A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Honouring and cherishing our heritage

Last night, it was a pleasure and privilege for BGS to stage our fourth Hall of Fame gala dinner alongside a celebration of the Old Brighton Grammarian Society’s 110th year. Thirteen Old Boys were inducted into the Hall of Fame and five Young Achievers recognised.

Of the thirteen Hall of Famers, ten were present to collect their award and speak briefly on their life and the role that BGS played in shaping the person they are today. Despite the inductees finding success in extremely diverse areas, all spoke independently on a number of common themes. Many mentioned a particular BGS teacher who had had a profound impact on them. They mentioned giving everything a go and doing it to the best of their ability. They mentioned being a life-long learner, and being consistently inquisitive and curious. They also spoke about the ‘speed bumps’ that life tends to place along our road and their value in building resilience. Perhaps the best piece of advice for the night was to ‘sing the School Chorus once a day’!

Crucially, I look forward to our current students continuing to see our Hall of Famers and Young Achievers as sources of inspiration and motivation. The new honour boards will soon go up in the Hall of Fame Gallery at the St Andrew’s end of the Secondary School.

The night really was a superb gathering for our community and I thank the BGS team who brought it to life: Kate Birrell (Alumni and Community Manager), Hayley Galloway (Advancement Manager), John Phillips (Director of Advancement) and the MC for the evening, Deputy Headmaster and Head of the Crowther Centre, Dr Ray Swann. A particular mention also goes to Old Boy Tom Noske, who produced exceptional video stories of each Hall of Famer and Young Achiever. You can hear from some of the inductees here.

Have a great week.


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

Last Friday evening, 105 Junior School boys, parents and staff braved the elements to take part in the Year 4 Young Warriors camp, with 60 tents pitched on the Crowther. Facilitated by Dr Arne Rubenstein’s Rites of Passage team, various activities provided an opportunity for one-on-one connection time between the boys and their dad/mum/mentor, focusing on the importance of relationships.

The night was a great success, with many highlights for young and old, but it was most rewarding to hear the quality of conversations, love and ‘honouring’ between the boys and adults. Thank you to Alison Main, Tim Medlyn and Michael Stephens for giving of their time on a cold and wet night, and to the boys and parents for your participation.

Next Friday night is our final fundraiser for the year. I am most appreciative of the various families and businesses sponsoring this year’s event. At this stage, 200 wristbands have been purchased, and we anticipate selling another 200! All you are required to do before next Friday is purchase a wristband for your children. If you haven’t already contributed a Scratchie card for the Family Fun Night raffle, there is still time – cards can be left at the Junior School Office. Thank you to Nick Bulfin and Brigitte McGregor and the JPG for their excellent planning and preparation for event. 


Junior School Happenings and Reminders

  • The weather has been good to our Prep, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 boys for their Outdoor Education experiences. I appreciate the excellent organisation of Outdoor Education staff David Gemmell, Nathan O’Malley, James Hilditch and Carly West, and Prep–Year 3 teachers.
  • The ELC4 to Year 2 Swimming Program will commence next Monday 19 November. All boys will participate in a session per day over the five days of the week. Prep to Year 2 boys may wear their PE uniform to and from School for the week. BGS bathers must be worn.
  • The final Prep to Year 6 Parent–Teacher Discussions are listed for Monday 19 November (3.30–8.00pm) and Tuesday 20 November (3.30–6.00pm). Bookings are now available online and will remain open until 9.00am Monday 19 November.
  • Next week is our final round of Year 5/6 APS Sport. Training is cancelled on Monday due to Parent/Teacher Interviews and there will be no training for the remainder of the term due to the season end.


Student Achievements

Congratulations to the following boys from Years 3–6, who will be presented with Semester 2 Effort Cards for Drama, Design & Technology, Class Music and Instrumental, and APS Sport Awards, at tomorrow’s Assembly in the G. B. Robertson Hall at 12.30pm.

Drama – Jack Epstein, Charlie Denning, Luke Connolly, Lachie Reid, Cooper Chilcott, Aidan Hearne
Design & Technology – Charles Wettenhall, Matvey Kononchuk, Bolin Chen, Thomas Dunne, Huw Thomas, Shau-En Usher, Joshua Fletcher, Lachie Roberts, Tomas Stewart, Lachlan Lewis, Lachlan Auden
Class Music – Luke Duckinson, Tobias Landsman, Alexander Rozentoul, Zac Mongey, Jinheon Kim, Thomas Dunne, Huw Thomas, Frank Wu, Lachlan Avats, Hugh Langdon, Tuur Craps, Hugo Fyfe, Aiden Retief
Borwick House Choir – Kyle Hearne, Lucas Hiscock, Andrew McGregor, Andrew Zhang
Wilson House Concert Band – Jack Pan, Ethan Rowe, William Stretch, Jerry Zheng
Wilson House String Orchestra – Lachlan Avats, Remy D’Alessandro, William O’Leary, Alex Roach,
Wilson House Guitar Ensemble – William O’Leary, William Tan, Charles Wettenhall

APS Sport Awards

  Most Outstanding Player/Athlete Best Team Player/Athlete
6A Touch Harry George Charlie Wood
6B Red Touch Lachie Roberts Will Kissane
6B Blue Touch Josh Watters Jem Spicer
5A Touch Ned Bailey Daniel Cameron
5B Touch Kylan Thompson Harry Heaselgrave
6 Red Badminton Jerry Zheng Gabriel Pozo
6 Blue Badminton Andrew McGregor Alistair Liddle
5 Badminton Charlie Sabin Frank Wu
6 Water Polo Nicky Robertson Marnix Ferwerda
5 Water Polo Hamish Featherston Charles Williams
6 Athletics Lenny Hofmann Hugh Langdon
5 Athletics Jody Cripps Luca New


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre – Amelia Barrow

Christmas has begun in the ELC

With only six weeks until Christmas, we thought it was time to deck the halls and begin our celebrations. The classrooms have all begun their Christmas experiences (some undercover) and the boys are enjoying this special time of year. This season is my favourite – being in an ELC and feeling the boys’ excitement and enthusiasm for Christmas celebrations is a true blessing.

Christmas Pageant invitations were sent home this week for our performance on Wednesday 5 December at 10am. All boys are to attend (including part-time ELC3 boys), with more information to come shortly about costumes and party celebrations in the ELC after the pageant. A reminder that if you will be away during this week, please let your classroom teacher know ASAP.

The ELC4 Intensive Swimming program week begins next Monday 19 November, with 4 Bandicoot 9–9.30am and 4 Wallaby 9.30–10am. Instructions have been sent home in regards to the boys being dressed in their bathers under their BGS uniform, and a towel, goggles and underwear being packed in a separate bag. Parents are invited to attend and also support the boys as they change back into uniform afterwards. We look forward to seeing our super swimmers enjoy a week of lessons in our school pool.

Term 4 Parent–Teacher Discussions have been completed for our Bilby, Wombat and Bandicoot families. I thank all parents for taking the time to come and meet with your son’s teacher. It was wonderful to host the ELC4 Parent–Teacher Discussions in our exciting Prep classrooms – what amazing learning environments! 3 Wombat Parent–Teacher Discussions will be on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 November (3.30–6pm in the classroom). Bookings will open next Monday 19 November. Many thanks to our Wombat parents for your understanding in rescheduling these.

The ELC staff would like to thank the class reps for organising the BGS ELC 3 and 4 Christmas Party for Parents and Staff on Friday 30 November at 7pm. We look forward to seeing all of our families at this lovely event and encourage you to RSVP if you haven’t already. It is always a lovely opportunity for families and staff to connect.

The countdown is on for the end of the term so we look forward to enjoying the last few weeks together!


Teaching & Learning

Year 2 Outdoor Education Experience

The Year 2 boys, teachers and Outdoor Education staff spent two days at Iluka Retreat in Shoreham.

On the first day, we had morning tea on arrival. Next, the boys found their room numbers and, after selecting their bed and unpacking, prepared for the day’s activities. Each class participated in two activities (canoeing and orienteering).

The boys were fitted with life jackets and given a lesson on how to use the paddle. Then, with three or four in each canoe, they pushed off and paddled around the lake and to the island in the middle. Later, the boys learned how to ‘raft up’ by manoeuvring their canoes so they were all lined up next to each other.


The orienteering activity involved working as a team of four or five, using a map and compass to find pieces of a puzzle.

After showers and dinner, the boys put on their head torches and went on a night hike around the lake. They heard the sounds of a variety of nocturnal creatures. They had circle time and a mindfulness session in the hall before going to sleep.

The next day, after breakfast, we put our bags in the luggage trailer and set off to play ‘Predators and Prey’. In four groups, the boys had to collect food, water and shelter cards from around the camp while attempting to seek or hide from other groups. 

Christine Marks and Steve Lewis


Year 3 at Candlebark Farm

Without a doubt, one of the many highlights of Year 3 life is the boys’ three-day ‘adventure’ at Candlebark Farm in Healesville. This action-packed experience in a picturesque environment is a key element of Brighton Grammar’s Outdoor Education program. Activities are designed to provide the boys with healthy and enjoyable challenges in a safe environment. All of the time, the students are provided with encouragement and support, not only by staff but, importantly, also by their classmates. The concept of team is emphasised in many ways, including through cabin groups, kitchen duty rosters and activity groups.

Prior to their departure, 3 Wills and 3 Burke completed a comprehensive study of endangered native animals. They engaged in extensive personal research and each boy presented his findings as a speech. This process provided another exciting dimension to the boys’ first activity while they were away. On route to their camp, the group visited Healesville Sanctuary and saw first-hand some of their studied animals. As a result, they gained an even greater understanding of the fragility of much of our fauna.

There were so many rich learning opportunities for all students at Candlebark Farm. The boys took on the challenges of the low ropes course, the giant flying fox and the orienteering course. They also took part in day and night walks. Each boy can be proud of what he achieved, with every individual having a different story to tell. Persistence, resilience, problem-solving skills, teamwork, leadership and organisational skills were just some of the many fine personal qualities demonstrated during the experience. Everyone also returned home with an even greater knowledge of our unique flora and fauna.

Brendan Rahn and Victoria Fisher


Year 4 Young Warriors

On Friday night, we experienced the Year 4 Young Warriors program on the Crowther Oval. This 16-hour experience proved to be one of this year’s highlights for me and many of the boys. What a great way to finish off a fantastic year.

The boys were excited and we had almost every boy present with their dad or mum. Putting up the tents was the first bonding activity. Most tents looked stable but a few started the evening with a list and looked like they might not survive the night.

The numerous activities enabled the boys and their guests to reflect on what life is like for boys at this age and also what can be done to encourage positive bonding and role modelling. I recall going to a workshop years ago to hear Michael Carr-Gregg say that some fathers had, on average, 8 quality minutes a working week to spend with their children. The boys loved the 16 hours they got in one moment with lots of 1:1 time and reflection with their guest.

Many of the dads took the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with other dads or meet new ones. The talk circles provided a great opportunity for the parents and guardians to put themselves in their son’s shoes and to reflect on the challenges that they had at their son’s age.

The positive responses the next morning was fantastic. Sleeping on the Crowther Oval with traffic, pool pumps, tooting and even ship horns sounding off was soon forgotten, although some of the snoring was a bit challenging. Even the dodgy mattress that I slept on is now a past memory. My class wrote about their experiences in our daily writing books and also entered blog entries on Monday onto our class blogging page. All the boys mentioned how much they enjoyed the sleepover. This is definitely an experience that everybody will be able to reflect on in years to come. Many of the boys stated how they can’t wait for the next opportunity to do more activities like this in the future. Maybe a few more tents will be purchased from Rays Tent City and camping come back into vogue instead of flights and resorts?

We live in a world that travels at a fast, sometimes perilous pace, yet it’s nice to know that we can find the time to spend quality moments with the boys and help them on their journey to manhood. Extra minutes can turn quickly accumulate into a boy’s positive growth and development.

Tim Medlyn


Piano Soiree

Last Friday afternoon, a selection of our young pianists and an appreciative audience welcomed the weekend with a delightful Piano Soiree. Approximately twenty boys from Year 3 to Year 10 presented works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and many more. There were also a number of boys performing in small groups, including a trio of young pianists jostling for space on the stool as they performed an impressive six-hand arrangement of the William Tell Overture! Thank you to our piano tutors, Mr Isaac Mouskovias and Miss Nina Xu, for their fantastic work with these young musicians.



Please click here for the SchoolTV link below for information on:

  • The potential psychological impact of cyberbullying
  • What parents should do if cyberbullying is occurring
  • How should a child respond to cyberbullying
  • How to report cases of cyberbullying


JPG News

Family Fun Night

Book your Family Fun Night tickets to receive an exciting showbag together with the admission wristband.

Wristbands will also be available for purchase at the entrance on the day.

If you haven’t already contributed a Scratchie card for the Family Fun Night raffle then there is still time, buy your raffle tickets for a chance to win a fantastic Scratchie card Christmas tree!


Second Hand Uniform Shop – We Need You!

Our Second Hand Uniform Shop is run entirely by volunteers and our core group is leaving after years of great work. We need more volunteers for the remainder of 2018 and for 2019.

The money raised by the Shop is donated to the Parent Group and used to fund projects for the boys. Volunteering a great way to give back to our wonderful School – and we have fun, too!

If you can help or would like to find out more, please contact Tracey Oliver.

The final day for donations/sales in 2018 is Tuesday 27 November, 2–4pm.


Anyone for Boxing?

Box (or cycle or HIIT or downward-dog) your way into shape at your community gym in Annandale. Discounted Foundation Memberships are not available for much longer – don’t miss out. You’ll love the small class sizes, qualified trainers who can tailor the class to your needs, superb setting and high-quality equipment. Visit the Annandale Gym website.


RCD Christmas Market

This year’s RCD Foundation Christmas Market is the perfect opportunity to tick items off your Christmas list.