A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Single Campus in Action

As I outlined in a recent Headmaster’s eNews, the School Council has resolved that BGS will remain a single campus school with student numbers to only increase marginally in the foreseeable future.

On Monday evening, it was a privilege to see a great example of our single campus approach come to life at the State Finals of the SSV Athletics. Here our three relay teams all took away the gold medal and the Victorian title with the 9-10 team breaking a 28 year old record along the way (see the Junior School eNews for more detail). This was a great effort and I was very pleased for our Junior School boys and staff, however I was equally pleased to see the small number of Year 7 and 8 boys there supporting the Junior School runners.

Each Friday morning, before school, for the past few months, these Year 7 and 8 boys have been coaching the Junior School relay teams with a particular focus on baton changes (a key aspect of relay racing I am reliably informed). This is just one example of our ‘big’ boys working with our ‘little’ boys: something much more possible at a single campus school. Add this to our coaching and mentoring program between Year 5 and 6 boys and Year 10 and 11 boys, our Outdoor Education Leadership Program and the informal mixing that goes on either side of New and Allee Streets, and I hope you can see why this is such a key element of our fabric.

Have a great week and enjoy the long weekend.


From the Deputy Head of Secondary School (11–12), David Liddle


It has been pleasing to see the large number of Year 12 students who have been coming in to school each day to study even though formal classes have now finished. The lessons they have learned in Syndicate based around collaborative learning and working in parallel are being used to the full and their overall approach has been commendable.

Syndicate sessions continue to run and this Saturday will have a real Mathematics focus as these examinations start on Friday and run through next week for each of the Mathematical courses. All Year 11 & 12 students are welcome to this session, even if not studying for Mathematics.

Boys making time with other students or teachers has provided a real incentive to study and augurs well for the examination period. The Year 7 to 11 examination roster has just been released so all students in the Secondary school should be following the lead of our Year 12 students.


Year 8 Father/Son Experience

The Year 8 Father & Son Experience turned 10 this year and didn’t fail to disappoint. This year’s event saw 53 father and son pairs head down to Portsea for 24-hours of physical and theoretical activities aimed at exploring and strengthening their relationship. Despite grey skies threatening on Saturday morning the sun eventually broke through for a beautiful afternoon on the Mornington Peninsula. Initiative games, an ‘Amazing Race’ style activity and  a range of theoretical tasks exploring father/son relationships dominated the landscape, before the Boys’ Choice session saw the boys invite their dads to complete an activity of their choosing. Saturday evening can only be described as ‘organised chaos’ as a trivia night morphed into war cries and dad joke competitions with a lot of fun being had along the way.

Sunday’s take away session provided participants to consolidate what they had explored over the weekend and set goals to action once back in Melbourne. The tense final of the coveted bingo wheel competition had all on their feet prior to departing, before it was time to say goodbye for another year.

Thanks must go to Mr Watson, Mr Furey, Mr Machar, Dr Swann & Mr Hopgood for their passionate involvement in last weekend’s initiative. It was also great to have Dr Horton visit the The Portsea Camp to see first-hand what all the fuss is about! As I said on Saturday morning, the real success of the weekend comes down to the willingness or otherwise of fathers and sons to fully embrace the time spent together and commit to leaving their busy lives behind in Melbourne. The Father/Son Class of 2018 did this with aplomb and had a ball in the process.

Tim Marshall – Coordinator


Year 10 and Year 5 Coaching Experience

This year, eighteen Year 10 students have volunteered to participate in our Year 10/Year 5 Coaching Experience.  This will involve them coaching a boy from the end of Year 5 through to the end of Semester 1 of Year 7; guiding him in his experiences as he develops leadership skills in Year 6, and then supporting him in his transition from the Junior School to the Secondary School.  These are some of their reflections:

On Tuesday morning, 18 boys walked down to the Junior School to complete our first “get-to-know-you” session with 18 boys who will become part of the 2019 Year 6 cohort. These boys had been hand-picked by their teachers because they believed that they would benefit from the guidance of an older boy in both academic and social situations.

We played games which included rolling dice to determine a question we would ask to get to know the boy we were working with a little bit better. “The Junior School boys were interested in the lives of the older boys, and were curious to try and explain their experiences with school and the real world” (Wei-Yee Hall Year 10). “I had to find an interest to connect to my buddy, and once I found that, it was much easier to break the ice” (Ben Fisher  Year 10).

It was important to find the interests of our boy and find common ground. This was important in order to establish a bond as well as some degree of trust, especially in the boys who appeared introverted and quiet. “It seemed that Junior School boys who have a unique interest or have something that they are proud of, are more likely to be outgoing and extroverted whereas boys who don’t have this reassurance in opening up about their interests, are more introverted and quiet. Our job as Coaches is to change that, and to reassure the younger boys that everyone is different and that they should embrace their abilities and interests.” (Maxim Christodoulou Year 10)

A common theme throughout all the Year 5 boys’ questions were about the Secondary School and feelings varied between boy to boy; “My buddy is excited about some of the activities provided in the Urwin Centre, but he is nervous about the numerous interactions he will have with older boys, such as chapel, assembly etc. My aim is to try and change his view on the aspects that he is scared about as I don’t want those little nerves to become something more serious in the future.” (Luke Marsden Year 10)

We are all looking forward to working with the boys as they move through their last year in the Junior School and guiding them in their transition to the Secondary School.

Written by Luke Marsden and Maxim Christodoulou


Rotary Debate 2018

Last Thursday,  on the 25th of October, four Brighton Grammar students participated in the annual interschool Rotary Club debate against Firbank. Patrick Liddle as 1st speaker, Curtis Wilson as the 2nd speaker, me (Harry Barden) as 3rd speaker and Lionel Wang, aiding the team as a reserve speaker, formed the affirmative team and argued in favour of the topic ‘Government funding for independent schools should be linked to reserved places for students from disadvantaged backgrounds’. We put forth a strong argument and performance but unfortunately lost the debate by a slim margin. Despite the loss it was an enjoyable evening and it gave us a chance to flex our debating skills. I was also delighted to be awarded equal best speaker.

Harry Barden


Guitar and Percussion Concert

Last Thursday night, the BGS Music Building was filled with the strum of guitars and the striking of drums! Guitarists and percussionists from all sections of the school came together to celebrate their love of their chosen instruments, including performances from our percussion ensemble, guitar ensembles and several soloists.

The musicians treated the enthusiastic audience to an eclectic mix of musical treats, including a wide array of musical styles and genres. Soloists included the three winners of the recent BGS Percussion Awards, including Year 12 student Steven Zhang, who had the crowd mesmerized by his performance of a solo piece for timpani.

On behalf of the Music Department, I would like to congratulate all of the boys for their terrific performances, which were a testament to their passion for developing their musical craft. I would particularly like to thank our dedicated percussion and guitar tutors: Mr Kieren Ray, Ms Nadia Sartori and Mr Julian Schweitzer.


VCE Unit 2 Music Performance Recital

On Monday evening, our VCE Unit 2 Music Performance class held their Semester 2 Solo Recital. As well as forming a significant portion of their assessment, this performance was the culmination of their academic music studies for the year. All of the boys presented their performances in fine form, demonstrating their diligent efforts and commitment to their musical studies. Congratulations to these fine young musicians, and thank you to our school accompanist, Mr Isaac Mouskovias, for his work with the boys both in the recital and throughout the semester.

Kurt Abell
Head of Instrumental Music, Years 3-12
Coordinator of Percussion and Guitar


Year 10 Art Excursion

Last Thursday ten Year 10 Art students went on an excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria. The boys took in a brief tour of Hosier Lane beforehand for some photographic opportunities to support their practical work. We then proceeded to the NGV International for a tour of their collection, focussing on artworks by Picasso, Rothko and Ai Wei Wei to name a few. The exploration of the NGV collection helped set up the boys for their upcoming exam in a few weeks’ time.

Steve Emmett and Simone Lewis



House Portrait Prize

Congratulations to James Semenov on winning the year 9 & 10 section of the House Portrait prize with his pencil drawing of his Head of House, Ben White. We look forward to seeing who James depicts next year!


Halloween in the Library

Inspired and managed by members of the Library Committee, the Urwin Centre celebrated Halloween today.  During lunchtime on Wednesday, we had a fabulous parade of costumes, judged by those in attendance as well as the determining eye of Mr David Nixon, and competitions to guess how many lollies in the cauldron and in the pumpkin.   Scary lollies were available too.  We had a very amusing line-up with a screaming ghost, crazy haired dude and werewolf, but “Batman” won the day. 

Blake Picking guessed the correct number of lollies in the cauldron and Ethan Gendala was accurate in guessing the number in the pumpkin.  Congratulations to all our entrants and thank you to everyone who participated in making Halloween a fun day!

Lisa Tabone


Chapel Server Induction

Forty-eight students, drawn from Year 7 through to Year 11, are to be congratulated for their induction as Chapel Servers to assist in the leadership and conduct of Chapel for the Secondary School from now into 2019.

Most of the forty-eight were inducted to this office on Wednesday October 24. During this Chapel Felix Flockart was installed as Senior Chapel Server, Matthew Cook as Assistant Senior Chapel Server and Lukas Giannatos as Student Thurifer.  These boys in particular are to be congratulated for their willingness to take on this leadership responsibility.

All Chapel Servers have an important part to play in the conduct of Chapel, and will over the course of the year participate in all the activities of Chapel.  As such, it is an opportunity for them to gain experience and skills in public speaking and performance.  Over time they can expect to grow in confidence and understanding.

The primary qualification of a Chapel Server is that he understands Chapel to be an important and valuable activity in the weekly schedule of the School.  This demands that he be willing to work in a team and also at time risk using his initiative.  The year 11 students are expected to mentor the younger Chapel Servers.

Chapel has a dual function.  Firstly it is to honour God and the School, thus exploring the nature of and our relationship with God.  Secondly to be a learning experience in which the School is seen in the context of our culture and the twenty-first century.

The year ahead promises much for all our Chapel Servers.

Fr Tony Poole


Secondary School Speech Night 2018

Secondary School parents of boys Years 9-11 are warmly invited to Secondary School Speech Night 2018.

Date: Thursday 29 November 2018
Time: 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start
Venue: Robert Blackwood Hall, 49 Scenic Boulevard, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton (see map below). 
For: Boys in Years 7-11 and parents/guardians
Booking: General Entry Admission – no tickets required
Parking: Free onsite parking available in the carpark opposite RBH



Dates for the Diary

Mon 5 November
– Mid-term holiday – School closed

Tue 6 November
– Melbourne Cup Day (Public Holiday)

Wed 7 November
– Remembrance Chapel
– Year 8 Mother/Son High Tea

Thu 8 November
– Year 10 Solo Music recital

Fri 9 November 
– Ute Full of Food
– Piano Students’ Soiree