A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Helping your son become an Effective Learner

Helping your son with his homework can be a challenge. This challenge can become even larger as your son progresses through school and starts tackling subjects such as Physics, Specialist Mathematics, Latin or Economics.

However, research indicates that there are ways parents can help even if their son is studying complex subjects like these. Our Effective Learner model below, coupled with the work of Evidence for Learning (click here), indicates that there are four areas in which parents can help.

First, parents can help their son build a positive attitude to learning and encourage a growth mindset. This involves helping your son to recognise that mistakes are necessary to learning, and focusing your praise on effort and attitude rather than the result.

Second, we need to support our boys to develop an understanding of their own learning processes by helping them figure out how they work and learn best. As I mentioned in last week’s eNews, our 2017 Dux, David Lawlor, gave the Secondary School boys this advice: Figure out how you learn and stick with it.

Third, we need to help our boys recognise that learning does require effort. Just as training for a musical concert or a sporting competition takes practice and hard work, so too does academic learning. Having an understanding of the architecture and processes involved in learning is critical.

Finally, we need to show our boys that feedback is a key aspect of their learning. Through meaningful conversations, boys are more likely to become open to seeking, acting upon and even giving feedback. After all, if a boy doesn’t receive feedback and doesn’t act on it, he will not know about his progress and will not know how to progress.

So – even if you don’t know much about mathematical polynomials with integer coefficients – model, discuss, value and support these four areas with your son at the right time, in the right way and in the right place. He’ll thank you for it, one day.

PDF version available here.


From the Head of Junior School – Peter Tellefson

From time to time, we have accidents in the playground. I can assure you that the playground is supervised at all times – but accidents will still happen. Our responsibility is to ensure that the playground is as safe as possible. This involves making sure that the boys are aware of the School rules, and that they respect each other. In the event of an accident, your son will be cared for to the best of our ability. Parents will be contacted and, if necessary, medical attention will be sought.

There will also be issues between boys in the playground and even the classroom at some stage – this is a reality. It is essential that parents allow us to manage issues that occur at School. I would ask parents not to make telephone calls to other parents; this undermines the School’s procedures, which usually work very well. If you have a concern, please make direct contact with your son’s Homeroom teacher so that appropriate follow-up and action can take place.

I am most appreciative of those parents who have made the commitment to support the JPG directly by assisting as Year-level Representatives:

ELC3 – Kirsty West, Natalie Byfield, Sarah Whittle, Irene Pappas, Carolyn Bartlett

ELC 4 – Leah Hooper, Julie Pollock, Michelle Blumfield, Niki Parrish, Emma Hodgson, Kristine Hamer, Eliza Oliver

Prep – Fiona Cozens, Jo Saadie, Sally McLean, Jessica Luketic, Christie Neatnica, Nicole Hollow

Year 1 – Carla Palmer, Megan Ryan

Year 2 – Alex Dever, Sharon Bates, Lisa Schnepf, Kym Willis

Year 3 – Petra Thomson, Olivia Avats, Jessica Greenwell, Michelle Chilcott, Emma Buckingham

Year 4 – Basia Quill, Lucrezia Mecca, Amanda Field, Marlese Sloan, Sally Ballantine

Year 5 – Nicki Fischer, Phoebe Reid, Kyllie McMullen, Jamie Roach, Zhuo Wang, Lisa Burgess

Year 6 – Yvonne Zheng, Pamela Barnedt, Victorai Tisaj, Val Zuban, Kim Jachno, Su Longley, Olivia Avats, Anthea O’Connor, Candice Robinson


Student Achievement

Congratulations to Charlie Sabin (Year 5) on achieving the Grey Wolf Award at Scouts. To attain this top award in each of the five sections of Scouting reflects sustained effort over time plus self-discipline, teamwork and leadership.


Juniors School happenings and reminders

– The Year 4–6 Parent Information Evening last Thursday was most successful. Thank you to all parents from Prep to Year 6 and Homeroom teachers for their commitment to the Parent/Teacher Discussions this week.

– On most Fridays at 12:30pm, we have a Junior School Assembly in the G. B. Robertson Hall. Parents are most welcome to attend. On a rotational basis, classes present their work to the Junior School community. The Assembly serves many purposes: it gives our boys an opportunity to present, read or speak to an audience; to entertain, educate and share knowledge; and to show the breadth of the curriculum and the opportunities provided at Wilson House. Weekly Awards are presented and the boys are involved in prayer and singing.


Celebrations in the ELC

This week has been busy with Chinese New Year celebrations. We have been learning about Chinese traditions and practices at this special time of year, and have also been treated to a few cooking classes and storytelling activities. A few parents have visited the Centre to lead these experiences and we are very grateful to them. It’s a brave venture coming in to teach our 3–5-year-olds!

Our wellbeing classes have focused on kindness and the boys have been shown how kind acts can make us feel happy. Claire Clarke read the book ‘Have you filled a bucket today?’, which describes positive acts as magic stones that can be added to our bucket of happiness. The boys were also shown how negative acts result in ‘bucket dipping’, emptying out the magic stones.

A few reminders for this week:

– All new parents need to log in to their Synportal account as our ELC Parent/Teacher Interviews booking link will be posted there next week.
3 Wombat Parent/Teacher Interviews are next Monday and Tuesday, and bookings are now open.
– Class lists are available from Synportal; however, ELC3 has low numbers because parents have not logged in yet. 
– The ELC Parent Information Evening will be on Thursday 1 March, 7–9pm, in the ELC. This is a great night where parents can get to know each other, meet the ELC staff and ask questions about the day-to-day running of the ELC.
 Save the date: ELC Harmony Day celebrations, Thursday 22 March (morning tea). You will receive an invitation and further information via School Stream next week.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your Homeroom teacher or me.

Amelia Barrow
Director of the Early Learning Centre


Parenting Tip

Click here to view this week’s Parenting Tip: Working closely with your child’s teacher this year.


Teaching & Learning

News from 5 Zachariah

The boys of 5 Zachariah have settled into their new class extremely well. The boys new to BGS have been embraced warmly. Personal organisation has been high on the agenda, as the boys have adjusted to APS Sport, different homework requirements, instrumental lessons and House Swimming events. The BGS Record Book has been integral to recording dates and reminders, and the boys have been encouraged to wear a wristwatch to keep track of their appointments.

On Friday 16 February, 5 Zachariah performed an item at Junior School Assembly based on APS Sport and the values associated with it – such as teamwork, sportsmanship, organisation, resilience and enjoyment. The boys presented superbly and displayed some impressive acting and public-speaking skills.

In the classroom, our initial writing focus has been on perfecting paragraphs. The boys have discussed and written about various themes such as the Winter Olympics, APS Sport, our recent Assembly item and even pizza! The Success Criteria the boys have worked towards have incorporated factors such as: including a topic sentence; having one main idea; using an indentation to start; correct spelling and punctuation; and finishing with a relevant closing sentence. The boys have improved in a short time and enjoyed sharing their work with others.

Learning in 6 Discovery

The learning journey in Year 6 is dynamic and fast-paced, and includes a variety of learning experiences designed to fosters boys’ engagement. In the first three weeks of school, this is what we have been learning.

Making connections with fellow students in class enables a feeling of belonging. This sense has been fostered quickly and easily in 6 Discovery as the boys have played an integral part in the planning of our Year 6 Assembly item. The boys worked in small groups on their component of the presentation, sharing ideas, making decisions and refining their work to create a finished product. This involved use of listening skills, technology, thinking skills, questioning and interview techniques, writing skills, public speaking, mindfulness activities, choreography, dancing and singing. Teamwork was the golden thread used to weave these skills and techniques together to produce an energy-filled presentation about Wellbeing in the Junior School.

The boys’ first homework task was a project entitled ‘All About Me’. The Learning Intention was for the boys to share their lives with the class through the planning, organisation and production of a project about themselves. Each boy was able to choose the method of presentation – some produced posters, some created PowerPoint presentations and some used iMovie. The Success Criteria included each boy sharing information about himself, including his family, interests, strengths and goals for 2018.

During our Humanities focus on Immigration, the boys will be visiting the Immigration Museum. Through this project, the boys’ planning, research and organisation will come to the fore as they interview and write about a real person’s journey to Australia, and all the highs and lows that that encompassed.

In the first three weeks of Year 6, the boys have experienced all facets of the learning process, including learning dispositions and being ready to learn; how to learn; taking the next steps in learning; and the importance of feedback in the learning process. We look forward to building on this understanding throughout 2018 on our journey of discovery in 6 Discovery.


JPG News

Junior School Welcome Picnic: Friday 2 March, 5–8pm

The BGS Junior School Welcome Picnic is only a week away, in the Junior School grounds. This is an opportunity for families to get together informally, welcome new families and enjoy a picnic. Tables will be provided in the Red Square and the JPG will provide a free sausage sizzle and icy poles for the boys (first come, first served). BYO picnic and drinks.


Brighton Rec Centre – have your say

Brighton Recreational Centre, a highly valued community facility in the heart of Brighton, is used by more than 2000 people each week for community activities.

To play for the future, Bayside City Council is seeking community feedback on Brighton Rec.

You can have your say online at www.bayside.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay.

More information, including hard copies of the quick survey, is available at Brighton Rec or by calling Jacqui Goy on 9599 4711 or email jgoy@bayside.vic.gov.au.

Comments close 5pm Friday 9 March 2018.