A Word from the Headmaster – Ross Featherston

Grit on the Tennis Court and in the Great South West

It was a pleasure to watch our Firsts Tennis team take on Haileybury last Saturday. The entire match was played as we like our sport played, with great competitiveness, excellent team spirit and a high level of sportsmanship on display from both sides. After an extremely close match, the result came down to the last rubber. Haileybury took the honours nine rubbers to seven, with the overall games count being Haileybury 112 to BGS 113. As I left the courts, I was impressed by this display of superb grit; in tough and hot conditions, both teams really ground it out.

I then spared a thought for the Year 9 boys, who were at the time about halfway through their Great South West Journey. This journey is the beginning of our new 9/10 B2M program. The boys are spread across the lower reaches of the Glenelg River (west of Portland), where they complete 250 kilometres of canoeing, hiking and bike riding over 12 days. I have no doubt the Year 9s, like our tennis players, have had to show grit at various times during their journey.

Professor Angela Duckworth is one of the world’s leading experts on grit. She defines grit as ‘passion and perseverance for long-term goals’. The development of character traits such as grit is part of the reason we encourage our boys to play sport, and why we send them into the outdoors for extended periods. They might not realise it just yet, but I am sure the tennis players and the Year 9s have become grittier as a result of their recent experiences.

Finally, as the world marks International Women’s Day today, I take my hat off to all the women in our BGS community. I would like to think that as a community, BGS can play its part in the IWD 2018 campaign theme of #Press for Progress.

Have a great week.


From the Head of Secondary School – Dr Rachel Horton

When I was at school, I tried every sport. Some sports I loved, like lacrosse – although it still pains me that I was only ever good enough for the second team. Other sports, like swimming, were really not my thing. So I carried on with lacrosse because it was fun – and, at the heart of it, sports should always be fun.

I watched the boys have a great time at the Try Rugby afternoon with the Melbourne Rebels last week (photos below). Some of the boys already play and love rugby, others enjoyed it so much that they will take it up, and others may decide that it is not for them. Every boy will find their niche in a sport that not only suits them but in which they can also have fun. Many will go on to play these sports after they finish school and a few may even represent their country; others will play now and in the future purely for the enjoyment and the interaction with their mates.

Of course, along with the enjoyment aspect, sport is also important for physical and mental wellbeing, and teaches us many transferrable skills. As the Headmaster mentioned in his piece this week, sport develops grit. It also teaches us how to be a team member. Even sports that appear to be individual – boxing and triathlon, for example – involve a massive support team. In addition, individual athletes train with their peers, encouraging them to achieve more and be better every day. Participation in sport at BGS is just one way that boys can both develop personally and contribute to the development of a high-performance culture at the School.


Long Day Program

At the end of school each year, the Year 12 students are surveyed on what they feel worked well at the School and what could be improved. A common theme has been that boys would like the School to provide more supervised study time.

In response, we have implemented the Long Day Program for Year 12 students. This optional program will provide Year 12 students with additional study sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night between 5 and 8pm. Sessions will be held in the Hancock Wing and will commence on Tuesday 13 March, after the long-weekend.

At each of these sessions, a member of staff and a past scholar will be available to assist boys with study and answer questions. The Long Day Program provides another option for boys to syndicate together after sports training or to simply come in for a few hours to complete work.

There is no compulsion to stay for the whole session, with the only stipulation being that boys must sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave. This program will run throughout the year and. A roster of staff and past scholars for Term 1 is included here.

I hope to see a large number of students availing themselves of this opportunity and will provide updates on how the program is progressing in future newsletters.

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


Try Rugby Afternoon

On Wednesday 28 February, boys from Year 7 and 8 got the chance to experience rugby either for the first time or for the first time since their final game of last season. With help from Tom Moloney and Tayler Adams from the Melbourne Rebels, the boys got the chance to partake in various games to introduce them to the key skills of the game, continue to develop their ability and most importantly have fun. It was great to see many of the senior boys come down and lend a hand and get involved in the activities to continue to strengthen the connection between all levels of the Secondary School. Following the conclusion of the activities, the boys were treated to a fantastic sausage sizzle put on by the Rugby Club, whose continued support has been outstanding over the past seasons.

For me, rugby has built friendships and a community which I have had the pleasure of seeing grow exponentially over the five years I have been a part of it. Personally, I have never been part of such a tight-knit group of boys with such a strong drive for success. The achievements of last season throughout the whole program reflect how encouraging the future of BGS Rugby is. I encourage all boys to give rugby a go and see just why it holds the great reputation it does within BGS and the wider community.     

Cameron Berry (Year 12)

More Try Rugby photos here.

Great South West Journey

The Year 9 boys arrive home from their Great South West Journey tonight. We’ll await their stories, but in the meantime, a few photos…


Icebreaker Week

Makerspace has been up and running in the Urwin Centre Library again this term. Lauren Murphy becomes more impressed by the boys’ Lego creations each day but the highlight so far is the Little Bits Droid (R2-D2) created by Jenson Galvin, Zac Shieh, Max Thomas and Oscar Sloan (Year 7). The boys have built the robot, managed to get it moving in all directions and figured out how to send it voice recordings that the robot repeats back to them! The next step is to create an obstacle course for the R2-D2.

Lauren Murphy
Librarian (Years 7–8)


Career News

Items in the Career News include – 

– Reminder – Morrisby Report Assessment, March 13, All year 10 students
– News from Monash University
          – Global Immersion Guarantee
          – New in 2019: Bachelor of Criminology
– Health Information Sessions at Deakin University
– Early Leaders Program (ELP) at Swinburne University
– Angliss Experiences – School Holiday Program at William Angliss
– SpotJobs Online Job Board
– Banking and/or Finance Degrees in Victoria
– Snapshot of Bond University in 2018

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


BGS Cooking Corner

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

2 Ingredient Pancakes

– 1 banana
– 2 eggs


  1. Mash the banana in a bowl with the back of a fork.
  2. Add the eggs to the mashed banana and whisk with the fork.
  3. Heat a frypan with a little bit of oil or butter at low–medium heat
  4. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter onto the pan and flip once bubbles form on the top. Cook for a further 1–2 minutes and serve.

Add extra chopped banana and a drizzle of maple syrup to serve.


BGS Friends of Music raffle

Win three tickets to attend Melbourne Victory vs Wellington Pheonix at AAMI Park on Sunday 8 April. Valued at over $150.

Get your tickets here.

The raffle will be drawn on Tuesday 27 March at 10.00am.

Thanks to our donors, Central Home Loans, all proceeds from this raffle will go to BGS Friends of Music for the benefit of BGS Music students. 


Secondary School Dates for the Diary 

9 March        
Year 9 Student-free Day

12 March
Labour Day (Public Holiday)

13 March        
– BGS Parent Group Meeting (Wellbeing Centre)
– Philosophy with Firbank
– Years 7 and 8 Chapel

14 March        
– Chapel Lent Appeal
– DAV Debating Round 1
– Year 10 History Excursion
– SchoolPix Summer Sports and Co-Curricular Photos

16 March        
BGS/FGS Middle Years (7–9) Production Auditions