Author Archives: Library

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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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International Friendship Day

Earlier this term, 8I promoted International Day of Friendship as part of the ‘Learn to Lead’ program. This day was created by the United Nations to promote the fact that friendships can enhance trust, develop a sense of community, and contribute to a more united and peaceful world. The week culminated with a ‘Friendship Photo Booth’ where Middle School boys had a chance to pose with their mates and celebrate the important friends in their lives.  The library really enjoyed being a part of this wonderful event.  Here is a video, showcasing many of the funny poses the boys did with their friends.


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Book Week 2018 day one kicks off with ‘Pirate Plunder’.

Scurvy ridden pirates arrived in the Middle School Library to compete in the pirate version of the game ‘Hungry Hippos’ at lunchtime.  ‘Pirate Plunder’ is essentially the same except the boys themselves are the hippos and try to pillage and plunder the booty back to their teammate.  Led by Captain Russell, teams of scallywags and ruffians competed for pride, glory and chocolate pirate bullion.  The theme for Book Week this year is “Find your Treasure”, and every day the library will be running exciting activities for the boys.

Arrrr, avast!  It were a fun game to be sure me matey. Now ye be makin’ certain ye come back to the library for more piratey fun each lunchtime this week!

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Spray paint stencils

The Lunchbox Club have been busy making industrial art and learning some Photoshop skills along the way. This club is about exploring boys’ creativity in as many different ways possible. We aim to explore emerging technologies and softwares, balanced with related practical activities so there is a fluid mix of minds-on and hands-on projects. This stencil project will result in the boys’ efforts gracing the walls of the Centenary Library. In the coming sessions we will be exploring ecological themes and water cycles by cultivating Spice Jar Terrariums, followed by  a longer project where the boys will be adapting and reconstructing toys to create ‘Frankentoys’ which will then be used to create Stop Motion Animations. Great job boys!

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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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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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Year 6 Live Keying Task

The Library Digital Media Specialist Mr Russell enjoyed working with the Year 6 teachers and students in the last two weeks of the term, assisting them with their “live news reports” on natural disasters. Students worked in small groups to complete their reports and were introduced to many new ICT skills which will be of great use to them in the future when preparing multi-modal presentations.

The students created PowerPoints which contained all their background photos, graphs, diagrams and videos. They built upon their existing knowledge of PowerPoint, learning advanced skills such as playback settings to get their videos to embed, play full screen, loop and adjust the volume for recordings.  The boys were then able to change their background images and footage while they presented using a remote clicker linked to the computer.   They were also introduced to teleprompting and practised reading their scripts using this method before undertaking the live recordings in front of the live Chroma Key setup.

Each group was “live keyed” into their presentation, appearing in a news studio or in front of a blazing inferno or thunderous storm or whatever their script required. The learning experience for the boys was a big success, being fun and engaging. Many of the boys even chose to dress as reporters and news presenters for their presentations.  When the boys weren’t presenting they were able to watch their peers on screen live and learn about a different natural disaster from the one they had studied.  The completion of the assessed task saw excellent results.



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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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Tea Duelling in the Learning Commons

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The air was deathly still and an eerie silence fell across the Senior Library Learning Commons; only the faintest sounds of clinking munitions could be heard as weaponry was prepared… well, that’s what I would have been writing if this event had not proved itself to be one of the most highly anticipated, energized, exciting, noise manufacturing, crowd attending events we have seen!  The noise in the Learning Commons was an excited roar!  Who would have thought that dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea could excite so many students.  Hundreds of eager faces crowded through the doors to view their favourite  duelists battle it out in traditional Steampunk gentlemanly fashion.  Each duelist showed remarkable skill, or if not, were remarkably funny to watch as soggy biscuit landed on their laps.  The event was part of the many Steampunk activities run throughout the first term and was clearly the most popular, at least from a spectator point of view.

The duels were all carefully monitored and arbitrated by our own resident “Tiffen Master”, Mr Maloney and his team of deputies.  A big congratulations goes out to Mr Timms for winning against all challenging competitors and doing the teachers proud, and also an honorable mention to our runner-up from Year 10, Chris, who put up an amazing fight.  Expect big things from Chris in the future.  Crowd favourite Mr Venables was unfortunately defeated in the first round, but displayed excellent sportsmanship in the face of an unexpected early defeat.  Despite his loss, the fans all look forward to seeing Mr Venables next year at the 2nd Annual Tea Duel Competition.  Venables declined to comment on his early exit from the duels, but his charismatic smile said it all.  He will be back!

The only stain on otherwise perfect dueling session, other than the tea stains on the tablecloths and clothes, would be the disappointing cheating attempt undertaken by one particular contestant, a deputy principal who shall remain nameless.  Drinking the tea and not dunking the biscuit properly was a blatant disregard for the rules.  Luckily, nothing escaped the watchful eyes of the Tiffen Master and his deputies.  Thanks to them and the Library staff the duels were fair fun and very hilarious!

Take a look at the video and share in the fun: