Weekly eNews

Middle School

A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston

Time for a break

It is incredible to consider all that has been achieved this term across the School. From the teaching staff being trained in Visible Learning through to the Senior Production of Copacabana, and everything in between, Term 2 has been a busy, at times challenging, but ultimately successful 10 weeks.

It is now time for a break. I’m a big believer in taking time out to refresh and reinvigorate and I hope that you all have the opportunity to do just that.

This break is also the perfect opportunity for parents, together with their sons, to read and reflect on the Semester 1 report. There are generally three options that emerge from a semester report:

  1. continue with the good work
  2. improvements in some areas are required
  3. a serious change in attitude and effort is required.

Whatever emerges from your son’s report, please ensure he returns on the first day of Term 3 having discussed its contents with you, and with a plan in place for the second half of the year. I look forward to seeing you all in July for what will be a great third and fourth term.


From the Head of Middle School, Jeremy Martin

The boys in the Middle School have a great deal to be proud of this semester and should look back on their achievements with a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

As I read over each boy’s reports this week, it was apparent that so many have put a tremendous amount of energy and effort into their academic studies. Over the break, please take the opportunity to read through your son’s report with him. There will be much to praise, together with some clear areas for improvement for your son to focus on next semester. I would encourage boys (with help from their parents) to focus on understanding what can be done to improve their achievement and progress through the behaviour indicators and the constructive feedback they have received in the comments section.

Setting realistic goals based on feedback is a very important part of the process for your son to engage in. Setting goals allows students to choose where they want to go in school and what they want to achieve. By having sharp, clearly defined goals, your son can: improve his academic performance; increase his motivation to achieve; increase pride and satisfaction in performance, and: improve his self-confidence. The goals can then be discussed with individual teachers next term during parent/teacher interviews.

I wish you all a relaxed and restful break and look forward to a productive and enjoyable Term 3.


A guide to the new report format

Since August of 2015 the Crowther team has been working on a new report format for parents and boys. While our traditional report presented key areas, we felt that we could include more useful information as a summary of the progress and achievement of your son across the semester in Senior or Middle School. This process involved creating a staff team, then working with the BGSPG for feedback as asking for input from the boys. The short video below will assist you in reading the new reports tomorrow. Thanks to those who had input.


Teaching and learning

We have been doing things a little bit differently in the English department lately. After attending a Professional Development day on John Hattie’s work on Visible Learning, the English department started thinking about the frustrations we have with providing feedback.

As English teachers, we spend hours upon hours marking, correcting, and writing feedback on students’ essays only to see all our hard work thrown in the bin once we hand it back to its owners – discarded, disused, disheartened. Hattie’s research shows that feedback is a crucial factor in student achievement and yet our experience tells us that once the boys have their mark, they don’t seem to care about what they could be doing to improve their work.

So we asked ourselves how can we do it better? We wanted our feedback to be useful, applicable, constructive, and accessible. We started by focusing our attention on improving the way our rubrics were designed. We wanted the assessment criteria and levels of achievement to be clear and understandable for both boys and parents.

Then we thought about the actual process of delivering feedback. We often give the boys their work back covered in comments but with no immediate avenue to improve or apply the feedback provided. And so we decided that feedback needed to be given with opportunity to use that information to improve their work and learn how to make their writing better.  

So in a trial with the Year 8s, every boy was given individual feedback in a one-on-one session with their marking teacher and then all boys were given the opportunity to use their feedback to improve the quality of their final submission for their text response essay on the novel The First Third. The rubric used to mark the original submission was also used to grade the final piece and students were able to see how their application of the feedback could improve their grades and more importantly improve their writing.

Kirsten Dunsby


Programs and activities

iDesign update (110 days to go)

Following on from the Year 8 iDesign assembly a few weeks ago, and now that all Project Management Plans are complete, I thought it would be timely to remind the boys of a few key dates.

By now all projects should be nearly halfway to completion with the finishing touches and refinements being made later in Term 3.

Term 2 holidays are just around the corner and they offer a perfect opportunity for boys to work with their mentors on their projects. I encourage all boys to spend some of the break on their iDesign.

In Late July/early August Year 8 camp is occurring and it is a good idea for the boys to make use of the upcoming 3 week break to complete some of their iDesign project in order to ease the pressure during this time.

The Term 3 holidays in late September will allow the boys enough time to complete their presentations and practise their delivery at home. They are encouraged not to rely on this time for completing their projects as the more prepared each student is for the oral presentations the more confident and relaxed they will be on the day. This in turn will help each of them to maximise their enjoyment in the process of showing off their iDesign projects.

Tuesday 4 October is the hand in date and I thought it would be a good idea to remind both parents and boys that this is just over 100 days away. All projects will need to be completed along with a printed logbook/booklet to be handed in on the day.

The awards evening is scheduled for Thursday 6 October 2015 in the Middle School, with open viewing from 5pm and judging of finalists taking place from 6.30pm until 8.30pm, with awards being presented at 8.30pm. All boys will be required to stand with their own project during the public viewing from 5.30pm until 6.30pm. Please note these times are subject to change.

Presentations and categories
Each boys will also be required to make a 3 to 4 minute presentation to their form group on 4 October. This will require a PowerPoint or other digital slideshow to accompany the project. Please ensure the slideshow is not read out word for word, but rather used as a visual backdrop to the oral presentation. Each boys will need to select one category from the following three that their project best fits within. (Sustainability, Innovation or Creativity). The projects will be marked on the selected category plus Depth, Challenge and Understanding.

Has the project used recycled materials?
Is the design energy efficient?
Is the design biodegradable or made from natural materials?

Is this a totally new concept?
Has the project improved upon an existing idea?
Has the project provided a successful solution to a given problem?

Has the student learned and applied a new skill?
Is the project an original piece?
Has the student displayed artistic ability?

Has the project pushed the boundaries with what has been achieved?

Does the work show evidence of enjoyment, satisfaction and challenge

Was the project presented with enthusiasm and understanding?

List of awards

  1. Rosstrevor Award (1st Place overall) – for going above and beyond all expectations.
  2. Interactive Excellence Award – special award for excellence presented by the Christopher Ride, the CEO of Interactive
  3. Quiksilver Award – special award for enthusiasm presented by Greg Healy, the President of Quiksilver Asia pacific
  4. Asics Award for Innovation – the creation of better or more effective ideas
  5. Creativity Award – the creation of a new product, solution or piece of art
  6. Sustainability Award – the ability to endure
  7. People’s Choice – selected by the Year 7 students as their favourite project
  8. BGS Award – selected by the BGS Development Office for the project showing strongest links to Brighton Grammar School
  9. Humanitarian Award – a special award for empathy presented by Fr. Tony Poole, the Rosstrevor Chaplain
  10. First Aid Award – a special award with a medical focus presented by Anthony Smith
  11. Outdoor Education Award – selected by the BGS Outdoor Education Department

idesign group pic

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed participating in the iDesign process last year and they especially enjoyed having a look at what everyone else created and I anticipate another wonderful event this year. For more information, visit the iDesign Hub page or the iDesign blog page at http://inov8ion.wordpress.com/ alternatively you can email me on jwatson@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au

Jamie Watson
iDesign co-ordinator


Winter sport: Term 3

Please note that winter sport recommences on Wednesday 13 July once the boys have returned to school.  Normal training resumes at this time.  Matches commence that Saturday 16 July and will continue 23rd and 30th July.  All boys are expected to be available for these dates.  If your son is unavailable for any reason, then please send an email request to Tim Marshall tmarshall@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au at least one week in advance to assist with team selection.

A reminder that Middle School House Athletics will be held on Saturday 6 August in Sandringham (9am-12pm). This is a compulsory event for all boys.


Middle School notices

Free parent seminar with Dr Arne Rubinstein: Raising healthy happy teenagers

We encourage all parents and caregivers to attend this free event on Thursday 14 July from 7pm to 8.30pm. Dr Arne Rubinstein, author of The Making of Men and one of Australia’s leading experts on adolescent development. He will be discussing the issues that teenagers are facing today, including technology, drugs, alcohol, pornography and mental health issues.

Please click here for further information and to book your seats.


PAT testing – Wednesday 13 July

The ACER Progressive Achievement Tests are an Australian, nationally normed series of tests designed to provide objective, norm-referenced information to teachers about their students’ skills and understandings in a range of key areas. At the centre of each PAT test is a described proficiency scale, providing both quantitative and qualitative data on student performance, making the PAT tests ideal for understanding students’ current strengths and weaknesses, informing teaching and learning, and monitoring progress over time.

Please make sure that your son’s computer is fully charged.


Seeking families to host Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) student outings

Brighton Grammar is a MITS Partner School. Year 7 MITS students are currently boarding at Lockington in the Vaucluse, Richmond and attending school at the Korin gamadji Institute in Richmond Football Club. Next year students will be attending Brighton Grammar and other partner schools across Melbourne. 

Some of the MITS students have participated in sport at Brighton Grammar this term and parents have expressed interest in organising home visits or outings. We hope to be able to organise visits and outings for the day/afternoon for our MITS students with school families in Terms 3 and 4.  If you would like to volunteer to host a student/students occasionally, please email Kate Russell (volunteer – People & Culture Committee) at volunteer@mitschool.org.au and include “MITS student visits” in the subject line.


School reports – tips for parents

Report time can be stressful for both parents and students. Please click here for tips that will guide you through the process in gaining an accurate representation of your son’s work and implementing measures to address their areas of improvement.


School holiday period: police increase patrols in areas with high public attendance

Victoria Police wish each and every student all the best with their study and pending exams this year. As the school holidays approach, I would urge students that for any activity planned, to consider how it may affect you, your future and others in the community.

Your safety and wellbeing is most important.  Have a good time with friends but be mindful that certain actions can leave a lasting legacy. Secure your personal property (mobile phones, wallets, purses and lap tops) and remind your parents not to leave valuables in their vehicles. You do not need the hassle in notifying people and replacing your personal identification cards. Do not be influenced by others into stealing or drug use. A criminal conviction can affect your chances for future overseas travel and employment. Think before you act. 

It is well documented that shopping centres such as Westfield Southland attract a large number of youths, during the holiday period for various reasons. The location has a number of appealing factors for example the Kingston Youth Centre, Village Cinemas and of course the shopping.

I would like to take this opportunity to advise students to be vigilant over the holiday break, having regard for your own safety, your property and belongings. Please ensure that you do not leave your bags unattended as this may assist a thief.

Be aware that Victoria Police target areas where there is an increase of public attendances over the school holiday period by increasing Uniform and Plain Clothes Police Patrols. We encourage young people to avoid situations where they may be pressured to engage in poor decision making and ask that you consider the consequences of your actions.  Avoid poor decision making by removing yourself from harm or from situations which may result in police involvement.

Victoria Police would like to ensure students and schools alike, return to the start of the new term happy and refreshed.

Warren Francis-Pester
Acting Inspector  
Investigation & Response
Moorabbin Police Headquarters


Middle School dates for the diary

Friday 17 June Last day of Term 2

Wednesday 13 July Term 3 commences

Wednesday 13 July – PAT testing – 8.30am – 10.40am – Middle School

Thursday 14 July Dr Arne Rubinstein – Parent seminar, Nexus – 7pm – 8.30pm. See the Dr Arne Rubinstein Parent Seminar event page on the BGS website for more information.

Tuesday 19 July – Year 7 & 8 Parent Teacher Discussions – 2pm – 8.30pm

Thursday 21 July – Year 7 & 8 Parent Teacher Discussions – 2pm – 8.30pm

Sunday 24 July – Friday 29 July -Year 8 Camp 1 (Crowther, Dixon, Armstrong) – Grampians

Thursday 28 July – Australian Mathematics Competition – 9am – 10.30am – RSCH

Sunday 31  July – Friday 5 August – Year 8 Camp 2 (Rofe, School, Hancock) – Grampians


Found property

This is the extensive list of items currently held. Anything not claimed by Tuesday 19 July, will be suitably recycled. If you have lost an item, please also check the Junior School newsletter as it may be listed there. Remember – all named items are returned. Please label everything.

  • Tracksuit top size M
  • Sports shorts size 14
  • Qantas comfort pack – being used as full pencil case MC. Calculator
  • Grey trousers size 82Y
  • White polo size 10
  • Despicable Me hoodie size 6
  • Grey scarf
  • BGS cricket cap
  • Pair black shoes Ascent size 8
  • 2 x black belts
  • Books: Hunger, Sophie’s World, Stand Out in the Rain
  • ‘Nick’s’ Humanities book
  • 48 Faber-Castell coloured pencils
  • 2 x rulers
  • Blue lever arch file
  • Various drink bottles.