Week 9 Term 2
Friday 19 June 2020
In this issue:
- Public Purpose students present thank you letters to BGS Cleaning and Maintenance staff
- Grammar Literacy Competition open to students in Years 9 to 12
- Sharemarket and Australian Business Week Competition results in Economics
- Boys put their creative skills to work in Middle School Art classes
This has been a semester like no other. Our students and staff faced unprecedented challenges, but I am proud of all in the BGS community for how you handled the disruptions and adapted to change.
On Wednesday this week, I emailed parents with a comprehensive communication aiming to provide clarity on a range of matters ahead of Term 3. This includes important information on the Academic program, GPS Sports and Activities, Outdoor Education, traffic management, and events. If you haven’t read this important communication, I encourage you to click here.
I am delighted to confirm that Headmaster Mr Anthony Micallef will return from medical leave to resume his role leading the School on Monday 22 June. He has made a full recovery from the pulmonary embolism that threatened his health and is looking forward to once again leading the community.
I acknowledge the wonderful effort of parents in keeping their sons away from school this term when unwell. It is evidence of the priority placed on the safety of the community. Term 3 coincides with the cold and flu season. Parents must continue to keep their son home from school if he is unwell, even with mild symptoms.
In preparation for the start of cocurricular activities next term, I would like to announce the students who have accepted leadership positions in some of the Term 3 activities. Those activities not announced today will be announced at the start of Term 3. Congratulations to:
Today we say goodbye to several staff including: Ms Belinda Lindsay who taught Drama and English in the Senior School, Mr Logan Hawkins who was a Middle School core teacher, and Mr Jack Irwin and Mr Andrew Jones who were Boarding Tutors.
Thank you to Mr Simon Conway, Mr Brad Scholes and Mr Jon Hopes who each accepted extra responsibilities this term in Mr Micallef’s absence. They provided excellent support to Senior School students.
Welcome to Ms Michelle Palmer who started this week replacing Ms Megan Marshall, who is on leave. Thank you to Ms Lisa Miller who stepped in for the first part of Ms Marshall’s leave.
During the home-based learning period, parents provided valuable data via surveys to inform our decision-making processes through what were unprecedented challenges. As this term ends, I once again invite you to provide feedback on your son’s transition back to the on-campus setting, and your reflections on your son’s school experience over this entire period. The survey can be accessed via this link and will be available until midnight on Sunday 21 June.
I would like to recognise the role students played in transitioning back to on-campus learning this term and provide extra praise to our Year 12 students. Their leadership during this time has been vital.
It is now important for students and staff to take a break. The year is only half over, and we have packed Academic and Cocurriculum programs in Term 3.
This year, BGS Open Day will be held virtually on Saturday 25 July at the end of the first week of next term. Please click here to learn more about this significant event on the BGS calendar.
The P&F Association Annual General Meeting was held last night, and I would like to thank our outgoing office bearers, President Craig Chapman and Vice President Simon Tolhurst ’87, who have both been in their roles since 2015.
Craig’s professionalism as President led to significant changes to the P&F Constitution. He also led the change that has resulted in the P&F’s commercial restructure. Craig served on the Willow Club committee for seven years, with time as both Vice President and Secretary, along with serving as Secretary of the Normanby Blues committee in 2013, and the Hardwood committee in the last two years.
Simon has shown an ongoing commitment to the P&F and the BGS Old Boys’ Association. Thank you for your contribution to the Moogerah working bees, your support of cricket, and for taking on the role of P&F Association Vice President.
Congratulations to new P&F Association President Justin Beirne ’87 and Vice President Nicola Rahman on your appointments.
The School relies on parents dedicating their time and talent to ensure the Cocurriculum programs are supported, and we could not do it without your help. I thank all the support groups – particularly their executive teams – for the work they do leading these parent groups and supporting our sports directors, Art and Music Departments. Your dedication provides a great model of service for your sons.
I reiterate my thanks for your ongoing support of the School during Term 2. I look forward to students returning to school for the start of Term 3 on Tuesday 14 July. I hope you have an enjoyable mid-year break.
- Dean of Students | Simon Conway
- Captain's Corner
- Student Wellbeing
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
The students have earned a holiday, given the challenges they have faced this semester. Heads of Year have unanimously commented on how the boys have grown over this period, showing more maturity and gratitude. As Acting Headmaster Mr David Carroll has noted, some pandemic-related challenges will continue into the new term, but we are edging ever-closer to a more traditional school experience. Please ensure that you refer to Mr Carroll’s Wednesday communication for more information pertaining to Term 3.
I would like to publicly thank the Student Wellbeing Team, and all staff, for their efforts in supporting the students throughout Semester 1. Additionally, our work cannot be realised without the incredible support of all families, and we thank you for actively engaging in the boys’ education.
School resumes for all students on Tuesday 14 July. Please ensure students return with appropriate haircuts and all required materials for their learning. I wish you all a most enjoyable and relaxing holiday period.
What a term.
We started Week 1 by waking up in our bedroom, only to attend school at home. It was a new experience for us all, and as long as the wifi was stable, it was generally enjoyed.
Home-based learning continued for another four weeks until Years 11 and 12 students returned to the BGS campus to take advantage of the non-existent Tuckshop lines. The entire student body returned the following week.
I would like to acknowledge the small group of boys who have been learning on-campus since the start of Term 1, donning the light dark blue and spending their weekdays learning in The Lilley Centre.
Our experiences this term draw comparisons to the current Year 7 English task, The Hero’s Journey – one that is filled with speed bumps and challenges, but eventually returns to a ‘normal world’.
On our journey, the announcement of quarantine threw us into an unknown world. This uncertainty disrupted our routines and created many challenges for students, teachers and parents alike. Our ability to stay connected was tested, but the BGS community took this challenge front on, with the School Value of Endeavour running deeply in our veins. Rather than focusing on the past, we persisted through the rough waters and saw the opportunities.
New learning tools – such as Microsoft Teams chats and video calls – were implemented, and socially-distant activities – such as GrammarFit, GrammarWell, and the trickshot challenge – thrived. These initiatives are a testament to our ability to adapt and change with an open mindset.
Our teachers played a key role in our success. They asked for our feedback, they listened to us, and they innovated to continue to deliver a quality BGS education. Thank you to our teachers for your unwavering commitment to our education and wellbeing.
Fitting with the Class of 2020’s theme, as a School, We Rise to seize our reward on the road back to a normal world. That is something to be commended.
A key message from our journey is the importance of adaptability – an essential trait for success in all aspects of life. It has been reassuring to see the BGS community adapt to the challenges presented. As students, our enhanced adaptiveness will not only better our learning, but will also be an invaluable trait beyond school life.
To the Class of 2020, let’s use the holidays to prepare for our final semester of school. Together, we can push through our assessment and give it all we have got.
Director of Boarding
This has been quite a remarkable semester. My final article has just one purpose – to acknowledge the individuals who work at BGS Boarding. On behalf of the boarders, I thank them for all they have done for our community during these past few months.
I am indebted to Mr Nick Byron for his ongoing presence and stewardship of Harlin House. He has worked tirelessly to care for the boarders. Mrs Angela Dunn has commenced her role as our new Houseparent and we have benefitted from her wise and insightful presence. Mr Glenn Scott and Ms Sarah Daly, our Graduate Boarding Assistants, are the cogs in the wheel of BGS Boarding, and fulfil many roles.
My thanks also to our Resident Tutors who live in Harlin House. They do the late-night shift, monitor the duty phone, manage daily leave and so much more. I thank Mr Bertram, Mr Brady, Mr Irwin and Mr Jones for their flexibility and reliability. I also express my gratitude to Activities Tutor Mr Tom Christie for masterminding the recreation program, made even more challenging with students confined to campus.
Our Duty Tutors – teachers who manage Prep and the bedtime routine each weekday night – are vital to the Boarding program. Their input was invaluable to maintain a connection with boys during home-based learning. I am equally appreciative of our Old Boys who work in Prep and assist boys in a variety of ways.
I must also acknowledge the herculean contribution of the Health Centre, Dining Room and other support staff who work tirelessly to support our boarders.
In closing, I thank the boarders for their resilience during a tough term. They have shown great restraint and resolve and have maintained spirit and good humour in the face of COVID-19 challenges.
Director of Student Wellbeing Programs
This week, the boys’ learning experiences focused on developing a perspective beyond self. Through their actions this week, boys have demonstrated kindness and appreciation for members of their own community.
Our Public Purpose program encourages boys to be more empathetic and compassionate towards others. This week, the boys in Year 8 and Year 12 Public Purpose thanked the cleaners and Maintenance team for their work during the COVID 19 pandemic, by making personalised cards of appreciation.
Boys in Years 5 and 6 learned more about each other in their Student Wellbeing lessons on Monday. Conversation cards prompted boys to reflect on what they are grateful for and the simple ways they could show appreciation to others.
During Semester 1, more than 130 students from Years 9 to 12 played the ASX Schools Sharemarket Game. Students started with a virtual $50,000 cash balance to invest over a 10-week period in the 220 companies listed on the ASX. They made trades in real time using current market prices and paid brokerage for each trade made.
Congratulations to Year 9 student, Taj Lyndon, who placed first out of all BGS participants, increasing his portfolio to $83,218. Roshan Sharni and Ben Rainbird, both in Year 11, placed second and third respectively.
Well done to all teams who actively participated in the 10 weeks of trading and we hope to see even more teams participate next year.
Teacher of Economics
Australian Business Week Competition
In Term 2, Year 12 Economics students were invited to compete in the Australian Business Week Competition. This is an online competition focusing on the simulated production of sporting goods. With the common goal of achieving the highest share price, five BGS teams competed against each other in a race to maximise efficiency, quality and most importantly profits, while demonstrating environmental awareness. To achieve these goals, students needed to make production, financial, personnel and environmental decisions to increase both their market share and share price.
Congratulations to William Hay, Alex MacGibbon, Flynn Boorer and Gus Whittome who placed first in the competition. I would also like to commend Rishi Goel, Ben Du, Elliot James and Lewis Luck who placed second.
Head of Economics
Grammar Literary Competition
The Grammar Literary Competition is open to students in Years 9 to 12 and aims to encourage and acknowledge student writing. There are categories for narratives, poetry, biographies and essays. The winner of each category will receive a Speech Day prize and will potentially have his work published in The School Window.
More information about the competition and its categories is available in an announcement in each year level’s English course.
Entries must be submitted to the relevant Dropbox by Tuesday 1 September.
Head of English
QAMT Problem Solving
Congratulations to Year 12 student Remi Fox, who received a commendation in this year’s Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers Problem Solving Competition, but wasn’t acknowledged in last week’s newsletter. Well done to all the students who participated in this demanding two-hour paper. Full results can be found here.
Prizes will be presented when they arrive at school.
Head of Mathematics
Despite the hurdles that the Duke of Edinburgh awardees have faced in completing their award this semester, I can proudly say that we have had a record number of award recipients. Award coordinators Mr Casey Walker and Ms Kimberley Kovacevic and Outdoor Education staff would like to congratulate Bronze awardees Sam Ireland, Rithvik Balakrishnan, Beckett Weiss, Tom Jackson, Felix Cavalerie, Thomas McCarthy-James, Sam Elliott and William Emery, and Silver awardees Cade Barrientos and William Ruddell. The deserve recognition for their commitment.
Silver recipient William Ruddell reflects on his experience:
In the past 12 months I have worked towards my Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. I have worked through four different activities to complete the award: Community Service, Skill, Physical, and Adventurous Journey.
The process of getting the award is really rewarding and gives a great sense of accomplishment. For my service to the community, I have volunteered for the past two and half years at the Tuckshop, helping to prepare food once a week. This has been really rewarding personally and I feel a sense of pride being able to give back to the BGS community.
For my skill, I participated in speech and communications lessons, where I learned to improve my public speaking skills; in particular, clarity and precision in speech. I completed my diploma in Speech and Communications at AMEB.
My physical challenge for this award was to attend a teenage gym where I learned how to lift weight properly and improve my overall fitness. For each activity, a total of 26 hours had to be logged over a six-month period. For the final component, I had to complete a four-day expedition as my adventurous journey.
Due to the devasting bush fires at the start of this year, the journey had to be relocated from Nymboida, NSW to somewhere safer. A group of 13 boys and four staff made the trip from BGS to Fingal Heads. We camped for three nights and completed several treks over the four days. This included a 22km kayak down the Tweed River. This tested all the boys’ patience, resilience and physical endurance, which are the core elements of the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s Adventurous Journey Challenge.
My progress through the Silver Award was tough, but in the end highly rewarding. I am eager to complete my Gold Award before I graduate in 2021. There are many boys are only just starting their journey through the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I encourage them to persist with their goals.
My fellow awardees share my motivation in continuing through the program to the Gold Award level, where we will be presented our medal at Government House by the Governor General.
DoE Award Coordinator
As Term 2 finishes, I wish to thank our Middle School community for their patience and support over the past nine weeks. During today’s assembly address, I commended the boys on their adaptability and the positive way they worked together throughout the term.
The end of each semester provides the boys with an opportunity to formally reflect on their progress and achievement through their End of Semester report. Today, I reminded students that the disruption they faced this term might mean that some goals were not met. However, it is important for them to reflect on how they grew as learners while at home, and how they continued to build on this after returning to school.
If you have any questions or concerns about your son’s report, please contact his class teacher or Head of Year at the start of Term 3.
This week, students in 5A and 5C enjoyed their Art incursion where they put their creative skills to work to create clay totems. The boys chose an animal that represents their personality as inspiration for their creation. Once completed, the totems are displayed in the Years 5 and 6 social space for everyone to enjoy. Thank you to Ms Coombe and the Art Department for providing this wonderful opportunity for our Year 5 students.
I take this opportunity to thank Mr Logan Hawkins for his contributions to BGS as a Middle School core teacher this semester. Mrs Wass will return from leave next term and we look forward to welcoming her back to our Middle School community.
I wish all families a safe, healthy and relaxing mid-year break.
The Director of PE, Sport and Activities has provided an update on Term 3 competitions, holiday training and other important matters, below.
Between now and the start of Term 3, program leaders will keep students, parents and staff updated via the Cocurriculum pages on MyGrammar.
This week, our newest Cocurricular student leaders were announced by the Acting Headmaster in his assembly address. More student leaders will be announced at the start of Term 3. I congratulate these boys, and the program leaders and coaches, past and present, who have shaped their Cocurricular journey.
Our Cocurricular student leaders hold significant roles within the School in that they are spokespeople for their respective programs. They are held to a high standard; articulated by our values of learning, leadership, respect, endeavour and community. I wish these gentlemen well in their leadership roles.
As promised, GrammarFit is making a comeback for the holiday period.
Over the course of the next three weeks, new episodes will be uploaded each Tuesday and Thursday. Students can access these via the GrammarFit tab in the Cocurricular Activities Microsoft Team.
World's Greatest Shave
Each year, the Leukaemia Foundation holds the World’s Greatest Shave, to ‘shave the world from blood cancer’. This year, an enthusiastic group of Year 11 students persuaded me to put my hair on the line for this worthy cause. The fundraising continues, but my target total was reached some weeks ago. One of our Year 5 students jumped at the chance to shave my hair this week. Thank you to those who made donations. If you would like to donate, please click here.
We could not have navigated this uncertain term without the significant support of our community. Thank you for your trust, patience and support. Have a wonderful holiday.
Director of PE, Sport and Activities
Students and staff are eagerly looking forward to commencing GPS sport in Term 3. This week, teams have been engaged in training and training clinics will continue over the holiday period. Please continue to check MyGrammar as Heads of Programs will upload information throughout this time.
During the term break, social distancing protocols continue, and we request parents “drop and go” their sons, to limit spectators at all sessions. This will ensure that coaching resources are involved in instruction rather than administration tasks of tracking attendance.
As restrictions are eased, it looks likely that tracking of attendance at competition will continue. Further information regarding this will be shared once a decision has been confirmed by the GPS Association.
I look forward to seeing the boys and parents at upcoming fixtures.
GPS Tennis Update
The GPS Tennis competition will start in Term 3.
All Terms 2 and 3 sports will run during Term 3, resulting in inconsistent team numbers for each school. We are exploring solutions so boys can get as many tennis matches as possible. Please keep in mind that this may be difficult week to week.
Training squads, times and the season draw are available via MyGrammar. If you are not on the training squad list, please contact Harry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rained Out Sessions
Please visit the BGS App or the BGS Tennis Facebook page for notifications regarding rained out sessions.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused in the past by late decisions to cancel sessions due to rain. We will now make cancellation decisions by 6.00am on the morning of training.
GPS Tennis Camp
We will be holding a three-day Tennis camp from Monday 6 July to Wednesday 8 July. Information about the camp has been sent to parents of boys who have registered for GPS Tennis.
BGS Tennis School Championships
The remaining age groups to compete in the BGS Tennis School Championships will play during our bye round of GPS Tennis (Round 2 – Saturday 25 and 26 July). If you are competing in Years 5, 6, 7 or Open age groups, please ensure you are available during this weekend.
- BGS Art Show
- Volunteer Roster
- 2020 Calendar
- Upcoming Events
- P&F Auxiliary | Connect - Care - Contribute
- BGS150 History Book
The BGS 2020 Art Show Iridescence is an online exhibition, showcasing the work of 20 professional artists selected for this year, 2020.
This week we continue our sneak peak of some of our artists’ fabulous works. There are some names you may recognise from previous years, but we also have new artists to introduce.
(acrylic and mixed media,
34cm H x 44cm W)
The multiple layers of collage in this beautiful piece are difficult to capture in a photo, but the work is very effective.
Tanya is a freelance illustrator in digital art, acrylic, porcelain and gauche paint.
Pre-dawn in a country town
(acrylic, 46cm H x 91 cm W)
This is a beautiful example of how Michael captures light in his works. Michael is a Brisbane-based artist who is well-known for his ability to capture the activity of people on the streets of Brisbane in the evening light, along with beautiful country scenes and seascapes.
After the Rain 2
(oil, 96cm x 150cm)
This piece captures the magic moments of rain, well needed, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland region. (96cm x 150cm)
Marcel, a wonderful supporter of our art show in past years, seeks to create a magical scene reminiscent of the natural world, but which goes beyond the natural reality.
(marker - ink, 60H x 90W)
An Australian classic in its natural habitat.
An exciting new artist to our show, Cam has a talent for capturing cars from our past and present in all their glory.
Centenary Pool 1959
(watercolour, pastel paper and collage painting, 81cm x 122cm)
A local artist and past parent of our school community, Tracey loves to work with paper collage and currently gains her inspiration from Brisbane landmarks and birds.
Blonde Brick Backyard
(oil, 45cm x 60cm)
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.
Please note that Nick Olsen’s artwork was incorrectly represented in last week's newsletter.
(acrylic, 51cm x 61cm)
Recurring patterns, lines, colours and shapes found in nature create this beautiful abstract representation.
A Brisbane-based artist and illustrator, Catherine loves working with acrylics and likes to get lost in the details of the painting.
BGS Art Show Sponsor
Today we also profile our Platinum Sponsor.
A Brisbane-based technology services provider, Entelsoft specialises in the implementation and support of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning and Business Intelligence software.
Entelsoft’s Application Management Services provide outsourced maintenance, enhancement and management of SAP environments for corporations in the mining, utilities, manufacturing, food processing, construction, banking and service industry sectors.
Staff PD Day
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.
Safety guidelines regarding social distancing and hand sanitising will continue in both the Tuckshop and the Grammar Shop.
The Tuckshop and Grammar Shop are currently operating cash-free, so please plan accordingly. Please recharge your MSA cards here for use in both shops.
Open school days before school, during breaks and at lunchtime.
The Tuckshop team wishes all families a great school break, and we’ll see you back at the Tuckshop on the first day of Term 3.
Open school days from 7.30am to 11.00am.
The Grammar Shop will be open from 7.30am on the first day of Term 3, Tuesday 14 July.
Staff need to maintain social distancing parameters of 1.5m, but students are welcome to try on uniforms themselves, or parents may wish to come to the shop to fit their son/s if they prefer. Please call us on 3834 5347 to discuss your needs and we’ll do our best to help.
Those who have been to the Grammar Shop in the past couple of weeks will have noticed that we’re preparing for a move. The Grammar Shop will soon be found on Level 1 (the lowest level) of The Lilley Centre. The timing isn’t yet finalised, but you’ll be notified when the move has taken place and we look forward to showing you our new location.
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.