A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston
Another school year begins and with it lots of optimism, hope, energy and enthusiasm. As I mentioned in my welcome video message sent earlier in the week (see below), we enter 2017 in excellent shape and with great things planned for our BGS community.
Our positive start to the year was celebrated nationwide, with two BGS stories running in the national media. The Herald Sun ran a story on how we’re engaging our prep boys in mindfulness and wellbeing training (re-posted on our website here). As you know, we are extremely proud of our school-wide wellbeing program. The Age ran a story about Jordan Bourke, one of our new Indigenous students, and the huge contrast his new school experience will be from his home.
Best wishes to you and your son/s as we begin another exciting year at BGS. And don’t forget that the best way you can support your son in his school year is to know what’s going on. I urge you to attend your parent information night/s and look forward to seeing you there.
From the Head of Middle School, Jeremy Martin
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all boys and their parents as we embark upon a new school year, and to the boys and their families who are new to the Brighton Grammar community, I wish for you a long and happy association with BGS.
We are pleased to welcome new staff, Nicole Clark, Kate Watts and Aude Gillioz and current staff Darren Cook, Lauren Murphy and Paul Stewart to the Middle School.
The Middle School has been a hive of activity, energy, excitement and smiling faces as we start the new school year, particularly for the Year 7s; House Tutors, Heads of House, Learning Commons refurbishments, Middle School Assembly, laptop induction – the list is extensive and the boys’ engagement and optimism has been really encouraging.
For me, the highlight on day one is the Year 7 Welcoming Ritual, a symbolic event involving all Middle School boys. The ritual is designed to reinforce the significance of our House system and to give all boys a real sense of belonging and connectedness. It also helps our new cohort to understand what it means to be a valued member of the Middle School community and the role they are expected to play in living our four core values: passion, respect, integrity and accountability.
As we start Term 1, I look forward to meeting you all at the information evenings over the next two weeks. The Year 7 Parent Information and Social Evening will be on Wednesday 8 February and will provide you with important information that will give you greater insight into your son’s education throughout 2017. There will also be an opportunity to speak directly with key staff Middle School staff. I urge you not to miss this event and encourage you to stay for the refreshments following the information session. The Year 8 Parent Information Evening will be held on Wednesday 15 February and again will provide Year 8 parents with important information from a number of key staff directly involved in your son’s education throughout 2017. Both events commence at 7pm sharp in the Middle School and are for parents only.
Just a reminder that School Stream is our main form of communication for day-to-day operations. Please download the School Stream app to ensure you don’t miss out on any important information regarding your son.
The year ahead is filled with many exciting things to look forward to and I wish the entire BGS community a meaningful and fulfilling year.
From the Deputy Head of Middle School, Travis Hopgood
3CP shows the best educators are the best learners
Often Middle School boys are surprised to realise that their parents and teachers are also learners, just like they are. I often point out to my own sons that they often teach me different things about their schooling, the latest tech trends, what they are passionate about and, importantly, what works for them in learning.
The quality of a learning environment cannot exceed the quality of its educators, as reflected with the 3CP in the Middle School. To remain effective, relevant and motivated in education today, teachers and parents constantly strive to be the best we can be. Our boys notice these things.
When students enjoy transparent, honest and caring relationships with their families, they are happy in themselves and able to look for the good things they are doing. They are also in a position to make the most of family teamwork.
The 3CP in the Middle School highlights to our boys that we are all lifelong learners who collaborate with others and understand the impact we are all having on their growth and development. Every year the needs of our boys change, so we must continually evolve in order to meet their needs. Receiving and accepting feedback from family and School on how they are travelling enables the boys to self-assess and then set process self-expectations for themselves.
Middle School students need regular developmental, non-judgemental feedback. The adolescent brain is a turbulent place, with the good decision-making centre, the pre-frontal cortex, not completely wired up. While they can create emotions just like adults, they don’t yet have the capabilities to consistently control them. This often leads to any feedback being perceived as criticism. The key is to treat all of their activities equally; an over-emphasis on school fires up their brain turbulence.
The Learning Curve program has been incorporated into the Record Books this year. I encourage all family members to read it and sign it on a weekly basis. It will form much of the work that the boys do with their House Tutor to ensure they have the highest academic care on a daily basis. The boys’ learning and wellbeing is paramount in all of our collective work. Learning activities to enhance the academic care for the boys target these six elements:
- Positive Engagement – Focusing your energies on the bright side of life.
- Meaning and Purpose – Having passion and a reason for doing what you do.
- Skills and Achievement – Building your capabilities to strive, thrive and flourish.
- Relationships and Optimism – Focusing optimistically and believing that you and others matter.
- Strengths and Emotions – Being in charge of your emotions through your strengths.
- Exercise and Health – Having a healthy body and a healthy mind.
School and parent partnerships enhance the academic buoyancy of every boy in the Middle School. Working together in the 3CP will help develop their ability to deal with setbacks at school and in general life, academic challenges, and life pressures. The Brighton Grammar community wants each boy to grow into the best version of himself through learning, playing, creating and wellbeing.
“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”
Middle School Notices
Important update for the Year 7 Outdoor Education camp
The 6am student arrival time published in the Year 7 Outdoor Education Program parent letter is incorrect. The correct student arrival time is 6.45am.
By now, your boys would have handed you the Year 7 Secondary School Vaccine Program – Consent Card. The immunisations will consist of (HPV dose 1 and chickenpox first round, HPV dose 2 and DTP second round, HPV3 third round). The dates for these are 15 March, 24 May and 13 September. Please hand your completed cards (whether you allow the immunisations or not) to Middle School reception by Wednesday 8 January 2017.
First Aid Coordinator
BGS Parent Group
The first BGSPG meeting for 2017 will be held on Monday February 13 at 7pm in the Hay Lecture Theatre, Senior School – enter via St Andrews St. The Headmaster, Ross Featherston will open the meeting. This will be the only meeting for Term 1. All parents are welcome.
Auditions for Middle School Production
We are excited to announce that the Middle School Production for 2017 is Camp Rock.
Auditions will take place in Rosstrevor Hall from 3.50pm – 6pm on:
- Thursday 9 February (Auditions for 7H, 7R, 7S, Year 8 and 9)
- Friday 10 February (Auditions for 7H, 7R, 7S, Year 8 and 9)
- Tuesday 14 February (Auditions for 7A, 7C and 7D)
All audition days are open to the Firbank girls to attend, whereas the boys have been allocated specific dates to accommodate the camps early in the term.
More information and audition material will be available by the end of the week via The Hub.
Middle School dates for the diary
For updates and events, see School Stream or click here for the online calendar.