A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston
Where did 2016 go?
On the one hand 2016 has gone so very quickly, yet on the other it does seem so long ago that we welcomed in the new school year way back in late January.
In my final eNews comment for 2016, I’d like to sincerely thank you for playing your part in what has been a great year for BGS. While it would be close to impossible to capture everything that has been achieved this year, I sincerely hope your son (whether he is 3 or 18) has had a year of success, joy, a little bit of healthy challenge and difficulty, but ultimately progress, growth and development.
I hope you have a safe, relaxing and refreshing Christmas and summer break. I look forward to welcoming you all to a new school year in 2017.
From the Head of Middle School, Jeremy Martin
It was wonderful to have the 2017 Year 7 cohort with us on Tuesday. Scott Davies and Tim Marshall organised a great day for the boys and I have no doubt they’re looking forward to becoming Middle School boys next year. Of particular note was the Chapel service. Father Tony brought together the incoming Year 7 boys with the Year 8 boys and the leadership demonstrated by the Year 8 boys in terms of respect, participation and setting high expectations was most impressive.
At the end of the year we say farewell and extend our best wishes to a number of staff who are leaving the Middle School. Peter Tutera will be teaching at Casey Grammar next year, Andrew Braddy and Ness Hinneberg are seeking new challenges outside of teaching and Michael McCarthy and Roger Nink also leave us. We also wish Kirsten Dunsby and Cat Rossiter all the best as they move to teach in the Senior School and Junior School respectively. We thank all these staff members for their contributions to the Middle School and for their commitment to the boys in their care.
Finally, I wish all the boys and their families a wonderful Christmas and holiday period and I look forward to welcoming you back in 2017.
From the Head of House, Ruth Dempsey
Reflection on 2016
As I stood in Chapel today with the new Year 7s on their Transition Day and the Year 8s for 2017, it struck me how diminutive in size they were! Standing next to the Year 8s for the Leavers’ Eucharist last Friday I too felt small, somewhat dwarfed by their size and their collective presence. They sang with gusto, at times with a little too much enthusiasm, but a joyous bellow nonetheless. They sounded great, they looked happy, they stood proud. They seemed poised for the next phase of their schooling; the Senior School awaits.
As we gathered outside the Tower after Chapel and the Year 8s performed the ritual of knocking on the door, I could sense their apprehension and anticipation of the new. But they were in it together, they have stood side by side all year and together they made the transition under the Clock Tower to be greeted by their Houses on the other side of the door, to meet their new tutors and peers, to become Senior School students.
As I reflect on the year, the enormity of the development in the boys becomes increasingly apparent. Many of the bigger issues between the boys at the beginning of the year were little more than hangovers from a primary school mentality. The big issues became smaller as the year progressed and towards the end on the year they were no longer issues at all. The boys had learnt to get along, learnt to support one another and raise each other up. At the very least they had learnt to put their egos away and be with one another in a peaceful way.
It is with a great sense of anticipation that we will now watch and help facilitate this same transition in our Year 8 group for 2017. The attitude and behaviours they bring upstairs with them will not be the same as those they will bring when they too knock on the door and enter under the Clock Tower at the end of the 2017. It is always amazing but again, at the end of 2017 when I stand beside the boys for their Leavers’ Eucharist there is no doubt that I again will feel dwarfed, the boys will sing loudly and there will be a sense of pride and an eagerness and readiness for all that awaits them in the Senior School. The mother in me says, ‘the years… they pass by too quickly’.
All the best for a restful Christmas break. We look forward to working with your sons in 2017.
Is there anyone who does not experience a sense of chaos or confusion amidst the cascading events and demands that coalesce at this time of year?
It seems almost a conspiracy to drown out the underlying message of peace and harmony. There are many voices that affirm that children are the focus or chief beneficiaries of Christmas.
That can be true for some, and the joy that flows from the giving of gifts. There is so much joy to be found in observing the response of others when they open and receive the gift that you have given. Although sometimes the choice of the gift may the result of a last minute desperate decision.
This week in Chapel the new Year 7 and 8 were presented with ideas and practices around the sacrament of Holy Communion, the Mass of the Eucharist.
Christmas too might be considered a sacrament: an outward sign of an inward reality and truth. The gifts, the rush, the family celebrations and even the holidays are all outward signs of something that God wants us all to share, to know and to live with.
The inward reality is the grace of God which comes to us and empowers us to know love, compassion and good will with those around us.
May the joy of Christmas, the full gift of the season, be yours. Have a safe and blessed holiday. Thank you for sharing the journey of 2016.
Fr Tony Poole
Middle School notices
Semester 2 reports
Semester 2 reports will be available from 6pm today. For instructions on how to view your son’s Semester 2 2016 report, please click here.
Study Club has been well attended in 2016. It’s wonderful to see the boys establishing a regular study routine as they begin their secondary education. At Study Club many boys undertake private study, while others have availed themselves of support in specific subject areas with the teachers of those subjects, as well as by working together in groups. Academic excellence, like any pursuit, needs a supportive environment where people work together to achieve positive outcomes. To quote Michael Jordan: “Talent wins games – but teamwork and intelligence win championships”.
Each year it is pleasing to see some of the regular attendees of Study Club receive prizes on Speech Night. Other boys see these boys supporting other students, as well as working hard to achieve their own success and they see them rewarded for their effort. Working together can lift the standard for everyone. I use a sporting analogy with the boys as they strive for academic success: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Calm and steady wins the race”.
BGSPG New Executive Team for 2017
- President – Katie Flockart
- Vice President – Mary Jo Young
- Secretary – Harb Gill
- Treasurer – Geoff Gedge
- Parent Convenor – Sally Stewart
- International Parent Liaisons – Bethany Lu, Connie Cai, Chun Lui (all communications via Maggie Lynch).
Parenting tip – making the most of the holidays
As school wraps up for the year, and as weekend and after school activities come to a halt for the holiday season, your children may look to you to keep them entertained. This article provides five suggestions that may help you manage and enjoy the holiday time with your children. Please click here to read the full article.
Middle School dates for the diary
For updates and events, see School Stream or click here for the online calendar.