A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Through our Effective Learner model, we tell the boys that actively seeking feedback, and acting upon it, is essential to successful learning.

So it is for schools and, as outlined in my communication to parents yesterday, I am pleased to offer you the opportunity to provide me with your views on the effectiveness of our academic, wellbeing and co-curricular programs.

A Crowther Centre initiative, the School Improvement Tool is an online questionnaire here which will be open for parents to complete until Friday 13 September.  

We are asking for 15 – 20 minutes of your time to give us honest feedback on your attitudes towards some of the key pillars, values and programs offered at BGS. Your responses will help us to understand and provide insight into where we are operating well as a school, and identify areas in need of improvement.

The research team will protect your privacy and confidentiality to the fullest possible extent. Your personal information will be kept separately from your questionnaire responses in order to maintain confidentiality. Once the research has been completed, the Crowther Centre will provide me with a report and I will share with you a summary of the outcomes.

I look forward to the School community’s participation in this important project, and to using the findings to further improve the quality education BGS provides your sons.

Finally, I wish all the dads in our BGS community a happy Father’s Day this Sunday.


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

Our Prep and Year 1 boys have enjoyed the opportunity to host their dads in the classroom this week.  Lots of ‘fun and learning’ took place through a variety of activities; coding, Domino Maths, Speed stack cups, THRASS bingo, mapping skills and a phoneme detective activity.  We look forward to hosting our Year 2 dads and special friends tomorrow.  Thank you to all dads, special friends, staff and boys for your support and engagement this week and best wishes to all our dads for Father’s Day on Sunday.  

Last week’s Book Week celebration ‘Reading is My Secret Power’ was a great success. Our boys enjoyed the dress-up parade and cross-age rotations from Prep to Year 6, participating in a variety of classroom activities and attended the Meerkat Production play focusing on the shortlisted 2019 books. It is important we provide a variety of experiences, both at home and school, to continue to develop a love of reading amongst our boys.  Thank you to Pauline Anthony and Joanne Davies for their coordination of our Book Week activities and to all parents for your support.

Our links between home and school continue to be strong.  Our corridors, classrooms and sporting fields see many parents assisting staff with Literacy rotations, supporting our boys at Year 5/6 APS Sport, and attending assembly, the Snowsports breakfast, Year 3/4 Family Maths Evening, the Prep – Year 6 Father/Son activities and Crowther parent workshops.  We look forward to next week’s Strings Spectacular and Bands Showcase Concert.  It is essential for your son’s progress that we continue to ensure strong links exist between home and school and I appreciate your continued support.

Junior School happenings and reminders

  • We look forward to our Strings Spectacular Concert on Tuesday 3 September and our Bands Showcase Concert on Thursday 5 September in St Andrew’s Church. Please see School Stream for further details.  All parents and friends welcome.
  • Our next ‘Ute Full of Food’ is next Friday 6 September. Items particularly requested are: breakfast cereals, sugar, jams and spreads, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, noodles, biscuits, tins of vegetables, fruit and fish, meals-in-a-can, toilet paper, bathroom supplies

Student Achievements

  • I was pleased to hear our Junior School boys competing in the various Snowsports Competitions enjoyed and acquitted themselves well last week. Congratulations to Toby Jones, Max Mailing, Hudson Hallinan, Harry Charlton, Corey Gendala, Leonardo Grollo, Christian Field, Jake Ring, Jake Charlton and Thomas McMullen who qualified for Nationals. Thank you to our parents for your continued support and to Mat Steed and Troy Gendala for their coordination and management of the team read full report here.
  • What a great experience to compete against other schools on the sporting field and in academics. Xavier College, Kostka Hall hosted our Year 6 debaters as we argued ‘That all schools should be co-educational’ and ‘That the voting age should be lowered’. The boys reflected on the importance of being well prepared and rehearsing before an event. Congratulations to Seb Naccarella, Conrad Retschko, Donald Li, Trent Vincent and the nominated best speakers Luca New and Lachie Reid.

  • Bayside Gallery has been hosting an exhibition entitled Pets are People Too.  Children have been invited to draw a picture of their pet and a few were selected to hang in the gallery during the exhibition. Congratulations to Hugo Faulkner-Aschman who has been selected to have his artwork displayed.


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre – Amelia Barrow

Secret business in the Early Learning Centre

With Spring around the corner we can certainly sense the change is coming – fresh mornings and beautiful blue skies for the boys to enjoy their outdoor programs. This week, we have been finishing our secret business in preparation for Father’s Day this Sunday.  Although I won’t ruin the surprise, the boys have thoroughly enjoyed focusing on their dads or grandfathers over the past fortnight. Their creative skills have been flourishing as each boy has made something special to take home this weekend.

A reminder that our Father’s Night is on Monday 2 September for the ELC3 classes 5.30pm–6.30pm and ELC4 6.00pm–7.00pm. We look forward to making our dads feel special and also enjoy some African Drumming which will be held in the STEM Centre after classroom activities.

This week our ELC3 Parent Teacher Discussions have been completed and we thank parents for taking the time to attend. It is always a lovely time to share the boys’ development and celebrate their successes.

Next Tuesday, the 3 Wombat boys will head to Firbank Grammar to visit the ELC3 girls for a morning session and the 4 Wallaby boys will host the ELC4 girls here in our centre. As Firbank Grammar has two ELC classes, we will take turns in sharing this time with the girls.

We were able to call off the search yesterday for the Wallaby’s missing yabby which has not been seen since Term 1. Mrs Coyne was in the Bandicoot storeroom with a boy, choosing equipment, when they both noticed what they thought was a plastic sea creature. Luckily they noticed it looked a little different. Mrs Coyne held her composure, grabbed a paper towel to calmly remove it from the floor and then shared her findings with the Wallaby class. 

We would like to wish all of our dads, uncles and grandfathers a wonderful Father’s Day this Sunday and hope you are spoilt.


This week’s parenting tip

Please click here  to view tips on ‘Leaving your fathering mark’.


Teaching and learning

Book Week

It’s that time again! Book Week hit the Junior School with great gusto. We started the week with some dazzling performances from Meerkat Productions of the stories, Room on our Rock and The Peacock Detectives. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the dramatic storytelling, with many boys making their way to the library afterwards in search of the titles.

Friday was the highlight, with everyone celebrating this year’s theme ‘Reading is my Secret Power’. From boys to staff, all embraced the opportunity to dress up and participate in the fun. Secret agents, superheros, bugs and classic characters wandered the school, proudly promoting their enthusiasm for reading; an excellent example of collective efficacy.

Engagement was clearly visible during the rotation of activities prepared by the teachers. Following a reading of one of the short listed books, the mixed classes explored and presented a creative interpretation of the story.

Fine weather allowed the Book Parade to be held on the oval. In the capable hands of the Junior School Library monitors, the parade was an outstanding success.

Book Week is a time to celebrate the enjoyment of reading, share our favourite stories, improve our vocabulary and imagination and escape into other worlds. Reading does indeed give us ‘secret powers’.

Joanne Davies
Junior School Teaching & Learning Coordinator


Dramatic Story Telling in Year 2

Dramatic story telling is a powerful way to engage boys, not only in drama, but reading as well. The Year 2 boys have been taking turns to act out parts of the story Dirtie Bertie, Pirate by Alan MacDonald and delighting in watching each other change their facial expressions and body language to become a character.

As the boys listen to the story, new characters are added and the boys need to interact in a meaningful way with new characters and the audience. Exploring a story in this way creates powerful visual imagery and allows vocabulary to be introduced and analysed in a meaningful way.

Visual imagery and vocabulary development are two essential skills needed for an enjoyment of reading. So while the boys are having a lot of fun acting as Dirtie Bertie and his crew, they are also being exposed to skills that will help them further engage with and enjoy reading.

Jessica Taylor
Junior School Drama Teacher


String Concert

Last Tuesday, residents of ‘The Crescent’ enjoyed a lunchtime concert performed by two of the new String ensembles: Junior String Quintet and Senior String Quartet, along with the Cello Choir. 

As staff and boys walk past ‘The Crescent’ opposite the Secondary School every day, it was great to share the talents of the BGS String ensembles with our neighbours. 

It also helped to instil a sense of responsibility in the boys, to care for others and to seek meaningful ways to contribute to the wider community.

Sharing the joy of making music supports the boys’ social and emotional wellbeing and enables the older and younger students to learn from each other.

To hear the pieces that were performed, and the other BGS String ensembles, please come along to the Strings Spectacular concert at St. Andrew’s on Tuesday 3 September at 7.00pm.

Alex Beamont
Head of Strings


Trial of new BGS bus route

We are assessing the viability of running a new bus service to and from the School in suburbs including: Armadale, Carnegie, Caulfield, Malvern, McKinnon, Murrumbeena, Ormond, Prahran and Toorak.

We are seeking families to register their expressions of interest to trial this service free of charge* for boys for the duration of Term 4.

*Normal charges will apply in 2020 if bus run has sufficient interest to continue.  


JPG News

End of Term Lunch

The JPG will again be offering an end of term lunch for the ELC and Junior School boys on Friday 20 September. 

The $7.50 lunch includes juice, an ice-cream cup and choice of a meat pie, sausage roll, spinach & ricotta roll, or party pies (2).  Extra hot food items can be ordered for $3.00 each.  Online ordering is available through Flexischools online ordering system. Orders close on 13 September at 5.00pm.  Canteen orders will not be available on this day.


2019 BGS Pink Dinner

Make sure you come prepared in your best bridesmaid’s outfit and ready to donate to our wonderful charity, St Kilda Mums. We have a fabulous line-up of fundraising games and activities:

  • Bridesmaids’ Fashions on the Field, with guest judge Della Kantessen
  • Best bridesmaid Quiz
  • Catch the Bouquet competition
  • $50 Balloon Pop
  • Live auctions featuring a Hayman Island holiday, an Apple watch and more
  • Raffle with amazing prizes
  • Fashion Illustrations by Sarah Darby
  • St Kilda Mums’ Pledge Tree
  • Pink Dinner Photo Wall
  • Don’t forget to bring plenty of gold coins for the donation games.  EFTPOS only will be available on the night