Category Archives: All

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Music in the Learning Commons

We have so many talented boys at our school, and we love celebrating their creativity. This year, to complement the announcement of our Photography Competition awards, we also showcased the talents of three amazing piano players at a lunchtime concert. In a magnificent show of skill and camaraderie, the Learning Commons was packed as Years 9 – 12 boys were entertained by these wonderful musicians – Kai and brothers Remi and Wylie who performed individually and together in two highly entertaining duets.

With great skill and aplomb each of the boys performed for more than four minutes without music. Kai performed Tarantella by Franz Liszt; Remi performed The Greatest by Sia; and Wylie performed an improvisation on a song by the American band Green Day. Wylie and Remi then went on to perform a duet, switching places as they played, much to the delight of the crowd!

This event was the first of our Music in the Learning Commons concerts featuring our baby grand piano generously donated by BGS Old Boy George Kelly ’16. The event was a fantastic way of bringing music right to where many of our boys like to be at lunchtimes, and the video below gives a taste of the wonderful music we enjoyed on the day.

 


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Tasty reading at BGS!

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Most people will agree that there’s nothing better than sitting down to read a good book with either a cup of coffee or a frothy milkshake. So at BGS Library, we’re really excited to be teaming up with our economics students as they flex their entrepreneurial and beverage making skills at the student-run coffee cart Blue Brew.

Since week 5, all milkshakes and coffees have come wrapped in a highly collectable sleeve – you really cant miss them! Each sleeve has a custom design that really captures the fun of reading and getting stuck into a good book.

With the final sleeve to be released in Week 9, students and staff are encouraged to keep hold of their sleeves, but don’t panic if you have missed a particular one, because in the final week of term there will be a chance to collect any sleeves you may have missed out on.

Then from Monday, 19 March there will be entry forms at either the Senior or Centenary Library drop-off points, and also a staple so you can attach all five sleeves to your entry form.

There are great prizes to be won like book vouchers and movie tickets so don’t forget to write your name and form year so we can get in touch with you if you’re one of our lucky winners!

Entries for Term 1 will close Wednesday, 28 March and drawn Thursday, 29 March in the Learning Commons.

Enjoy your reading and good luck!


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Photography Competition – Winners 2018

The eXchange would like to thank all students and staff who participated in the 2018 Photography Competition. The quality of the entries was outstanding. The People’s Choice category received over 1400 votes from the boys. The winners for 2018 are:

Best Staff Entry – Mr Trowse

People’s Choice – Xavier (Year 10)

Overall Winner – Simon (Year 10)

 

Mr Chris Walker, Communications Manager, judged the competition and praised many of the entries for their artistic merit. It may seem a way off until entries are open for 2019, but it is a great time to start taking photos for next year’s competition. It was extremely encouraging to see so many entries come from our Middle School.

 


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Love Your Pet Day Photo Competition

The Middle School Libraries kicked off this year’s reading promotion by running a photo competition with a difference.

In order to enter boys were required to submit a photo of themselves, their pet and some sort of reading material. This sounds easy, and it was, but it also allowed boys to be creative as they posed for shots. A number of teachers also entered into the spirit.

Pets such as lizards, fish, cats, dogs and even a horse were represented. There were no doubt many funny and also frustrating moments as boys manoeuvred their pets into position.  The competition proved very popular and judging was extremely difficult. Our winners are included here and all entries can be seen on the Middle School Library webpage.

 


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Library Lover’s Day

Move over St Valentine’s because 14 February is also Library Lovers’ Day! This day celebrates our libraries in which workshops are taught, new skills are learnt, study groups meet, games can be played, technology can be used to create, and you can even just sit and read a good book!

Students in Year 5 took time out of their English lesson to celebrate our library. Each boy wrote a haiku about libraries. These were written on post-it notes and placed on a special window display. Upon departure, each child received a special chocolate heart (in the BGS colours of course!). Some boys also created 3D hearts out of books!

Staff members were matched with a book to read based on their preferences. Matchboxes labelled “Your Perfect Match” were distributed alongside the books. These were presented at morning tea where they were also able to enjoy red velvet cupcakes decorated with hearts.

Library Lovers Day was celebrated in the Centenary Library with an opportunity for students to share their favourite books with their peers in order to receive a chocolate heart. This activity proved very popular with the book recommendation table constantly full of students filling out forms which included the title of their favourite book, a blurb and why they liked it. These forms have been placed into a ‘Peer Book Recommendation’ jar which is located on the circulation desk for students who are stuck for a new book idea. Special displays were set up in the Senior Library with stories about love showcasing the diverse nature of the collection.

The Centenary Library has also recognised Random Acts of Kindness week with quotes about kindness from popular books displayed around the library under the title ‘Throw Kindness around like Confetti’. Later in the week students will be invited to contribute their own favourite quotes to this display.

Haiku:

With so many books

It is a place of marvels

I must read them all

By Mac 

 

Talking with your friends

Reading like you just don’t care

Libraries are the best

By Nicholas 

 

Books are piled so high

This is where I go to read

The school library

By Salvatore 


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Make Your Own Antique Writing Journal

Over the past week, it has been quite exciting to watch some beautiful antique journals taking shape in the eXchange. The boys making them are part of Aficionados, our book club for Years 9 and 10, and this was our first activity to start off the year. The boys will now be able to use their journals in Book Club as a wish-list for new titles, series and authors, or to write their short stories for  English.

If you would like to make your own antique journal, this is what you’ll need:

  • 1 x small Art sketch book (from OfficeWorks)
  • 1 x A3 sheet of paper, dipped in tea water and then dried
  • PVA glue and Mod Podge
  • Brown and gold paint
  • Steampunk decorations (from Spotlight)

How to do it:

  • Scrunch the dried sheet of A3 into a tight ball (this gives the creases in the cover).
  • Unfold the paper, then glue it to the front and back of the sketch book.
  • Cut out the corners, then fold the edges to the inside of the cover and glue them down.
  • Trim the paper from the top and bottom of the spine.
  • Very lightly sponge gold paint onto the outside edges of the pages (too thick and you won’t be able to open your book).
  • Paint the cover, beginning with brown, then sponging gold over the top.
  • When dry, paint the folded paper on the inside cover of the book. There should not be any white showing.
  • Paint the entire cover with Mod Podge to make it hard and durable.
  • Glue the first and last pages onto the inside of the front and back covers.
  • Decorate with cut-out balsa frames and antique brass decorations.

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Game On in the Middle School Libraries

At the beginning of every year, the Middle School Libraries play host to the Years 5 and 7 students for an orientation of their new libraries. This year the students experienced two different but very engaging and exciting hands-on activities that required them to work together in teams to explore the library facilities and resources available to them.

The Year 5 students undertook the challenge to Escape the Library by solving a variety of puzzles and locating books which then allowed them to open many different locks in order to ultimately access their box of treasure.  In the Centenary Library, the Year 7 students took part in a board game called Library Smarts, where team members were required to move their way around a board while completing challenges with the help of an iPad, and writing down expectations learnt from Grammar Man and Grumpy Cat playing cards.

These lessons were embraced by students and teachers alike, with a fantastic amount of enthusiasm and competitiveness. With the increasing popularity of gamification in education, these orientation lessons provide a fun, effective and engaging platform for students to familiarise themselves with the Brisbane Grammar Libraries.


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One Conqueror to Rule Them All!

In a superb display of skill and calmness under pressure, our champion chess player, Tony Zhong, took on eight other boys or groups of boys in a lunchtime chess simul, winning five of those games before the bell signalled the end of lunchtime.  This involved Tony moving from one table to the next playing eight games simultaneously.  The boys could think about their moves while he played at the other tables, but they had to make their own move in front of him.

There were so many boys wanting to sign up to beat the champion that none of the teachers managed to find a free table!  No-one could come close to beating Tony however, and the only person to slow him down was Marcus, our new School Captain and current Dux of Year 11.

One of our classrooms in the Senior Library is the chess room where chess coaching happens after school, and where our 9-12 Chess Club is held two lunchtimes each week, but there are always boys in there playing before and after school, at morning tea and at lunchtimes.  We also have a number of chess boards set up on various tables throughout the Library and the Learning Commons, and this constant opportunity to play chess helps the boys to focus and to hone their logical and strategical thinking processes, thus improving their academic results.  It is also the reason that BGS has been the champion GPS Chess school for 12 out of the past 14 years, and the champion State finalist team, representing Queensland at the National Schools Teams Chess Championships, for 5 out of the past 7 years.

With Tony in Year 9 as our top player, and with a lot of excellent younger players coming up through the ranks, the future looks bright for Chess at Grammar!!


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It’s Horror Time!

Students in the Middle School and Centenary Libraries have been exploring the horror genre this term. They have been reading horror stories, listening to horror stories, writing horror haiku, engaging with horror-based activities and much more.

A highlight was the STEM session which was collaboratively planned with teachers from the Science Department. Boys played with bat slime, made dancing ghosts, and had fun making creepy horror noises with dry ice.

As boys always love to create (and eat) food, we also decided to make marshmallow monster pops with chocolate and decorations.

A number of competitions were run across various year levels: a short story, a haiku and a film trailer. This certainly brought out the creative side of our students.

Showing a horror film was mandatory and we chose Coraline. Although many boys had seen it before, they still sat spellbound through lunchtimes as Coraline faced the dangers in her new house.

One student even brought in his giant snails to share in his library, feeling they were appropriately “horrible” to suit the theme!

Our final activity was a demonstration of applying zombie make-up to one of our teachers, Mrs Gardner. Arana Wright, a recent graduate of a special effects course, came in and showed how to make a simple, but extremely effective, zombie look. This was entertaining for participants and the audience alike, with Mrs Gardner being most reluctant to remove the make-up once it was done! Arana also ran a workshop with a small group of boys to show them how to use latex to create fake wounds which look very real and scary.


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Great Debate – Yr 12 Students v Teachers

Last Friday the Forum was full to overflowing with students from all year levels as excitement mounted in the lead-up to our first ever Great Debate between the Year 12 Senior B debating team and three courageous debating teachers.  The topic they were contesting was That Gen X have ruined everything for the Millennials. Both sides were passionate, witty and quick, with a touch of sarcasm thrown in, and the outcome, not surprisingly, was that the Baby Boomers are the real culprits who have created all the problems!

Because we had limited time, the speakers were limited to 4 minutes each, and were gonged off if their speech went more than 4 minutes and 15 seconds! All in all it was a highly entertaining and extremely popular event, with our MC, Deputy Headmaster – Extracurricular, Mark Brusasco, stating that he hopes this event will become an annual occurrence.

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