A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston
Stage 4 restrictions are now upon us and our landscape changes once again, with students returning to distance learning for the remainder of Term 3. I want to reassure parents that we are well placed to continue to support our boys in their learning this term.
By now, you would have received your new login details for The Hub and SynPortal. This is the first step in our plan to streamline parent communications via a new BGS app that will be trialled next term. For any enquiries, please contact our MIS team.
As we have all found in recent months, keeping up to date with daily events can be a challenge so this new app is being designed to make it easier for you to access school information relevant to you and your son.
As I told the Year 12 students on Monday afternoon, please take care of yourself, each other and ask for help from the School if needed. Rather than looking at the next six weeks as one long stretch, try to be more present in the here and now and focus on one week at a time.
Knowing we have done this before and can do it again will give us the impetus to get through this and come out even stronger on the other side.
A Word from the Deputy Headmaster, Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton
There is no doubt that this year has been challenging for the BGS community and continues to be so as we return to whole school distance learning for the majority of Term 3. I am both optimistic and hopeful that we will all be back on-site as quickly as possible.
In the interim, boys and staff are well practised at teaching and learning in the virtual space, particularly those in Years 7–9 who have not been on-site since the end of Term 2. We will continue to support the boys pastorally through tutor groups and individual meetings and we will look for more opportunities to engage and connect the boys at this time.
In particular, there will be some new initiatives for our Year 7 boys in coming weeks; as new students in the Secondary School we recognise that the amount of time off-site for them has made it very difficult to make new friendship groups. For all Secondary School students, The Oak (which can be found on the Hub) is the central site for everything non-academic and the number and variety of offerings available will be increasing over the coming weeks.
Our Year 12 cohort have faced particularly difficult circumstances this year as so many of their ‘lasts’ have necessarily been cancelled or postponed multiple times already. I would like to assure all parents, but particularly those of Year 12 boys, that we are doing everything we can to re-work planned events and occasions and also to look for new and innovative ways to recognise and celebrate marker points in the year.
Music Zooms Ahead
Music students are ‘Zooming’ ahead as the Music Department rolls out instrumental lessons for over 350 boys each week throughout Distance Learning 3.0.
During lessons, boys are working towards goals such as AMEB Exams and virtual solo concerts. Boys are also focusing on many areas of instrumental development such as music reading, technical development and performance skills through studying solo and ensemble repertoire.
While online lessons are different to face-to-face lessons, there have proven to be many advantages from having instrumental lessons online. These include increased learning time focused on playing, listening and providing feedback, and more engagement of parents in the instrumental learning process.
With some instrumental staff completely booked and some with only a few lessons available each week, now is the perfect time to enrol in instrumental lessons. If you would like to enrol your son in individual instrumental lessons, please complete this form.
Director of Music, Head of Choral
Physical activity and exercise
Physical activity and exercise are essential for both physical and mental health. Exercise has also been linked with other benefits including improved cognitive function, increased self-esteem, and better academic outcomes.
As we move to a more sedentary lifestyle while learning and working from home, it is important to continue encouraging young people to move their bodies and engage in regular exercise. Read more about the benefits of exercise from leading researchers and clinicians in the field.
Secondary School Psychologist (Years 7–8)
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)
Each year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). Criteria is used to identify students that receive reasonable educational adjustments or assistance because of a disability as determined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and the Disability Standards for Education 2005. The NCCD has been progressively implemented since 2015 and has recently been linked to funding for schools.
The NCCD provides State and Federal Governments with the information they need to plan more broadly for the support of students with disability. The school will provide data to the Australian Government in such a way that no individual student will be able to be identified – the privacy and confidentiality of all students is ensured.
What are you planning to do with your family to get through the next six weeks? The Crowther Centre is running a competition with some BGS Jigsaw puzzles as prizes. See the Crowther Centre eNews for more details.