health Issues for Young People 

Hear Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists and a specialist in parenting, speak on what parents need to know about depression, suicide, eating disorders, deliberate self-harm and other mental health problems in young people.

This is a Victorian Parents Council parent seminar co-hosted with BGS. Details as follows:

Saturday 28 July
3.30–5.00pm (coffee/tea and networking 2.45–3.30pm)
Wellbeing Centre, Brighton Grammar School
Free for BGS parents and staff (but please book here)

For queries, please contact vicpc@vicparentscouncil.vic.edu