A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston

‘As One’ and Love

Welcome back to the new school year. Our weekly eNews has returned to a weekly, more ‘newsy’ publication, which I hope you’ll enjoy. Be sure to take the time to look at the ‘Crowther Thinking’ section for stories about Teaching and Learning throughout the School.

Student voice and buy-in is a key aspect of life at BGS and I am very pleased that the Year 12 leaders have chosen the mantra ‘As One’ for the School this year. Via this mantra, each boy is challenged to be a better man today than the man he was yesterday. This is a challenge that is worth further discussion and exploration throughout 2018.

Like Sir Graham Henry when he addressed the Secondary School boys, I took up this ‘As One’ mantra at our opening Secondary School Eucharist last Friday and tied it to the Gospel reading in which Jesus commands us to love each other. I also explored the role that love plays at an all boys’ school. I think that love – and the central role it plays in our boys’ lives – is something we all should consider more deeply, particularly as we ask our boys in 2018 to be better men today than they were yesterday. The full text of my address can be found here.

I am confident the BGS community has a great 2018 in store and I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.


From the Head of Secondary School, Rachel Horton

I have really enjoyed my first couple of weeks at Brighton Grammar School, being involved and participating in many different ‘firsts’. My first Big Fella camp, first Secondary School Assembly, first Chapel service, first parent information evenings, teaching my first science class here, and the list goes on. Each occasion has reinforced for me what a rich and diverse environment BGS is for our boys. It is also evident through my daily interactions that the boys here are fine, friendly, respectful and caring young men. As I said if you heard me speak last week, I feel very honoured to be able to be a part of their education.

I would like to extend my thanks to all of the boys, the parents I have met at the various functions in the last week or so, and of course the staff, for making me feel so warmly welcomed. I feel privileged to have been appointed Deputy Headmaster/Head of Secondary School at BGS and am looking forward to working with you and your boys to ensure that they have both an enjoyable and rewarding experience as part of the BGS community. To that end, I can assure you that our dedicated and committed staff are here to support your boys to reach their fullest potential. In the words of this year’s student leaders, we will encourage and help them to be ‘better men today than they were yesterday’.

I am making myself available to parents on Tuesday afternoons (3.30–4.30). If you’d like to reserve a time to discuss any aspect of BGS, you’d be most welcome. Please send an email to my Personal Assistant, Linda McGeachin (lmcgeachin@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au). I look forward to catching up with you soon!


Programs and Activities

Big Fella Camp

Once again, all Year 12 students made their way to Big Fella Camp prior to the first day of School, as part of their preparation for the busy and challenging year that lies ahead.

Accompanied by their Heads of House, Dr Ray Swann, David Liddle, Amy Atchison, Christian Machar and our new Deputy Headmaster/Head of Secondary School Dr Rachel Horton, the boys left bright and early on Saturday 27 January bound for Howmans Gap and Mt Bogong (‘Big Fella’).

That afternoon, Brad Marais (Captain of School) and the senior leadership team set out their ideas for leading the School: ‘As One’ and ‘being a better man tomorrow than you are today’. The boys then workshopped what this meant to them and how they might present this concept to the rest of the School.

Amy Atchison ran Syndicate sessions in preparation for SACs and went through the calendar with the boys. Ray Swann and Christian Machar conducted Legacy sessions and Heads of House ran Circle Time and goal-setting exercises.

Of course, the main challenge was to climb Mt Bogong and we set out early Sunday morning to accomplish this task. Boys were challenged physically and mentally, both as individuals and as House groups, and a great sense of camaraderie brought each House closer together.

The fruits of the camp were evident in the induction of Year 7 and 8 students to Assembly for the first time and the message the student leaders gave to the wider community.

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


Learning rugby from the GOAT

That’s ‘Greatest Of All Time’. Last week, the BGS Rugby staff were privileged to sit down with Sir Graham Henry, former All Blacks Head Coach and one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time (see Crowther Thinking section of the eNews). Most beneficial were the conversations around rugby-specific patterns and shapes that can (and will!) be used in match situations. We even learnt a thing or two about how to handle press conferences!


Student Achievements: DanceSport

Late in 2017, Jaxon Putland (Year 10) and his partner Nicky danced in the Australian Championships, in the Under 21s age group. At the Australian Championship Jaxon and Nicky won the B-grade ballroom title and were placed 2nd in the open field – a great effort, as they were dancing against much older and more experienced competitors.

Jaxon and Nicky are officially ranked number one in the DanceSport Australia national rankings in both styles in which they compete.


Urwin Centre Study Club

The 2018 Urwin Centre Study Club will commence on Monday 12 February. Study Club is a voluntary program open to all boys in Years 7 and 8, designed to establish good study habits in early secondary school. It provides learning support across the curriculum. The boys may choose to work independently, or with friends, to study and complete homework. During the Tuesday morning and afternoon sessions, Maths teachers are in attendance to provide support.

Study Club details are as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays before school (from 7.30am)
Tuesdays after school (until 5.00pm)

Learning Common 2 (In the morning, boys enter via the verandah door)

Christine McIntosh, Learning Strategies (8591 2244)


Chartered bus service

BGS offers two chartered bus services for BGS and Firbank Grammar students. Routes run from Beaumaris and Port Melbourne. For further information and registration forms, click here.


Contribute to school improvement via a PhD

Know anyone interested in school performance and reporting? Would someone you know like to work on a research project at BGS, producing a school improvement tool? We have an exciting project for an Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) Intern involving a five-month PhD internship. For more information, click here.


2018 Camps, Sports and Excursions Funding – Are you eligible?

The Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (Vic DET) has announced that applications for the Camps, Sport and Excursions Fund (CSEF) for 2018 are now open. Applications close at the end of Term 2, 2018.

The CSEF was introduced by the Victorian Government in 2015 to replace the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). CSEF aims to provide financial support to schools, to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend school camps, sports events and excursions.

If you think your son may be eligible, click here for further information. Application forms are also available at this site.

If you have any queries about applications, please contact our Payroll & Financial Accounts Coordinator, Fiona Kerr (kerrf@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au).


Friends of Music Social Evening

All Prep–Year 12 Music Parents welcome! Come join us for drinks and canapés, performances by BGS music students and presentation of 2018 Music Leaders.
7.30pm Monday 26 February, Robert Sanderson Centenary Hall

Please RSVP here by Wednesday 21 February – we look forward to seeing you there!


BGS Cooking Corner

Quick and nutritious breakfast and lunchbox ideas for busy parents and growing boys from BGS Psychologist and nutrition expert, Danielle Wolff.

Back-to-School Breakfast Biscuits


(Makes 16)

– 2 ripe bananas, mashed

– 2 cups quick cooking oats*

– ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed banana, oats and cinnamon.
  3. Place large tablespoons of the mixture onto the tray and flatten.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until biscuits are slightly golden.
  5. Cool on wire rack and store in an airtight container.

*Quinoa flakes can be used as a gluten-free alternative.


Career News

Items in the Career News include:

  • VTAC key dates for 2018–2019 applications
  • Victoria University: First Year Model: Revolutionising First Year
  • Industry Employment Projections to 2022
  • Mastering the VCE Free Lectures through The School for Excellence
  • Australian Defence Force Careers Expo
  • Holmesglen Institute – Home of the Trades
  • Career as an Occupational Therapist
  • Career as a Physiotherapist
  • Nursing and/or Midwifery Degree Courses in Victoria

If you would like any further information on any of these items, click here or see Sophie Keele in the Careers Centre.

School Stream – remember to update your settings

The School Stream app is used for day-to-day operational communication. Please ensure that your categories are up to date for 2018.

In line with the new Secondary School structure, the former Middle School and Senior School campuses have been merged. You may need to add the Secondary School as another School.

If you can’t see 2018 categories, please go to Settings (in the ‘hamburger’ menu in the top left-hand corner of your screen) and choose: Settings – Clear Data – Clear All. You should now be able to see the updated settings.

Click here for the School Stream guide. If you need help, please email SchoolStream@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au.


Secondary School dates for the diary

For updates on important dates and events, see School Stream or click here for the online calendar.

Saturday 10 February
Summer Sport Round 1

Monday 12 February
Year 7HRS Otways Camp 2

Wednesday 14 February
Chapel – Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 14 February
Founders’ Day

Thursday 15–Saturday 17 February
1st & 2nd VIII Rowing NSW State Championships

Sunday 18 February
Music Camp – Rutherford Park