Yearly Archives: 2019

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A Fantasy Quest in the Land of Remorse

Twenty of our Year 8 boys spent four fabulous days creating and writing fantasy stories, based on their quest into the Land of Remorse (aka Roma Street Parklands) to retrieve an object held by an evil power and free the land from its clutches. This included exploring augmented reality apps at the Tunnel of Terror, the Epic Citadel, the Eerie Escarpment and the Fiendish Forest, and participating in teamwork activities at the Field of Doom, the Stone Table, the Cursed Quicksand and the Armoury.  Local author, Simon Cleary, challenged the boys to make their writing more descriptive, and many of the activities and/or locations found their way into different groups’ stories.

The culmination of the program involved the boys proudly explaining to parents and visitors what the program was about, what each of the activities involved, and showing samples of their stories. While writing a collaborative story from different characters’ perspectives was the intended outcome, the boys’ learning went far beyond this and included:

  • Collaborating with people who were not close friends,
  • Inclusivity and respecting differences,
  • Actively listening to each other,
  • Following instructions,
  • Being prepared,
  • Creative thinking,
  • Problem solving,
  • Taking initiative,
  • Being persistent but resilient,
  • Reflecting on character strengths,
  • Reflecting on successes and how to improve.

To see more of the ideas on which this program was based visit Spring Hill Young Writers Group.


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May the 4th – Star Wars Mania

Last week the BGS Libraries celebrated Star Wars with an assortment of activities, all marking the special day, May the Fourth. Middle School boys had a chance to decorate cupcakes in a Princess Leia design. Following instructions, boys proved themselves to be eager and successful cake decorators, and of course, cake eaters!

Two of our teachers donned costumes to host a special Star Wars Kahoot competition in the Middle School libraries. Boys were challenged to be fast and correct in order to be announced the winner. Years 5 and 6 boys also had the chance to enter a colouring competition.

A highlight of the week was the Droid Race Challenge in the MS Amphitheatre with eager particpants competing and one of our IT staff hosting the event in costume. Senior School boys were also given the opportunity to pit Yoda against Darth Vader with droid races in The Lilley Centre, compered by two of our Year 12 students.


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Book Week Celebrations

Last week the Middle School community celebrated Book Week. Each year, we adopt a them to showcase the importance of books and reading. This year’s theme was “Book Feast”.

Two community events were held which gave parents an opportunity to join in the celebrations. Both events featured our guest author Mick Elliott. Many Years 7 and 8 boys and parents took part in the Trivia and Author Evening in The Lilley Centre. Teams were very competitive and enjoyed both written questions and a Kahoot! Years 5 and 6 boys and parents attended the Book Week Breakfast held in Centenary Hall on Thursday. This was a sold out event which included a beautiful performance by the Chamber Choir.

During the week, lunchtime activities included an Iron Chef competition in which boys were required to decorate pancakes according to various literary themes, a games day and trivia competitions. All events were linked to the theme and proved very enjoyable.

A small group of Year 6 boys travelled to the Somerset Storyfest to conclude the week’s festivities. Boys attended sessions with authors Belinda Murrell, Karen Foxlee and Oliver Phommavanh as well as a performance by three young slam poets. A day such as this is a truly enriching experience and the boys were all very happy with their trip.


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Live Music in the Learning Commons

This week the Lilley Centre was again host to some of our talented musicians here at Brisbane Grammar School for this year’s  ‘Music in the Learning Commons’.  This event saw the debut of Table 64, an original student band, performing four contemporary pieces of music for their peers at lunchtime.  The packed-out Learning Commons was not disappointed as the boys entertained both students and staff with guitars, drums and the baby grand piano.

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A huge congratulations to the boys for their wonderfully entertaining performance, which can be viewed here:


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Smart Start to 2019!

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The start of a new school year is an exciting time for both students and staff with anticipation of a busy and exciting year ahead. We are also excited to say hello to many new boys starting their Brisbane Grammar School journey.

Here at BGS Library we welcome our new students with a comprehensive Library Orientation program which aims to promote library services, introduce the friendly and helpful library staff, our HUGE range of books and graphic novels, and promote the library as a safe space where boys can have fun, quietly read, create and collaborate.

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With over 100 new Year 5 students across 8 classes Teacher Librarian Ms Palmer introduces the boys to a little game she likes to call ‘Escape the Library!’. Teams of boys are challenged to solve puzzles, find items and decipher codes that teach them about the essentials of the Middle School Library such as how to find books on the catalogue, how our Library Management System works and the exciting events that boys can be apart of  throughout the year. As boy’s race to the finish line their excitement is palpable as they finally unlock all 5 locks and open the big red box.

Over in the Centenary Library Teacher Librarian Ms Smith alongside her popular and much loved CLIB mascot Grumpy Cat runs ‘Library Smarts’ for over 250 Year 7 students across 9 classes – with some brand new to BGS. ‘Library Smarts’ is a specially designed board game that introduces the Year 7 boys to the expectations of moving into this new space and giving them the ownership of creating a positive framework of Centenary Library guidelines that students and visitors follow when using the library.

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After being divided into team’s students roll the dice to move around the Monopoly-like board, getting tips from Grammar Man and Grumpy Cat along the way and completing photo challenges using iPads. As the boys move about their new library familiarising themselves with what and where everything is team work is paramount for collecting clues and sharing them with team mates.

After 9 classes Ms Smith was especially impressed with one particular Year 7 team who managed to create a massive 42 guidelines for implementation in the Centenary Library. Well done boys!

Valuable and exciting library lessons like these allow our Teacher Librarians to capture these boy’s imaginations and actively engage them with the learning process through play. Using gamification methods like these also help build their non-cognitive skills that are just as fundamental for a student’s learning and success throughout their education.