A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go’. So wrote Dr Seuss from Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

Many thanks to all in our community who have helped make 2019 an excellent year for BGS. So much has been achieved this year, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I believe we can all look back on the school year that was with justified pride.

While the 2020 school year seems some way away, it will be a year filled with much promise. We will continue to focus on what is important to us now, but there are a number of very exciting developments in store that I look forward to sharing with you in the first half of 2020.

The holidays now beckon and, in channelling Dr Seuss, I urge you to encourage your son to read a book or two over the summer break. Reading is such a joy and does impact positively on other academic domains such as writing, but it can be difficult to sustain, particularly as boys get older. To get your son into a book, Pamela Paul, co-author of How to Raise a Reader, offers the following ideas

I wish you, your families and all in the BGS community a happy, safe and Holy Christmas and a great start to 2020. Your support of BGS this year is much appreciated and I look forward to seeing you again in the new school year.


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

It was wonderful to see our Secondary School prize winners recognised at last week’s Speech Night and my thanks to the students and families who attended the evening. See list of prize winners.

I congratulate Jack Clarkson, our 2020 School Captain and Jaikob Akinci and Harrison Kirkham, 2020 School Vice-Captains.

2020 School Captain Jack Clarkson

Jack started his tenure with an outstanding address at Speech Night, urging the boys to Make it Count. I have no doubt that they, along with the Prefect group and the House Captains who will be announced at our final assembly for the term tomorrow, will ensure that next year is an outstanding one for Brighton Grammar.

As we close out the 2019 year at BGS, we inevitably thank and say farewell to a number of staff who are moving on. At this time, I would just like to draw your attention to some key staff movements for next year:

  • After 12 years at BGS, we farewell Father Tony Poole who is retiring
  • We farewell Nancy Ting who is retiring after 11 years at the School
  • We congratulate Peter Shepard who is leaving to take up an appointment as Head of Student Wellbeing at Casey Grammar School
  • We farewell Steve Emmett who is leaving BGS after 16 years and wish him all the best in his new role at Mazenod College
  • We farewell Matt McLellan who is leaving BGS after 11 years and wish him all the best in his new role at Shelford Girls’ Grammar
  • We congratulate Travis Hopgood on his appointment to a newly created role as Director of Students (Years 7–12)
  • Simone Lewis will be leaving the School for a new opportunity and Anna Ladas has been appointed as the new Director of Service
  • We thank Peter Pidduck for his year as Acting Head of English Faculty and welcome Ralph Carolan as the new Head of English
  • Martin Green will be staying at BGS but is stepping down from his role as Head of Faculty, Creative and Performing Arts. We congratulate Jamie Watson on his appointment to the role
  • We congratulate Scott Davies who has been appointed to the newly created Head of Transition role
  • With some small changes to the pastoral team, Nicole Clarke, Peter Furey and Katie White have been appointed as Heads of Years 7 and 8

Finally, I would like to end on a personal note of thanks for your support throughout the year. I do hope you all have a peaceful and joyous Christmas time with friends and family. 


Community Carols

The Community Carols this week was once again a tremendous celebration of the School’s choral and instrumental excellence. The staff and students alike deserve our congratulations on the outcome of the effort, practice and attention to detail that made it such a memorable occasion.

For many it is a highlight of the last week of the school year. It is always well supported by members of the School Council, Old Boys, parents, grandparents and friends. The soloists in particular deserve our praise and thanks. The rendition of O Holy Night continues to be outstanding.

Fr Poole with our ELC boys

The Carol Service is of course a celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth – Prince of Peace, bring of peace on earth.  Throughout the ages, people of all generations have pondered the meaning of this event for themselves and for the world. Many have dared to believe and trust in this human being, God incarnate.

Christmas is a time of joy, for gift giving and receiving. It is also, alas, a time of stress and anguish for some.

Where ever you will be, whomever you spend Christmas with, may you find a portion of peace and a sense of contentment – that all is good and there is much beauty in the world.

Thank you for the years we have spent together. God bless you. 

Fr Tony Poole
Secondary School Chaplain


Stepping Up, Stepping Outside

Earlier this week, 38 Year 10 students took up the invitation to brave the weather and join the induction course of the School’s Outdoor Education Leaders Program (OELP).

The course aims to increase the capacity for these young leaders to influence school culture and set a high standard for younger boys at BGS. In 2020, as Year 11 students, they will be paired up with boys from Year 3 to Year 8 for one period per fortnight.

Designed to honour their new status in the community as emerging young men post the First Horizons journey, and welcome them into the OE team, the program is simultaneously an intensive in coaching, mentoring, public speaking, further outdoor skills, giving and receiving feedback and the challenges of managing a team of peers.

The boys heard personal stories and learnings from Dr Horton about her journey into leadership, and listened to Mr Featherston and Mr Tellefson impart why they support student leaders and the positive impact that older students can have on younger boys at a single campus school, by demonstrating empathy, responsibility and care for self, others and the environment.

The new OELP leaders then put into practice all they had learned with the 2020 Year 7 students on the Crowther Oval. This new team of student leaders shone bright and reinforced that some of the best teachers at our School are the students themselves.

David Gemmell
Head of Outdoor Education


RYDA Program 

Year 11 students from BGS and FGS came together this week for the RYDA (Road Youth Driver Awareness) program.  

Students attended six interactive sessions at Sandown Park where they were challenged to change the way they think about road safety, participate in a stopping distance demonstration, and get tips from road safety experts on how to protect themselves, their friends and family.

Year 11s from both schools approached the day with respect and interest and learnt about driver awareness, car safety, what to look out for on the roads and different driver perspectives. The most powerful session was an interview with a car crash victim who pointed out that safe drivers can still be involved in accidents.

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


Dates for the diary

  • Friday 6 December Last day of Term 4
  • Thursday 30 January Term 1 begins