A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

We will bring a dream to life!

Yet again, the BGS community has banded together around a most worthy cause. This Tuesday, we raised $373,186 via 388 donors in order to ‘bring a dream to life’. We now have our very first Indigenous means-tested scholarship, meaning that we will be able to give an Indigenous boy the gift of a BGS education.

This remarkable achievement adds to my deep satisfaction that, through the generosity of our community, we now have more than ten means-tested scholarship opportunities available. The impact on the lives of boys who would otherwise not be able to come to BGS will be generational. It is my aim to continue to increase the number of means-tested scholarships well into the future. After all, as Nelson Henderson said, ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.’

My sincere thanks to all in the community who gave on Tuesday: from Myles in Prep, who brought in the contents of his money box, through to the BGS School Council, and everyone in between. Particular thanks to our six generous ‘matchers’, whose support meant that all donations were amplified. In addition, I thank our Development Office team, whose tireless work is appreciated.

Have a great week and best wishes to all involved in this week’s FGS–BGS Senior Production of Chicago.


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

The joys of a Melbourne autumn! 6 Endeavour and 6 Investigator enjoyed relatively mild weather with very little wind whilst on camp last week but there was a chill in the air this Monday when we said goodbye to 6 Resolution and 6 Discovery. Whilst away, the boys are certainly challenged. At times, they’re pushed out of their comfort zone, but the support of their classmates, the Year 11 Outdoor Education Leaders and the staff motivates them to keep going.  The Headmaster and I thoroughly enjoyed our interactions with the boys participating in a variety of activities: canoeing, mountain bike riding, the night walk and games of sardines and lantern stalk. (Clearly, very few of the boys are afraid of the dark!) 

The Indigenous immersion experience was a highlight, and sleeping out in a tent last Wednesday night reminded me of my Boy Scout days. It’s impressive to see our boys ‘ready to learn’ in the Outdoor Education environment, with emphasis on skills such as time management, being responsible for their own gear, supporting each other and improving their resilience. There were plenty of laughs when my canoe capsized with the 6E boys. Thank you to Luke Fensling, Hamish Leahy, Monica Le Couteur and Cathy Box and to our Outdoor Education team – David Gemmell, James Hilditch, Nathan O’Malley and Carly West – for their commitment and care for the boys.

In any school community, parental support is essential. We truly value the combined involvement of so many parents from ELC to Year 6. As I ‘walk the corridors’ throughout the course of a week, I see parents assisting with Literacy Blocks, incursions/excursions, supporting their sons playing sport, sitting in on instrumental music lessons, assisting the JPG, and attending concerts and social functions. Parental support builds strong relationships. As we assist our boys on their education journey, school and home cannot work in isolation. I appreciate the continued involvement and support of so many parents.


Junior School Happenings and Reminders

  • The Junior School Semester 1 Music Concert will be held on Tuesday 12 June at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church. All Year 5 boys, Training Strings, Junior School House Choir, Junior School Concert Band, Junior School String Orchestra and the Guitar Ensemble will be performing. Boys are to wear their full winter uniform and need to be seated in St Andrew’s by 7.20pm. Further details are available via School Stream.
  • Thank you to all families for your support of last week’s Ute Full of Food and Tuesday’s Crazy Sock Day to support our ‘Bring a Dream to Life’ campaign.

  • Congratulations to the Year 3 and Year 5 boys, who completed the NAPLAN testing. I appreciate the efforts of Victoria Fisher, Brendan Rahn, Paul Gurry, Jacqueline Stenniken, Cindy van Dijk and David Turner in supporting the boys throughout the testing period.
  • Best wishes to Cade Segar (Soccer) and Zach Travers (AFL), who have been selected to trial at the final stage to represent Victoria in the National Primary School Championships.


Student Achievements

Congratulations to the following boys from Years 3–6, who will be presented with Semester 1 Specialist Effort Cards at tomorrow’s Assembly in the G. B. Robertson Hall at 12.30pm:

Art – William Barton, Danny Du, Luke Ferdinands, Noah Laurin, James Moreton, Georgen Strintzos, Elden Zeng

Japanese – Nicholas Galinas, Matheus Judah, Oscar Liu, Anthony Tian, Murphy Zeng

Physical Education – Ned Bailey, Angus Calder, Jed Constable, Charlie Cordner, Luke Duckinson, Harrison Gibbins, Lucas Hiscock, Lenny Hofmann, Ed Hutchison, Bailey Mulhall, Isaac Pels, Will Rattray, Kenneth Yeung

Religious Education – Ethan Abramovich, Lachlan Avats, William Barton, Hamish Featherston, Curtis Fyfe, Aydin Ilhan, Matheus Judah, Noah Laurin, Alistair Liddle, Andrew Liu, Andrew McGregor, Alexander Rozentoul, Austin Saleh


Robots, Rockets and New Friends in the ELC

This week, we welcomed two new boys to the ELC – Jacob (3 Bilby) and Harley (4 Bandicoot). We were so very proud of the ELC boys, who quickly ensured our new friends felt a part of the BGS family. What a wonderful start to our busy week! Please introduce yourselves to Jacob’s and Harley’s families when you arrive in the morning.

Our Crazy Sock Day on Tuesday helped raise much-needed funds for the BGS community-funded Indigenous Scholarship. It was so lovely seeing the boys arrive, excitedly showing off their crazy colourful socks (not to mention the teachers as well!)

This year, we have been extremely blessed by parent engagement throughout the program. Whether parents have run a cooking program, read stories, set up robot-making workshops, shared cultural traditions and practices, supported the 4W beach program, or participated in the PMP program – we have been overwhelmed by your willingness to participate. If you would like to join your son’s classroom and plan an experience or activity, please feel free to email your son’s teacher. We value your experience and interests, which all extend the boys’ learning.

The ELC4 boys have been enjoying learning about space and the solar system in preparation for their Twilight Night on Thursday 14 June. This event is always a highlight for the boys in Term 2; we will send out more information closer to the event.

Amelia Barrow
Director of the Early Learning Centre


Parenting Tip

Click here to view this week’s Parenting Tip: Fostering healthy sibling relationships  


Teaching and Learning

It was a step out of their comfort zones for the Year 6E and 6I boys last week, when they ventured to Camp Coolamatong in the Gippsland Lakes. The boys were introduced to expedition and outdoor-living skills, including hiking, day and night bushwalking, cooking, hygiene and navigation. Self-management was a key learning intention for the week, with boys encouraged to pack their own hiking gear, manage their emotions, use effective communication skills and set personal challenges. Each day, the boys became increasingly self-reliant, with a focus on time management, and being prepared and responsible for their equipment.  Each day, the aim was to be ‘Ready to learn’. The coastal environment was a perfect setting to introduce ecological literacy, environmental awareness and a conservation mindset. Among the many highlights were canoeing and mountain biking, which challenged many of us to push beyond the norm. Each activity encouraged resilience and persistence at every turn. Camp Coolamatong will be an experience the boys will never forget!


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


Maintaining Our Greatest Assets!

As the new BGS sports complex edges towards completion, the community is no doubt setting its sights on future Tonners’ sporting achievements. However, let us not forget to glance back with appreciation at the sports and conditioning facility that has served the School for many years. It has been home to rowers, rugby players, swimmers, basketball teams and football teams, amongst others. However, one team of sports legends should not go unnoticed.

For six years, twice a week, every week, a small group of dedicated teachers has resolutely pursued their fitness goals in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the energy and stamina of the boys. The initiative began early in the School’s commitment to staff Wellbeing. It is open to all – but over the years, a modest group of committed, motivated and, on occasion, weary teachers have maintained regular attendance.

We have lost count of the kilometres cycled and rowed, the number of push-ups, pull-ups and crunches achieved, and the punches delivered. However, the sense of collegiality and support has never wavered – and our individual strength and conditioning has, at the very least, been maintained.

While we are privileged to be able to provide outstanding facilities to the boys and the community, the School’s greatest asset is its teachers. We are currently being coached by Tom Laumets (OB 2014), who is now teaching his teachers. This group has certainly made the most of the opportunity to invest in our Wellbeing – and we will continue to do so, in smarter surrounds, when the doors open to the new sports complex.

So, a Tonners’ shout out must go to Cindy van Dijk, Alison Main, David Eggleston, David Turner, Sam Kuring, Christian Machar, Jacqui Stenniken and Claire Clarke – a team of sports legends who are always pursuing better things in their health and fitness.


JPG News

JPG Meeting – The next JPG Meeting will be held on Tuesday 5 June at 8.45am in the G. B. Robertson hall.  All welcome.