Week 8 Term 2
Friday 12 June 2020
In this issue:
- BGS introduces a new foundational subject, Science in Learning, for Years 7 and 8
- BGS excels in QAMT Problem Solving competition (Mathematics)
- Outdoor Education upgrades
- Sneak peak into the BGS Art Show 2020
Science of Learning
During the uncertain times of 2020, many of us have poked our head above the trees to see the forest once again. As we have paused from daily routines, or developed new ones, we have interrogated their purpose.
This is equally true for the myriad of learning experiences that students undertake at Brisbane Grammar School in the pursuit of a broad liberal education. The School’s stated purpose is to “educate boys within a strong learning culture that is innovative yet respectful of its traditions, by nurturing their intellectual, physical and emotional wellbeing to become thoughtful and confident men of character who contribute to their communities.”
With this as a stimulus, we have embarked on an exciting and ambitious project that supports our mission.
From 2021, all BGS students will undertake a new and innovative foundational subject in Years 7 and 8 that has the current working title, “Science of Learning”.
BGS students have always developed an understanding of the learning process and the essential skills to learn across various disciplines and contexts. However, this new subject will aim to make this focus more explicit, universal and transferable at what is a critical stage of a young man’s development. Science of Learning will offer students the opportunity to consolidate and build on understandings developed previously and receive meaningful feedback as they develop.
Increasingly capable of abstract thought, Years 7 and 8 students will emerge from this subject better equipped to operate as independent and self-regulated learners in Year 9 and beyond. The ambition in laying these foundations is that the new understanding and skills will assist students through their learning well beyond the School’s gates.
One of the School’s stated goals is to “develop attitudes, skills, and a base of knowledge as a foundation for critical intelligence, imaginative and creative powers, effective communication and the capacity and enthusiasm for independent, lifelong learning.”
- Cognitive development – student engagement in inquiry, open-ended problem solving and the evaluation of thinking. This includes the enhancement of key skills in areas such as questioning, note-making, visual representation, argumentation and the use of evidence.
- Metacognitive development – understandings about how humans learn, the adoption of a shared language of learning and the development of self-awareness and regulation.
- Dispositional maturity– the development of key dispositions for learning which aid self-regulation and include a willingness to analyse alternative perspectives.
While the course is being constructed by a small dedicated team of Middle School teachers, it is informed by the collective experience of BGS staff. We have drawn on what we have learned during the home-based learning period, as well as the broader experiences gained from our transition to the new Queensland Certificate of Education system. It is also heavily influenced by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) articulation of cross-disciplinary “General Capabilities” that are to be developed in all students.
The subject will rank equal in importance with students’ disciplinary learning. It will occupy three periods per week in the timetable during Semester 1 for Year 7s and Semester 2 for Year 8s. Students will undertake a semester of Geography in the alternate semester. Latin, which had previously occupied this place in the timetable as a compulsory subject, will continue to be offered as a language elective from Year 8. Science of Learning will be assessed and included in the end of semester reporting cycle.
We expect that these foundational skills will help students to learn more confidently as they navigate their learning journey. The value of these skills will be evident as BGS students transfer their understanding across other subjects, contexts and time frames. We are excited about the progress of our development of Science and Learning, and we look forward to providing more details about the subject in due course.
- Dean of Students | Simon Conway
- Captain's Corner
- End of Term 2 | 12.00pm Finish
- Outdoor Education
- Student Wellbeing
With the term break approaching, boys are working hard to finish this busy time of semester well. The assessment period and reintroduction of cocurricular training has given us all a greater sense of normality.
This week, we launched the Parent and Student Data Portals, which contain key information such as summative assessment data, cocurricular information and assessment schedules. They are designed for easy access and will hopefully address parents’ commonly asked questions. Deputy Headmaster - Teaching and Learning, Mr Steve Uscinski introduced the Student Data Portal to the boys via a virtual address. He encouraged students to become familiar with the data provided, so they can use it effectively in the future.
Finally, a reminder that this semester finishes at 12.00pm on Friday 19 June, with students expected to attend school until that time. Parents are required to seek approved leave for their son if there is a legitimate reason for him to leave school before the scheduled end of term. These leave requests should be directed to the relevant Head of Year and will be processed through the Deputy Headmaster – Students office.
The School has been buzzing this week as things slowly begin to go back to normal. The oval was filled with boys on Monday morning as many cocurricular activities focused on preparing for the upcoming season. On Tuesday morning, Centenary Hall was brought to life by musicians who also have recommenced rehearsals. It is great to see so many boys back to their cocurricular pursuits.
From an academic point of view, Senior School students have been particularly busy this week as assessment pressures on boys have increased. It is important to revisit our School Values during assessment periods, as applying them is a great way to succeed in assessment. The most important School Value to focus on during this time is Endeavour.
Endeavour, by definition, means “to try hard to achieve something,” but at BGS it has enhanced importance. When you are feeling under the pump with a heavy load of assessment, endeavour to push through it. Work hard to complete revision tests for exams, put your maximum effort into your assignments as it will all be worth it when it is done. You will be able to look back at your work and be proud of what you put forward. If you are focusing on endeavour and giving your all, the results should take care of themselves.
Good luck to the boys completing assessment; let’s finish the semester positively.
School Vice Captain
Director of Boarding
Though we’re often told good routine is important, we rarely understand that statement. In recent years more emphasis has been placed on what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once called “the dull routine of existence.”
However, we do know that we need a good routine to manage daily challenges.
My routine is based around Outlook: the checking of emails, dealing with urgent issues, reviewing the never-ending to-do list and checking the calendar function – and I’m ready for another day. For the boarders in Griffith House or Harlin House, it may be a simple check of the timetable (that most boys have in their laptop bags) to make sure they have the right books for the day. Sometimes it’s the PE kit for the lesson they always seem to forget they have.
However, routine also makes us feel safe, and it reduces our natural anxiety. It may be as simple as a regular event that provides us with security and reassurance.
One of the highlights for me last weekend was Sunday evening’s Dodgeball Duel in the Indoor Sports Centre. It was wonderful to see teams of boys from across the year groups battle it out for temporary bragging rights. I don’t think it is important what game we play – it is the fact that the boys get a chance to end the weekend with their mates.
And it isn’t always a physical activity. This year, we relaunched our weekly NRL tipping competition. Boys who think they know their stuff spend hours pouring over the weekly selection. Some boys scour tips, and Mr Richie has proved a valuable source of insight on Wednesday night. You could just tick random names, as Ocean Shih did this week, and take home the Domino’s value pizza!
Director of Outdoor Education
Outdoor Education teachers have continued to work with Year 9 classes at BGS this week. The lesson helped answer a lot of the boys’ questions about our plans for Semester 2. Boys also learned some outdoor skills and enjoyed excellent knot tying races with fierce competition. These skills will be useful during their future Outdoor Education experiences.
During the absence of students at Pepperina Hill, the department has had an opportunity to move forward with a range of site development work. An upgrade of soft fall barriers around activity sites has been completed to remove trip hazards, and a new social space has been developed. The area features picnic tables and a great view of the activity sites and mountains.
We have also built a new group activity for Year 8 students – the Commando Wall. The activity embodies traditional Outdoor Education philosophy that remains relevant to create an excellent teamwork challenge for boys to enjoy.
Site development at Bitenbar has progressed with the development of Pulpit Rock for Year 10 climbing and abseiling activities with walking tracks, safe waiting areas and tested and approved bolts as rock climbing anchors. We have also added 200 plants around the Year 10 campsite.
As we prepare for the possible return of students in Term 3, we are finalising site work and ensuring the COVID-Safe plans are in place and are practical for student participation.
Director of Student Wellbeing Programs
Social Media and Digital Reputation
Social media has become an integral part of a teenager’s life. However, many miss out on critical social skills communicating through a screen instead of face-to-face.
Statistics suggest 60% of 10 and 11 year-olds are using at least one social media site, including age-restricted platforms. What young people do, post and say online is permanent, and many are not mature enough to manage their digital footprint. Friendships, relationships and even future job prospects are put at risk.
Parents need to be aware of how children appear online. Unfortunately, sometimes adults do not see the dangers inherent on these sites because we have a different experience. Predators are usually not interested in grooming adults, for example.
With a dramatic increase in the number of children in primary school owning mobile phones, it is even more important to teach children about the dangers and implications of social media.
Cybersafe Webinar | Year 7 Student Wellbeing
Last Monday, Cybersafe expert Brett Lee from Internet Safe Education spoke to Year 7 students via a webinar about navigating modern-day cyber technology responsibly.
Boys shared their key takeaways from the webinar:
- The internet is a public place, and any messages can be seen by many people.
- What you write on the internet is permanent.
- When online, report bad behaviour. Talk to trusted people. If there is a problem, do something about it. Report it.
- Protect your identity. Do not give information away to strangers.
- Online rules are the same rules and laws as in real life. Online rules are real.
In coming months, boys in other year levels will have an opportunity to hear Brett Lee’s messages via webinars, and discussions will continue during Student Wellbeing lessons.
Brett is hosting a webinar for parents called Online Rules - What rules do my kids need for technology? You can register here.
Young people require regular reminders about how to make good online choices and how to seek help if they feel uncomfortable with interactions or content they see.
SchoolTV | Responsible Social Media Use
In this edition of SchoolTV, parents will learn how to talk to their children about the inherent dangers of social media and how to educate them to be responsible users in the online world we live in. You can access the information here.
QAMT Problem Solving
Several talented BGS Mathematics students have been awarded prizes in the Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers Problem Solving Competition. Congratulations to the boys who have achieved these outstanding results and to those willing to enter this demanding and competitive competition.
- First Place (Equal) – Ben Li ($150 prize)
- Commendation – Dennis Zhou
- Commendation – Aryan Bakshi
- Second Place – David Sun and Sze Yong Ng ($100 prize)
- Third Place – Jaden Teow and Richard Zhang ($50 prize)
- Second Place – Jacob Duncan ($100 prize)
- Commendation – Lehan Ling
- Commendation – Bencent Lee and Cheng Bin Saw
- Commendation – Alex Wu
Mr Anthony Mewing
Head of Mathematics
BGS wishes to acknowledge the longstanding contribution of Mr David Lush to BGS Swimming and the School.
“Lushy” will conclude his role as Director of Swim Coaching on Friday 12 June.
Lush has been part of the BGS community for almost 12 years. He established the Brisbane Grammar School Swimming Club in 2010 and by 2014, the club was one of Australia’s top ranked swimming clubs.
The BGS Swimming GPS program has finished first or second for the past six years, with two GPS Championships in 2017 and 2018. The 2017 victory ended a 40-year GPS drought.
Lush’s innovations in his role, such as the BGS Swimming Health Professional Network almost a decade ago, have focused on enhancing the athletic development and support of BGS swimmers.
Through the BGS Swimming Club, he has coached several Olympic swimmers and was part of the Australian coaching staff for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He has coached swimmers to gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships. In 2017, Lush was named Coach of the Year by the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association.
In the BGS Swimming Club, Lush has mentored a passionate and experienced team. His team-centred approach has ensured outstanding results in the pool coupled with the development of the well renowned BGS Swimming culture.
From the BGS Swimming Club staff team, Mr Bobby Jovanovich has been appointed as the Acting Head Coach (Swimming) and Mr Matt Logan will continue in his GPS program leadership role.
Thankfully, Lush will remain connected with the program. While not on pool deck, he will apply his considerable experience and skills to supporting the Acting Head Coach and the BGS Swimming Club in its strategic direction and administration.
"Winning the 2017 GPS Swimming Championships is one of the highlights of my coaching career,” Lush said. “I am so proud to have been able to contribute to the BGS community. It was always my intention to create an environment where every BGS boy felt valued, had a sense of purpose and belonging at the pool.”
“The BGS Swimming program is the benchmark model for schools across Australia. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved, and I have no doubt Mr Logan and Mr Jovanovich will continue to successfully lead the program.”
We are confident that Lush’s work over many years will see BGS Swimming continue to succeed. Thank you Lushy.
At 6.30am on Wednesday morning, I walked down to our ovals at Spring Hill to see the Cross Country squads preparing to train and our Rugby squads doing their warm-up. In speaking with the coaches and boys, there was a sense of optimism and excitement in the air.
Elsewhere on the campus, more boys were rehearsing and training. On Friday morning, I stepped into the Great Hall to hear a few minutes of a Grammarphones choral rehearsal, a powerful performance.
Our boys are active together again, and we are better for it.
This week, planning for Term 3 GPS competitions has continued to progress. By the start of next term, we expect to be in Stage 3 of the COVID-19 Roadmap, and our planning has focused on what this will look like primarily for our students.
We spent time at Northgate this week, working through operational aspects for game days, to ensure we are ready for what will be a busy start to Term 3.
Program leaders will continue to communicate directly with boys and families connected with their programs. The work of these leaders is being coordinated by the Director of PE, Sport & Activities, who liaises with the GPS Office and his peers at other GPS schools regularly.
Broadly speaking, on competition days, we will be travelling more, timeframes at venues will be limited (“arrive, play, go”), canteens will be closed. All this is necessary in order to accommodate the return to play for our students – the most important people within our community.
After our long break, it’s exciting to hear our ensembles practising together once again. While we have had to change some venues and some groupings of boys, all rehearsals are progressing well. Please enjoy this short video of the Grammar Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal, featuring a snippet from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera.
Sunday 9 August in the Great Hall
- 12.30pm – Chamber Strings
- 1.30pm – Vocal Group
- 2.00pm – GVE
- 2.30pm – Grammarphones
- 3.15pm – Grammar Singers
Wednesday 12 August in the Centenary Hall
- 12.30pm – Percussion Ensemble
- 1.00pm – Big Band
- 1.45pm – Spoken introductions
- 3.15pm – Symphonic Band
- 3.45pm – Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday 4 August in the Centenary Hall
- 3.30pm – Williams Band
- 4.00pm – Grainger Band
Wednesday 5 August in the Centenary Hall
- 7.15am – Holst Band
- 7.45am – Sousa Band
Friday 7 August in the Centenary Hall
- 7.00am – Philharmonic Orchestra
- 7.20am – Stradivari Strings
- 7.40am – Locatelli Strings
- 8.00am – Tartini Strings
Wednesday 12 August in the Centenary Hall
- 4.45pm – Guarneri Strings
Thursday 13 August in the Great Hall
- 3.30pm – Paganini Strings
- 3.50pm – Corelli Consort
- 4.10pm – Vivaldi Strings
Friday 7 August
- 7.00am – Clarinet Ensemble (M1)
- 12.45pm – Saxophone Ensemble (Music Auditorium)
Monday 10 August
- 7.00am – Parker Jazz Band (Location TBC)
- 3.15pm – Junior Percussion (Percussion Room)
Tuesday 11 August
- 7.00am – Basie Jazz Band (Location TBC)
- 12.45pm – Double Reed Ensemble (Music Auditorium)
- 3.15pm – Crash Percussion (Percussion Room)
- 3.30pm – Chamber Choir
Wednesday 12 August
- 7.00am – Boom Percussion (Percussion Room)
- 12.45pm – Flute Ensemble (Music Auditorium)
- 3.15pm – Grammar Voices (Music Auditorium)
Thursday 13 August
- 7.00am – Morrison Jazz Band (Location TBC)
Head of Music
BGS Chess Team Trials
Nominations for the BGS Chess team have closed.
Trials will likely be held on Saturday 20 June from 9.00am to 12.35pm via an online platform. Once this is confirmed, details about how to participate will be emailed to all students who have nominated to play in the GPS Chess competition. Details will also be made available via the Chess page on MyGrammar.
- BGS Art Show
- P&F Auxiliary | Connect - Care - Contribute
- Volunteer Roster
- Upcoming Events
- 2020 Calendar
- BGS150 History Book
The BGS 2020 Art Show is an online exhibition of 20 2D works by professional artists.
In keeping with this year’s theme of Iridescence, 20 selected artists will feature one artwork to reflect changing perspectives of their environment.
Feature artist Lyn Barnes will also showcase five paintings, capturing the changing landscape of the Channel Country after the floods.
Here is a sneak preview of some fabulous works from our selected artists.
South Brisbane Riverbed
Kate is a Brisbane based artist who paints local and remote rural landscapes.
Grape vines in winter - Stanthorpe
Painted en plein air, this image captures the freshness of winter on the Granite Belt, with the crisp air, rolling hills, playful clouds and dormant grape vines.
Sunday Mountain Climbs
Amy’s painting process captures colour, movement and form in the natural landscape.
Blonde brick backyard
Nick spends a good deal of time observing his surroundings (usually the inner urban areas of Brisbane and Sydney). He uses his distinct approach to light and colour to evoke a feeling of familiarity and nostalgia from the viewer.
The P&F Auxiliary is a subcommittee of the P&F Association that facilitates fundraising and fosters parent fellowship and the sense of strong community at Brisbane Grammar School. All profits are returned to the School to enhance the experience for students and families.
The Tuckshop and Grammar Shop are currently operating cash-free, so please plan accordingly. Safety guidelines regarding social distancing and hand sanitising will continue in both locations.
Grammar Shop MSA card payment
The Grammar Shop now accepts payment via the My Student Account (MSA) cards, which students currently use in the Tuckshop. Please ensure your son’s MSA card is sufficiently topped up before planning to purchase items from the Grammar Shop.
For those families who use the MSA card daily spend limit function, many Grammar Shop purchases will be over the set daily spend. Grammar Shop staff have the ability to override daily spend limits when requested. However, this will also mean that the student’s full daily spend has been exhausted and will not leave them any funds available for the Tuckshop that day. We recommend that parents remove the daily spend limit for the day that their son is planning to make a Grammar Shop purchase.
Open weekdays before school, during breaks and at lunchtime.
The Tuckshop’s latest menu is now available via MyGrammar > P&F Auxiliary > Tuckshop > Tuckshop Menu. The menu includes old favourites and a few new items to enjoy. Hot meals, salads, sandwiches, wraps and muffins are prepared fresh on-site daily, along with selected pies, sushi, snacks and drinks.
Please recharge your MSA cards here.
Open weekdays from 7.30am to 11.00am.
To maintain social distancing parameters of 1.5m, it is not appropriate for our staff to fit uniforms. Parents are welcome to come to the shop and fit their son/s themselves.
Please call the Grammar Shop on 07 3834 5347 to discuss your needs. We can take orders and payments, place credits on accounts, and arrange for collection or delivery of items on a case-by-case basis.
Message from the P&F Auxiliary President |Friday 22 May
We are very excited to invite you back to help us feed and kit out the boys for the remainder of Term 2.
In response to COVID-19, there will be a few changes to how we operate for the safety of the boys, staff and volunteers. We hope you can embrace them to ensure a smooth and seamless return to school for everyone.
If you are feeling unwell or experiencing any flu-like symptoms on your roster day, please inform Roster Secretary Wendy Smith or your Team Captain. Please do not come to the School. At the start of a shift, volunteers are required to read and sign a declaration stating they are not experiencing any symptoms, have not recently travelled or been in contact with a COVID-19 case. This is a requirement mandated by the School, and the Auxiliary must forward all declarations to the BGS Risk and Compliance Manager as part of the School’s health and safety protocol.
The Grammar Shop and Tuckshop are cleaned professionally every day, and high-touch surfaces are cleaned multiple times a day. This ensures our shops meet the necessary hygiene standards. In addition, on arrival, all volunteers and visitors to the shops will be required to sanitise their hands using the sanitisers provided. Both shops are now completely cash-free.
Clear signage and markers have been placed around the Grammar Shop and the Tuckshop to ensure appropriate social distancing. Other measures, specific to each shop, are also in place.
Grammar Shop volunteers will not fit boys’ uniforms to ensure the 1.5m social distancing rule. Space constraints require we limit volunteer numbers in the Grammar Shop to four people at a time. If you volunteer on a day that has more than four volunteers, we will be in touch to discuss a different shift or a rotation.
The number of people allowed in the Tuckshop at one time is also restricted. To meet the guidelines, three shifts of volunteers will work each day. The breakfast shift will require one volunteer, and the morning tea and lunch shifts will each require four volunteers. Wendy will liaise with Tuckshop Captains in the week leading up to your roster day to assist with either:
- filling places in each shift; or
- staying for a full day but alternating sub-groups of four volunteers from each roster group by month.
We know that one of the joys of volunteering in the Grammar Shop and the Tuckshop is catching up with friends. However, we hope you will bear with us until the restrictions are eased. We thank you in advance your understanding, flexibility and patience while we overcome the initial challenges.
Questions or concerns
We appreciate some of you may not be ready to return to volunteering in the Grammar Shop or the Tuckshop due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact either:
- Roster Secretary Wendy Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0414 693 639); or
- P&F Auxiliary President Berthine Ommensen (email@example.com or 0449 880 220).
Finally, on behalf of the Grammar Shop and Tuckshop teams, the Auxiliary extends a warm welcome back to our volunteers. We are very much looking forward to seeing you all again!
|Anna Maria Sciacca|
Light Dark Blue: 150 Years of Learning and Leadership at Brisbane Grammar School is available for purchase. The beautiful 500-page hardcover book updates the BGS story with previously untold anecdotes, rare photographs and illustrations. With a limited print run, it is sure to become a sought after collector’s item. Standard edition and limited editions are available.
Click here to view all BGS150 merchandise – limited stocks remain.