Weekly eNews

Senior School

A word from the Headmaster, Ross Featherston

We value your feedback

Earlier in the week I wrote to all Year 6, 8 and 12 parents to provide feedback on the results of the Parent Satisfaction Survey they completed recently. These surveys – which parents completed with the assistance of our external partner MMG Surveys –followed on from the whole school surveys completed in 2014, and the Year 6, 8 and 12 parent surveys from last year.

Thank you to the 203 parents who completed this year’s surveys. Of these 203 parents, 95% stated that they say good things about BGS and 94% would recommend BGS to others. Furthermore, our overall satisfaction rating increased from 2015 – an increase that has been moving in the right direction for the past three years. To me, these measures indicate that we are on the right track in much of what we do.

The survey indicated that our parents are pleased with most aspects of the BGS experience, including:

  • our focus on providing a safe and caring environment
  • our expertise in boy’s education
  • our values and traditions
  • the quality of our teaching staff all were rated highly.

The survey also indicated that we have opportunities to continue to improve in the following areas:

  • some aspects of our facilities
  • our relationship with Firbank
  • our academic results (although parents do recognise that BGS’s emphasis on academic achievement has grown significantly since the 2014 survey).

The commissioning of annual parent and student surveys is consistent with my approach to promote transparency of communication and action. It also reinforces the School’s commitment to making decisions that are informed by the best available research, our expertise in teaching boys, and the importance we place on considering the characteristics, preferences and values of boys and parents.


From the Head of Senior School, Ray Swann

This week has been an industrious week of study, exams and reporting. Pleasingly, progress is being made with the Tower Wing development which is currently on track for some classes to be open at the start of next year.

The probationers are currently planning the induction for the school leadership program and to shortly welcome the new Year 9 boys as we prepare for 2017.

As we head to the final part of the term and year, it is important to remind the boys that we need to finish strongly in our studies but also in our dress and presentation.


Career News

Items in the Career News include:  

  • 2016 VCAA Results
  • Key VTAC Dates
  • Introducing our new BGS careers website http://studentcareers.brightongrammar.vic.edu.au/
  • News from Monash University
    • Monash University Special Entry and Access Scheme – Direct Application
    • Important information for VCE International Students
  • UMAT2017
  • Open2Study
  • VCE 2017 Summer Schools
    • Access Education Summer School
    • TSFX Summer School
  • Bachelor of Science (Chiropractic) at CQUniversity (Melbourne)

If you would like any further information on any of these items please click here or see Sophie Keele in the Careers Centre.


From the Chaplain

As a School we strive to equip our young men with the tools to be resilient respectful adults:  one such tool is the knowledge that any act of abuse – physical, emotional or economic – against a woman is unacceptable.

White Ribbon is a movement started by men to address the critical problem of men’s violence against women.  November 25 is White Ribbon Day. 

The statistics alone demonstrate that in Australia we have a problem with violence by men against women.  Our boys would do well to be aware that every male has a role to play to end this violence.  At the very least we all need to acknowledge that all women should be able to live in safety, free from violence and abuse, and that we should behave accordingly.

I would hope that like their Middle School counterparts, the boys in the Senior School would be willing to make the following affirmation: “I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. This is my oath.”

Pins, ribbon and wrist bands are on sale in the Senior School and Middle School receptions for those who wish to support the programs run by White Ribbon Australia.

God commands us to treat each other with respect and equal dignity, regardless of gender, age or even creed.  (See 1 Peter 3:7, Mt 5:44, Gen 2, Rom 12:10, Ex 20:1-17 and other texts).

Fr Tony Poole


Student achievement: Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program

Congratulations to William Lam (Year 10) who has been selected as the BGS winner of the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program – an academic enrichment program.

Five boys from BGS were nominated and more than 1800 were nominated across Victoria. The Program selected 700 recipients from this pool of applications.

The Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholar Program provides a tailored program of events and activities to support and enhance their secondary studies, inspire their career plans and provide opportunities to interact with the university community.


Sports achievements

Summer Sports Leaders
Congratulations to the following boys who have been nominated by their peers for Sports Leadership positions in 2017.

  • Captain of Boats – Will Lewis
  • Vice Captains – Ollie Barden and Lachie Ewers

State Basketball
Congratulation to Hayden Mitchell (Year 9) who has been selected to represent Victoria in the East Coast Challenge (ECC) National Carnival in January.  The Victorian Metro Squad take two teams to Sydney to play in the Championships. Good luck Hayden!


Congratulations to Noah Jones (Year 9) who is now ranked 5th in Australia for Ski Racing for U16 boys. Noah plans to travel to Canada in January to participate in an intensive elite racer club. The program focuses on skills development, mental preparation, diet and nutrition, leading to National selection and further elite level squads. It will be great to see Noah and the entire BGS ski squad back at All Schools and the Nationals in August and September 2017.


ITU Cross Triathlon Championships
On Sunday 20 November, in the New South Wales Alpine town of Lake Crackenback, the ITU Cross Triathlon Championships were held. Over 300 pre-qualified athletes attended this event over the course of three days. Declan Jeffery (Year 10) raced in the Junior Elite category, where competitors came from the Czech Republic, South Africa, Namibia and Spain.

The triathlon featured a 600m swim, 13km mountain bike and a 3.4km trail run. The race didn’t go Declan’s way, as he broke his thumb right away at the start of the swim, before the bike leg had even started. Despite this set back, Declan showed great mental strength and courage and completed the race, which is an amazing achievement in itself.  We look forward to watching Declan’s progress in the Australian team over the next two years and beyond.



2017 subject changes

The 2017 timetable has now been finalised. For all subject changes, boys will need to meet with their Head of House on Monday 5 December (Coaching Day).

Subject changes must be finalised and submitted by 4pm on Thursday 8 December. There will be no further changes accepted or processed after this date.


Second Hand Book Discussion Forum

Please click here for instructions to access the Second Hand Book Discussion Forum on The Hub.


BGSPG AGM and Christmas dinner

The BGS Parents Group AGM will be held on Monday 28 November from 7pm in the Hay Lecture Theatre. All executive-level positions are open for self nomination. The meeting will be followed by a Christmas dinner at White Rabbit from 8pm.

If you wish to join us for the annual Christmas dinner, please RSVP by Friday 25 November to Margaret Hamilton: mhamiltonnz@yahoo.co.nz or 0417 838 007.


Senior School dates for the diary

For updates on important dates and events, see School Stream or click here for the online calendar.