A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

What does is mean to be an Anglican School?

Dr Crowther founded BGS on 14 February, 1882 on three ‘pillars’ that remain in place today: single campus, boys and Anglican. With reference to our third ‘pillar’, it was with interest that I, along with our two Chaplains, attended the annual Anglican Schools Australia (ASA) Conference in Hobart late last week and across the weekend.

We are fortunate to have a deep and meaningful relationship with St Andrew’s Church, two excellent Chaplains in Fr Tony and Fr Chester, a strong and regular worship program across both Junior and Secondary School and an excellent Community Service program. In our Crowther Centre news this week, Dr Ray Swann highlights the importance of fostering a school culture that embraces all aspects of learning including spiritual.

However, a challenge remains for us to promote, enhance and ultimately live our Anglican and Christian identity, particularly in an ever-increasing secular world. This challenge was enunciated at the ASA Conference exceptionally well by the Reverend Dr Daniel Heischman, who provided delegates with a discussion paper of ‘who we are as an Anglican School’ that included six themes: faith, reason, worship, pluralism, character and service. While there are many aspects to what goes on at BGS, it is important to be mindful of the important and central role that the third ‘pillar’ plays in the life of our School.

Have a good week and please remember that this weekend is our mid-term break and the School will be closed on Monday.


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

Next week a number of Year 6 boys and girls from Firbank Grammar will host our indigenous friends from the Milikapiti School. Milikapiti is on Melville Island, 120km north of Darwin. This experience aims to develop friendships, communication, understanding and respect for each other’s way of life and culture.  Ned Bailey, Will Bennett, Harry Denning and Harvey O’Sullivan and their families will host our visitors.

This morning all boys from across the School who are competing in the Interschool Snowsports enjoyed breakfast in the Rosstrevor Hall. Our boys were presented with their ‘bibs and passes’, best wishes to our Year 1–Year 6 boys who will be competing next week.  Thank you to Mr Mat Steed and Mr Troy Gendala for their coordination of the team and organisation of the breakfast and to all parents for your continued support.

From time to time we have accidents on the playground. While I can assure you the playground is supervised at all times, it is important for parents to realise that accidents will happen. Our responsibility is to ensure that the playground is as safe as possible, is supervised, the boys are aware of School rules, and our boys learn to respect each other. In the event of an accident occurring, your son will be cared for to the best of our ability. If necessary, parents will be contacted and further medical attention will be sought if required.

Junior School happenings and reminders

  • All Prep–Year 6 boys are invited to dress up for the Book Week Parade on Friday 23 August. Boys can come to School in costume, or bring a costume, based on the theme ‘Reading is My Secret Power’.  They will parade their costumes in their year levels at a special assembly.
  • As marked in the BGS Date Card, Monday 19 August is a mid-term break and the Junior School Office will be closed for the day.


Student Achievement

House Spelling Competition

Congratulations to the Rofe House team of Ieuan Hill, Henry Fearn, Alex Hill and Jared Thomas who were the winners of our Year 3–6 House Spelling competition last week.  Congratulations also to Donald Li who was the winner of our Spelling Bee.


Kylan sails at World Championships in Poland

Congratulations to Kylan Thompson who has recently returned from his trip to Poland for the 2019 International Cadet World Sailing Championships. Read more about Kylan’s achievements.


William wins ABC Education Writing competition

The ABC education website gives students and parents access to resources, articles, videos and games across all subject areas. They also run a number of competitions throughout the year.  Recently, students were invited to write a 120 word journal entry based on their knowledge of real children sent to Australia as convicts.  Congratulations to William Tan for his winning entry in the ABC Education Convict Children Competition.  Click here to read William’s story about ‘Sam Robin’.


Year 6 Debating

The Year 6 Debating teams had great success against Firbank, Sandringham House in recent debates. They argued ‘That all schools should be co-educational’ and against the contention ‘That Australia should become a Republic’. Josh Fletcher and Huw Thomas were awarded best speakers. Luke Connelly was commended for his use of humour. Noah Walton, Charlie Sabin and Will Rattray were congratulated for their research into the topic and emotive language. All the students are learning the benefits of being well prepared with a set task in order to produce their best work.


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre – Amelia Barrow

This week the boys have enjoyed a full curriculum across all four classes including studies on nocturnal animals, recycling, reptiles, jungle animals, and imaginary play (and lots more). It is always a favourite part of each day when we sit down as a group and discuss the boys’ Golden Moments of Learning. These can range from imaginative play, teamwork, creative expression, to physical skills and social collaborations. The boys have developed their expressive and descriptive language skills to explain the learning that has taken place and the skills they have extended. Well done boys!

A reminder to return your son’s Individual Portfolio, with Reflective Feedback, to his classroom teacher by the end of the week.

Next week we will be celebrating Book Week and look forward to our incursion ‘Room on our Rock’ on Tuesday 20 August and then our Pyjamas Day on Thursday 22 August. We have invited our Headmaster Mr Featherston to read his favourite childhood story to the ELC boys.

Invitations to our ELC Fathers’ Evenings have been sent out from the boys, and we look forward to celebrating with our Dads or special guests. If you cannot attend, please let your son’s teacher know prior to the night (Monday 2 September: ELC3 5.30–6.30pm and ELC4 6.00–7.00pm).

Next Monday is the School’s mid-term break. The Centre will be open for our 48 week long day care enrolled boys only. Boys in this program can wear casual clothes for their holiday program on this day. To our 38 week long day care and program only boys, we wish you a relaxing long weekend.


This week’s parenting tip

‘Body Image’: A child can form an opinion of their own body at a very young age. Research suggests that children as young as three years old can have body image issues, and there are many things that influence them. Parents play a critical role in helping children develop a positive body image. Please click here for the SchoolTV link for information on:

  • What are some of the recent trends in body image issues?
  • Do body image issues affect males?
  • Are fitness trackers beneficial for kids?
  • How can parents encourage a positive body image
  • How parents can teach their children to respect all body shapes


Teaching and learning

Year 5 Protective Behaviours

In recent weeks, the Year 5s participated in the Protective Behaviours Program. The program addressed issues of bullying, harassment, violence and abuse at the same time as empowering boys to take action to keep themselves feeling safe. The boys were involved in discussion, initiatives and role plays to help further understand how to be proactive in difficult and possibly unsafe situations. Students were able to build skills and awareness around child safety at school and in the broader community. The boys approached the lessons respectfully and were highly engaged in the content, asking many thoughtful questions that may not normally be part of a teacher or parent discussion.

Years 3–6 House Spelling Competition

Last Friday was the Junior School annual House Spelling Competition. The strongest spellers in each house represented their year level in the competition. The house spelling consisted of three rounds where boys were tested on their knowledge of spelling words along with the THRASS chart. The competition was close until the final round, where the boys in Rofe triumphed with their strong knowledge of the THRASS chart. Our annual Spelling Bee then followed. The strongest spellers within each year level were chosen to partake in this tough competition. Congratulations Donald Li who won this event.


Pink Dinner – request for donations