A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Courage takes many forms and we want all boys, big and small, to develop courage as they journey through BGS. It was therefore a real pleasure this week to see courage on display in different ways across three contexts.

Our 1st XV Rugby side has had an injury hit season, but that has not impacted the team’s spirit and willingness to have a go. The team exemplified this as they took on a bigger and stronger Melbourne Grammar team last Saturday afternoon. Not once did our boys flinch or stop trying. It is nice to win, but the development in the context of these traits aligned with courage is why we really play sport.

Personally, I would be petrified if I had to sing a solo in front of a large audience in St Andrew’s. Thus, I have enormous admiration for the seven boys from the Junior and Secondary School who sang a solo at Tuesday night’s Choral Concert. Standing up there alone ready to sing in front of peers, parents and friends, is surely one of the bravest things our boys do throughout the year.

Finally, the on stage performers and back stage crew last night put on a superb Middle Years FGS-BGS Production of Mary Poppins. Hours and hours have gone into the preparation and I commend all involved. To have the courage to perform on stage is yet another wonderful aspect of the full BGS education.

Have a good week and be courageous.


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

Congratulations to our Prep boys who celebrated 100 days in Prep on Monday. What an achievement, 100 days older and 100 days smarter! The boys brought collections of 100 small items to school to share and count, and made 100th day glasses with a mathematical flavour. It is a pleasure to watch boys grow and develop in so many facets of life; in Prep it’s dramatic, particularly in the second half of the year. I was asked by one boy with great excitement ‘now that I have finished 100 days in Prep, which Year 1 class am I in tomorrow?’ Thank you to Ms Samara Madden and Mr Paul Strain for the wonderful learning environment they provide and to all our parents for their continued support.

Our Choral concert on Tuesday evening was outstanding.  The pride, passion, spirit and sense of team was truly evident.  The variety of experiences we provide in our Music Program allow our boys to express themselves creatively and for one’s creative talents to be celebrated and accepted amongst one’s peers.  Music plays an important role in shaping the culture of our school and the standard of music at BGS is impressive.  The Journey Concerts are an excellent opportunity for our boys and parents to see the opportunities provided across the Junior and Secondary School.  A highlight of the evening was Borwick House Choir as they performed under the direction of Mr Sean O’Boyle AM.  Sean is a BGS Old Boy, a member of our Hall of Fame and a world-renowned composer and conductor.  Our boys were very fortunate to work with Sean in a number of workshops via Skype and in person in preparation for their ‘world premier’ performance on Tuesday evening.  Congratulations to Junior Voices and Borwick House Choir, special mention to our soloists:  Zach Murphy, Nicholas Galinas and Trent Vincent. Thank you to Mrs Hayley Blakiston for her great work and to Mr Kurt Abell for his excellent leadership as Acting Director of Music.  It was wonderful to see so many parents and family enjoy the concert, thank you for your continued support.

Junior School happenings and reminders

  • All Prep–Year 6 boys are invited to dress up for the Book Week Parade on Friday 23 August. Boys can come to School or bring a costume based on the theme ‘Reading is My Super Power’.  They will parade their costumes in their year levels at a special assembly.
  • As marked in the BGS Date Card, Monday 19 August is a mid-term break and the Junior School Office will be closed for the day.
  • From 19–26 August, Ned Bailey, Will Bennett, Harry Denning and Harvey O’Sullivan and girls from Firbank will host our indigenous friends from the Milikapiti School. This experience aims to develop friendships, communication, understanding and respect for each other’s way of life and culture.  Our exchange with Milikapiti is now in its 10th year.
  • Congratulations to the Year 3/4 boys who participated in the Footy and Soccer exchange against St Kevin’s last Friday. The boys represented BGS very well, with the Year 4 boys travelling to St Kevin’s Tooronga Fields for their games and the Year 3 boys playing host to St Kevin’s on the Mitchell and Crowther Ovals. All boys should be proud of their efforts.


Student Achievement

  • How fabulous to witness BGS boys and Firbank girls in action debating ‘That Australia should change its National Anthem’ or ‘That Australia should become a Republic’. Congratulations to all involved for their intellectual curiosity, preparation and bravery as they delivered persuasive speeches in front of a large audience. Arty Woodward, Edward Mitrevski, Bryn Cory and Isaac Pels all played their part, while Thomas Dunne and Harvey Newstead were awarded best speakers. Well done to Cooper Chilcott and Zach Mighton who did a great job in the role of chairperson. It was wonderful to have Year 8 boys James Hepples, Jenson Galvin and Will Fearn return to the Junior School to adjudicate. They delivered honest and relevant feedback to all participants. The Year 6 boys are currently preparing class debates ‘That the voting age be lowered’. They are developing skills in arguing the point and rebutting an opposing point of view, based on research or statistics. We urge students to develop skills in verbalising their thoughts and encourage friendly debates at home as well as school.
  • During the July school holidays, Trent Vincent attended a State Music Camp. The camp ran for a week and Trent was a member of the Scott String Orchestra. During the week they were taught six pieces of music. At the end of the week, the group performed the best four pieces in a concert that was attended by family and friends.


From the Director of the Early Learning Centre – Amelia Barrow

We’re growing in the Early Learning Centre

It’s amazing to think how quickly time passes us by and how fast the boys are growing. We certainly are noticing this with our ELC4 boys who are currently going through a growth spurt and potential testosterone surge. Parents often say in Term 2 and 3 ‘Where has my boy gone?’ due to the changes they can see in concentration, behaviour and need for constant physical release. The benefit of being in an all boys’ school is that we can focus solely on these needs, and also celebrate that this is how boys develop. Part of our strategy is tightening the boundaries for the boys and simplifying their day with less options. As parents, you may see the boys push back from this, however it is vital for us set clear boundaries and follow through on expected behaviours. If you have any questions, please feel free to chat with your son’s teacher. We have also noticed the boys are getting extremely hungry at lunchtime and require more food in their lunch boxes. An additional sandwich or healthy option will help ease the hunger pains. We all know what it’s like when we are hungry!

Look out for the email regarding Parent Teacher Discussions which are planned:
ELC4  –Tuesday 20 August and Wednesday 21 August
ELC3 – Monday 26 August and Tuesday 27 August


This week’s parenting tip

Please click here to view tips on how to help young people find their joy and spark.


Teaching and learning

Hands-on effective learning in Year 6
‘The Senate is now in session!’ exclaimed Conrad in the role of President in the Senate.  What better way to learn about Parliament than to have the opportunity to participate in a mock Senate session at Parliament House Canberra? Engagement in learning was at its optimum as the boys argued for and against the factious Bill ‘Voting should be compulsory’.  A number of boys met Tim Wilson, our local member for Goldstein, and everyone experienced the golden opportunity to watch Parliament in action in the House of Representatives.

Year 6 boys experienced five days and four nights in Canberra undertaking hands-on effective learning across a number of integrated learning domains. Civics and Citizenship and Science were the two main foci.

Science-based visits included an interactive learning experience utilising QR codes and teamwork at the CSIRO. Housing over 200 educational and interactive exhibits, Questacon seeks to make Science fun for all and didn’t disappoint as the boys wound their way from one learning experience to the next.

An unforgettable and moving experience was the visit to the Australian War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The boys participated in a wreath laying ceremony and the reverence shown by the boys was exemplary. The memorial encapsulates the BGS school values shown by our men and women during war: Integrity, Respect, Passion and Accountability.

Fun times were had at the AIS, the movies, a pizza restaurant and ten pin bowling and these activities provided the opportunity to strengthen social bonds.

The engagement of the boys throughout our time in Canberra was of the highest level. Invaluable academic, social and emotional learning took place and the learning journey will continue in our Year 6 classrooms. Such experiences may spark future goals in a variety of fields for the boys or plant the seed for future pathways. We are proud of the boys’ participation; they were certainly excellent ambassadors for BGS.

Monica Le Couteur
Year 6 Teacher

100 Days of Prep

The boys arrived at School extremely excited on Monday. They spent the day celebrating 100 days of Prep.

From the first day that the boys walk through the entrance of the Junior School, anxiously holding a parent’s hand, to the confident boys they have become 100 days into their school life, Prep students go through enormous change.

The first 100 days of Prep are a mammoth learning period for the boys. There are new faces, routines, places and skills to take on board. The Prep boys of 2019 happily accepted these challenges.

With the help of our very supportive parents, the boys participated in a range of 100 themed activities. Each activity allowed the boys to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have collected over the last 100 school days.

The boys are already independent, happy, engaged and ready to learn. Imagine how confident and capable they will be by the end of Prep.

Dates for the Diary