Monthly Archives: May 2016

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The “League of Honorary Library Legends”

If you are a regular visitor to our blog you may already be familiar with our Library Legends. These are guests who visit our Centenary Library and discuss their favourite books with the boys.  If you want to find out more about our Library Legends then why not take a look at these previous posts featuring Library Legends:  Ms Verdon and  Mr Timms.


Our Library Legends are wonderful people so, with that in mind, a new library award system has begun.  Allow me to introduce you to the “League of Honourary Library Legends”.  Each term a small group of students will be inducted into the League.  Not just anyone can enter the League of course, only those proven worthy may be invited.  As we have so many wonderful students here at Brisbane Grammar School, it will be difficult to select the boys each term. Today, the first three students have been chosen and have received their certificates and prizes. Jack, Seneth and Cale are now officially Honourary Library Legends.

Jack has assisted the library by taking amazing photographs at library events.  He has always been eager to do this and the quality of his work speaks for itself.  If a picture says a thousand words then Jack’s pictures speak volumes and always capture the moment beautifully.  Jack has also proven himself to be very reliable; if he says he will do something he does it.

Seneth has recently created for the library a video of the Star Wars Droid Races.  Now, anyone who knows anything about video editing knows that this is a very time consuming process, especially to create such an effective video as this one. This was not a simple afternoon of editing: instead of doing homework, Seneth gave up much of his weekend to create this for us and his efforts were greatly appreciated by the library.

Mr Russell is proud of the efforts of both Jack and Seneth, who are members of the Digital Media Group.  They are certainly putting their skills to good use.  Well done guys!

Our final student to enter the League this term is Cale.  The library staff wanted to reward someone who regularly helped in many ways.  This person needed to be someone who was a positive influence on others and generally a great example of a Grammar Man.  Cale fitted the role perfectly.  He has often been seen helping tidy the Library and re-shelve book and offers to do anything else that needs to be done.  A very big thanks to Cale, as his help is really appreciated.

There were a few others who were considered for the awards.   Keep up the good work boys, as we are inducting new members into the “League of Honourary Legends” again next term!



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Star Wars Droid Races

A big part of the Star Wars celebrations in the Senior Library was “Droid Racing”.  Banned in several countries due to the immense pressure placed on the droids’ circuit boards, droid racing is a sport that guarantees thrills and oil spills.  At Brisbane Grammar the best of the best droid operators were drawn to the dark side and competed with little regard for the well being of their droids, all keen to see their name atop the leader board, gaining prestige and power in the senate. Several Jedi operators at the event were suspected of having used “the force” to push over or slow other competing droids.  One Jedi also made illegal alterations to his droid, but evaded the mandatory inspections by saying that his was ‘not the droid you are looking for.’

The event was a huge success: the boys came in huge numbers, filling the Learning Commons to see the droids in action.  To see the full post on the Star Wars events have a look at our earlier post: Star Wars Week in the Library

A big thanks to year 8 student Seneth for creating this video of the droid race event!

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Ms Verdon is our ‘Library Legend’ for Term 2!

Last week the Centenary Library was witness to a real treat when Head of Year 7, Ms Verdon, visited at lunch on Friday to become our ‘Library Legend’ for Term 2.  Students gathered around in the center of the library to hear from Ms Verdon the reasons why she loved reading so much, and the books that she grew up with.  A real highlight was when she discussed one of her favourite novels as a young girl, ‘The Silver Brumby‘ series, and then showed the students pictures of her own white horse. The similarities were quite amazing!  She then read some pages from ‘The Philosophy Files‘ which the boys really enjoyed and which generated some very interesting discussions.  We have already had two requests for a copy of the book to be purchased for the Centenary Library!

Members of our ‘Inside Story’ Book Club have described Ms Verdon’s talk as interesting and different and they liked the wide variety to of books she presented.  Year 8 member, Oliver, had this to say:

‘Ms Verdon’s talk on Friday the 13th was a very intriguing talk about her interest in books and, in particular, ‘The Philosophy Files’. When she read parts of the book we were all intrigued. Then she said, “Philosophy does not answer question but rather creates more”. This was an excellent talk.’ – Oliver, Book Club Member

Thank you to all who attended and a big thank you to Ms Verdon for taking time out of her day to join us in the library and share some of her enthusiasm for reading with the students. It was wonderful to be a part of this event.

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Star Wars Week in the Library

Coinciding with international Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, the Grammar community embraced the inaugural Star Wars Extravaganza with gusto.  Crowds gathered to witness blood spilled in the Trivia arena, involving eight teams guided by quizmaster Stella Gardner, and won by the team of Jedi aptly named ‘I Hate Sand’.  On Friday, the spectators vied for standing room to watch competitors sent Darth Vader, Yoda and R2-D2 careening down the learning commons in race after race.  BB-8 showed agility and perseverance as it darted around an obstacle course.  Eventually Yoda & Xavier Redmond emerged victorious in the sprints, as did Davis Dingle, deftly guiding BB-8 through the maze. The whole event was compered by the energetic Luke Venables.


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How to Write a Professional Resume

At lunchtime today, 25 students attended a workshop in the eXchange to gain tips and insights on how to write a professional resume.  Many boys are now either ready to write a resume or ready to update their resume, so this information was very timely for them, with students commenting, “Your talk was really informative today and I found it really useful”, and “The session yesterday was excellent and it enlightened me a lot.”

This session covered two aspects – how to market yourself to the best advantage and how to design your resume so it looks professional – and was run by our Design and Tech Assistant, Ms Liane Barker-Martin. She has had extensive experience in the past designing marketing and promotional materials for companies and businesses, and the boys found her session both informative and valuable.

One of the key take-aways for the boys was to understand better how to tell the story of themselves to a prospective employer in both the introduction section of their resume and in their cover letter.  According to Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret:

“In the next 10 years the ability to tell your story persuasively will be decisive – the single greatest skill – in helping you accomplish your dreams. Since the next decade marks the greatest promise civilisation has ever known, the story you tell yourself and the story you share with others will unlock your potential and, quite possibly, change the world.” (2016, p.7)

Our boys are now better empowered to go away and work on telling their stories.

How to Write a Resume


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Book Week – Australia: Story Country

Last week the Middle School celebrated Book Week, and it was very satisfying to see our school community coming together to enjoy events which promote reading and the enjoyment of literature.


On Wednesday night 90 boys and their parents attended  An Evening with….Will Kostakis  in the Lilley Centre. Passionate about writing from an early age, Will wrote stories all through high school, landing his first publishing contract at 17 years of age and proving that if you have a dream, it can come true. His presentation focused on drawing inspiration from his own life for his writing as well as providing many laughs as he shared stories of  beloved Greek grandmother and the confusion that can arise across generations, especially when there are language differences.

His writing tips for the boys:

  • Writing a story is like solving a problem – take your own real-life stories and ask ‘What if this had happened instead?’
  • To write real emotion, find out what your character’s biggest fear is and then make then confront it.

The Book Week Breakfast on Friday was a sell-out, with author Jack Heath sharing parts of his latest book with the audience as well as talking about his life as an author. His writing career also began in high school, and he is now a prolific author, having published     books in the past 18 months. Jack spoke most engagingly with all the Middle School boys in year level presentations later in the day, and his books have since walked off the shelves in the Middle and Centenary Libraries.

His writing tips for the boys:

  • Ideas and stories are all around us. Creativity and imagination thrive in boredom, therefore make sure you allow periods of shutting out information so you have nothing to do but think.
  • Don’t worry about writers block – just get in and start writing. The difference between a job and a hobby is that you get on and do the job even if you don’t have inspiration.

Amongst other activities during the week, the Amazing Race was a highlight for boys as they completed individual and group challenges, all related to the Book Week theme,  Australia: Story Country. These included The Real Thong (a thong throwing contest), Say What? (an Australian poetry challenge) and Bushranger Bash, where the boys had to dress like a bushranger and gallop around the oval on a hobby horse.

Overall, the week was a great success, reflecting and reinforcing the strong culture of reading that we have in the school.