A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Each week I host a Headmaster Tour for prospective families, showing them around BGS as the usual school day is unfolding.

 (As a side note, thank you to all our current families who share their positive stories with prospective BGS families, as word of mouth is one of the strongest ‘marketing tools’ we have).

On these tours, I encourage families to keep their eyes open and to look at what is pinned on walls and noticeboards, as these little pieces of information can tell them a great deal about what goes on at BGS.

Last week whilst on tour, I was very pleased to see three new notices on the walls of the Urwin Centre, advertising clubs for Year 7 and 8 boys: the Drama Club, the Art Club and the Study Club.

Across both the Junior and Secondary Schools, over 20 clubs and committees are available for the boys to join. Options range from the new Algorithms and Informatics Club, the Rock Band Club, the Chess Club (all in the Secondary School) through to the Junior School offerings of the Board Games Club, the Gardening Club and the Library, Computers and Coding Club. Maybe ask your son if he’s in a club or on a committee.

As I outlined at the start of the year, our students have been busy planning activities in support of those affected by the recent bushfires. This week, our Community Service Student Committee, led by Director of Service Anna Ladas, launched the BGS Bushfire Appeal.

I urge all students and families to support this worthy cause and I commend the boys on their initiative.

Have a great week.


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

Albert Einstein said, ‘Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.’ Perhaps there are some of us who are practised at track stands and can maintain balance while standing still, but for most of us, trying to find balance is always a work in progress, continually adjusting priorities in an attempt to find the sweet spot.

This is no different for our boys who have a multitude of academic and co-curricular activities to balance alongside their other interests, including time with friends and family and for many, part time work. In keeping with this metaphor, many of the boys are also still learning to ride a bike so need both the space to work things out for themselves, but also careful guidance to keep them on track.

The Effective Learner
As the mid-point of Term 1 passes, co-curricular commitments are time consuming for the boys with Matilda rehearsals in full swing and all sports enjoying a rare streak of beautiful weather. Some of the enthusiasm the boys felt at the start of the year to strive for academic goals may be starting to wane, but the Year 12s have completed their first SACS, and assessments are also beginning across the other year levels.

Time to relax and recover is crucial, as is an organised schedule. House Tutors will be checking in with the boys to see how they are progressing and I would also encourage parents to have a conversation with their son(s) to see where they are at.

If they are looking for further support at School, the various study programs and clubs and their times are listed below.

Years 9–12 Long Day Program:
Long Day Program runs every Monday through to Thursday from 4.00–7.30pm, in the following Hancock Wing rooms:

  • Years 9–11 in HA 1.21 with one past scholar available for academic support each night
  • Year 12 in Hancock Wing open plan study area with two past scholars available for academic support each night
  • Boys must sign in and out when attending

Years 9–12 Study Club:

  • Mondays and Thursday in Student Services Building Learning Strategies rooms until 5.30pm 

Years 9–12 Further Maths:

  • Monday lunchtimes in Room TO.1.07

Years 7–  Study Club:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings in UC Learning Common 1 from 7.30am
  • Tuesday afternoons in UC Learning Common 2 until 5.00pm


2020 Pastoral Program 

The 2020 Pastoral Program gives each boy the opportunity to communicate with his House Tutor every day to help with  his pastoral and academic growth. A weekly pastoral theme is promoted each week via activities delivered in the House Tutor Periods. These themes are also incorporated in the weekly Assembly or Chapel. This week the theme was Kindness and Selfless Acts and the theme next week is Breathing and Calmness.

The theme used is to promote conversations and genuine relationships within the tutor group. Provocations (in the form of stories, statistics, images) allow boys to have a voice, sharing their truth, in a safe environment. The coaching, mentoring and support amongst the boys in each House Tutor Group showcases daily helping acts we all need to be the best we can be. Such House spirit was on display in the 3v3 basketball competition this week.

The boys’ contribution to the pastoral program is a testament to their commitment to learning and, in the pursuit of balance, other areas of school life. We also acknowledge and thank the House Tutors, Heads of Year and Heads of House for their ongoing support of the boys.

With the love and support from home, there is no doubt that we all share in the academic and pastoral development of the boys.

Travis Hopgood
Director of Students


House Colours Assembly

House Colours are awarded to boys to recognise their positive and active participation from Years 9 to 11. In order to receive House Colours, a student’s attitude and the relationships he builds to this community are emphasised over the minimum requirement of active participation in three high level activities over those years. Colours are not awarded to students whose conduct, effort or behaviour are deemed unacceptable in the eyes of their Head of House.

We congratulate all 85 boys who were awarded House Colours in Assembly yesterday. These boys have contributed to school life in an exemplary manner whilst demonstrating the values of the school: Integrity, Respect, Accountability and Passion. If the beginning of this year’s House events are anything to go by, we can expect many more boys to be recipients of House Colours in the future.

Our next big event on the House calendar is House Choral on 24 March at St Andrew’s Church. Fresh from his role in Chicago, Jared Furtado and the Music staff, together with House leaders, are hard at work polishing the House choice and mandatory songs.

With Rofe taking an early lead in the House Cup by securing victories in House Swimming and the coveted Year 11 and 12 Basketball 3 on 3 Competitions, we really need one of the other Houses to shine! If you ‘…want it that way’, ‘every breath you take’ could ensure ‘you’ll never walk alone’ and that Rofe whilst ‘happy together’, aren’t the only boys singing to ‘uptown girl’ and ‘sweet Caroline’!              

Christian Neeson
Director of Co-curriculum


BGS Cricket 

It has been somewhat frustrating start to the Term 1 APS Cricket season. Matches have been called off or abandoned due to rain, unsafe air quality and extreme heat. There hasn’t been a summer like this for a long time!

Amidst the apocalyptic weather however, there has been some terrific performances and notable highlights within our Cricket program. This term we have fielded 13 teams, meaning that almost 150 boys are representing the Tonners on a Saturday morning. All 50 Year 7 cricketers have made a terrific start to their BGS Cricket journey, and their enthusiasm is infectious!

The annual Toms-McPhee T20 between the current 1st XI and the Old Boys was again a great success, and we look forward to building this tradition in the future. We are also very proud of Henry Pearson who has just returned from a successful tournament as Vice-Captain of the Vic Metro U15s.

Thanks to our wonderful team of coaches for the hard work they are putting in, and to the Toms-McPhee club for the continued support of the boys.

James Harrod
Teacher in Charge, Cricket


Hancock House Service: Clean Up Australia Day

For the second year in a row, Hancock House Year 7 to 12 boys headed to Brighton beach as part of their community service for Clean Up Australia Day. Aside from enjoying time together outside school grounds, participating in a community service was a great way to end the school week.

The most frequently collected pieces of rubbish included cigarette butts, tissues and bottle caps. Perhaps one of the highlights of the afternoon was our younger boys (Year 7 and 8) working closely with older boys in Hancock House; many stories and jokes were shared.

We thank every boy who gave up their time to support this cause, and a special thank you to Tim Blackwood and Wen Yan for their supervision.

Meg Adem
Head of Hancock House


Save the Date 

Click below image to book


Dates for the diary

  • Monday 9 March Labour Day Holiday
  • Monday 16 March Year 7ACD Outdoor Education Program
  • Tuesday 17 March APS Boys Swimming and Diving
  • Wednesday 18 March Adair Donaldson Parent Session
  • Friday 20 March Ute Full of Food
  • Saturday 21 March Head of the River
  • Sunday 22 March Year 7HRS Outdoor Education Program
  • Friday 27 March Year 12 Formal
  • Wednesday 25 March Business Breakfast with Robert Cripps AM
  • Friday 27 March Last Day of Term 1