A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Courage takes many forms and we want all boys, big and small, to develop courage as they journey through BGS. It was therefore a real pleasure this week to see courage on display in different ways across three contexts.

Our 1st XV Rugby side has had an injury hit season, but that has not impacted the team’s spirit and willingness to have a go. The team exemplified this as they took on a bigger and stronger Melbourne Grammar team last Saturday afternoon. Not once did our boys flinch or stop trying. It is nice to win, but the development in the context of these traits aligned with courage is why we really play sport.

Personally, I would be petrified if I had to sing a solo in front of a large audience in St Andrew’s. Thus, I have enormous admiration for the seven boys from the Junior and Secondary School who sang a solo at Tuesday night’s Choral Concert. Standing up there alone ready to sing in front of peers, parents and friends, is surely one of the bravest things our boys do throughout the year.

Finally, the on stage performers and back stage crew last night put on a superb Middle Years FGS-BGS Production of Mary Poppins. Hours and hours have gone into the preparation and I commend all involved. To have the courage to perform on stage is yet another wonderful aspect of the full BGS education.

Have a good week and be courageous.

From the Deputy Head of Secondary School (Years 78)  – Travis Hopgood

Our boys continue to develop an awareness of their emotional intelligence via relationship-building and learning habits. Last week’s Parent Teacher Student Discussions (over 1400 of them!) show a willingness for boys to work collaboratively with their parents and teachers to accept feedback.

As the winter sports finish, it is timely to remind the boys to seek, act upon and give feedback in all they do. This week at BGS there have been Music concerts, the Middle Years Production and Debating. The Year 10 boys started their World Class Journeys, the Year 11s took part in a combined Chapel service with Firbank, and the Year 9s continued with their Bio-Dash program. With such opportunities, the boys are able to have transparent, honest and caring relationships with their parents, friends and teachers. This helps the boys to feel positive about their lives, be happy in themselves and approach their education with a growth mindset. This is reinforced with trusting, clear and open communication lines between students, parents and teachers.

Feedback on how we are travelling enables us to make necessary adjustments in our lives. To build self-awareness to own our attitudes and behaviours, we need regular developmental and non-judgemental feedback. Sometimes, the adolescent brain is a turbulent place as the good decision-making centre (pre-frontal cortex) is not completely wired up yet. That is why we sometimes see the boys create emotions like adults while they may lack the capabilities to consistently control them. This often leads to any advice or feedback to be seen by them as criticism and put downs. Relationships have to be a two way street, to allow the boys to think beyond themselves to adopt a positive approach in all their pursuits and their learning.


The Hunting

The Hunting is a four part series on SBS that follows the lives of four young Australians, their teachers and families in the lead up, revelation and aftermath of an inappropriate teen photo scandal.

The purpose of the series it to encourage discussion and awareness, in an attempt to minimise harm and promote self-awareness and knowledge of healthy behaviours in young people.

The Hunting tackles themes of misogyny, privacy, sexuality and sexualisation as well as online exploitation, masculinity and gender. Along with these mature themes, episodes also contain sexual references and swearing. Parent discretion and supervision is advised and, in partnership with the eSafety Commissioner, SBS has created discussion guides for parents around cyber-bullying and image sharing to promote safe and positive experiences online. 

SchoolTV has put out a special report outlining further details of the series and expert advice. Please watch this special report and follow the subsequent links to the eSafety resources.

Danielle Wolff
Secondary School Psychologist (Years 78)


Sport Reflections

Rowing: teaching me more than just the sport
For the past two years, I have been pushing my body to breaking point every day with two injuries that have affected half of my dance along the way. Rowing has changed my perspective on life and it’s amazing BGS is able to provide a sport like this with amazing coaching staff and equipment around me. Being involved in this sport has made me realise what I can do on the sporting field but also what I can do in the classroom.

Since the season’s end, I have applied myself even more in the classroom by pushing my brain to its limits to get the best out of my education. I am making the most of benefits provided as a Year 12 student; I stay back each day after School until 7.30pm to study and get me closer to unlocking the second half of my dance to do the best I can at School and knowing that I have tried.

Callum McPeake
Year 12


Swimming for Victoria
From 28 to 31 July, I was selected to represent Victoria as the team Vice-Captain at the 2019 School Sport Australia Swimming Championships held at MSAC. This was my second year on the team and an even better experience. The team consisted of around 100 Victorians aging from 10 to 19 years. Many PBs, records, and medals were achieved by the Victorian team to finish 3rd overall. For myself, I managed to score 3rd in the 200m backstroke, achieve many PBs and finish all of my races in the top ten. The championships will be held in Brisbane next year. Overall, the team was fantastic and many new friendships were made. 

Ewan Smith
Year 11


Singin’ In The Rain Jr.

Some lucky cast members of the 2019 Junior Production were visited by some local celebrities in order to give them some acting tips. In a fantastic initiative arranged by Miss Jessica Taylor and Miss Karla Nyhuis, the Year 12 Drama Captains from both Brighton Grammar and Firbank Grammar volunteered their time last week in order to workshop some scenes with the lead cast members of Singin’ In The Rain Jr. The Year 6s gained a lot of skills and tips from their mentors and the Year 12s thoroughly enjoyed being able to give back to the grass roots of the Drama program. This is sure shaping up to be a wonderful production!

Michael Kent 
Head of Drama Curriculum and School Productions (Year 712)


Year 10s off to conquer the world


‘We take our culture and we enter the culture of another people and place, we do so with respect and appreciation that we exchange gifts: the gift of life and insight into each other’s hard won sense of being.’ – Fr Tony Poole

WCJ 2019

This week our Year 10 boys embark on their World Class Journeys. Read more here…