A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston
Be part of it!
It is fantastic to have the boys back and in fine fettle for what I already know will be another great year at BGS. (If you haven’t already had a chance, please watch my short Welcome Video.) In particular, I am very pleased with the look and feel of the new academic uniform, and I think the boys are enjoying it too.
It was exciting to kick off the year with the official opening of our new Annandale sports pavilion last Friday evening. The sense of community, which is such a feature of life in and around BGS, was palpable as Walter Annandale Jack’s granddaughter, Sue Leaper, cut the ribbon. Alongside official proceedings, the current 1st XI cricket team fought off the Old Boys by just 2 runs in an entertaining and high-quality match on the Crowther. From now on, Annandale will play a key role in our boys’ education at BGS, particularly in relation to their physical wellbeing.
As the 2019 school year clicks into gear, and you’re out and about (or on your device), you might start to notice some examples of a new BGS marketing campaign. The ‘Be part of it!’ campaign highlights the special sense of community that permeates our single campus and the way we go about things here. We hope that this message will resonate.
Have a great week.
From the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Junior School – Peter Tellefson
There was great excitement in the playground last Thursday morning. It was a pleasure to welcome all boys and families to the commencement of the 2019 School Year. Our Year 3 and 4 boys and staff were all smiles as they entered the newly refurbished classrooms. The Drama space will add to the boys creative experiences and the Reception area is bright, open and a great use of space from the ‘old to the new’.
Our boys are generally excited to be back, staff will establish routines quickly and I am sure all parents are pleased to have your son back at school. A special welcome to our new boys and their families, time will fly quickly, and I am sure with the supportive network that exists at Wilson House you will feel a strong sense of connection and belonging. Welcome to our returning staff: Mrs Shelly Turek (Leadership release) and new staff Mrs Andrea McLennan (ELC Assistant), Mr Rob Bater (Year 6), Mr Matt Barker (Year 4), Mr Brent Brickhill (Coaching) and Ms Alexandra Beamont (Year 3/4 Classroom Music) who joins our Music team.
Thank you to Dr Eva Aschman and the JPG Executive who organised and served tea and coffee for the ‘Welcome Morning Tea’ last Thursday morning in the G. B. Robertson Hall. 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), Megan MacSweeney (Communications), 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), Rhonette Lipovetsky, Lucy Calder and Zoe Wang (General Committee).
Junior School Happenings and Reminders
- Many thanks to our 2018 families that donated gifts for Christmas for donation to Mackillop Family Services. Please read the letter we received from MacKillop Family Services.
- I ask our Junior School parents 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’. Online application forms are available on the WWC website.
- Parents are encouraged to access the 2019 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 we ask all boys from the ELC and Junior School not to play on the Adventure Playground after school. I would ask all parents to support this request.
- 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 need to complete sign-out details at the Office. Parents are requested to make appointments, where possible, outside School hours.
- Due to the cancellation of the 2018 Family Fun Night in November, our Welcome Picnic on Friday 1 March will include rides and food vendors.
- Given recent events in the Bayside area, we would encourage you to discuss with your son/s the issue of safe travel to and from school. There is no need to alarm the boys but it is important to make them aware of safe practices and to ensure that they feel confident when they are outside the school grounds. Please raise any concerns with BGS and, if appropriate, with Victoria Police.
From the Director of the Early Learning Centre – Amelia Barrow
What a wonderful start we have had settling our new friends into the ELC and welcoming back our old ones. 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 our January holiday program under Miss McCormick and her team’s care, having all of our families in has given the centre a buzz. As we always say, there is a honeymoon period with the boys at the beginning where all is exciting and new, then reality can hit and little tears can start. This is a normal reaction and our staff are experienced to support 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 before the program begins if you require any information, otherwise meeting times can be made outside program times.
We have been very impressed with the healthy morning teas the boys are enjoying and thank families for supporting us by providing fruit and vegetables (or brain food as we like to call it!). All other snacks and treats are saved for lunch time – we certainly have a few hungry boys! We also thank parents for supplying the boys with a spare set of clothes for accidents and messy play. This can be left in their locker on the hook.
We are always looking for dramatic play donations such as dress ups (not superhero costumes) such as shirts, ties, dresses, shoes, bags, jewellery etc. Also old pots and pans, cooking utensils and building materials (pipes and planks).
Our Before and After Care Program is being operated out of Room 1, the Bilby room. Please enter through this classroom only when arriving and leaving. All other classrooms are closed during this time as our priority is the boys’ safety and reducing access points. Once the boys have been signed in, had sunscreen applied, placed their drink bottle outside their own classroom, they can then enter before school care with their hat on ready for their day. Quick drop offs always help as those boys struggling with separating can get upset seeing parents in the playground.
As discussed at the end of last year, we have children with anaphylaxis and severe allergies to nuts. We thank all families for understanding that nuts and nut products cannot be sent to school. These will be sent home in an envelope to reduce the risk. We also ask that to reduce choking, grapes are cut in half.
A Term 1 Calendar will be sent home next week with all of our important dates. Term 1 is an exciting term where we build strong relationships within our ELC and School Community. We look forward to a wonderful year ahead and again thank you for a positive start to the school year.
Teaching & Learning
We welcome the Prep Class of 2019 to BGS!
Last Thursday saw our youngest members of the Junior School begin a new chapter in their educational journey. Boys were excited to explore their brand new classrooms and meet teachers for the very first time. During the first few weeks of Term 1, Prep boys will learn the routines of school and enjoy the array of specialist subjects on offer. Independence is a huge focus for our newest students as they navigate lunch boxes, school bags, oversized blazers and walking to and from the playground on their own.
Boys enjoyed a number of activities on their first week, including the spelling of their first ever SMART spelling word cat, and learning about the correct formation of numbers. They were even lucky enough to have a chat to the ‘big boss’ and wanted to know exactly what time Mr Featherson stayed at school until and what time he had to go to bed each night. A definite highlight was meeting our Year 6 Buddies for the very first time! Each Friday, the Preps and their Year 6 buddies meet and engage in a range of activities. This week we learnt about each other’s interests and the boys made their very own secret handshakes.
We wish our Prep students all the best as they navigate the challenges of the year ahead. We cannot wait to see what else is in store!
Lower Primary Coordinator
Prep Kurrajong Homeroom Teacher
The first weeks of a school year
In the first weeks of the school year we focus on establishing routines, expectations and acceptable behaviour both within the classroom and in the playground. This is also an important time when old friendships are renewed and new relationships are built so it is important that the boys are involved with ‘getting to know you’ activities so that connections can be made.
Before school routines set the boys up for a successful day. With our early morning routine the boys come into the room, greet their teacher, put their bag in their locker, homework folder on their table and blazer over the back of their chair. Readers must be changed and any note in the Record Book is shown to me. The boys are organised and ready to learn!
During Circle Time, the class shared their holiday highlights. The boys were encouraged to put detail into their work and examples that demonstrate effort and detail were celebrated. Feedback was given to each boy giving suggestions on how to improve. High expectations are not negotiable, and whilst some boys find this challenging in these first weeks, it soon becomes our way in 2 Waratah. The meaning of feedback and its importance for growth is always discussed and this will continue throughout the year.
The boys, as a whole class, read and discussed, ‘Caring about myself and others’ from the Record Book. The boys thought of rules for the classroom to ensure a safe and organised environment that will make life easier for all in 2 Waratah. The rules help to encourage acceptable behaviour within the room to ensure that quality learning takes place at all times. The BGS values of Passion, Accountability, Respect and Integrity are discussed and related to our learning and attitude towards others.
Of course mindfulness plays a part in our busy day. I like to focus on deep breathing with the aim of making the boys aware that they can practise their mindfulness anywhere they may be.
2 Waratah Homeroom Teacher
SchoolTV – Body Image
Please access SchoolTV for information on:
- recent trends in body image issues
- how body image issues affect males
- how parents can encourage a positive body image
- what parents can do if their child is being teased about their weight
Year Level Representatives and Volunteers
The JPG are looking for Year Level Representatives, and a general pool of volunteers to assist on any level. For Year Level Reps, it is preferable we have one volunteer from each class, but 2 – 4 people per Year Level is great. Representatives work as a team to co-ordinate social events within their year level and arrange volunteers for one event per year within their Year Level (i.e. mustering 4 volunteers for delivering food to classrooms for the end of term lunches). Tasks and neither onerous nor time consuming and it is an opportunity to facilitate communication, connectedness and contribution within the school community. Please email the JPG if you are interested in being involved, either representing your Year Level or any form of volunteering. The more the merrier.
The JPG major events for Term 1:
1 March – JPG Welcome Picnic
- Amazing rides
- Pizza truck
- Souvlaki truck
- Ice cream
- Special guests
- Live music
- New wristbands will be distributed
5 March – JPG Meeting
8.45 – 9.30am, G. B. Robertson Hall
Are you the father or grandfather of a current student? Please join us on 19 February, with your son, for a group photograph of the ‘Generations’ of Brighton Grammar School, followed by light refreshments in the Atrium.
Please arrive promptly in the Quad at 8.00am with your son(s) for the group photograph. Our photographer will also be available to take individual family photographs if desired.
RSVP by Friday 15 February to Kate Birrell (8591 2272), letting us know which family members will be attending.
From St Andrew’s
Come and hear the Choir of St Andrew’s sing with the Choir of Trinity College Melbourne and the Australian Festival Chamber Orchestra at The Brighton Proms at 7.30pm on 22 February at St Andrew’s Brighton. For more info and bookings: www.trybooking.com/zcuh