A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

The BGS Playbook



Our Effective Learner model has been in place for a few years now and continues to have a positive impact on the academic culture at BGS. This week, another key pillar underpinning the efficacy of the model is being launched amongst the teaching staff: the BGS Playbook.

The BGS Playbook has been developed by our Crowther Centre team and utilises the best educational research from around the world, including the work of John Hattie, Robert Marzano and Jim Knight. The intent is to give all of our teachers, from ELC through to VCE, specific high-impact strategies to make classroom teaching and learning as effective as possible. These strategies are categorised under the four quadrants of the Effective Learner model: Learning Dispositions, Learning Architecture, Learning Processes and Feedback.

I am confident that with the launch of the BGS Playbook, our academic culture will continue to strengthen. Should you wish to know more about the book or any other aspect of academics at BGS, please contact the Crowther Centre. And, of course, keep reading the Crowther Centre eNews each week.

Have a great week.


From the Deputy Head of Secondary School (Years 7–8) – Travis Hopgood 

Respect and inclusiveness

We hear a lot about respect and inclusiveness in today’s day and age and I googled it while preparing this article about 5,030,000 results (0.47 seconds). Defining respect and inclusiveness in schools is a challenge because the answer comes in all shapes and sizes. Formal and informal occasions each day provide opportunities for the boys to promote respect and inclusivity.

At the Year 8 and Year 10 combined Chapels with our friends from Firbank girls, the students all sat together to reflect on recent learning and celebrate as a community.

The House Cross Age activity saw all boys from Years 7, 8, 11 and 12 met in Houses to complete small group activities. Two Year 12 boys from Crowther, Luke and Charlie, came bounding in to the House meeting (already full of Year 7, 8 and 11 boys) and came straight up to me:  Righto! What are we doing here and where do you want us to be?’

In just a few seconds this inclusivity set the tone for the activity as our VCE boys distributed themselves amongst small groups of bright eyed youngsters.  The result was six Houses (almost 500 boys) engaged in meaningful and respectful conversations across the whole Secondary School. The older boys knowing their role in building a sense of belonging to their House is crucial for the respect and inclusivity at BGS.

Our sports teams recently celebrated the APS Indigenous Rounds and the Year 8 Football team were able to get the win for one of the Indigenous mothers from Tiwi Islands who was in Melbourne for the week visiting her son. The team was also superbly coached by an Old Boy, another reflection on the respect our past students have for the next group of boys coming through the School.

And one last final highlight in recent weeks to showcase the respect and inclusivity at BGS is this guard of honour for our First XVIII football team. Each player took the care and time to stop for a moment before running out to play their game. They all slowed down to a walk to ‘high five’ every boy from our ELC and ensure they were included in the BGS way.


News from Rofe House

Rofe House started 2019 with a lot of success including a well-deserved first place in the all important House Swimming breaking a five year Crowther House dominant streak. To follow this up, the boys all came together to ‘unlock their dance’ to once again yield the trophy of House Choral with a rousing performance of Stand by Me by Ben E. King. The boys put in great efforts with high attendance at Tuesday morning practices amalgamating to our success.

Rofe House decided, for our service initiative, to assist those in need and raise money for Pormpuraaw in far North Queensland a much less fortunate community whom Brighton Grammar share a close connection with particularly the Pormpuraaw School. Rofe aims to provide the children with a bit of help to better their community.

Finally Rofe recently took out the Year 11 and 12 Senior Chess competition in the week of House Chess as well as coming in a very close second place in the House Science quiz. Many boys participated and put in a great effort for even more House points.

James Larkworthy and James Konstas
Rofe Vice-Captains


Service Report – Volunteering for Fiji Book Drive

Last Sunday a team of students, parents and staff provided much needed support in sorting and packing donations for the Fiji Book Drive. Our volunteers unpacked hundreds of books and assisted in allocating donations to the many schools throughout Fiji that the drive is committed to supporting. We gained valuable experience in working together and everyone finished the day feeling as though they have contributed to something special. Thanks to Fiona Luth for welcoming our involvement in the program and we look forward to our volunteer team growing in 2020 and beyond.

If you have any suitable books or stationery to donate, our final collection day is tomorrow. Donations must be in good condition and suitable for 0-16 year old readers. Yellow donation bins can be found at St Andrew’s and Urwin Centre libraries.

Simone Lewis
Director of Service


Coaching Experience 2019 – Year 11 and Year 6

Research indicates that peer learning activities assist with skills in communication, team-building, well-being and increasing self-esteem. The coaching experience for Year 11 and Year 6 boys enables an opportunity for students to set goals to improve their productivity and enhance learning outcomes. Read more

Brent Brickhill
Instructional Coach


Rofe House wins Year 78 House Debating for 2019

House Debating was held for the first time this year at the Year 78 level.  An ‘impromptu rebuttal’ format was employed, requiring each House pair to select a random topic, prepare negative arguments for three minutes and then present to an adjudicator and audience for two minutes each.

It was impressive to see the confidence with which the House representatives prepared and delivered their arguments. Topic themes such as Junk Food, Social Media, Being Young, Friendships, Manners and Uniforms provided great fodder for the participants.

The final was contested between Armstrong represented by Gus Calder (Year 7) and Ben Fox (Year 8) and Rofe House represented by Ethan Rowe (Year 7) and Will Fearn (Year 8) contesting the topic that ‘BGS should remain a boys’ school’. This required the debaters to argue that BGS should become co-ed. There were some most persuasive speeches and ultimately, only one point separated winner and runner up.

Final placings: 1st Rofe, 2nd Armstrong, 3rd School, 4th Crowther, Equal 5th Dixon and Hancock.

Our thanks to our adjudicators, Raelene Plozza, David Nixon and Louise Piva and to the many boys who came along to support their House.

Finalists Ben Fox and Gus Calder (School House) and Will Fearn and Ethan Rowe (Rofe) await the announcement of final placement in the House Debating Competition.


Firbank Grammar and BGS Trivia afternoon

Last Friday Year 12 students from BGS and Firbank Grammar gathered to compete in a trivia afternoon. Teams were mixed to ensure plenty of interaction between the two schools and there was a great atmosphere throughout the afternoon.

There were 4 rounds all together professionally run by Funky Bunch Trivia including: general knowledge, music, questions specifically about Firbank Grammar and BGS and finally, television and film. There were also some other activities such as eating a dry weetbix and being the first person to be able to whistle. Questions ranged from: ‘Which TV show has characters called walkers?’ to ‘When was Bohemian Rhapsody first released?’

Thanks to all those attended and a special thanks to the Firbank staff for organising snacks and pizza throughout the afternoon. I know that all the boys and staff who attended had a wonderful time and we look forward to running more of these type of activities in the future.

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


Urwin Centre Library May Highlights

Sir David Attenborough’s Birthday

David Attenborough is widely regarded as a peacemaker, teacher and advocate for change. The Library committee at the Urwin Centre decided we needed to celebrate David’s life, and when we found out it coincided with Earth Week, we knew we had to do something good. We kicked off the week with a screening of one of his documentaries, Our Planet, which highlighted the significance of nature in the running of our planet. Students also had the chance to compete in a Kahoot (fun quiz) on David’s life. The two quizzes were won by Will Fearn and Tommy Mazzoni, who both proved their expertise on the 94-year-old’s lifetime in research. Finally, we ended the week with a photography competition. The library was covered in photographs of nature- ranging from seals to trees to mountains. It was a hard choice, but after judging, James Tan came out on top with a stunning collection of photographs of Uluru at dusk. Second place was given to Andrew McGregor, with a photograph looking skywards through some beautiful trees. Finally, third prize was awarded to Lachlan Auden, with an amazing panoramic photograph.

I was personally given the chance to talk to Mr. Christian Machar, a humanities teacher at BGS, on why it is so significant to celebrate David’s birthday.

“I think it gives us an opportunity to celebrate his body of work and his amazing dedication. At the same time, celebrating his birthday shines a spotlight on issues we urgently need to protect.” I also asked him why David is so great.

“Sir David is great because he has been the voice of the natural world to so many generations. From my grandparents to my children, people recognise his voice. He has dedicated his life to protecting endangered species and raising awareness of important issues such as climate change.”

That final sentence echoed around the Urwin Centre on Earth week, with students realising that if we still want this beautiful planet we have, we need to fight for it. 

By Jenson Galvin 
Library Committee Captain


BGS Pink Dinner – Save the date

When – Thursday 19 September 2019

Full details to follow soon.


A golden ticket raffle!

Friends of Music has been lucky enough to secure two VIP tickets to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical.

Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 – get yours now!


A message from St Andrew’s

Click the image to book! 


Join Connor’s Run 2019

Registrations are now open for our seventh annual Connor’s Run on Sunday 15 September. Nearly 1000 spots have already been snapped up so be quick if you don’t want to miss out! Early-bird prices end 9 June (Connor’s birthday). Join us and celebrate being part of Australia’s largest event for paediatric brain cancer – the #1 disease killer of young people in Australia.

Register here


Dates for the Diary

  • Friday 7 June Report Writing afternoon 
  • Monday 10 June Queen's Birthday (Public Holiday) 
  • Tuesday 11 June Semester 2 classes begin 
  • Friday 14 June Ute Full of Food