A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

The School continues to monitor the ongoing situation relating to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This week, I wrote to families with updates on the School’s position regarding COVID-19 and travel, and the precautionary measures we have put in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of our students.

Further to these communiques, we are now assessing a number of school-related events that fall outside the normal day-to-day operations and whether these events will continue, be cancelled or postponed. The principles we are applying here include limiting large numbers of people coming together for a prolonged period of time in close contact whose history/background/health status we are unsure of.

Parents and students will be informed by the relevant senior BGS staff member of such cancellations or postponements. Please stay abreast of these decisions via email, School Stream and/or our website.

A key focus this week has been preparing for a possible school shutdown. To that end, can parents please take note of this Secondary School checklist in English and Chinese to ensure your home is ready for the online learning we will deliver should we close.

It is important to note that our priority with regards to the online learning will be with our Year 12 students; however we will have online learning for all boys across the school.

All boys have been advised to take their books home from today and tomorrow in case of a sudden closure. Further details on our online delivery will be sent if a school closure does eventuate.

A reminder of the measures that we have in place include:

  • Reminding the boys to adopt hygiene protocols at school including correct washing of hands, and covering nose and mouth when sneezing. Hand shaking at BGS has been banned.
  • Seeking parent support to keep unwell boys at home, and advising your son’s Head of School of any absence
  • Reviewing Australian Government advice regarding overseas and interstate excursions and communicating any program changes to families on a case by case basis

This is a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to monitor it carefully and provide updates (you will also be alerted of these via School Stream). I will continue to communicate with you via email where necessary.

 

A Word from the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton   

There is no doubt that the Year 9 Great South West Journey is a challenging experience for each boy on some level, be it physical or mental, but challenge is important for our boys to grow and discover new things about themselves.

The overwhelming feeling from everyone in the Quad on Friday night was one of excitement to be back home but also of happiness and pride in having completed the journey. 

Adair Donaldson, solicitor and creator of the acclaimed preventative law resource, Putting Youth in the Picture, will talk to our VCE students next week about addressing legal issues affecting young people such as hosting teen parties, underage drinking and drug use. As a precautionary measure, we have cancelled the parent workshop advertised for Wednesday evening; however Adair’s presentation for parents will be available via email.

The boys are to be congratulated on their positive attitudes to their studies, remaining focused and on task as we move towards the last few weeks of term.

 

Lent Chapel 

Stop, Look and Listen
This past week has marked the beginning of a very important and significant season in our liturgical church year and calendar − Lent. It is a period that runs for 40 days and 40 nights before Palm Sunday, which then leads directly into Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

Lent is traditionally a time of preparation, for quiet reflection, prayer and even fasting, when we give something up for a short while. It is an opportunity for us to honestly examine our own lives and make sure that we are doing what God wants us to do and becoming the people God desires us to be.

Most of us have the pleasure of knowing Patrick, our New Street crossing guard. I am always intrigued by him observing three rules each time we cross the road.

They are: stop, look and listen.

In life, it is vital we do the same. We can get so busy and are often in a frantic rush. It is a very valuable exercise that we all take time, or even a moment, to stop, and to look around and think about what we are doing.

Are we looking out for our neighbours, our mates, younger boys at School, our family or anyone who may be in need? Are we doing what God wants us to do? Are we becoming the sort of person that God wants us to be?

We also need to listen. This might be by mindful reflection, by taking a quiet part of your day to pray or listening closely to those around you.

Lent is a perfect time to stop, look and listen to make sure that our lives are aligned with God, that we and those dear to us are safe, and that we get to enjoy all the abundant blessings that God has in store for us.

Fr Chester Lord
Chaplain

 

Great South West Journey

The GSWJ is an integral part of the B2M program for our Year 9 students. Throughout the journey, boys had the chance to sit quietly and self-reflect at various stages, and to forecast ahead to the end of Year 10 and what sort of young man they think they will be.

They also had to learn to live with, work with and enjoy the company of fellow Tonners in close quarters for longer than ever before.

For us as staff and parents of these boys – know that this journey was difficult for most, and through the forging of community, some friendships will need the healing properties of time and perspective. 

I urge you, in your conversations, to allow the boys space to share the difficulties as they process them, but to also delve into the good times, the magic moments, the highlights. These will be the memories and adventurous stories told in the years to come as the difficulties fade. 

You should be immensely proud of your son, as I am of all the boys – their B2M journey has just begun and there are more memories to create along the way.

Some of the highlights the boys have shared are – the many Koalas sighted in the trees (up to 20 in a day); getting up close to penguins, ant eating wasps, echidnas, and emus; being thankful for clear star-filled skies and magical moments that will be shared and celebrated for years to come.

David Gemmell 
Head of Outdoor Education

 

All Schools Swimming Competition

Much anticipation was felt as the Firbank Grammar School girls and Brighton Grammar School boys boarded the bus to MSAC to compete at the Victorian All Schools Relay meet where the BGS swim team competed in age groups U13, U15 and Open.

There were six podium finishes with the U13 boys claiming Gold in the 4×50 Breastroke relay and Silver in the 4×50 Medley relay, 4×50 Butterfly relay and 4×50 Freestyle relay, with the Open category taking home Bronze in both the 4×50 Breastroke relay and the 4×50 Butterfly relay.

There were many PBs achieved and team spirit was alive and well. The team is currently preparing for the APS Finals night on 17  March.

Katie White
TiC Swimming

 

Dates for the diary