A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Back into routine and Make it Count

It is wonderful to be back into the routine of the school week. The start of a new school year is a great time to set out the course of the year ahead and to engage with all members of the community. The Crowther Centre has some handy tips on the benefits of setting routines early in the year.

It has been a pleasure speaking to Secondary School parents at our information nights about the story of Icarus and how that can be a guide for our boys in the year ahead: we do not want to get complacent but nor do we want to get ahead of ourselves and think we have made it. Consistent hard work is the key! I look forward to seeing Junior School parents over the next two weeks at the upcoming information nights.

I also enjoyed speaking to the Secondary School boys in St Andrew’s last week where, as part of our Commencement Eucharist Service, we inducted our School Captain, Vice Captains and Prefects. Drawing on the Prefects’ theme for the year to Make it Count and from the reading from Romans, I encouraged the boys to make 2020 count.

The boys can do this in a number of ways: by making themselves into the best version of what they can be, by recognising that they are part of a community and they need to make it count by contributing to it and, as the reading from Romans challenged us, by holding onto what is good, by being respectful, by working hard and not being lazy, by being full of hope and joy and by loving each other warmly or, to put it another way, by being kind.

Have a great week and Make it Count.

 

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

The commencement of the school year can be daunting and bring about some anxiety; I appreciate the time, effort and care of our Junior School staff as they assist our boys in transition.

Imagine ‘walking in the shoes’ of our Prep boys as they experience so many firsts at school.  Our Preps left on Day 1 with a goodie bag with an eraser, stickers, a puzzle, bookmark and packet of smarties and the following message:

Welcome to Prep, I’m so glad you are here. Here’s a little goodie bag to help kick off the year. The eraser is to remind you that it’s ok to make mistakes, we’ll work and learn together whatever that may take!  The stickers mean we’ll stick together and work hard as a team. The puzzle shows we fit together, working toward a common theme. The bookmark is to show you, that you always have a place. If you ever feel lost, we will help you find your space. The smarties are to remind you just how smart I think you are. Work hard, do you best and you’ll always go far!

This is one of the examples of the creative talents and the time, effort and care our staff demonstrate to the boys.

Thank you to Dr Eva Aschman and the JPG Executive who organised and served tea and coffee for the Welcome Morning Tea last Thursday. The JPG plays such an important role in the life of the Junior School, not only through fundraising, but even more so by maintaining a sense of connection and community within the Junior School. Thank you to Eva Aschman (Parent Liaison), Kirsty Davis (Treasurer), Kerstin Barber (Volunteer and Year Level Facilitator), Sarah Fearn and Melissa Cowan (Fundraising Facilitators), Nick Bulfin (Events Facilitator),  Nada Denning, Jo Saadie, Fiona Cozens, Alexandra Dever (Hospitality Facilitators) and Rhonette Lipovetsky and Lucy Calder (General Committee). Contact the JPG if you are interested in assisting. 

 

Junior School Happenings and Reminders

  • Junior School parents are asked to co-operate with the School policy and not include nuts or food containing a high concentration of nuts, such as peanut butter, in their boys’ lunches.
  • BGS has a policy which requires parents who wish to assist or participate in any class activities or programs to have a current Working with Children Check.  Application forms are to be completed online.  
  • Parents are encouraged to access the 2020 Junior School Handbook which will answer many questions, and assist with your son’s transition. 
  • When entering and exiting the Grosvenor Street car park, the safety of our boys is paramount. The drop-off/pick-up zone is on the left-hand side of the driveway. Parents who use the drop-off/pick-up zone will need to approach this area via the northern (Oval) side of the tree at the far end of the car park. The exit lane is on the right-hand side; these areas are clearly marked. To assist with the flow of traffic in the car park, boys from the ELC and Junior School are not to play on the Adventure Playground after school. I would ask all parents to support this request and, if you require more information, view the Junior School car park safety guide.
  • The Tuckshop is organised and staffed by Alliance. Orders can be placed online via the Flexischool’s website by 8.30am each day.
  • Parents visiting during school hours are to access the Junior School via Reception, and receive a Visitor’s Pass. Parents are asked not to go directly to classrooms. If parents collect their sons during school hours, they will need to complete sign-out details at Reception. Parents are requested to make appointments for their sons, where possible, outside School hours.

 

From the Director of the Early Learning Centre  Amelia Barrow

Brave boys in the Early Learning Centre

What a wonderful start we have had to the year.  The boys’ energy and enthusiasm almost matched the parents as the doors opened last week for our term time program. Although the centre has been operating in January under Kirstie McCormick and her team’s care, having all of our families back has given the centre a buzz. From experience we know there is a honeymoon period with the boys at the beginning when all is exciting and new, then reality can hit and little tears can start. This is a normal reaction and our staff are experienced in supporting the boys (and families) through this difficult time. Please chat with your son’s classroom teacher if you are experiencing this. All program staff are available and in their classrooms from 8.30am if you require any information, otherwise meeting times can be made outside program hours.

Thank you to families for supporting us by providing fruit, vegetables, crackers and cheese (or brain food as we like to call it) for healthy morning teas, and for supplying the boys with a spare set of clothes which can be left in their locker on the hook.

We are always in need of dramatic play donations such as dress ups (not superhero costumes) including shirts, ties, dresses, shoes, bags, or jewellery. Old pots and pans, cooking utensils and building materials (pipes and planks) are also useful. Donations can be handed to your son’s teacher or myself.

More details about how our centre operates can be found in the ELC General Information letter. A Term 1 Calendar of dates will be sent home next week. This is an exciting term when we build strong relationships within our ELC and school community. We look forward to a great year ahead – thank you for a positive start to the school year.

 

Teaching & Learning

Year 6 Resolution News

We are off to a great start in 6 Resolution, with the boys ready to learn and start their Year 6 journey.

Having completed a number of get to know you activities, I have been most impressed with the way the boys have worked together in groups, learned about each other and their willingness to share information. 

One powerful team-building activity was a mathematical logic problem-solving task based on a card game of Australian Football League (AFL) teams. In this language and logic puzzle activity, the boys successfully used problem-solving strategies, mathematical language related to space and order, number facts and spatial facts and relationships, and arithmetic skill practice.  

Our class is looking forward to an exciting year ahead. If the first few days are a reflection of the effort and enthusiasm on show, it certainly will be a wonderful year.

Rob Bater 
6 Resolution 

 

Celebrating sons and grandsons of Old Boys

Boys take great pride when following in the steps of their fathers or grandfathers. When Old Boys enrol their sons at BGS, the School also takes much pleasure in celebrating this multi-generational link. Parents of our multi-generational BGS boys are asked to complete the BGS Generations Form so that the School can acknowledge our current second, third and fourth generation BGS boys. If parents have already completed this form, there is no need to do so again. A reminder that the inaugural all BGS Generations photo will take place at Annandale on Friday 14 February at 6.00pm, following the BGS First XI match against Melbourne Grammar. 

Please return completed forms via email to Peter Toms or to the BGS Development Office, 90 Outer Crescent, Brighton.

 

Talking to children about the bushfires

The recent bushfire season in Australia has left many families feeling overwhelmed and devastated by the scenes which emerged during and following this unprecedented emergency. Children can be very vulnerable at such times and don’t always understand what they are seeing. It can make them feel sad, anxious and even stressed. Whilst most young people will recover and resume normal functioning, there will be some that will be directly or deeply affected and who may require psychological support. As adults, we need to manage our own shock, grief, anxiety and anger before talking to young people about the bushfires.  Key strategies that parents can implement to support children who feel scared or worried as a result of this event and be found at SchoolTV 

 

JPG News

Year Level Representatives and Volunteers

The JPG is looking for year level representatives (at least one volunteer from each class, with two to four per class ideal), and a general pool of volunteers to assist on any level. Representatives work as a team to coordinate social events within their year level and arrange volunteers for one event annually within their year level, such as organising four volunteers to deliver food to classrooms for the end of term lunches. Tasks are neither onerous nor time consuming, and it is an opportunity to facilitate communication, connectedness and contribution within the school community. Contact the JPG if you are interested in assisting. 

Save the Date

3 March – The JPG Meeting will be held in the Drama Room, 8.45–9.30am

Dates for the Diary

  • Thursday 6 February Prep–Yr 3 Info/Social Evening
  • Thursday 13 February Yr 4–6 Info/Social Evening
  • Wednesday 19 February Parent/Teacher Discussions
  • Thursday 20 February Parent/Teacher Discussions
  • Friday 28 February Junior School Welcome Picnic