From the Head of Middle School, Jeremy Martin
The Year 7 camps provided a wonderful opportunity for the House tutors to really get to know our Year 7 boys. Equally, it also gave the boys a unique opportunity to spend some time with their teachers outside the classroom, which segued perfectly into the Year 7 parent/House tutor discussions last week. These discussions form a vital part of our pastoral program and highlight the success of the three cornered partnership (3CP) pillar of BGS’s strategy. We remain committed to the pastoral care of all boys in the Middle School and encourage you to contact House tutors or Heads of House at any time if you wish to discuss any aspect of your son’s welfare.
A number of things have caught my attention this week and pleased me greatly. Aside from some really impressive individual performances at the House swimming on Wednesday, what really stood out for me was the House spirit, the support every boy had for their teammates and the remarkable leadership shown by the Year 8 House leaders.
In assembly we recognised a number of boys who have accepted positions of responsibility in the areas of sport and music – my sincere congratulations to those boys. It’s fantastic that we have so many opportunities for boys to lead in the Middle School.
Finally, I mentioned in assembly how impressed I had been with the number of boys who have demonstrated honesty, integrity and maturity by handing in lost money recently – it would be quite tempting for anyone who finds a $50 note lying on the ground to slip it into their own pockets. These boys did not succumb to that temptation. Well done boys – your actions are a sign of a School community that is caring, respectful and honest.
The BGS phone app, which we know many parents rely on for accessing the Sports fixtures, is experiencing technical difficulties. Please access this and any other information on the website. The Sports fixtures for this week are below.
Don’t forget to check the School wide section
News relating to the whole of the School will now appear in the School wide section of the eNews – click on the button below to take a look.
This week, School wide e-News includes Ross Featherston’s report on BGS in China, BGS’s partnership with Melbourne Rebels Club, information on The Victorian Parents Council 5th Annual Seminar, and a free parent seminar on resilience, anxiety and children.
A word from Scott Davies, Year 7 Head of House
If we don’t initiate our boys they will burn down the village in order to feel the heat.
I remember my dad saying that there was no manual for parenting, especially parenting a ratbag like me. It was said in jest (at least I hope it was) on numerous occasions due to the frequency of my rapscallion behaviour as an adolescent boy. I know, looking back, that I was by no stretch the perfect son and at times made it incredibly hard for both my parents. They did the best they could with the skills they possessed and I am 100% certain that I would not be where I am today without their guidance, love and support.
On Sunday I will be having breakfast with my dad (Wayno, as I affectionately call him) and I will remind him of the comment he made all those years ago. Then I’ll tell him what I want to tell those reading this article: that there is a manual of sorts, or at least a great book that will help you understand your sons and what they are going through and how best to support them during what is undoubtedly a complex time of their development.
The Making of Men by Dr Arne Rubenstein is a must-read for all parents, guardians, mentors, coaches and educators of boys. It’s also an insightful read for men, one through which we can reflect on our own upbringing and maybe cut our dads some slack for trying their best with the skills they had. I know I’ll be thanking Wayno on Sunday! Parenting can be hard, so too can teaching, but reading The Making of Men might make it a little easier.
I decided to write about this book for two reasons. The first was alarming research that suggests that at 12 years of age the level of satisfaction with life or feeling of wellbeing is at its highest. However, after peaking at 12 this perception of wellbeing plummets dramatically until the age of 16, where it is actually at its lowest. The second reason was that this occurrence is right about the time your boys transition into and out of the Middle School.
What are we doing to ensure that this crucial period in the boys’ development is a positive experience and one where they feel supported and understood? Well for starters we read The Making of Men. Secondly, we initiate the boys with their right of passage into the Middle School, and thirdly we instil a sense of belonging through the House system and our general inclusive approach to the learning environment. Boys need to feel as though they belong, that they matter and that they can make a difference. If they don’t, they may just burn down the village.
Our Year 7 parents were lucky enough to receive a copy of Dr Arne Rubinstein’s book courtesy of Ross Featherston when they attended the parent information evening earlier this term. I implore those of you who you haven’t already done so to find the time to read it. I also encourage you to speak about its content with your sons and have a discussion with other parents who have read it. Who knows, it may just be the manual you’ve been looking for!
Chapel is a good place to discuss the most obscure questions like: “What is the meaning of prayer?”, “What are we doing when we pray?” and “How often should we pray?”
The reading of 1 Thessalonians suggested that we should pray incessantly. But this raises too many questions: how long should I stay on my knees? Do I just repeat the same words over and over? Does God get tired of my incessant asking?
Besides this, is it appropriate to ask God for a parking space near the entry to the supermarket? Doesn’t that mean that I am asking God to make someone else walk further?
In a comment provided by the ‘Surprise Church’, prayer can be compared to a mobile telephone – it is always connected, the Wi-Fi (provided the account has been paid) is always open. Prayer is not about what or how, it just is – the connection with God, the sense of God’s presence and the willingness to live life in that communication lane.
With my prayers for all.
Fr Tony Poole
The Marais name has become synonymous with hockey at BGS over the past four years, with both Brad (Year 10) and Craig (Year 8) representing the 1st XI since Year 7. After captaining the U13 Victorian hockey team last year, Craig has been named in the U15 Victorian Hockey side to compete in Wollongong in April. Considering he is only of U14 age, this is a truly remarkable achievement. Good luck Craig!
I am fortunate this year to be joined by Middle School Sports Leader, Sam Banfield. As one of our 12 Middle School Leaders, Sam’s portfolio includes being the student representative for all things relating to sport throughout the year. This will include APS, internal and House sporting activities.
One of Sam’s first roles was to present leadership badges alongside Mr Martin to our array of APS Summer Sport captains in Assembly this week. This traditionally takes place after the conclusion of Year 7 camps so that all boys can congratulate these Year 8 boys who lead their respective Middle School-based sport:
Badminton – Chris Lam (Capt) and Robert Kyte (Vice-Capt)
Cricket – Craig Marais (Capt) and Spencer Wood (Vice-Capt)
Swimming – Harrison Kirkham (Capt) and Ewan Smith (Vice-Capt)
Tennis – Zach Adam-Gedge (Capt) and Evan Best (Vice-Capt)
Touch football – Thomas Draheim and Chris Valcanis (Co-Capt)
House swimming – the Hunter Cup
The first leg of our House Swimming Championships (Hunter Cup) was held on Wednesday for our Year 7 boys. It was a hotly contested event and just 48 points separates first and sixth leading into next Wednesday’s Year 8 event. As we await Year 8 results for the final placings, please find the halfway points tally:
258pts – Crowther
245pts – Hancock
236pts – Armstrong
233pts – Dixon
210pts – Rofe and School
Year 8 parents and families are invited to the Junior School pool (entrance off New St) from 8am next Wednesday 9 March. Year 7 APS sports training will continue as normal next week.
Head of Sport & Activities
Sports Reports and Fixtures
Sports reports from Saturday 27 February
Please click here for detailed reports on the various matches played last weekend.
For this week’s sports fixtures please click here.
For this week’s sports team selections please click here.
Middle School notices
Uniform shop closure
The Noone uniform shop will be closed Saturday 10 and Monday 12 March 2016 due to the Labour Day Public Holiday.
Parent Hub help sessions
For our new parents or parents who would like a refresher course on The Hub, you are very welcome to attend one of our Parent Hub help sessions on the following days:
- Friday 4 March 9.40am – 10.40am
- Monday 7 March 3.45pm – 4.45pm
- Wednesday 9 March 8.35am – 9.30am
- Thursday 10 March 5pm – 6pm
The Hub help sessions are designed to assist you with accessing information on your son’s progress and to help navigate your way around The Hub.
These are small group sessions and places are limited. Please register your attendance here.
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF)
Families holding a valid means-tested concession card are eligible to apply for a payment of $125 (primary students) or $225 (secondary students) to be paid directly to the School (the amount of which will be deducted from your fees) for use towards camps, sports and excursion costs for the benefit of the student. A special consideration category also exists. Information about the CSEF program can be found here.
Please contact the Accounts Department to submit an application on your behalf.
Parenting tip: Teen time
Teenagers need their parents more than at any other stage, yet too often they are left to their own devices. It’s time to start dedicating more rather than less time to raising teens, giving them parental guidance, nurturance and support in their journey from childhood into adulthood. Please click here to view this week’s parenting tip: ‘Teen Time’.
BGPS – Year 7 parent drinks
All Year 7 parents are invited to our first social event, which will be held on Friday 18 March from 7pm to 10pm. For further information, please click here.
The boys watched a short video this week, during a presentation about the Middle School Charity Committee. You can see the video here.
The video portrayed examples of people going about their day to day lives – going to work, attending school, a day at the beach, and driving through traffic. The antagonist of the video was presented as some form of challenge that we are faced with on a day-to-day basis – a traffic jam, a hefty challenge on the football field, a blown away beach ball. In turn, the main characters of the video offered kindness in a number of ways – letting someone into the traffic queue, helping a blind lady across the street, or retrieving a lost beach ball. It was this idea of lending a helping hand, and the idea of paying it forward or starting a chain reaction as one random act of kindness leads to another, which was the topic of the video.
This provided the stimulus for a brainstorm activity, in which students were asked to give their insights into what the video represented to them. Responses varied from ‘kindness’ to ‘offering help and support’, the idea of ‘one good deed leading to another’, and ‘that someone is always watching’.
The boys were then posed the thought that in fact this was a video about charity and the voluntary giving of help to those in need.
We have already seen examples of this at BGS this year in response to Will Murray’s injury. The giving of time and love through hospital visits and the donation of gifts from the 1st XVIII.
The first official opportunity to give this year will be the initial Timothy and John Fundraiser (Kenyan sponsor students that are supported by the Middle School). This event will be a touch football game between staff and students on Friday 11 March.
You can support this fundraiser by:
- promoting the event by talking about it at home and at School
- contributing a gold coin donation for the Own Clothes Day
- representing the Middle School students by purchasing raffle tickets (most tickets = a chance to represent the Middle School touch student team)
- assisting with running the barbeque, or coming down to support your fellow Middle School staff and students.
We also have the first Ute Full of Food Fundraiser to follow on Friday 18 March (check next week’s eNews for details).
There are so many ways we can give here in the Middle School. We look forward to working with staff, students and parents in assisting those in need in 2016.
Upcoming charity dates:
Own Clothes Day and Middle School Touch Football game (staff vs. students) –
Friday 11 March
Ute Full of Food – Friday 18 March
Mr Rob Hanley
Dates for the diary
Wednesday 9 March
Year 8 House swimming at BGS at 7.30am – 9.30am
Thursday 10 March
Year 7 immunisation (Rosstrevor Hall) at 9am – 12pm
Friday 11 March
Own Clothes Day and Touch Football game (staff vs. students)
Monday 14 March
Labor Day Public Holiday
Wednesday 16 March
Free parent seminar – Resilience, Anxiety and Children
Rosstrevor Hall, corner Allee and New Streets Brighton
See the School wide eNews for more information on this seminar.
Friday 18 March
Year 8 – Extension Studies – F1 Grand Prix
Ute Full of Food
Blazer size 90Y with Hancock badge
Sports shorts sizes S, XS and L
Hockey/soccer shorts size L
2 x ties
Short-sleeved shirts sizes 12 and 14
White polo Year 6 Cricket Tour Hobart 2007 size 14
White polos sizes 14 and S
Blue shorts sizes 12, 16 & 18
Red/blue sports top size S
School House polo size M
Burgundy hoodie size 14
Black Carve hoodie size 12