Week 7 Term 4
Friday 19 November 2021
In this issue:
- The Class of 2021 - the first Year 5 cohort at BGS - graduate
- A history of Speech Day awards
- National and state History success
- Middle School boys create solar cars
This week, I had the privilege of attending the Year 12 Valedictory Dinner and final assembly. It was especially poignant for me, as I commenced my time at BGS as Head of Year 5 and 6 alongside many of this year’s graduates. We wish the graduating Class of 2021 all the best as they embark on the next exciting chapter of their lives and sincerely thank them for their contributions throughout their time at Brisbane Grammar School. Pictured below are the students from the first Year 5 cohort at BGS.
Preparations are well underway for this year’s Middle School Presentation Afternoon, to be held at QPAC next Wednesday 24 November. This special event recognises our Academic and Cocurricular prize winners and celebrates our strong culture of learning and endeavour. Students in Years 5 and 8 will attend the event along with prize winners and performers across year levels. Our Years 6 and 7 students will watch via a live stream at BGS. A link to the live stream will be provided to parents.
Preparing the annual report for Presentation Afternoon allows me to reflect on our accomplishments and recognise the contributions of others. Once again, I am in awe of what the boys and staff have achieved this year and am indebted to our teachers for their commitment to providing a broad range of experiences for our Middle School boys within and beyond the classroom.
Academically, our teachers have continued to provide high quality learning experiences aimed at capturing the boys’ interests and stretching the boys’ cognitive capabilities.
In Cocurricular, participation rates for Middle School boys have remained high, with over 95% of boys committing to a sporting activity and large numbers of students engaging in cultural pursuits. The recent Middle School Dramatic Production, The Unremarkables, was a particular highlight and we look forward to seeing a snippet at Presentation Afternoon next week.
In Outdoor Education, our team provided the Years 7 and 8 boys with a new, individualised expedition program where they were able to choose their level of challenge.
Our Year 6 team accompanied the boys on a Far North Queensland adventure, in lieu of the traditional Canberra trip.
This is merely a snapshot of the 2021 Middle School experience. I look forward to sharing this year’s full report with our community next week at Middle School Presentation Afternoon.
A reminder that school concludes for all students at 3.00pm on Friday 26 November.
- Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School | David Carroll
- Outdoor Education
- Student Wellbeing
- Academic | History of Speech Day awards
This week, we farewelled the Class of 2021. Several activities provided the boys with an opportunity to spend time with each other. On Thursday, the boys assembled at school for their Valedictory Assembly and then on Thursday night, parents and students gathered for the Valedictory Dinner. Both events were enjoyable and proved to be a fitting farewell for an extraordinary group of BGS men.
As we farewell one cohort, our focus moves to welcoming the Class of 2022. Next Tuesday, we are delighted to welcome parents to the presentation of the students’ senior badges. This is an opportunity for parents to be part of the important transition ritual, and I hope it is well attended by parents.
With the Christmas holidays only a week away, I remind parents there will be exams up to the final day of classes. It will be important that students are present until the end of the final school day next Friday (3.00pm). On the last day, the entire school gathers in the ISC for the final assembly of the year.
I want to offer my thanks to parents for their continued support of this year. As I have said on many occasions, working together is extremely important for your son’s academic outcomes and wellbeing.
Director of Boarding
Over the Bridge
On Wednesday night, we farewelled our Class of 2021 boarding students during the traditional boarders’ leaving evening, which has become known as ‘Over the Bridge’.
The event is a rite of passage in the journey of every BGS boarder. It marks the final time they will leave Harlin House as a boarding student, only returning once they have become an Old Boy.
I must credit the junior boys for creating an impressive guard of honour and the sincerity of their actions with the departing seniors. When we embed gratitude as a virtue, we can fully appreciate what we have been given each day.
Equally, I must credit the older boys for not holding back in their farewells. It was touching to see young men who were comfortable shedding a tear with their peers, and the reactions of the remainder of the House.
The photos never quite tell the whole story, but at least provide an idea as to what it means to be a boarder: to live in a home away from home; to have made lifelong friends; to be a part of a diverse and cohesive community; to appreciate the unique privilege of living at school.
Gents, go well. Enjoy your new adventures, and remember to sweep the shed.
Director of Outdoor Education
The Year 6 cohort visited Moogerah this week and were willing and ready to get straight into the outdoor activities. The program objectives are focused on respect and allowing the students to settle into the procedures at the Outdoor Education Centre for their first residential stay. The students are encouraged to positively participate, contribute to the success of others and challenge themselves.
During the first afternoon, the boys took their energy and enthusiasm onto Lake Moogerah. The flat-water rafting session develops a strong set of paddling and water safety skills with fun and high-energy activities. The boys learned how to paddle, complete rescues, flip the raft and were happy to float in their PFDs to cool off in the lake.
The evening was a highlight when Louise from Australian Bush Buddies displayed her turtle, glossy black cockatoo, black headed python and crocodile for the animal education session. Boys showed lots of interest, and there were plenty of volunteers to handle the python and crocodile for a photo.
Day 2 started with a morning run, pancakes for breakfast and preparation for the bushwalk. The walk takes the boys to an excellent viewpoint where the Year 11 leaders point out the program locations for the coming years and tell stories from their personal experiences. To cool down after the bushwalk, boys enjoyed a session on the slip and slide as the lake's water level was too low for the swimming area.
Year 11 Outdoor Education Leaders – Alexander Donald, Alexander Sneddon, Samuel Taylor, Mitch Wishart, Patrick Holmes, Atticus Jackson, William Jordan, Daniel Allison, Milan Kankanwadi, Connor von Hoyer-Davies and Eammon Wood – were wonderful mentors for the Year 6 boys and guided them through the domestic duties, activities and challenges.
Hishaam Saood and Uzair Saood joined the program for the week as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. Hishaam and Uzair showed great initiative and commitment to their role and provided support to Outdoor Education Leaders and teachers.
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 6 folder in Pixevety.
Director of Student Wellbeing Programs
Parenting, alcohol, parties and sleepovers in Year 9: Why this year group can be so challenging and the importance of putting things into place now.
Thursday 20 January 2022
7.00pm to 8.30pm (AEDT)
Paul Dillon from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia is hosting a webinar for parents and caregivers who are looking for strategies to help keep their teenagers safe at parties.
This presentation will focus on the positive influence that parents can have on their child’s drinking behaviour and the barriers they can face during this time. Peer influence is a significant issue during teenage years, and parents need to have clear rules and boundaries about sleepovers, parties, gatherings and alcohol.
This presentation will also examine the latest data on Australian teen drinking behaviour and the growing evidence on associated risks.
The event will be held during the last week of the summer holidays on Thursday 20 January 2022 (7.00pm to 8.30pm). Click here for further details and to register.
Director of Learning Programs
Many Speech Day prizes awarded to senior students have a long and interesting history. Our oldest and most prestigious prizes were endowed by some of our great founders. The dux of the School is awarded the Lilley Gold Medal. Sir Charles Lilley was a champion of education in the fledgling colony of Queensland and endowed these medals in 1869. He served as Chairman of the Board from 1877 to 1887 and was a Chief Justice and Premier of Queensland.
The prize for next in order of merit to the dux, or proxime accessit, is the Bowen Prize. It was endowed by Governor George Bowen in 1870. He signed the Grammar School’s Act into legislation in 1860 and became the School’s first official Visitor. This position is still held by the Governor today. Sir James Cockle endowed the senior Mathematics prize in 1875. He also served as Chairman of the BGS Board of Trustees prior to Lilley from 1874 to 1877. He too was a Chief Justice of Queensland. These early founders of the School wanted to recognise academic success and gave great support in establishing our reputation for scholarship.
Other prizes honour respected and long-serving masters. The Basil Porter Memorial prizes for French, endowed in 1933, remember the renowned Teacher of French who taught at BGS from 1892 to 1933. Porter was awarded the decoration of Officer d’Academie by the Ministry of Public Instruction in France, recognising his teaching skills. The James Cowan Memorial prizes for drawing, endowed in 1936, originally awarded for drawing recognise one of the Schools’s longest and most popular teachers. Cowan was on staff from 1886 to 1935 and passed away the following year, aged 81.
The sacrifice of Old Boys in both world wars is also remembered by many prizes. The Hoffman Memorial prize for English honours Flying Officer A D L Hoffman, a great scholar and sportsman at school, who was killed in action on 25 April 1944. Noel Robertson was killed at Bullecourt in 1917, and his name is remembered in the cup given to the School Captain each year. Norman Waraker was an outstanding athlete who died at Ypres in 1917. The champion 400m runner receives a cup bearing his name. All together, there are 12 prizes associated BGS Old Boys’ involvement in the wars.
This is only a small selection of the prizes awarded annually. A full list of endowments is printed each year in the Speech Day program, and a brief history of Year 12 prizes is available on the BGS website in the Awards Chronicle on the history page. These prizes honour great figures from BGS and inspire our current students to achieve their best and recognise their excellence.
Over the past three years, young BGS historians have achieved notable results in state-wide and national competitions. This year saw an impressive array of results across disciplines and year levels.
National History Challenge
A number of BGS history students entered the National History Challenge and were required to research world and Australian history as part of the very competitive and highly prestigious challenge. This year’s theme was History Matters, inviting students to design and explore topics dealing with questions of significance.
The highest accolade that can be achieved at the state level of the competition is the Queensland Premier’s Young Historian. This year, the award was won by Year 10 student Isaac Robinson, whose presentation on Australia and WWII also won the Queensland State Young Historian Award. Isaac won over $1000 in cash and prizes for his efforts.
BGS was also very well-represented across other award categories, with students from Years 8 to 12 receiving Gold, Silver and category-specific awards.
Queensland History Teachers’ Association Writing Competition
BGS students from Years 8 to 12 achieved impressive results in the Queensland History Teachers’ Association Writing Competition. The state-wide competition allows schools to submit exemplary work from students in a range of categories. BGS students placed very well across a broad range of categories, with first place results for Ed Cooper (Year 9 – Essay) and Hamish Moss (Year 11 – Investigation).
Students of Ancient History performed particularly well, with Alexander Cain (Year 12 – Investigation) and William O’Quinn (Year 11 – Investigation) winning their respective categories, and Year 12 students Max Simonidis, Max Sawley and Andrew Shuttleton placing or being highly commended across multiple categories.
Students interested in participating in these competitions next year should contact their History teacher and consider joining the BGS History Society, which is led by senior students and Ms Susan du Rand.
Susan du Rand
Head of History
Lessons and Carols – On Christmas Night
Saturday 27 November, 7.00pm | St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Ann Street
Christmas is almost here, and the BGS celebrations are even closer. If you have not yet secured your free tickets for this event, please do so as soon as possible. We have managed to make a few additional tickets available, but they will not last long.
The choirs are looking forward to sharing beautiful Christmas music with you, and you will love singing your favourite carols to the accompaniment of the pipe organ in the cathedral. I hope to see you there.
Head of Music
Solar Car Challenge
This term, a small group of budding engineers in Years 5 and 6 have been flexing their STEAM muscles by building solar cars. Using kits and video instructions, the boys turned a collection of wires, batteries, wheels and more into solar cars. The activity allowed boys to create, problem-solve, collaborate, but most importantly, have fun.
Races were held on Tuesday, with the winning team of Luka Rodins and Morris Grant narrowly defeating runners-up Ed Driessen and Samuel Kelley.
Thank you to Mr Simon Canfield who provided technical support and acted as the race starter. Congratulations to all who participated.
- P&F Auxiliary | Connect - Care - Contribute
- Volunteer Roster
- BGS Art Show 2022 | Save the Date
- BGS150 History Book
- Upcoming Events
- 2021 Calendar
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.
Open weekdays before school, during breaks and at lunchtime.
The Tuckshop provides a selection of hot food, fresh salads, wraps, rolls and drinks. Please recharge your BGS Card here.
Open school days from 7.30am to 11.00am.
On the last day of Term 4 (Friday 26 November), the Grammar Shop will be open before school from 7.30am to 8.30am only. The shop will then close for the annual stock take.
BGS 2022 Booklists are now available for online purchase through Sequel Books here. Delivery will occur approximately 7 – 10 working days after the order date. All continuing families would have received an email with further details.
Grammar Shop uniform, book, stationery and memorabilia items are now available to purchase online using Visa, Mastercard or your BGS Card balance. All items will be available to collect in-person at the Grammar Shop on the second school day after placing your order.
Once logged into your BGS Card account on your computer, click the “Grammar Shop Online” link at the top centre of the screen to explore the new system.
Senior School Uniforms
Year 8 students should plan to visit the Grammar Shop this term to purchase their Senior School uniform (blue shirt, trousers, trouser socks and tie). It is not necessary to make an appointment, just come in either before school or during Break 1.
Grammar Shop staff appreciate parents arranging payment for their sons before visiting the shop. The simplest way for students to pay is by using their BGS Cards, which can be topped-up online (MyGrammar > MyStudent > BGS Card).
The Grammar Shop can no longer hold separate credit for planned purchases or credit card details for later purchases, so the BGS Card is a great alternative. While we can accept phone orders or order forms for specific items, if you're unsure of the size required, please add funds to your student's BGS Card instead.
Please check here to confirm whether your blazer or other embroidered items are awaiting collection in the Grammar Shop.
Save the Date: BGS Art Show 2022, Friday 6 – Saturday 7 May
The BGS Art Committee is excited to announce the date of the 53rd Annual BGS Art Show. The premier ticketed Gala Night will be held on Friday 6 May, with the exhibition continuing through into the BGS Open Day on Saturday 7 May 2022.
Funds raised from the Art Show assist the development and maintenance of the School's art collection, emerging artist scholarships, and funding for key art resources and projects in conjunction with the BGS Art Department.
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.