Week 1 Term 1
Friday 29 January 2021
In this issue:
- Lead Article: Welcome to 2021 | BGS Strategy | STEAM | 2020 Academic Results | Australia Day Honours
- Consolidation and preparation (CP) time explained by BGS Executive Director Educational Innovation
- BGS competes at national robotics competition; Robotics sign-on open
Welcome to the 2021 school year. I trust that BGS families had a restful holiday and that everyone is eager to engage in the making of another prosperous school year.
Like any year at Brisbane Grammar School, there is much on the agenda. Before I outline several strategic and operational matters, I would like to inform the Senior School community that Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School David Carroll is on leave this term. Nick Holland is the Acting Head of Senior School and will be responsible for student wellbeing and operational matters in the Senior School (Years 9 to 12).
I also wish to advise families that the School is gradually updating campus security. Last year, all perimeter gates were fitted with a card entry system, and additional CCTV cameras were installed. This year, perimeter fencing along Gregory Terrace frontage will be installed, commencing with gates at the crossing between BGS and BGGS this weekend. Additional cameras have been installed around the campus. In the long-term, ornate gates will be erected at the front of the School, and the College Road entry will be upgraded. These measures are intended to provide added safety for students, staff and visitors to the BGS Spring Hill campus.
In 2020, the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) collaborated with stakeholders to develop the BGS Strategy.
SLT has articulated the School’s vision, purpose and values in a one-page document endorsed by the Board of Trustees and widely circulated throughout the BGS community. The document informs stakeholders, and anyone interested in a BGS education, that our vision is “to be the best school for boys in Australia”; our purpose is to nurture each student’s personal development; and that it is through the delivery of a high-quality education and a commitment to fostering a community of learners that enact the BGS values of learning, leadership, endeavour, respect and community.
We have also created a one-page document that highlights the critical projects for the School in the coming years. These projects represent the School’s commitment to delivering high-quality learning environments and programs.
This is a significant year in the history of BGS, as we are about to embark upon the largest capital project in the School’s history. The benefits of a STEAM-rich education are increasingly recognised as worthy of investment for a well-rounded scholastic experience and development of important life skills. The STEAM project will integrate the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics across a new dedicated precinct. We anticipate the demolition of the existing Maintenance, Physics, Biology and Languages buildings after Easter. I will update the community as more information comes to hand.
2020 Academic Results
It is with much pleasure that I draw your attention to the academic results of the Class of 2020. Brisbane Grammar School 2020 seniors achieved outstanding results, including a median ATAR of 94.60. This median is made even more impressive with a large cohort of 265 boys. Four students achieved the top rank of 99.95 – an incredible outcome, with only 30 students receiving this score across Queensland. A further six students received an ATAR of 99.90.
Other highlights include:
- ATAR 99 or above was achieved by 16.23% of seniors
- ATAR 95 and above was achieved by 47.17%
- ATAR 90 and above was achieved by 70.57%.
I wish to congratulate the Class of 2020 for successfully navigating such a testing year. I also thank their parents for partnering with the School to support the boys’ endeavours; and I acknowledge the teaching staff and all support staff for guiding the seniors in their studies and activities. We are very fortunate to have a school community where people work together to generate a safe and rewarding environment in which boys can pursue their interests.
2021 sees the introduction of the first major revision to the structure of the BGS timetable in 20 years. In addition to being an organiser of lessons and events, a timetable prioritises what we value as an institution. The home-based learning period of 2020 allowed us to reflect on how students best learn and consider alternative arrangements. I thank the many parents and students who provided feedback at the time.
One major change is the move to a longer 10-day cycle. Extending the learning cycle from five to 10 days provides greater flexibility. It includes the opportunity for extended lessons where students can fully engage in practical tasks, allowing for deeper learning. We have scheduled dedicated time each day for students to consolidate their learning and prepare for upcoming lessons – another key finding and recommendation following home-based learning. Affording students the time to think and work more deliberately for a period each day is essential to their growth as independent and self-regulated learners. Importantly, this is structured time: all students will be supervised and age-appropriate guidelines and routines for organisation, study and revision will be in place. A team of experienced staff have been developing such routines since last year, and I am confident that all students will benefit.
A parallel benefit is that teams of teachers will be scheduled for departmental planning and professional learning opportunities each day. The research on what factors make the biggest difference for student learning consistently shows that students who are metacognitive and self-regulating and teachers who collaboratively plan and evaluate evidence of student progress are the essential characteristics of great schools.
BGS Executive Director Educational Innovation Jacqui Zervos provides an extended piece on Consolidation and Preparation in this newsletter.
Brisbane Grammar School welcomes these new staff members in 2021. I know the BGS community will support these people in their new roles.
Communications Officer (Library)
Production Assistant (Drama)
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Student Support Officer
Student Support Officer
Swimming Club Assistant Coach
Teacher of Drama
Teacher of Economics
Teacher of English
Teacher of History
Teacher of History
Teacher of Latin
Teacher of MS Core (English/Geography)
Teacher of Senior Art
We look forward to supporting our new and returning students as they engage in multiple Cocurricular Sport and Culture programs in 2021.
More than half of the student population were involved in camps, clinics, and training sessions over the school holidays in preparation for a busy Term 1 of Drama, Music, Cricket, Debating, Rowing, Sailing and Swimming programs. In addition, many of our Activities programs (internal clubs and special interest groups) were also active over the break.
Our Cocurricular leaders are doing a wonderful job ensuring our training, rehearsals and fixtures all comply with our COVID Safe planning, and ensuring all students and parents have the information they need. The Cocurricular pages on MyGrammar contain all the latest information for the benefit of our busy community members.
Mobile Phone Policy
During 2020, BGS altered its Mobile Phone Policy guidelines to allow students access to their device, in the event of a COVID-19 health notification. Now that many of those government health directives have been relaxed, the School will return to its former rules regarding the usage of mobile phones during the school day.
- Students in Years 5 to 8 must hand in their phones to their Form Tutors during Tutor Group each morning
- Students in Years 9 to 12 must place their phones in their lockers prior to Tutor Group each morning.
BGS pick-up / drop-off zone
We are aware of the difficulties and delays involved in dropping off and picking up your sons at the front of the School, especially at the start of the school year. We ask BGS families to be patient and supportive of staff while they move traffic through the passenger zone.
Please adhere to the following procedures to ensure the safety of our students:
- The front entrance between the traffic lights and the passenger loading zone must be kept clear.
- Cars can enter the passenger zone before 8.30am and after 3.15pm.
- Do not exceed the 5km speed limit in the passenger zone.
- Pay attention to traffic controllers and security guards.
- Exercise patience and courtesy towards other drivers.
- Do not pick up or drop off your son before the pedestrian crossing.
- Adhere to the two-minute parking limit. Drivers must stay with their vehicle during this time.
- The staff car park on College Road is not a designated drop-off or pick-up zone.
Australia Day Honours
On behalf of the School, I wish to congratulate the following members of the BGS community for receiving Australia Day Honours:
- Mr Greg Chappell AO MBE (past parent and current grandparent) for distinguished service to cricket as a leading player, captain, coach and administrator at the elite level, and to a range of charitable foundations.
- Mr Don Barrett AM (retired BGS teacher) for significant service to education, particularly to the classics and ancient history.
- Mrs Judith Bell AM (Former Trustee, past parent and current grandparent) for significant service to the administration of justice, to the visual arts, and to education.
- Mr Michael Hawkins AM (past parent and past president of the BGS P&F Association) for significant service to the film and television industry, and to screen content.
- Mr Bruce Lister AM (past parent) for significant service to paediatric intensive care medicine, and to professional societies.
- Dr Kevin Vandeleur AM (past parent) for significant service to ophthalmology, and to the international community.
- Mr John Raine OAM (past parent) for service to the community through a range of roles.
Brisbane Grammar School has a long and proud tradition of offering scholarships and bursaries to boys who have demonstrated they have the potential to derive great benefit from a Brisbane Grammar School education.
Trustees’ Scholarships are awarded on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence to boys commencing Years 7 and 10 in 2022, based on their performance in the annual ACER Scholarship Exam and a willingness to contribute to the wider school program.
The ACER Scholarship Examination will be held at the School on Saturday 27 February 2021. Registration is available here until midnight AEDST Monday 8 February 2021. The cost of registration is $130.
Director of Enrolments
Parents and students can now access the BGS Community Calendar under the “Calendar” tab on the MyGrammar menu bar.
The Community Calendar is customised to show each student’s assessment dates and times, cocurricular events and training times, and community events. Cocurricular information will be available by the end of Week 1 and academic information will be available in Week 3.
Parents can switch between viewing events for the broader community (Community Events) and events specific to individual students (My Events). They also have the option to filter categories, to save or export events to their personal calendar, and to view on mobile devices. Those with multiple sons at BGS can switch between them.
Director of School Operations
With the start of the 2021 school year we have implemented a new timetable structure to include daily consolidation and preparation time (CP time). A newsletter article explaining our rationale and the new structure was published at the end of 2020 (Term 4 Week 6).
CP time is designed to help boys develop highly effective learning habits; habits that enact independence, interdependence and ownership of learning. This also occurs during normal lessons, but the focus here is highly explicit. In CP time, boys will focus on effective strategies for consolidation, preparation and revision. Repeating these self-directed strategies in a dedicated, structured period will encourage boys to develop productive scholarly habits.
This week, students in all year levels were given a thorough introduction to CP time explaining its structure, our expectations, and tasks to help them launch into their new units of study.
Consolidating means to bring learning together in a meaningful and coherent way. CP activities aim to achieve a deeper and more integrated understanding of discipline-specific subject matter. Activities that help consolidate learning include: using graphic organisers to represent understanding; reviewing and editing writing or exercises done in lessons to check the detail and increase precision; and identifying questions or uncertainties to ask for help from peers or teachers.
Students may also spend CP time preparing for upcoming lessons by reading and reviewing essential material or completing pre-quizzes. Preparation leads to more active and insightful engagement in discipline-specific learning activities, and is essential to maximise learning, reduce anxiety and build good scholarly habits.
Revision is the third aspect of CP time. Building easily retrievable knowledge networks in long-term memory is a foundation of academic success. Until an idea or an understanding is stored in long-term memory, it has not been learned. Students are encouraged to regularly and repeatedly review consolidated ideas, procedures and/or understandings, which improves memory function.
All students have received a comprehensive handbook with detail about how to use CP time to optimise learning. Parents can click to view the Senior School Student Handbook and Middle School Student Handbook. I encourage parents to ask their sons about CP time and the tasks he is doing to consolidate, prepare and revise.
Just as we did during home-based learning, the Learning Organisation Team at BGS (responsible for learning analytics and evidence-informed improvement) will systematically monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of CP time. We will gather student, teacher and parent feedback to inform the processes and programs to increase student agency and ownership of learning during CP time. We seek your support in this endeavour.
Director of Boarding
As we begin the school year, I welcome all of our existing boarding families as they return to either Griffith House or Harlin House. I also welcome our new boarding families; it is a pleasure to have you join the BGS community.
I am delighted to report a healthy intake of new boarders. While several new and returning boys are not with us due to travel restrictions, we hope they can travel to Brisbane and join us soon.
Several staff members have also joined the Boarding community. I am delighted that Mr Dylan Koopman, who has been a BGS Teacher of Biology since the start of 2020, and Mr Jamie Smith, BGS Director of Enrolments and a former Housemaster at Nudgee College, will join the weekday Boarding Tutor team. We wish them well and are confident the boys will benefit from their extensive experience, wisdom and knowledge.
Several Tutors have also joined our residential team. Mr Ollie Bartlett joins us following his time in Scotland playing rugby. He is a former boarder himself from St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill New South Wales and has previously worked at The Armidale School. We welcome him as our new Boarding Activities Coordinator and wish him well as he continues his Primary Education studies at UNE.
Mr Joshua Singh joins us as a Residential Boarding and Activities Tutor, coming from St Peter’s Lutheran College in Indooroopilly. He brings a wealth of knowledge, having previously coordinated Cricket at St Peter’s. We also wish him well as he commences his undergraduate degree in education.
Mr Timothy Hamlyn, Mr Henry Lawford, and Ms Amelia Czerniawski have accepted their respective Residential Boarding Tutor roles and will reside within Harlin House. Mr Hamlyn joins us from Haileybury, Melbourne, and he will also be a BGS Teacher of Latin in the Senior and Middle School.
Mr Lawford returns to the community, having been a boarder in Harlin House as recently as 2018. He has also been an Academic Tutor during our evening Prep sessions.
Ms Czerniawski joins BGS Boarding having been employed at Somerville House. She will combine her duties in boarding with completing her Biomedical and Finance degree at QUT.
On another note, the term has begun with a healthy dose of energy and enthusiasm, and it was great to welcome our Boarding Prefects and House Seniors back over the weekend for their training with Peer Power. The young men have already made an indelible contribution to the community, and I thank them sincerely for all their efforts.
The Boarding Induction Program was equally important for our senior boys to form bonds with all boarders in the community. It gave our leaders the opportunity to truly learn what it means to lead.
The past week has reaffirmed for me the honour of leading a diverse community with so many young men who have great insight, ability and integrity. I am confident that 2021 will be an excellent year in the BGS Boarding community.
Director of Student Wellbeing Programs
Welcome to the new school year, and a special welcome to all new students and families who start their BGS journey in 2021. The year ahead offers many exciting opportunities for students who wish to participate in the various Student Wellbeing programs.
The Public Purpose program gives boys opportunities to contribute to their community. A major goal for their participation is to develop a strong sense of service, community, leadership, and loyalty to others – in short, to uphold the five BGS values.
The Public Purpose program is project-based. This means boys can be involved in any of the projects offered, regardless of their year level. For the most part, projects will be organised into Middle School and Senior School projects, with some cross-over when age-appropriate. While teachers still guide the program, senior boys will be mainly responsible for leading each of the projects and working with boys. In coming weeks, I will share information about our Term 1 projects and contact details for the facilitating teachers should you have any questions.
It is a requirement that students wishing to be involved in Public Purpose activities complete the relevant sign-on surveys, which can be accessed via MyGrammar (Wellbeing > Public Purpose).
External Public Purpose opportunities
While the School offers a diverse range of Public Purpose experiences, students across all year levels are encouraged to seek other opportunities outside of school. For participation to be officially acknowledged on school records, students will be required to document their service within the guidelines of the School’s Public Purpose critical reflection framework. This can be found in the Public Purpose News section of MyGrammar, along with a summary of the program.
SchoolTV is a fabulous resource. Currently, there are two editions of SchoolTV that are relevant at this time of year: School Transitions and Surviving Year 12.
- School Transitions is suitable for all parents, whether they have a youngster starting in Middle School, a teen transitioning to Senior School, or a child starting at a new school.
- Surviving Year 12 offers parents advice on how to help their young adult survive and get through the final year at school with guidance on how to minimise the impact on family life.
The Middle School roared back to life this week, with our new Years 5 and 7 students arriving on Monday for Orientation Day. The boys’ enthusiasm was palpable from the start as they began meeting their classmates and settling into their new classrooms and social spaces. Years 6 and 8 boys returned on Wednesday and were keen to reunite with old friends and welcome a small number of new arrivals to their classes.
Creating a sense of belonging and connectedness as well as establishing routines were the key priorities this week. Heads of Year worked with Form Tutors to implement an orientation program that allowed students time to get to know their classmates, foster friendships and familiarise themselves with school and class routines.
Establishing effective home learning routines is also important at the start of any school year. Boys are encouraged to set up a quiet, well-organised learning space that is free from distractions. Organising a home learning schedule around cocurricular commitments is encouraged, and scheduling time for learning as well as relaxation is important.
During the first part of the year, boys in Years 5 and 6 should aim to schedule around 30 minutes a day (2.5 hours per week) for home learning and boys in Years 7 and 8 should be targeting around 1 hour each day (5 hours per week). This increases slightly in Semester 2, and I encourage parents to refer to the Middle School Parent Handbook for further information about homework expectations.
As boys may find it difficult to sit for an extended period, taking small breaks or allocating 15 to 20-minute homework blocks is recommended. Each student in the Middle School should be using his Student Journal to record his home learning and key reminders. Boys in Years 5 to 7 have a paper journal, whereas students in Year 8 have access to an electronic journal through OneNote. Parents in Years 5 to 7 are asked to sight and sign the Student Journal each week.
Part of each boy’s afternoon routine should also include checking his timetable and making sure he packs his bag with all required materials for the following day. This may alleviate a great deal of angst in the morning rush.
Over the next few weeks, Form Tutors will make contact to check how your son is settling into his new class. In the meantime, should any concerns arise, please contact your son’s Form Tutor or Head of Year.
I look forward to sharing in your son’s BGS experience throughout 2021 and wish you well for the year ahead.
It was a warm welcome for our youngest and newest students in the Middle School Library on Monday. Boys gathered to create Lego structures and add to our collaborative Lego Wall. Photos can be viewed in the Head of Middle School’s article above.
Playing giant Connect 4 and Noughts and Crosses helped the boys socialise and relax a little before the official start of their BGS journey. Form Seniors were also on hand to help.
Early in the week, each class was treated to a reading of Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards, a humorous book about a young boy’s first day at a new school. Most could easily relate to the story.
Over the coming weeks, Year 5 students will become familiar with the Library space and we encourage them to borrow and read as much as they can.
You can follow BGS libraries on Instagram @bgslibrary.
Year 7 Geography
Year 7 students will study Geography in Semester 2. It is important students safely save their registration code for the Oxford Geography 7 textbook until this time. This code is located on your receipt from the bookshop.
Alternatively, students can set up their account from home by going to the publisher’s website and activating an account using their registration code.
Head of Geography
- Deputy Headmaster Cocurricular | Greg Thorne
- PE, Sport and Activities
- Cross Country
- Future Problem Solving (FPS)
Optimising Cocurricular in 2021
Continuity of learning experiences from the classroom to the competition environment is instrumental to the success of BGS students. In 2020, we established a new Cocurricular Sport and Activities leadership group to lead our continuous improvement plan and work closely with program leaders. This group includes the Director of PE, Sport and Activities, Assistant Director of Sport, Head of Activities, and Head of Performance Development. We meet regularly to assess our progress.
I also work directly with our Music, Drama and Art program leaders to ensure all Cocurricular programs – Sport, Culture and Activities – are aligned with the School’s aspiration to be the best school for boys in Australia.
In addition to offering our outstanding programs, I will be working with our Cocurricular leaders in 2021 to optimise:
- administrative and selection processes;
- accuracy and relevance of online information;
- Performance Development (formerly ADP) programs;
- data use;
- staff development;
- competitiveness of BGS students within the GPS competition;
- profile and recognition of BGS Culture programs;
- regular program check-points and robust, transparent, end-of-phase review processes;
- contemporary recognition of achievement, grounded in tradition (e.g. Colours Constitution);
- exploration of future Performing Arts and Sports Science environments at BGS; and
- Effective Thinking Cultures in Cocurricular programs.
In order to offer our Cocurricular programs and compete in the GPS competition, we must comply with COVID Safe planning guidelines, as outlined in the Director of PE, Sport & Activities’ article below.
We appreciate your support of these reasonable conditions to enable Cocurricular programs for your sons.
There have been several staff appointments and changes in recent months. We are grateful to staff who have concluded their roles after contributing over many years, and we welcome those taking on new or amended roles within our Cocurricular programs.
Cocurricular Lead Learner
Cricket Head Coach (First XI)
Assistant First XI Coach
Cross Country Head Coach
Cross Country Head Coach
Performance Development (PD)
Head of Performance Development
Strength and Conditioning Director
PD Coach – Injury Management
PD Coach – Data and Analysis
Rugby Director and Head Coach (First XV)
Rugby Assistant Coach (First XV)
Rugby Specialist Skills Coach
BGS Swim Club Director and Head Coach
Middle School Swim Coordinator and Assistant Coach
Debating and Cricket
During this week’s assembly, we presented the Cocurricular student leaders, along with the Senior A Debating and First XI Cricket teams. Years of preparation by these students, their dedicated parents and a long list of enthusiastic and supportive coaches have positioned them well to represent Brisbane Grammar School as part of a flagship team.
BGS Cricket and Debating teams will compete in their first 2021 GPS fixture against The Southport School this weekend. While the flagship teams will lead their respective programs, hundreds of boys will compete for BGS with pride this weekend.
I wish all boys training, rehearsing, or competing this weekend every success as they enjoy their participation, optimise their performance and extend the scope of their learning through their cocurricular involvement.
Deputy Headmaster Cocurricular
Senior Dramatic Production – A Few Good Men
Somewhere between duty and honour lies the truth
The BGS Drama Department is pleased to announce the 2021 Senior Dramatic Production, A Few Good Men, by Academy Award winning writer Aaron Sorkin. Students from Years 11 and 12 can join the creative team as a member of a large, advanced ensemble or the technical crew. Students are not required to study Drama in their senior course to be eligible to audition.
What is it about?
A group of military lawyers are assigned to defend two Marines in Guantanamo Bay. During the trial, they uncover a high-level conspiracy designed to eliminate weaker soldiers in the name of patriotism.
What is it really about?
David Cox was a 28 year-old Marine stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1986. David’s platoon commander issued a “Code Red” order to commit hazing against Private First Class William Alvarado. David and nine other Marines stormed Alvarado’s room and blindfolded and gagged him. After carrying him into the bathroom and shaving his head, they realised Alvarado wasn’t moving. Several of the attackers accepted an “other than honourable” discharge, but three men stood their ground, fighting a full-blown court martial with the help of a Navy attorney.
Who is it for?
Designed as a curatorial experience for our senior audiences, Sorkin’s gripping narrative will have wide appeal, and will be a production not to be missed. For the first time in over a decade, Centenary Hall will be used as a key theatrical venue.
Auditions will be held in the BGS Theatre on Tuesday 2, Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 February. Students should sign up to one of the audition days. Interested students can download an audition pack via the Cocurricular channel on Microsoft Teams here.
Director: Ms Tanya Neilsen; Producer: Mr Patrick Last; Technical Director: Mr Ben Newth.
Welcome to 2021
It is my pleasure to welcome you to BGS Music in 2021. I was proud of how the community responded to last year’s challenges and created some very special moments; however, we all hope for Music to return to normal in 2021. I look forward to sharing it with you.
- Please review the Cocurricular Music Handbook available via MyGrammer (Music > Information) for BGS Music information and policies.
- Students in the GPS Music Showcase are reminded the event will take place on Thursday 11 February (Week 3).
- Enrolments for instrumental and vocal tuition are now open. Information and enrolment forms are available via MyGrammar here (Music > Tuition > 2021 Tuition enrolments now open).
- Private tuition will begin in Week 2 for students who enrol by 9.00am Thursday 28 January. After that time, enrolments received by 9.00am each Thursday will begin lessons the following week.
- Group tuition will begin in Week 3 for students who enrol by 9.00am Thursday 4 February. After that time, enrolments received by 9.00am each Thursday will begin lessons the following week.
- New student ensemble auditions will be held in Week 2. Please sign up via MyGrammar here (Music > Performance Program > Auditions).
- Orchestras resumed rehearsals yesterday (Thursday 28 January)
- All bands, string ensembles, percussion ensembles and unauditioned choirs (Grammar Vocal Ensemble and vocal group) will resume in Week 2.
- Auditioned choirs will resume rehearsals in Week 3, following auditions in Week 2.
Head of Music
Director of PE, Sport and Activities
Welcome to 2021. I look forward to catching up with you as we progress through the year.
This term, the ongoing pandemic requires us to work under the GPS guideline, “Arrive, Play and Go”. All students, coaching staff and parent spectators are required to register attendance at GPS events with the EVA Check-in app. Numbers at each venue will be limited, and the specific director of each sport will supply details.
Last year, the Cocurricular Office surveyed students, coaching staff and parents about the strengths and weaknesses of each sport their sons engaged in during Term 3 2020. We appreciate the time you dedicated to provide this feedback, and we have used the results to identify areas for improvement in 2021.
As we start the year, I would like to provide some guidelines for how parents can be involved in BGS Sport and Activities to improve everyone’s experience.
- Ensure you and your son stay up-to-date by checking MyGrammar and the specific sport or activity tab on the Cocurricular page.
- Ask your son to sign on using the link supplied by the relevant director on MyGrammar
- Install the BGS app on your phone to receive push notifications advising any last-minute changes such as weather interruptions.
- There are many students involved in Cocurricular programs, and some boys are disappointed when they don’t make a particular team. If your son experiences a minor setback, encourage him to accept the decision and consider it a learning experience. He may want to talk to his coach about where he can improve.
- For our part, we aim to conduct a transparent, fair and thorough trial and selection process. Selection is ongoing, which may see boys move up and down during the season and from year to year.
Good luck to all boys competing this weekend.
Holiday training recap
The BGS Cricket community was busy during the holidays with specialist clinics, cricket development tours, trial games and our annual cricket camp at Northgate.
Our cricketers were fortunate to receive some wonderful coaching from a range of specialists, including two former Australian Test cricketers, a former English first class cricketer, a member of the Sydney Sixers Big Bash team and many current Brisbane first grade cricketers.
We welcome back Mr Peter Steindl as Head Coach of the First XI team, working alongside Mr Jon Hopes. Mr Graham Power transitioned seamlessly into his role as Junior Development Coach and has superbly coordinated many holiday activities. We also welcome Ryan Harris and Nathan Hauritz into our program as specialist coaches.
Our boys could not be better prepared for their first-round assignment against The Southport School this weekend. I wish them the very best of luck and urge all cricketers to be competitive, but respect the game and play with good sportsmanship.
Parents are encouraged to view the 2021 Willow Club (Cricket support group) season launch invitation at the end of this newsletter.
Director of Cricket
Junior Development Program Report
On Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 January, 87 boys attended cricket clinics at BGS to develop their skill sets. We used the bowling machines to develop batting skills, and did specific drills to enhance their shot execution. Coaches worked on run-ups, technique development and discussed field placings to enhance bowling skills. Drills to improve the boys’ fielding standard were also undertaken. A special thanks to the coaching staff who assisted over the two days.
The Annual Cricket Camp was held from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 January at Northgate. Approximately 160 boys from Years 5 to 7 attended the camp.
Monday and Tuesday consisted of centre wicket activities, net sessions and fielding drills. On Wednesday, boys played games against The Southport School as well as some internal trial games. The 7A team played against a visiting Mega Courts team from Adelaide. The camp and trial games helped coaches select their teams.
Thank you to all the coaches who assisted over the three days. We are looking forward to playing against The Southport School during Round 1 of the GPS Cricket competition tomorrow.
Good luck to all teams.
Junior Development Coach
Senior Development Program Report
The First XI squad and Development Squad came together in early January for an intense week of games and training.
The tour started with full training sessions at Northgate, placing emphasis on fielding. Boys across all age groups worked hard to improve their fielding skills, and it was pleasing to see the players continually challenging each other. Key focus areas were staying on their feet when attacking the ball, which incorporated the principle of ‘action and reaction’. This required players to take a more team-focused approach to fielding on both sides of the wicket.
Trial matches were played against Gregory Terrace and Marist Brothers Ashgrove. These fixtures allowed players to find their rhythm out in the middle after the break and enabled coaches to encourage their teams to develop key playing principles.
Notable performances included unbeaten centuries to Oliver Spence and Brad Makintosh for the Development XI as they shared in a 271* run partnership for the first wicket against Marist Brothers Ashgrove, and an unbeaten 84 from Ethan Bartley. Spinners Angus Tolhurst (1/15 off 10 overs) and Hugh Weibgen (2/17 off 10 overs) also returned tight figures for the First XI squad against Marist.
The Annual Cricket Camp included more specific training and matches for the First XI squad. These matches included the annual Jim Taylor Memorial Game played against a powerful Old Boys team, featuring five current first-grade premier cricketers.
The squad competed very well and showed some good character, narrowly failing to chase down 188. The fielding and tactics were much improved from the previous week’s games, indicating steady progress. The following day, the squad played their last warm-up fixture against Ipswich Grammar School. Once again, the squad learned from previous matches and played a solid game, chasing down the IGS score of 178 in 37 overs. Marcus Bean took four wickets, and Hugh Weibgen scored a run a ball 94, with Ethan Bartley finishing unbeaten on 47 to steer the team home.
Players benefitted from the two weeks of preparation at Northgate and are looking forward to the upcoming GPS season. It was pleasing to see progress made by so many players. It is important that all players and teams continue to seek improvement throughout the season and focus on the processes required to perform.
Cricket Head Coach (First XI)
New Head Coaches
The 2021 Cross Country program kicked-off today with our first meeting for the year. It was great to gather again, and we were excited to introduce our new Head Coaches for Cross Country, Mr Peter Nowill and Mr Nick Lorenz.
Peter and Nick are experienced elite runners, representing Australia in numerous World Championships and similar events. Peter is also a former Olympian, competing at the 2004 Athens Games. Importantly, they have both been involved in coaching and administration and are very keen to join our BGS team.
2021 Cross Country sign-on
Boys wishing to join the Cross Country program this year need to sign on via the link on MyGrammar (Cocurricular > Cross Country > 2021 Cross Country Sign-on). Importantly, this registration provides parental permission for the boys to engage in training across various venues.
Training sessions for preseason (through to Term 1 Week 7) will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Boys are encouraged to make as many sessions as possible; we understand many boys have competing commitments. Students from other sports who wish to develop greater fitness are also encouraged to attend. Sessions begin at 6.30am sharp, with boys to sign-in with their ID card at the Cricket Pavilion from 6.15am.
Training starts on Monday 1 February.
Our first community run will take place at Enoggera Reservoir on the morning of Sunday 7 February. More details will be announced shortly via MyGrammar and the BGS app.
Brad Scholes and Nick Holland
Cross Country Directors
Future Problem Solving | 2021 Sign on
In 2021, Brisbane Grammar School will again compete in Future Problem Solving (FPS). This international academic competition challenges students to find creative solutions to problems the world may face in the future. Brisbane Girls Grammar School students will be working with us for this activity.
Meetings will be held on Tuesday afternoons from 3.15pm to 4.15pm in CB101/2, starting in Week 3. FPS will run during Semesters 1 and 2.
We are seeking Year 8 student applications, but experienced FPS students from Years 7 to 11 are also encouraged to apply. Places are limited and competitive.
Interested students should visit the FPS Australia website and explore the Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) program for more details.
All applicants must complete the application form here.
If you have any questions, please contact me at Simon.Canfield@brisbanegrammar.com.
Mr Simon Canfield
FPS Queensland Convenor
2021 FTC Robotics sign on | Years 7 to 12
Students in Years 7 to 12 are invited to apply for the 2021 Robotics FIRST Tech Challenge. FTC Robotics is a competitive activity, and we aim to have teams compete at the national finals again this year.
Sessions will be held on Wednesdays during lunchtimes in H301, and again after school until 4.15pm in the Robotics Lab (former Uniform Shop in the staff car park). All prospective members are invited to join us in Week 2 during lunchtime (H301) for an introductory session.
All interested students must complete the online sign-on form here.
If you have any questions, please ask them during the Week 2 introductory session, or email me at Simon.Canfield@brisbanegrammar.com.
BGS competes at national robotics competition
The BGS Robotics team #14579 had a thrilling final day at the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics National Finals in December.
Following months of discussion, design and construction, our team were prepared for the big day. We had a 30-minute interview with two judges in the morning and another 15-minute interview in the afternoon. Judges asked questions about the design process, engineering principles, team outreach, networking with industry professionals and overcoming challenges. The boys also presented their 26-page Engineering Notebook detailing the process leading up to the finals. Through the day we ran five robot matches that were uploaded live to the national scoring system. The boys had very consistent matches, scoring an average of 46.5 points and a top score of 68 points in their final match.
Between matches, the boys made minor modifications, tightened components and readjusted their game plan to maximise points. The high score in the final match showed that this time was well spent.
While the team didn’t receive an award at this competitive event, we improved the robot and teamwork and have identified areas of development for this year. Out of the hundreds of teams that competed nationally, BGS placed 15th – an outstanding result for a relatively new team to the competition. Congratulations to our neighbours at BGGS who pushed us the whole way, eventually placing 16th overall. It was fantastic to have the BGGS team sharing the playing field. Both teams were incredibly supportive of each other and improved through this partnership.
A warm welcome to all new and returning families to the BGS Swimming program. This year, the GPS Swimming Championships will be held on Friday 5 March – only six weeks away!
It has been encouraging to see many swimmers have already started their preparations. Well done to all students who attended the Junior Swimming Clinic at BGS and the Senior Swimming Camp at the Sunshine Coast.
GPS training sessions began this week. Please visit the Swimming page on MyGrammar or access the BGS Swimming website here for training times and information relevant to GPS Swimming.
The first GPS lead-up is this afternoon (29 February) at Chandler for all swimmers.
If you have any questions regarding Swimming at BGS please contact me or one of our coaches via email. We look forward to meeting you and your sons throughout the year.
- Swimming Director Matt Logan (email@example.com)
- Swim Club Director and Head Coach Bobby Jovanovich (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Middle School Swimming Coordinator and Assistant Swimming Coach Sarah Caithness (email@example.com)
- P&F Auxiliary | Connect - Care - Contribute
- Volunteer Roster
- 2021 Calendar
- Willow Club function (Cricket)
- Upcoming Events
- BGS150 History Book
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.
The Auxiliary is very thankful to the amazing parents who regularly give their time so generously to feed and clothe BGS students.
Any parents who wish to enjoy the camaraderie of the Tuckshop and/or Grammar Shop are very welcome to join our friendly team. There are a range of days and times for parents who wish to be involved and we’d love to hear from you. For more details see the P&F Volunteers information on MyGrammar.
Open school days before school, during breaks and at lunchtime.
The Tuckshop provides a selection of hot food, fresh salads, wraps, rolls and drinks. Please recharge your MSA cards here.
Open school days from 7.30am to 11.00am.
Pre-loved Uniforms and Textbooks
The BGS P&F Auxiliary has an exciting new initiative – the Grammar Shop is trialling the sale of preloved uniforms. This initiative benefits the whole community by:
- providing an opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle;
- providing donating families with a means of assisting others; and
- assisting purchasing families in saving money.
Donating pre-loved items
If you have any BGS uniform items that you no longer use, please consider donating them to the Grammar Shop. We will accept preloved items in very good to excellent condition. This means:
- recently washed
- no tears or holes
- no stains or discolouring
- no missing buttons or other fasteners
Due to hygiene reasons, we are unable to accept hats, caps, socks, togs or zoot suits.
The Grammar Shop also accepts used textbooks in very good to excellent used condition. This means no torn pages or other damages, as well as minimal notes and highlighting.
Complying items will be gratefully accepted at the Grammar Shop during opening hours. Bags of preloved items must not be left outside the door.
How your donation will be used
The P&F is registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission. Proceeds from sales will go towards enhancing BGS for current and future students, usually in the form of significant school projects (e.g. Boarding renovations and the construction of the STEAM Precinct).
Some preloved uniform items may be given to bursary and boarding students, to the BGS Health Centre or the BGS Laundry for use as spares. The P&F Auxiliary will determine where items and proceeds are directed in collaboration with the Headmaster on a needs-basis.
Buying preloved items
The preloved uniform area is self-service, so customers will search for appropriate items and sizes themselves. Each item will be unique in condition, and we cannot provide a refund or warranty for any defect that should have been noticeable on careful examination. Below are the priced for preloved items:
- Belts, wing shirts, ties – $10
- Shirts, shorts, singlets – $20
- Jumpers, trousers, rugby jerseys, bags – $30
- Used blazers – $170
- Used textbooks – 40% off full item price
Alternatives to donating
If you would prefer to sell your second-hand uniform items, or if their condition doesn’t meet our criteria, the following options are available.
Facebook pages: join the following groups, post a description, photos and pricing for your items and then arrange collection/delivery/payment with any interested parties.
- BGS uniform and school item swap and trade (more than 900 members)
- BGS and BGGS Uniforms (more than 570 members)
Sustainable School Shop is Australia’s top website for second-hand school items. It is free to register and search for item by school before contacting the seller directly. To sell items, you can advertise either a single-item for $1.50, or multiple items with an annual subscription (currently $21.95). This platform is easier to search than Facebook.
Selling blazers via the Grammar Shop: The Grammar Shop will sell used blazers in very good to excellent condition on consignment. You will receive $102 when your blazer is sold. Please visit MyGrammar > P&F Auxiliary > Uniforms > second-hand blazers for more information.
Payment and social distancing
Grammar Shop staff appreciate parents arranging payment for their sons prior to their arrival. Students can pay using their student ID cards (log into My Student Account via MyGrammar to top up the balance), using funds on their account with the Grammar Shop or by credit or debit card.
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.
Brooke Van Nispen
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.