Week 4 Term 3
Friday 6 August 2021
In this issue:
- BGS community lives school values in quarantine
- An encouraging message from Student Leaders to all students
- A resilient BGS Boarding community
- BGS Performance Development team launches GrammarFit 2.0
- Year 6 makes it to Far North Queensland before quarantine
Strength in community
At the time of writing, 12 BGS community members have tested positive to COVID-19, including boys, teachers and parents. Our thoughts are with the individuals and their families. This is an emotionally, physically and psychologically challenging period for these families and support from the community is vital.
I am sure that all in our community have had to deal with an incredibly stressful past week, with little certainty amid changing freedoms. I wish to share with you some of my thinking around how we might use our shared values to help give us direction and meaning at this time.
Learning is typically the first-listed BGS value. I thank everyone for their diligence and patience as we again transitioned to home-based learning. Learning continues at BGS. It is our core business and what we are renowned for. From my point of view, online learning is effective, but never as fulfilling as the face-to-face interaction one has in a classroom. I know that I have missed teaching Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the seniors in 12D English, but we’ve managed to analyse the play and deconstruct Macbeth’s character, albeit virtually – great job boys!
Endeavour aligns with the BGS motto, nil sine labore - nothing without work. Dealing with particularly adverse circumstances can require effort and a willingness to adapt. The maturity shown by all boys this week has been heartening, and their behaviour overwhelmingly aligns with our values of leadership and respect. The work of staff has been extraordinary. Teachers have shown amazing resilience and creativity; our business and services staff continue to help, where possible; and the parent body has shown an abiding commitment to the School’s efforts to confront this challenge.
But ultimately, we are nothing without our community. The support we show each other currently demonstrates the real strength of the BGS community. I have seen the messages of support on social media, questions being asked and answered, and information shared. We will continue to send regular email communications, with this information also available on the COVID-19 Advice for BGS Community page on the BGS website.
Aside from continuing good study and eating habits and getting enough sleep, boys are being encouraged to engage with our digital wellbeing programs over this period. GrammarFit has conducted three sessions this week, following its introduction during last year’s initial lockdown at the end of Term 1. Keeping active can be especially difficult when confined to your homes, and I thank the Cocurricular Department for their efforts in re-establishing this program. The Stream channel for GrammarFit can be accessed here.
GrammarWell is a key location for boys to access wellbeing resources to assist them throughout this period. Additional resources are being added this week and next, and we hope these links can be of some assistance with the stress and improbability of home quarantine. GrammarWell can be accessed here.
If your sons have any questions or concerns at any point, I encourage them to contact their Form Tutor, Teachers, Head of Year or Assistant Head of Year through Teams or via email.
I will continue to keep the BGS community updated with regular communications as information becomes available. Please take care of yourself and your family over the coming week, and do not hesitate to ask for any assistance you may need.
A message from our Student Leaders
A sense of belonging is important for students and adults – even more so in these challenging times. Our students have shown they understand the value of belonging to a community in the past few days.
Head of Middle School Rebecca Campbell and I sent a note to each of the students in Years 5 to 12 this week to pass on our best wishes and to share the below letter from our BGS Student Leaders. I hope you enjoy reading the letter as much as I did. Well done, boys.
Quickly can the tide change, though the time we take to react will determine the impact it has on us. It’s funny to think that we mentioned a lockdown jokingly last week, and now here we are in quarantine. Irony can be cruel.
Nevertheless, we move forward. As cliché as it may sound, we are all in this together. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.
We understand the heartbreak many of us are feeling right now with the indefinite suspension of GPS competition, and even more mundane activities that we all take for granted. While we cannot control this, there are some things we can control:
- We can stay ready for the resumption of sports and activities by keeping our mind and body sharp. Watch some film in your spare time, stretch and recover from niggles and stay fit however you can.
- Check in with yourself and with your mates. One of the silver linings of this lockdown is we now have a little extra time to sleep, meditate or even just switch off for an hour and watch a movie. Take the time you need to ensure the maintenance of your mental wellbeing and don’t hesitate to get in contact with your BGS brothers.
- Remain motivated to achieve any goals you set out for yourself this term. Prepare for assessment as though everything were going ahead as per usual, because in all likelihood it will. Use this time to your advantage with your studies.
Boys, you are not in this alone. Let’s plan for the best but be prepared for the worst. We know that we are adaptable, and we’re fortunate enough to be in a position where we can continue schooling in a modified way.
We hope to see you on campus shortly. If not, a virtual connection is better than no connection. Look out for how you can stay connected on the @bgs.spirit Instagram page. Stay safe.
Tom, Harry, Will, Aly and Campbell
BGS Student Leaders
Director of Boarding
The recent events have been felt across the whole school community, and I am in awe of how our young men and boarding families have responded to the circumstances presented to them.
With the lockdown announced on Saturday morning, soon followed by the suspension of all sport across South East Queensland, we implemented and followed our short notice closure procedure, resulting in many boys returning home.
Few could have imagined that a few hours later, the lockdown would become a quarantine. We now find ourselves with an empty campus and lessons being delivered via home-based learning.
Following the lockdown, 10 boarders remained with us. To consolidate our program, the remaining Griffith House boys relocated to 89 Gregory Terrace – our temporary senior boarding residence while Harlin House is redeveloped. Four resident staff continue to live in the building, and the family unit model is enabling the Head of Residence (Harlin House) and the Senior Boarding Tutors (Griffith House) to lead various elements of the operation.
The challenges for the boys and staff have been significant, with no Dining Room or Laundry staff allowed on site. However, as we have experienced in the past 18 months, the greatest challenges bring the greatest growth.
Our temporary catering solution has been first-rate. The boys have willingly added chores to their daily list, and the Resident Tutors have taught them some invaluable laundry skills. To their credit, the boys have been upbeat, supported each other, and I have witnessed a heartening sense of camaraderie from all. I have been delighted by the response of everyone involved.
Within our now well-established routine of community time, physical exercise and a degree of binge-watching, the undoubted highlight has been the daily staff challenge to the boarders.
Last night, all 10 boys gave their all and employed some vastly different and intriguing techniques to row precisely 100m on Miss Cassidy Davies’ ergo machine. There can have been few louder roars than when Tingiran Amet hit the magic figure of 100m, and his Pringles reward was well deserved.
In closing, I wish to sincerely thank the Boarding team for all that they have done at this time. Unfailingly, they have given selflessly to support the boarders, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Equally, I recognise our parents and thank each of them for the flexibility and unwavering support during these times and assure them that the class, texts and images of their sons have been key in sustaining our spirit.
Director of Outdoor Education
9G engaged in the Outdoor Education experience at Moogerah before the lockdown and then quarantine. They came together as a class during the experience and were willing to support each other through the program’s challenges.
Pascal Khosrotehrani was a considerate and proactive student. He engaged in every activity and discussion and finished with a thoughtful and honest reflection on the program. Lebron Brooks was an excellent participant. He was willing to take on the challenges and make the most of the Outdoor Education experience.
Campbell Agnew had an excellent week. Campbell was willing to accept challenges, push himself and be a supportive friend. Teachers and students celebrated his efforts. Lucas Stay was a kind and supportive friend. He worked hard to complete group tasks and went out of his way to check in with his classmates.
Adam James was a great student at Moogerah. He demonstrated the components of ‘leading self’ and showed initiative in helping at mealtimes and around the campsite. He was a keen and motivated climber who pushed himself and volunteered to belay others. Adam was a great contributor to the program and the class experience.
Year 11 Outdoor Education Leaders Nicholas Yang, Jacob Ong, and Ethan Castle guided the Year 9 boys through the program. They put their Outdoor Education and leadership experience to use to have a positive influence on the program.
A short movie of the boys' experiences can be viewed via the 9G Video link.
Outdoor Education photos are now available via the School’s photo management system, Pixevety. The platform helps the School safely manage and share our photos. This user guide provides instructions on how to access, navigate, search and download photos. The system uses single sign on and must be accessed via MyGrammar > Useful Links > Pixevety. Once activated, you will be prompted to enter a login email and password, but please do not attempt to login this way. Instead, go back to MyGrammar and click on Pixevety again. You can then view the photos by clicking on the Outdoor Education Year 9 folder in Pixevety.
North Queensland adventure
Last week, our very excited Year 6 students embarked on their Far North Queensland adventure. Following a smooth flight to Cairns, the first stop on the tour was Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, where the students experienced cassowary and crocodile feeding and a tour of a man-made lagoon with 30 saltwater crocodiles.
Day two gave students the opportunity to explore the world heritage listed, Daintree Rainforest. Destinations included the peaceful Mossman Gorge, where they got to view an extended welcome to country and smoking ceremony. This was followed by a cruise along the Daintree River for some more crocodile spotting, including coming face to face with Scarface, a 4.5m salty who is the largest crocodile in the area.
The Great Barrier Reef was the destination on day three. The one-and-a-half-hour trip on the Quicksilver VIII included a presentation from marine biologists, offering the boys an insight into the importance of the Great Barrier Reef and the threats it faces. At Agincourt Reef the boys spent the afternoon snorkelling, fish feeding and venturing out on the semi-submersible. The boys really enjoyed swimming among the different species of tropical fish, learning about the different types of coral and even an encounter with a small shark.
On the final day, the boys enjoyed a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway which offered spectacular views of Cairns and its surrounds.
The Year 6 Far North Queensland tour was a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all and provided an opportunity for students to explore and learn about two world heritage sites. A big thank you to all staff including Mr Tier, Mr McFarlane, Mr Kenny, Mr Shears, Mrs Coombe, Mrs Lindsay, Ms Ragen, Mr Murray, Mr Bloch, Mr Grice, Ms Salmon, Miss Hart and Mrs Brennan for supporting the boys on this tour.
We have all had to operate in unfamiliar territory in our personal and professional lives in the past week. Like many other departments at BGS, the Performance Development Team has a can-do approach and will continue to provide physical preparation programs to our students. We are fortunate to have highly experienced staff to deliver online strength and conditioning during home-based learning.
The work of Rhys Cox, Jordan Manning and Lara Ponsi in reviving GrammarFit in less than 24 hours has meant that the entire BGS Community – teachers, students and their families – will have access to a prescribed and coached physical activity session at home. GrammarFit 2.0 will allow you to remain physically active through a series of bodyweight strength, conditioning and yoga sessions while in quarantine. These will be published to the GrammarFit Stream Channel online at 6.00am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. This channel is available via the Cocurricular Teams channel here.
Further, the Hercules Program is open to all Middle School students and is specifically programmed by Grant Cole. Grant has focused on bodyweight circuits that will work the whole body and develop core movement competencies to deal with quarantine restraints. Simple is best, and these sessions can be completed multiple times each week. Further, the Foundations of Performance Development Program for Years 9 and 10 will be rolled out for those boys looking to maintain, or build, their physical profile during this lockdown period.
The expertise of Rhett Cope, Cat Paice and Nathan Parnham have come to the fore in programming and prescribing multiple General User and Rehabilitation sessions for our Years 11 and 12 students. Bodyweight and high intensity circuits are being prioritised so students can complete these sessions without equipment.
Ensuring our students remain physically prepared for any return to GPS competition when school returns is important. However, at this stage, we want to stress the importance of staying physically active for mental wellbeing for students and their families. If we stay active on a regular basis, the performance aspect will take care of itself in the coming weeks.
We are excited to offer these age-appropriate strength and conditioning sessions to every student during home-based learning. Parents, your health is just as important during this period of uncertainty, and we encourage you to use these sessions in the absence of your usual training routines. All sessions are accessible via the Performance Development Section of the Cocurricular tab on MyGrammar.
We look forward to helping your son develop physically through his BGS journey.
Head of Performance Development
First carnival 20 August
Note, some of the below information may not be relevant if lockdown contintinues beyond the quarantine period.
A reminder to all disciplines that training has started. For details, please check the 2021 training schedule and calendar on MyGrammar.
The night of Friday 20 August (TBC) will see the first of our Invitational Track and Field Carnivals. At BGS, we use these meets to improve individual bests and as a rehearsal for the GPS Championships. All squad members should attend and compete in their two or three most relevant events. If athletes are uncertain of which events they should compete in, they should speak to the discipline-specific coach. A reminder that times/distances/heights will be used across all events to calculate the age champion at the end of the season. Students interested in scoring points across disciplines should do so early in the season so they can focus on their best one or two events as we approach the championship.
A timetable of events will be posted on MyGrammar. This will be updated each week when the invitation is received by the host school. Generally, the program will rotate through an A and B program in Term 3 so that events will not always occur at the start or end of the night.
A bus will leave school at approximately 3.15pm. Boys will change at QSAC. Boys should bring their ID cards with them to scan in. Boys may go home with parents, or a bus will be provided to return to school. The bus should arrive back at school at approximately 9.00 p.m. If boys are leaving from QSAC with parents, they should see Mr Holzgrefe or Mr Hallis to sign out.
It is expected that all students will abide by the School’s Code of Behaviour policy. Students wear tracksuits and correct Track and Field uniforms. Students are encouraged to bring food that is more suitable to them as athletes.
City Districts rescheduled
Those students nominated for City Districts, please note that the carnival has been rescheduled to Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 August at Bowden Park. All other details remain the same.
All information relating to Track and Field can be found on MyGrammar.
Mr Tim Holzgrefe
Director of Track and Field
- Fencing - Musketeers AGM
- Year 9 Father and Son Breakfast
- Year 12 Senior Formal – Parent Function
- BGSOBA Business Breakfasts
- Upcoming Events
- BGS150 History Book
- 2021 Calendar
Musketeers Support Group AGM | Thursday 26 August at 7.00pm
The Musketeers BGS Fencing Support Group invites you to attend our Annual General Meeting to be held on Thursday 26 August at 7.00pm via Microsoft Teams, followed by a short Ordinary meeting.
All voluntary positions on the support group committee will be declared vacant. Nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer must be received by Thursday 19 August 2021.
Please consider nominating for these positions as the committee is essential to providing whites hire and fundraising for our fencing boys.
To make a nomination please email a completed Position Nomination Form or Ordinary Membership Form to Musketeers Secretary Jen Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org. These forms can be found on the MyGrammar Fencing page.
To RSVP to the Teams Meeting, please email Fencing Director Melanie Chin at email@example.com and a Teams invite will be forwarded to your email address.
For more information about the Musketeers Support Group or the AGM, please contact the Musketeers President, Julia Lim on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss the next two BGSOBA Business Breakfasts following the first event being sold out!
The BGS community is invited to join the below upcoming BGSOBA Business Breakfasts at The Grove Rooftop, 480 Queen Street Brisbane. Community members are encouraged to invite their peers and business associates from beyond the BGS community for this networking opportunity. Join the below events to hear from reputable speakers in the field:
- Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy | Wednesday 15 September, 7.00am to 8.30am. Panellists include Brett Clark '85 (ePharmacy) and Steve Baxter (entrepreneur, investor, and ‘Shark’ on Shark Tank Australia).
- The Business of Sport | Thursday 11 November, 7.00am to 8.30am. Panellists announced shortly.
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.