A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Not too much victory royale…

Apparently, Oscar Wilde said, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” Personally, I think the Greek poet Hesiod expressed it slightly better when he wrote: “Observe due measure; moderation is best in all things.” Add to these thoughts a note my youngest daughter left for her big brother at the start of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. It simply said, “Don’t play too much Fortnite.” Wise words from an eight-year-old.

As parents of boys, there’s a fair chance you’re acquainted with Fortnite. Depending on how your household operates, this video game might be a carrot you can dangle to get the homework finished and the dog walked or it might be a cause of great stress. Either way, there is a number of articles out there offering parents advice and ideas about how to manage it. A good example is this article from the ABC News website, which gives some insights into why Fortnite is so popular. It also includes some thoughts from University of Sydney lecturer in digital cultures Dr Marcus Carter about why the game can be a good thing (perhaps when played in moderation). It’s a short read and I commend it to you.

More broadly, Fortnite is simply one example of the challenges we face as parents with regards to the technological world our children are living in. To offer you some guidance in navigating this world, the Crowther Centre plans to offer a seminar during Semester 2 on the subject of managing technology. Please stay tuned via the Crowther Thinking eNews.

Have a great week (of moderation).


From the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School, Dr Rachel Horton

This Saturday will see the BGS 1st XVIII play in the second annual Pride Game against Melbourne Grammar School at Edwin Flack Park, Port Melbourne.

As part of the lead-up to this game, we were joined by guests from Melbourne Grammar School, their School Captain, Co-Chair of the Gay Straight Alliance and the Captain of their Ist XVIII for a special assembly.

Our guest speaker was Angie Greene, founder of Stand Up Events, a not-for-profit organisation established in response to the inequality that she saw in Australian sports through the experiences of her father and her brothers.

Angie shared some very personal stories with the boys and spoke passionately about the need for all people to be accepted as they are. In particular, she asked the boys to be mindful at all times of the things they might say and how those might make other people feel.

Our MGS guests then joined Harry Reynolds on stage to talk about the Pride Game and to encourage the boys to support the message of equality and inclusion for all people by attending.

If you can make it, please do brave the terrible weather that is forecast and come to support both teams in what is set to be a great contest and a wonderful celebration of diversity and inclusivity.

First bounce of the ball is at 2pm – I hope to see you there!

For a report from Harry Reynolds (Year 12), click here


Examinations and the GAT

Over the last two weeks, all Years 10 and 11 students have undertaken exams, and those students doing a Unit 3/4 subject in 2018 have completed the GAT (General Achievement Test).

Learning outcomes aside, an important part of these examinations is getting used to the requirements of the VCE in terms of how to conduct yourself in a formal examination setting. VCAA rules are used in all Brighton Grammar School examinations so that the conditions (clear plastic water bottles, no electronic equipment, watches on desks, see-through pencil cases, how to enter and leave an examination) are routine for the boys. This helps the boys to feel well prepared for the end-of-year VCE examinations that lie ahead at some stage.

The GAT is a test of general knowledge and skills in:

  • written communication
  • Mathematics, Science and Technology
  • Humanities, the Arts and Social Sciences.

These areas are very broad. Each represents a body of general knowledge and skills that students are likely to have built up through their school years.

Although GAT results do not count directly towards a student’s VCE results, they play an important role in checking that school-based and external assessments have been accurately assessed.

The GAT is used in these ways because achievement on the GAT is a good predictor of achievement on other assessments. If students have done well on the GAT, then their achievements are likely to be high on their school-based and external assessments.

It was pleasing to note that over the entire examination period, boys were on time and well prepared, which is a testament to the routines that have been established.

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


Students Lead the Way

A highlight for both staff and students this semester has been the student-run Year 7 and 8 assemblies. Held separately to the whole Secondary School Assembly, with 7–8 specific content only, the Urwin Centre student leaders have been given responsibility for ‘running the show’.

From initial planning meetings to discussing content and the running order, to rehearsals, creating visuals, announcing and speaking, the boys have experienced a range of duties to further their development. It has been terrific to see their confidence grow as they lead and learn lessons that only ‘doing’ can create.

This all sits within the student body’s key intention for 2018, ‘Being better men than they were yesterday’. Next week, we continue the focus, with the Year 7 and 8 boys participating in the ‘Be Your Best’ program on the final two days of Term 2.

In short, the boys will hear stories of the amazing possibilities that lie ahead of them and be presented with tools to assist them to get there. They will also participate in some hands-on activities to find out what they can achieve.

Christian Machar
Head of Student Leadership (7–12)


Winter is Coming – and so is Game of Loans

The Urwin Centre Library are excited for Term 3 and Game of Loans (GOL). GOL encourages the boys to read and review books to earn house points. This gamification of reading encourages the boys to motivate each other in reading, and to have positive experiences with books. Throughout the term, the boys will earn points for each book reviewed. The winning tutor group will be awarded the GOL cup and a pizza lunch.

You can support us in this focus on reading by asking your boys what book/s they will be bringing home these holidays. And if they’re not sure, tell them to come and ask Ms Gronn In the UC Library – she will help them find something!


Student Achievement

Congratulations to Matty Goss (Year 7) on placing 13th overall in the 2018 Singapore Optimist Nationals out of a fleet of 200 last week in Singapore. He was the first placed Australian and 5th overall International competitor. 

It was a very challenging regatta with heat, humidity and tide playing a major role.

Matty lifted to another level in this regatta and demonstrated that he can be at the front of a major international Optimist fleet. He should be very proud of his achievements, just as we are!


For this week’s Career News for Students by Dr Sophie Keele, click here


For this week’s Cooking Corner by Danielle Wolff, click here

Veggie Slice


What Parents Need to Know About Mental Health Issues for Young People 

Hear Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists and a specialist in parenting, speak on what parents need to know about depression, suicide, eating disorders, deliberate self-harm and other mental health problems in young people.

This is a Victorian Parents Council parent seminar co-hosted with BGS. Details as follows:

Saturday 28 July
3.30–5.00pm (coffee/tea and networking 2.45–3.30pm)
Wellbeing Centre, Brighton Grammar School
Free for BGS parents and staff (but please book here)

For queries, please contact vicpc@vicparentscouncil.vic.edu


Rofe Fundraising Victorian Dog Rescue

During the first two weeks of Term 3, Rofe House boys and staff will fundraise for a great cause: Victorian Dog Rescue, a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity whose goal is to stop the killing in pounds and shelters, to help companion animals in need in the community, and to promote responsible pet ownership.

During these two weeks, we will be raising funds via a number of activities, including:

  • A donation bin located in the Secondary School (Rosstrevor end) for blankets (no doonas or pillows), dog/cat beds, dog/cat food
  • A raffle for a football signed by Andrew McGrath with a personal message to the winner. Raffle tickets can be purchased anytime during these two weeks from Ms Beguin or Mr Harris.
  • Lolly bags will be for sale near the canteen at recess and lunchtime.
  • A pizza lunch will be on offer for all boys during this period.
  • The boy who guesses the correct number (or the closest number) of Skittles inside the jar will win the jar – and the Skittles! $2 per guess. 

Please help the helpless animals throughout this winter. Thanks for your precious contributions.


Success in Showbiz

Students are invited to join instructors Seth Stewart (original Broadway cast member of Hamilton The Musical) and Sharona D’Ornellas (who has worked with celebrities including Taylor Swift) for a Broadway Dance Workshop at Firbank. For further details about this outstanding opportunity, and to book, click here.


Dates for the Diary

Friday 15 June
– Year 10 Crowther Wellbeing Hub with Dianne Vella-Brodrick 
– OBGS 15 Year Reunion (Class of 2003)

Monday 18 June
– Year 9 & 10 Design Thinking Week (18–22 June)
– Year 7 Chinese excursion 
– Junior Secondary Public Speaking competition (Year 8) 

Wednesday 20 June
– Chapel Years 7, 8, 11 & 12

Thursday 21 June & Friday 22 June
– Year 7 & 8 ‘Be Your Best’ program 

Friday 22 June
– Last day of Term 2