A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston
I am very pleased to report that the school grounds, which have been so quiet (apart from our ELC which has had our three and four year old boys in for the term), have now come back to life with the return this week of happy teachers and students from Prep – Year 2 and Years 10 – 12.
School does look a little different however, as we have put a number of key health and safety measures in place, and my thanks for your support of these procedures for the benefit of the boys and staff.
I am so proud of our Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 students and how quickly they have settled back into school routine and have coped with these new social distancing and health rules – toe-tapping is our new handshake!
Our more senior students are also to be commended for their resilience in adapting to a new form of learning very quickly. Their teachers are keen to build on the boys’ progress this term by making the most of the next few weeks of face-to-face learning.
The School will feel complete when all students are back on-site by Wednesday 3 June. In the meantime, have a great week.
A Word from the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton
It was really wonderful to see the Year 10 – 12 boys file into school through the temperature check and hand sanitiser stations on Monday.
There were quite a few new protocols for the boys to get used to, but there was definitely an air of excitement in and around the school. The boys’ enthusiasm to be back on site was obvious and we also recorded our highest daily attendance rate so far this year.
In the co-curricular sphere, as agreed by all APS schools, First teams only have started non-contact, small group training this week and we are hopeful that the winter sport season will start a few weeks into Term 3. Other clubs and activities such as the Theatre of Dangerous Ideas, Chess and Improv Club are continuing online.
Wednesday marked the start of National Reconciliation Week 2020 and while we were not able to come together physically, we were still able to recognise this important week. Boon Wurrung Traditional Custodian, Steve Parker performed a recorded Welcome to Country from a distance to help us mark this occasion and to welcome the beginning of our return to on-site learning.
We look forward to welcoming back the remainder of our students next week. As we move to a more traditional on-site timetable, please note all Secondary School boys will start classes at 8.30am (Thursday will start at 9.00am as usual) and we will have a slightly staggered finish to the day with Years 7, 9 and 11 students being dismissed at 3.35pm and Years 8, 10 and 12 students at 3.40pm.
As we all adjust to new routines, it is vitally important to keep a check on your son’s mental health and wellbeing. Encourage him to focus on the things they enjoy and value in order for them to remain motivated and ensure their sense of belonging. View this special report by Michael Carr-Gregg below.
National Reconciliation Week
This week marked the beginning of National Reconciliation Week and like everything else at the moment, it has been a bit different. I had planned to be in the remote Indigenous community of Pormpuraaw with a group of Year 9 students.
Reconciliation Week is a time for us all to come together to remember injustices of the past, to celebrate the reconciliation journey so far and to look towards a more unified and equitable future. There are a number of ways BGS boys and their families can get involved, as James Hilditch reports.
In March, Year 10 students undertook the Morrisby Profile, a careers guidance assessment that helps the boys to make educational choices as part of their VCE program.
This year, 170 students had their counselling/feedback sessions, and discussions about their strengths, interests and the future, online via Zoom. They developed a draft for their VCE program and researched career options from a range of resources.
Students can log back into their online profile at any time to research and favourite more careers, re-sit aspects of the assessment, undertake additional questionnaires or make changes to their draft educational program. The boys are not asked to make any final decisions as part of the counselling discussion, but this starts the thinking about choices and the future.
The online Morrisby Profile is a flexible tool, which helps to keep students informed and prepared for subject selection in Term 3.
Dr Sophie Keele
BGSPG Lunch for Year 12
Year 12 students were welcomed back to face-to-face teaching and learning with a lunch on Tuesday provided by the BGSPG.
It has been a challenging time for the boys in their final year but the group wanted to wish the boys well as they returned to their studies at school.