A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston
Navigating adolescence has always been challenging, but I think navigating it today is more challenging than ever before. For parents of teenagers, it can be a time of give and take, taking deep breaths and seeking advice and guidance.
I came across this article which I wanted to share with you, that offers sound advice and guidance to parents. Writing in Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, sociologist and author Dr Christine Carter discusses how parenting shifts when younger children become adolescents.
According to Dr Carter, parents of teenagers need to increase their coaching, need to influence their teens differently and need to have more of those hard conversations. In this week’s Crowther News, you will find strategies to help your son be engaged in all aspects of his life, in our position paper on student engagement.
In a similar vein of advice and guidance, please save the evening of Wednesday 18 March in your calendar for our Putting Youth in the Picture workshop, co-hosted with Firbank Grammar. For all parents of teenagers, this evening is a must!
Have a great week.
A Word from the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton
In a survey of parents last year, the most important quality parents wanted to see in their sons was for them to be kind. It seems appropriate that at a time when it feels the media is filled with even more reports of horrendous acts than usual, the BGS pastoral theme this week was kindness and selfless deeds.
Kindness and empathy fall into the heart portion of the ‘heart and backbone’ that parenting expert and author Steve Biddulph talks about in relation to raising good young men, and indeed good women too.
This week, which marks the start of Lent, the boys have been thinking of others, discussing kindness and looking for opportunities to brighten the days of others through small acts. In the words of the Greek storyteller, Aesop, ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted’.
BGS boys are also involved in many larger acts of kindness. After school on Friday the Hancock boys, under the guidance of their Head of House Meg Adem and their House Captain Sam Banfield, will be collecting litter from Bayside beaches in recognition of Cleanup Australia Day.
Next week will then see the launch of the BGS bushfire appeal (see below), and in a few weeks time, our first group of boys will spend time at Sacred Heart Mission preparing and serving meals.
Year 9 Great South West Journey
Year 9 students began their B2M journeys in earnest this week as they departed the grounds of BGS early Monday morning en route to the southwest corner of Victoria. Affectionately referred to as the Great Southwest Journey (or GSWJ), this significant marker in the lives of BGS boys is the first bookend to their Year 9–10 B2M sequence of programs.
During preparation on Sunday, the Rosstrevor area was a hive of nervous activity as Bindaree staff (red shirts) and BGS Outdoor Ed staff (blue shirts) checked over clothing, equipment and food with a guiding voice to remind the boys of essential skills previously learnt.
Thank you to the parents who had invested time and energy into helping their sons prepare their food, potentially a thankless task that the boys will appreciate in the days to come!
Before the boys arrived, all staff were briefed about the importance of the program in the life of a BGS boy, shown the sequence of learning and offered tips on how to make the journey the safest and most enjoyable experience possible from those with past experience.
Now in in its fifth year, the GSWJ doesn’t shy away from extending the boys’ comfort zones; through distance, time and close communal living each boy is tasked with drawing upon their inner archetypes to forge greater comradery with each other, or reject the benefits of close community and new friendships.
I have no doubt that some of our boys will exit the GSWJ immediately different – more confident, emotionally stronger, alive to their personal capabilities; and some will take time to comprehend the impact of their experiences.
Head of Outdoor Education
BGS Bushfire Appeal
This summer saw Australia faced with the worst bushfires on record. Approximately 46 million acres of land were destroyed, and an estimated one billion animals have perished.
The Community Service Student Committee was insistent on playing their part and on 2 March, the BGS Bushfire Appeal is being launched. The appeal, running for four weeks, aims to raise money for the Clifton Creek Primary School (pictured below) located near the Mitchell River, home to one of the Year 9 River journeys.
The primary school and all its resources was completely lost. The boys hope to raise enough money to purchase new bikes, helmets and classroom equipment for the Clifton Creek students.
This is hopefully the start of a long-lasting relationship between the two schools. The boys are looking forward to visiting the school to see how BGS has positively impacted the school to rebuild through their appeal.
Keep an eye on BGS social media platforms and upcoming eNews to see how you can support this great appeal.
Director of Service