A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

The BGS Playbook



Our Effective Learner model has been in place for a few years now and continues to have a positive impact on the academic culture at BGS. This week, another key pillar underpinning the efficacy of the model is being launched amongst the teaching staff: the BGS Playbook.

The BGS Playbook has been developed by our Crowther Centre team and utilises the best educational research from around the world, including the work of John Hattie, Robert Marzano and Jim Knight. The intent is to give all of our teachers, from ELC through to VCE, specific high-impact strategies to make classroom teaching and learning as effective as possible. These strategies are categorised under the four quadrants of the Effective Learner model: Learning Dispositions, Learning Architecture, Learning Processes and Feedback.

I am confident that with the launch of the BGS Playbook, our academic culture will continue to strengthen. Should you wish to know more about the book or any other aspect of academics at BGS, please contact the Crowther Centre. And, of course, keep reading the Crowther Centre eNews each week.

Have a great week.


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

Last Thursday I returned to my home town of Ballarat with our Year 5 boys and staff as we explored the Goldfields of Sovereign Hill. The boys participated in a number of tours, explored the streets and shops, attended a ‘school’ session, ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ light show and panning for gold that enabled them to bring their classroom theory and research alive as they were immersed into life in the 1850s.

Today I travel to Daylesford to join our Years 46 musicians who are members of Borwick House Choir, Wilson House Strings and Wilson House Concert Band at Rutherford Park. The boys will have the opportunity to perform in the Junior School Semester 1 Music Concert next Tuesday 11 June, 7.00pm at St Andrew’s Church.

Our relationship and connections with Firbank are important and valued here at BGS.  We have 57 boys in the Junior School who have a sister at Firbank.  Last week our Prep to Year 2 boys and girls spent Monday morning working at Wilson House enjoying a Musical performance and our Year 6 boys and girls have had their second rehearsal for our Junior School Musical, Singin’ In the Rain Jr. All boys from ELC to Year 6 experience a variety of opportunities to interact with our friends from Firbank throughout the year.

Junior School happenings and reminders

  • Our Junior School Choral and Instrumental Music Concert will be held on Tuesday 11 June, 7.00pm at St Andrew’s Church. Wilson House Guitar Ensemble, Borwick House Choir, Junior Voices, Beginner Strings, Training Strings, Wilson House Concert Band, Wilson House String Orchestra, Junior Percussion Ensemble, Junior String Quartet and Year 6 soloists will be performing. Boys are to wear their full winter uniform and need to be seated in St Andrew’s by 6.30pm. Further details are available via School Stream. 
  • Our Prep – Year 2 boys look forward to hosting their Grandparents and Special Friends on the following dates from 9.45am to 11.00am:

Prep – Thursday 20 June

Year 1 – Friday 14 June

Year 2 – Thursday 13 June

  • Our next Ute Full of Food will be on Friday 14 June. Items particularly requested are: breakfast cereals, sugar, jams and spreads, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, noodles, biscuits, tins of vegetables, fruit and fish are particularly welcome, meals-in-a-can, toilet paper, bathroom supplies.


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre Amelia Barrow

It’s cosy in the ELC

With the official start of winter hitting us, we feel very blessed to be working away in our warm and cosy ELC. This doesn’t however mean that we don’t venture outside! In the ELC, we rug up and get out there in the action. With the new uniform in transition this year, we have flagged that the boys need an extra layer of warmth for these colder days. More information to come. In the meantime, please bring in a warm waterproof jacket for your son to wear.

Our ELC photographs have been taken this week and parents are asked to register online at https://photos.schoolpix.com.au/start/

If you have any questions please contact School Pix customer service on 1300 766 055. The boys certainly enjoyed the busy mornings as they posed for their memorable photos. You can imagine the excitement of trying to get the class photo with all boys looking and smiling in the one shot!

We are looking forward to our Art Gallery tonight (5.00–7.00pm) in the Wellbeing Centre titled Art Lives Here. The boys and staff have been busy this term creating individual art pieces to share with everyone. We thank parents in advance for supporting this wonderful event.

I would also like to thank our 20 ELC4 families for joining us to cheer on our BGS XVIII Football team last Saturday afternoon. The boys took pride in wearing their new BGS Footy scarf as they high-fived the players running out onto the field. It was a moment they won’t forget. Seeing our boys so excited to be the stars of the match highlights the value of being a one campus school. The boys also enjoyed seeing the School’s gym and having party pies in the function room of the Annandale. I did laugh when families commented it was like being at the MCG in a corporate box. The boys were still talking about it on Monday!

We wish all of our ELC families a wonderful long weekend and look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.


This week’s parenting tip

Please view this week’s parenting tip entitled Creating healthy digital habits in kids.


Teaching and learning

Gold changed everything

The work the boys have done around the impact of the Gold Rush, and the significant people and events of Victoria, all came alive with a trip to Sovereign Hill. The timing of cold weather helped immerse the boys into the hardships and opportunities of searching for gold in the 1850s. Their hands ached from panning and they understood first-hand the concept of backbreaking work. The boys were in awe of the historical authenticity of Sovereign Hill’s outdoor museum. Muddy dirt tracks, hessian tents, horse-drawn coaches, underground mine tours and the impressive gold pour all added to the excitement and hands-on learning experience. The new sound and light show AURA reflected on the impact of the gold rush on Indigenous Australians, the challenges of migrant minorities and relived Australia’s most significant rebellion, all of which we have been reading and researching in class. Our trip to Sovereign Hill was a multi-sensory experience, which facilitated a deeper understanding of the Gold Rush and the impact on present-day Australia.

Cindy van Dijk
Year 5 Teacher

Opera Australia incursion – Barber of Seville

On Monday 27 May, Prep to Year 2 boys and Firbank girls attended the Opera. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is one of the most popular operas ever written. It tells a story of love at first sight, which becomes a big problem for Count Almaviva. Figaro, cleverly solves everyone’s problems however, for a price! Secret letters and cunning disguises delighted the boys and girls. It was particularly adorable to hear the students sing Figaro, Figaro every time Figaro came onto the stage. The production enthralled the students with its beautiful costumes and engaging scenery. The opera singers were captivating as they sang the famous arias. It was such an incredible experience for the students to hear such professional voices and dramatic skills live.

Hayley Blakiston
Head of Junior School Music


Coaching Experience 2019 – Year 11 and Year 6

Research indicates that peer learning activities assist with skills in communication, team-building, well-being and increasing self-esteem. The coaching experience for Year 11 and Year 6 boys enables an opportunity for students to set goals to improve their productivity and enhance learning outcomes. Read more


Earn & Learn for Pormpuraaw

BGS Outdoor Education team member, James Hilditch is currently in Pormpuraaw on the Cape York Peninsula, preparing for the Year 6 visit. He has let us know that the Pormpuraaw State School is collecting Woolworths Earn & Learn stickers so that they can purchase new equipment for science, technology, maths, art and craft.

We would be very grateful if families shopping at Woolworths could save their Earn & Learn stickers and bring them to the Junior School office. Stickers need to be left at Reception by Tuesday 11 June so that the Year 6 boys can take them to Pormpuraaw when they go.


BGS Pink Dinner – Save the date

When – Thursday 19 September 2019

Full details to follow soon.


A golden ticket raffle!

Friends of Music has been lucky enough to secure two VIP tickets to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical.

Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 – get yours now!


A message from St Andrew’s

Click the image to book!