A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Engaging parents

Parents being engaged with their son’s learning, in and outside the classroom, is a key element of a BGS education. Our Parent Workshop series and Positioning Papers produced by the Crowther Centre are two prime examples of this, as is the Understanding Boys website.

This commitment to engaging parents goes into overdrive in November with a wide range of parent and son activities occurring across the School. Two weeks ago, Year 6 boys and their dads experienced white water rafting on the Mitchell River for a weekend. Last week, we held our Young Warriors night with Year 4 boys and mum-dad (slightly impacted by the weather!), the High Tea for mothers and their Year 8 sons, and the annual Year 8 father-son camp at Portsea. This weekend, we host parenting expert Megan De Beyer who will again offer her expertise in the Strong Mothers, Strong Sons workshop, and our Year 10 boys head off with their significant adult on the First Horizon experience, the capstone in our B2M program.

It really does take a village to raise a child.

Have a great week.


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

 ‘A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor’, a quote often attributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt, is one I have on the wall next to my desk. It reminds me that there is value in resilience and that difficult circumstances and times of failure are the occasions when we both develop skills and grow as individuals.

Although of course we never aim or expect to fail, learning involves failure along the way. Our boys face many challenges in their school life, whether it be performing live at a music concert, representing BGS in APS Sport or sitting academic exams, and they need to learn that mistakes are important steps in their learning journey.

I was also reflecting on resilience in training and competition last week when I spent time on the river with our rowers. Several of them may still be stinging from their Head of the River defeat last year but I know they are stronger for it, and also for the less than smooth water they have been training on.

Building resilience is a key to enabling our boys to develop the skills that will see them succeed in whatever their chosen field may be later in life. In many ways we should reward our boys’ abilities to fail and have the fortitude to keep trying, rather than rewarding them only for their successes. Success, after all, is the outcome of their hard work. So if your son inevitably experiences failure at some point, I would encourage you to acknowledge and keep supporting him, to get back up and try again with a renewed focus on what has been learnt from the setback.


Year 8 Mother and Son High Tea and Father and Son Weekend Getaway

The Year 8 boys were spoilt with opportunity to bond with their parents this week with the Mother and Son High Tea on Wednesday afternoon and the Father Son Weekend Getaway. The boys spent quality time with each parent, connecting and enjoying experiences together without any competing demands. The experiences ranged from heart-warming, to heart-pumping, to hilarious.

At the Mother Son High Tea, parenting expert Megan De Beyer encouraged mums and sons to maintain open lines of communication about each other’s needs. The group were privileged to hear her share her expertise as she inspired us to ‘follow our bliss’. The 11th Annual Father and Son weekend proved priceless once again with dads and sons spending quality time together through a variety of activities designed to promote connectedness.

We hope that these events ignited the beginning of conversations that continue between parents and sons as they continue their journey through Secondary Schooling.

Katie White and Peter Furey
Heads of House Year 8

Journée Crêpes au Urwin Centre

On Friday 8 November the cold weather turned out to be the perfect setting for the Urwin Centre Crêpes Day. Our Year 7 and 8 boys enjoyed a little piece of France on-site and took the opportunity to order their crêpes in French.

Les Crêpes de Marion offered the choice of four delicious home-made toppings: au chocolat (chocolate), au sucre et citron (lemon and sugar), au caramel beurre salé (salted caramel) and à la confiture (jam). The boys are encouraged to embrace moments like these to speak in French and immerse themselves in French culture.    

Jessica Taillandier
French Teacher

Dates for the diary

  • Wednesday 20 November Year 10 Only Student Free Day
  • Thursday 28 November Secondary School Speech Night
  • Friday 29 - Saturday 30 November Second Hand Book Stall
  • Friday 29 November Student Free Day (Report Writing Day)
  • Monday 2 December Community Carols Service St. Andrews
  • Tuesday 3 December Years 8-11 Coaching Day
  • Friday 6 December Last Day of Term 4 2019