A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Our Birthday

Tomorrow (14 February) is our Founder’s Day. It was on this day, in 1882, that Dr Crowther welcomed eight boys to his newly established school at 163 New Street, Brighton. Now, 138 years on, we welcome 1424 boys to Brighton Grammar School.

The School’s rich history is important to us today as current students are more aware than ever of what has gone before them.

One initiative of the Crowther Centre, named after our founder, has been the Legacy project, which sees our Year 12 student leaders each year choose the legacy they wish to leave for the School. In a nod to our history, the 2018 School Prefects adopted the creed, ‘the actions I take, fair and just, will be steeped in a history bigger than any one of us’.

There is no doubt our history can provide inspiration to the current BGS boys, whether it be from passing by the Hall of Fame gallery daily at the St Andrews Street gate, or by bringing the activities of the Old Brighton Grammarians Society to life in front of the boys.

This was the case on Wednesday at our Founder’s Day Chapel Service where a small number of Old Boys from the Pendennis Chapter (these Old Boys left BGS at least 60 years ago) joined our students and staff to give thanks and celebrate our anniversary.

School Captains Peter Demaine MBE (1940) and Jack Clarkson (2020)

Have a great week and let’s all be grateful for what’s gone before us.

 

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

As a school community, it is important to be connected to the School’s history and this week in Chapel we celebrated Founder’s Day. Students and staff heard from Zach Miller, School Captain 2011. Zach reflected that since he has left, many things have changed at BGS but the opportunities on offer remain constant. He told the boys to continue to push themselves and never stop trying, regardless of the outcome. Zach also urged the boys to heed the School’s motto ‘Meliora Sequamur’ (Let us pursue better things), and to make themselves into the men they want to be.

The Headmaster also ran his ever popular Beat the Buzzer competition, with Year 12 champions from each House competing to prove their superior knowledge of all things BGS, past and present. The competition went to a tense tie break between Andrew Wang of Hancock House and Jaikob Akinci of Rofe House, being won in the end by Rofe.

With Tutor Group touch points every day this year, each week will have a different theme either appropriate to the time of year or related to school events. As we start out the year, it is also important for boys at all year levels to get back into good routines and to ensure they are organised. To reflect this, the Week 3 Pastoral Care theme was ‘time management and organisation’ which aimed to help the boys create study routines and effective organisational skills.  

 

Tips for a Top VCE 

Dux for 2019 Dux James Kelly (Mitchell) was guest speaker at the recent Scholars’ Assembly. He shared a number of tips with our Year 12 students to help them achieve a successful VCE. James’ top tips were:

  • Don’t forget to take care of your body.
  • Make English a priority, because of the way a student’s ATAR is calculated.
  • Take the time to consider what you enjoy, what you are good at and what it is you want to achieve.
  • Balance your mental and physical health, your social life, your sport and the way you approach studying to get the best result.
  • Know that Year 12 is a marathon and not a sprint (quote courtesy of Secondary School teacher Alan Wilkes).
  • Look at all of your subjects like machines built from the same parts, only arranged differently. This helps to recognise skills that are transferable across subjects.
  • Value your teachers. Try and cultivate a professional relationship with them. They want you to do well and you want to do well.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, there is no such thing as a silly question.
  • Although your ATAR is an important springboard to facilitate choices for your future, your education both in and out of the classroom is equally as important.
  • Know that you learn so that you can better rationalise and conceptualise the world around you and your place in it and you learn to make better choices.
  • Value everything that you learn. You may never fully understand the why, but the more you do, the more you will own the outcome and direction of your own life. That is what real power is.
  • Be engaged with the world around you, how it functions and your place in it. You can do this by reading.
  • Learn to think critically and rationally, but not belligerently, by challenging what you are told by the school, parents and what you tell yourself.
  • Cherish your time at BGS playing sport, with your mates at lunchtime playing deathball and don’t just focus on your results because it’s over extraordinarily quickly. If there’s one thing that I regret over the past year, it’s withdrawing from engaging and embracing the school and its culture including sport.

James concluded by acknowledging the support and the opportunities that BGS staff, friends and his family have offered him over the years and wished the Class of 2020 all the best and every opportunity for the year to come.

 

Year 12 FGS/BGS Combined Chapel

Last week, Brighton Grammar and Firbank Grammar Year 12 students had the opportunity to meet at St Andrew’s for a combined Chapel service.

Students from both schools enjoyed an informal lunch before attending the service which was largely student driven and organised and led by Reverend Christine Croft (FGS) and myself.

The students chose the theme of Respect. Respect of self, others and the wider world around us were considered through quiet meditation, prayers, a specially selected reading and a devotional talk. 

 

Each student anonymously wrote a goal and value they wish to aspire to in their Year 12 year, which became a paper plane, flown into the centre aisle and randomly collected and prayed for.

The singing of both schools’ songs was accompanied by the rousing organ playing of organist, Stephen Baldwin. It was an enjoyable, meaningful and engaging service to mark the beginning of an important academic year for students at both schools.

Reverend Chester Lord
Chaplain

 

House Swimming

On Tuesday, the Secondary School spent an enjoyable day at MSAC swimming, competing, participating or cheering on their Houses at the annual House Swimming competition.

It was a hotly contested trophy this year, with four Houses in the running for the top spot in the final races of the day. Results will be announced next week but it will be interesting to learn whether School, Hancock, Dixon or Armstrong did enough to win it.

Will Rofe be repeat champions as in 2019 and 2020, off the back of some strong individual performances or maybe Crowther can claim back their crown from 2018?

Ben Fisher (Year 12) reports: 
There was some impressive individual and team swimming on display at House Swimming, as well as fantastic school spirit from all Houses. Some highlights included Lachie Jackett-Simpson breaking the 100m Freestyle school record and School House taking home the gold in arguably the most prestigious event of the day, the Year 12A 4x50m Freestyle Relay. The Year 7s all swam strongly in their first major House competition.

 

Dates for the diary

  • Monday 17 February Long Day Program commences
  • Wednesday 19 February Year 7 - 12 Parent Teacher Student Discussion
  • Thursday 20 February Year 7 - 12 Parent Teacher Student Discussion