Weekly eNews

Senior School

From the Head of Senior School, Ray Swann

As we reach the end of the term we consider the achievements and challenges faced by the boys and staff. We have seen some real improvements in attendance, timeliness to class and the state of the grounds. To this end, the boys have embraced the Year 12-led mantra ‘sweep the sheds’.

This week we took time to reflect on the true meaning of Easter time through a series of chapel services culminating in the Stations of the Cross on Wednesday.

As the boys are given their first lot of summative grades, it is important to also reflect on the learning and academic gain with your son. It would be worthwhile hearing from him some of his thoughts about his term and his goals at a time set aside later in the holidays.

A number of parents have asked about some of the material we have been using to drive the culture at Senior School. I highly recommend James Kerr’s book Legacy as well as The Making of Men (Arne Rubenstein). Both books would make for some excellent holiday reading.

Finally, we wish all families a peaceful and restful Easter break and look forward to seeing the boys back on Monday 11 April. A reminder that the staff training day will be Friday 15 April. 



NAPLAN assessments

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2016 for Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 boys will be held on Tuesday 10 May, Wednesday 11 May and Thursday 12 May 2016. NAPLAN tests assess knowledge and skills in writing, reading, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.

The results of the tests provide information for boys, parents, teachers and principals, which can be used to improve boys’ achievement.

All boys are expected to participate in the NAPLAN tests. During test week, catch-up tests will be available for individual boys who are absent on test days. Catch-up tests can be undertaken on the days in the test week after the scheduled test, up to and including Friday 13 May 2016.

Later in the year you will receive your son’s personal NAPLAN report. The report will describe your son’s particular skills in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.

The report will also show how your child performed in relation to national minimum standards. These describe the minimum acceptable standards for students across Australia.

I am confident that the information you receive as a result of your son’s participation in the NAPLAN tests will be valuable in helping you to assess your son’s progress in literacy and numeracy.

For more information about the tests, please visit the VCAA website at http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au or the NAP website at www.nap.edu.au.

Dan Belluz
Director of Teaching and Learning (Years 7-12) 


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 comment on taking time out, news on upcoming events supporting BGS boy Will Murray, information about Term 2 music events and BGS snowsports, and some suggestions for the school holidays.



From the Chaplain

Each year in the last week of Term 1, the week prior to Easter, the Senior School sets aside period 1 on three days to observe the events of Holy Week.

It is significant that the Headmaster and Head of Senior School affirm this as a priority for all boys and staff.

Monday: The recollection of Jesus entry into Jerusalem. Staff and boys assembled in the Quad and processed into St Andrew’s to reflect on and emulate the way Jesus began the last week of his life. Boys were given a palm cross and challenged to consider what was happening then and now.

Tuesday: We gathered in St Andrew’s for a short time and took place in a simple meeting of words, actions and music served to throw some light on why Jesus’s life went pear shaped. How can someone who was welcomed with such enthusiasm be so quickly vilified. The fact that people so often quickly fall from grace today serves to illustrate the point.

Wednesday: Starting in the Quad, groups of boys and staff walked the Stations of the Cross – moving from the act of Jesus being condemned to the substance of his death. Each station was led by a senior boy.

For many of the boys, these three days are significant in the experience offered, providing a sense of hope and transformation.  For others, it is still something they do not engage with; they deny its relevance to them. Such is the tenor of this time in history, and such is the world for which Jesus was prepared to die.

As bombs explode in Brussels, as men and women abuse each other, the fact that one died to forgive, and to affirm love is an experience so desperately needed.

May your holiday experience and the holiness of Easter bring you peace and love.

Fr Tony Poole



Fundraising at BGS

Supporting BGS boy Will Murray

The whole School was rocked when we found out about Will Murray’s accident back in January. However, BGS, the Bayside community and indeed the whole of Australia has got behind Will over the past months. Please see the School wide section of this week’s eNews for information on how you can get involved in upcoming events that will raise money for Will.


Fundraising for Martyrs’ School, PNG

Thank you to everyone who came along and supported our first fundraising event last Friday. It was a great success. A special thank you to our sponsors Coles Brighton and Bakers Delight Elwood for making this possible. We have made a profit of $1,300 which will go to the Martyrs’ School in PNG.

Martyrs' School Fundraising

Ute Full of Food     

It was a rainy day on Friday 18 March as 11 boys accompanied Ms Beguin and Mr Kessler to St Mark’s in Fitzroy, after having packed the bus full of clothes and food generously donated by the BGS community. The boys worked hard to sort and count the food and struggled to fit it all on the shelves due to the fantastic amount given.

Over $4700 of non-perishable goods restocked St Mark’s, allowing them to continue to provide the services that they do to aid the homeless. All 1572 items will be put to good use as many people use the community centre as respite and a tool to change their lives around.

Ute full of food


Programs and activities 

Chess tournament

On Tuesday 22 March, BGS hosted the first of its chess tournaments for the year, with 26 of our boys participating in a field of over 100.  The event runs throughout the day, with boys competing for up to seven points from their seven games.  With international representatives from other schools, it was always a daunting task but to our credit we qualified one team and just missed out on another two.  Our best players were Sasha Parsons, Victor Jakobus, Kai-Yee Hall and Chess captain Phillip Guo.  Fourteen of our boys achieved an above average result.  More importantly, fun was had by all and lessons were learned by many.

The next event is held early in Term 2 and I encourage any aspiring chess players to get involved.

Andrew Barr
Head of Chess



Careers News

Items in the Career News include – 

  • Dates to diarise in Term 2
  • ACN Nursing & Health Expo
  • Dookie Course Information Day
  • Career as a Youth Worker
  • Win the Fire Fight – Career as a Firefighter
  • Tractor – Specialist Design School
  • Photographic Studies College
  • Career as a Stunt Person.

If you would like further information on these news items. please click here or see me in the Careers Centre.

Sophie Keele
Careers Counsellor


Sport news

BGS rowing

Saturday 19 March was the APS Head of the River at Nagambie – an event that attracts over 15,000 spectators across all the APS schools.

In the presence of staff, students, family and friends, over 100 boys involved in the BGS rowing program competed in their final race of the season. Despite head wind and the threat of rain, all crews performed well. The results are as follows:


Overall place









9A Quad

9B Quad

9C Quad

9D Quad

9E Quad

9F Quad

9G Quad

















rowing 2

rowing 1




Debating workshop

After school on Wednesday 16 March, the intermediate and senior debaters were fortunate to have DAV adjudicators visit the School to help us improve our debating skills. The adjudicators, were able to supply us with tips and tricks for the round 1 debate.

Nick Semmens (Year 12) 

DAV round 1 debating report 

Term 1 was home to the first debate of this year’s season and it presented both areas of strength and areas for future growth.

For the Year 9 D-grade debate, the topic of “That Australia should become a Republic” presented arguments and contentions for and against the monarchy. The debaters’ efforts showed much promise for success in the future. Congratulations to Charlie Moore for being named ‘Best Speaker’ in his debate.

The debate in Year 10 C-Grade displayed room for growth, as the topic “That we should not permit the sale of alcohol after midnight” brought forward many ideas about the safe consumption and sale of alcohol.

The Year 11 B-grade debate’s controversial topic “That we should legalize Uber,” saw the debaters argue many issues including tax and safety. Congratulations to Robert Tongs and Mitch Hughes for achieving ‘Best Speaker’ awards in their debates, with two teams successfully achieving victories.

Finally, the A-grade Year 12 debaters put forward a stellar performance, with only one loss out of five debates on the topic “That the media should not be permitted to report on criminal cases until after the trial”. The issues of freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial shone through in this complex and technical debate. Nick Semmens, Lachlan Collie and Angelo Lin were all awarded ‘Best Speaker’.

We look forward to more successful results in our later debates, just as we hope to see more parents and friends as supporters at debates over the coming months.

Dates for the next four debates:

  • Wednesday April 27 2016
  • Wednesday June 1 2016
  • Wednesday July 20 2016
  • Wednesday August 3 2016.

Ian Tongs (Year 12)
Captain of Debating 



Senior School dates for the diary

Thursday 24 March
Year 12 formal                     
7pm – 11pm
End of Term 1

Tuesday 29 March – Thursday 31 March
BGS Football Pre-Season Camp

Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March
BGS First XVIII Football Camp lunch     
12.30pm – 1.30pm

Thursday 7 April – Saturday 9 April
1st XV Rugby Squad Pre-Season Training Camp

Monday 11 April
Term starts
Second hand uniform shop 8am – 10am
3pm – 4pm

Tuesday 12 April
1st XVIII football jumper presentation night       
6 pm – 8.30pm

Thursday 14 April
Summer sport team photos
Soccer 1st jumper presentation               
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Friday 15 April
Staff day – student free

For live updates on dates and events please click here.