Monthly Archives: March 2017

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Our annual Tea Duel has been postponed!!

Due to Cyclone Debbie, the Tea Duel will now be held at the end of Term 2!!


Our second annual Tea Duel competition is fast approaching, with lunchtime next Thursday 30 March in the Library Learning Commons, the time and place of the big event!

Mr Russell, along with Berkeley and Tom of the Spirit Committee, have put together a ‘Breaking News Story’ which takes aim at our most controversial contestant from last year  – who has again entered the competition this year! This is a must-watch for any Tea Duel enthusiast… or anyone with a sense of humour!  The Library is also very appreciative of Mr Carroll’s good sportsmanship for taking part in the video interview.

For anyone not familiar with the eccentric sport that is ‘Tea Dueling’, last year’s promo video is included below.  This helps explain the rules somewhat, but just be aware that the day it mentions is from 2016! If you are a BGS student planning on attending the event,  make certain you come along next week on Thursday 30 March.

Happy Dunking!

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Harmony Day

Boys in the Middle School had the opportunity to celebrate Harmony Day on Monday with a range of games and activities on offer in the Middle School Library.

There was a multitude of boys who took up the offer and it was pleasing to see so many boys wanting to engage with the principles behind Harmony Day, a day where we recognise that everyone belongs.

A popular activity was the trivia competition which took the form of an online Kahoot! This enabled boys to work individually or in small teams to answer multiple choice questions on topics relating from car brands and countries of origin to questions about our own country’s multicultural composition. It was a lot of fun and boys were highly competitive. Another activity gave boys the chance to design a mask by scratching off the black coating to reveal colours beneath. These masks emphasised the idea that while we may all look different, in many ways underneath we are all the same.

Other crossword puzzles and guessing competitions rounded out the busy lunchtime.

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Somerset Literature Festival 2017

Each year Somerset College devotes an enormous amount of time and energy to organising the Somerset Celebration of Literature, a festival run over three days for schools and two days for the public, and it’s always a great place to listen to new and favourite authors. This year, some of our Year 9s and Year 6s enjoyed a day at the festival, with the Year 9s listening to Mark Smith, Shivaun Plozza, Fleur Ferris and Allison Goodman, and the Year 6s listening to Lance Balchin, Lucas Proudfoot, Matt Stanton and Professor Frankie Falconette.

Mark Smith grew up on a farm and at age 15 he’d never read a book.  He read Catcher in the Rye when recovering from falling off a horse, loved it and went on to become an English teacher and writer. The Road to Winter is book 1 of a trilogy, and is an Australian survival story set in a post-apocalyptic future. Mark’s advice to writers: Write what you know and are passionate about; take risks and persevere.

Alison Goodman creates vivid, believable worlds in her books, and has written fantasy (Eon and Eona), historical (Lady Helen) and science fiction novels (Singing the Dogstar Blues). She also likes to involve the five senses in her stories, and her example of her husband having a cortisone injection in his heel where the needle broke off was definitely told very vividly!

Shivaun Plozza realized she wanted to be an author and looked for different ways of achieving this, again and again until her book Frankie was published. Her advice to writers: Push through every single failure, as often the most determined and most stubborn authors get published.

Fleur Ferris was a paramedic and police officer from the age of 19 years.  She grew up on a 10,000 acre wheat farm and was a survivor of the Ash Wednesday bush fires. She always liked writing, and after her ordeal she wrote about the fires. For her, writing worked like medicine and speeded up her recovery. She has published three books: Risk, Black and Wreck. Fleur’s advice to writers: read widely and write about small incidents.

Lance Balchin is an artist who, through the medium of Photoshop, has created some amazing creatures in his book Mechanica: a beginners field guide. This is the first in a series of books, each page of which consists of a complex illustration and description of a mechanical creature.

Lucas Proudfoot held the audience in the palm of his hand through song, humour and storytelling. He played the didgeridoo, guitar and stomp box whilst encouraging the audience to learn more about indigenous cultures. Student David Butler took to the stage and performed the hula to the delight of other BGS boys in the Hall.

Matt Stanton has published a number of picture books for young people but his latest book is aimed decidedly at middle school readers. Called Funny Kid, the book tells the tale of Max, the class clown who is running for class president. Matt’s presentation had the audience rolling in the aisles and our boys are keen to grab a copy of the book when it is released.

Professor Frankie Falconette is a character brought to life by actor Nadia Sunde. Frankie is a Harry Potter enthusiast who brings to life the characters and creatures from the books. Her presentation included a reading of her favourite part of the first book in the series when Harry goes to Diagon Alley. There were also games to play and trivia questions for eager readers.




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‘Teen Tech Week’ Takes Over Centenary Library

During Week 7 of this term, both the Centenary Library and the Senior Library celebrated ‘Teen Tech Week’.   This week runs internationally from the 5-11th of March and endeavours to highlight the range of services school libraries provide to their students and staff beyond the supply of physical print resources.  The week also aimed to show how our BGS Libraries are preparing our students for life in the technology-rich 21st century.

Year 7 & 8 students in the Centenary Library were provided with opportunities all week long to participate in ‘Teen Tech Week’.  Lunchtime activities were organised for each day, with a week-long ‘Teen Tech Bingo’ activity also on offer.  On Monday the library played host to a ‘Magformer Challenge’ where students were provided with a set amount of Magformer pieces and a time limit to create the best and most inventive Science Fiction inspired model.  The winning creation was a wonderful futuristic shoe designed by a Year 7 student.

On Tuesday, students who visited during lunch found 20 different QR codes hidden around the library.  Each code, when scanned with a provided iPad, contained a library-specific trivia question.  Students were asked to find and answer all questions before the end of lunch to enter the draw to win a prize.  Finding all proved quite challenging for some but a pair of Year 8 students answered all 20 correctly within the allotted time limit, and were crowned the winners of ‘Trivia Tuesday’.

‘Wristband Wednesday’, the craft activity for the week, was quite a popular task.  Students were provided with a USB, some duct tape, cardboard, yarn and instructions on how to make a USB wristband.  This proved quite a tricky task which the students enjoyed immensely, with many asking to continue working on their wristbands next week.  One of the Year 8 students took his home, working on it that night with his own yarn and then wore it to Thursday’s event, with the end-product looking fantastic!

‘The Lunchbox Club’ were kind enough to host a come-and-try day in the Centenary Library during lunch on Thursday.  This wonderful opportunity gave non-members of the makerspace club the opportunity for some hands-on experimenting with the robots, drones, circuits and Spheros that the club is lucky enough to work with every week.  So many students walked away from this activity with giant smiles on their faces, and an excited attitude towards exploring more of the innovative technology the school and libraries have to offer.

On Friday, after such a busy week, the students were offered the opportunity to relax with one of the library’s favourite tech TV clips, Astroboy.  Students watched the first episode titled ‘Birth of Astroboy’ and took time to contemplate all they had learned over the week.  Thank you to all who helped organise, took part in activities or just attended to watch from afar; the events would not have been the same without you.

For more information about why we chose to celebrate ‘Teen Tech Week’ in our libraries please visit the official site.

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Cold Case – Patrick Logan

To title this post a “Cold Case” couldn’t be more appropriate, as this funny yet educational video (see below) was made last year for the year 5 teachers to assist with their lessons on Patrick Logan.  Mr Russell, our library media specialist, was extremely pleased that even though some of the teachers who featured in the video had moved to other year levels and new staff had come in, they still wanted to utilise this resource.  He really enjoyed getting to edit his old video with the new staff members’ names, and he especially liked it when the year 5 students rushed up to him asking if he was the ‘detective’ who worked for ‘Horrible Hunter’ and the other year 5 teachers. (Apologies to the teachers – let’s hope those names don’t stick!)  Most of all he loved hearing feedback about how engaged the boys have been in the lessons.

Mr Russell says that ‘it would be wonderful to be asked to make some more learning resources for the staff here at BGS this year’.  With a library media officer soon to join the team, he will even have some assistance.  So teachers, send Mr Russell more of these creative curriculum challenges!

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Author Peadar O’Guilin ‘calls’ in to BGS

On Tuesday this week we were very fortunate to have Irish author, Peadar O’Guilin, visit our Senior Library to talk to three classes of Year 9 boys, while on tour to promote his new novel, The Call.  He had just arrived from the Perth Writers Festival, and is now on his way to Sydney and Melbourne to promote his book there.

Based on a mix of Irish mythology and horror, The Call tells the story of a brutal feud between the Sidhe (aka malevolent fairies/banshees) and humans. The Aes Sidhe, ancient rulers of Ireland, were banished to the greylands (a type of hell) many years ago after being defeated by humans, but now they have found a way to get back at humans by ‘calling’ every teenager into the greylands for a deadly game of survival. Each teen is only gone for 3 minutes and 4 seconds in human time, but this equates to 24 hours of terror and torment in Sidhe time. Normal schools no longer exist, and each remaining student learns only how to survive in the greylands. Many come back maimed or mutilated; many never come back at all – but one girl is determined to survive.

Read more about his book, or come to the Library to borrow a copy.