Category Archives: Middle School

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Droid Races

It was Darth Vader vs Yoda in the Middle School Library as students took sides for a lunchtime of racing. With a heightened sense of anticipation, the boys assembled behind their Star Wars characters. The race was on to see if good could defeat evil. The racing proved to be fairly even with both Darth and Yoda winning at various times. The decision was made to see who the victor would be by sending the droids into battle against each other. With screams of excitement that could have been heard in a galaxy far, far away, the students maneuvered the droids into knocking each other down but not before a few waltzes were had with Darth and Yoda. Overall Yoda was the victorious droid with the students having a great time and a lot of laughs.

 


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Book Week

The Middle School community celebrated Book Week last week with a myriad of activities to mark the occasion and reinforce the importance of reading in our lives. This year’s theme was Curious Creatures, Wild Minds.

Our special guest was author and TV personality Andrew Daddo. Parents and boys in Years 7 and 8 attended the Trivia Evening and Years 5 and 6 boys and parents attended the Book Week Breakfast. Andrew entertained as quiz master for the evening as well as sharing stories from his life and about his writing at the two functions.  Community support was outstanding and both events were sold out. Andrew also presented to all Middle School boys during the day.

Lunchtime activities saw boys from Years 5-8 participating in treasure hunts to find book characters which had “escaped” into the wild, competing in trivia games, decorating cookies to create curious creatures and making even more curious creatures out of origami. A highlight was a visit by the Wild Rangers who brought two snakes, a crocodile and a lizard for a visit. Boys were queued up around the MS Amphitheatre to get up close to the creatures.

Year 6 boys were also treated to a visit by author Mark Greenwood who tells stories that bring history to life. His passion for his subject matter is infectious and he left the boys keen to grab his books and find out the endings of his stories.


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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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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.


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Preparing students with Signature Program 2018

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The middle school years are a crucial time for cultivating students’ readiness for future success both in and outside of school. Now more than even, preparing students to live as citizens of the world is an important task for educators and parents. Social, creative and emotional intelligence are key ingredients to an individual’s ability to flourish and make meaningful contributions in their community.

With Term 4 already here, Middle School students returned to school excited to be participating in their second Signature Program for 2018.

As students immersed themselves in their chosen endeavors – be it literature, media or social activities, real-world scenarios were given to the students to collaborate on and imagine the ‘What if?’.

Year 6 students chose to take on the weighty topic of Think Global, Act Local where issues such as Poverty, Children’s Rights, Fair Trade and Sustainable Development were unpacked, work-shopped and then presented back to their peers for feedback and buy-in as a TV or radio ad, or print campaign.

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Integral to contemporary life is the ability to understand and utilize media both as creators and communicators. The Director’s Cut signature program gave boys critical hands-on experience in documenting other signature programs around the school. Student’s formed teams, filmed and edited their footage with the goal of each video to be captivating, entertaining and educational, and leave its viewers in no doubt as to the value of the programs being offered to the students.

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The Year 7 Signature Program that ran in the library was called Stories in the Wild. Students were given the task of writing a 6-part story as a group of 3 to be presented at the end of the week. Students started the program by discussing writing and team building techniques to practice during the week. They then headed out on a scavenger hunt which involved collecting feature items that students had to incorporate into their story. Other requirements included; BGS had to be woven into the story, and each section of the narrative had to showcase a different text type and be rendered in a different media.

After the 4 days students were excited to share what they had created and learnt with their peers and teachers. As well as walking away with many new experiences and skills our BGS Signature Program gives our boys exposure to creative thinking, develop leadership skills, and build confidence. It also aims to nurture friendships outside their own peer groups and equip our students with skill sets to seize every opportunity.


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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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Library on the Lawn

Excited Year 5 boys donned their book character costumes, grabbed their favourite books and headed to the inaugural Library on the Lawn event recently. The event, held on the Boarders’ Lawn, was planned to provide an opportunity for boys to engage with reading in a different way from our usual Library lessons.

Guest author Samantha Wheeler visited and spoke to the boys about her books which are adventure stories based around an iconic Australian animal. She inspired the audience with her passion for the environment and her desire to help preserve our native animals. She thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet our students and hear about their reading habits and costumes. Samantha said she was impressed with the enthusiasm with which they shared their books.

In addition to listening to Samantha’s address and asking questions, boys took part in a book trivia quiz, shared their chosen stories and ate cupcakes. It was a most successful event and one that will surely be remembered by boys and staff for a long time.

Special mention must be made of the teachers who also got into the spirit and dressed up. Their support for this event was outstanding.


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Year 5 Boys are Savvy Scientists!

Charles Darwin, William Harvey, Galileo and even David Attenborough “visited” the Year 5 classrooms this week as students took on the role of a famous scientist and showcased their learning to proud families. Each boy was eager to share his knowledge of the work and legacy of his particular scientist, and took great delight in finding costumes and props that would best illustrate his/her significant achievements.

The evening followed a lengthy research task which was collaboratively taught by the teacher librarian and the the Year 5 Science teachers. Skills taught included using print materials, navigating Britannica online, identifying relevant information, note-taking and referencing.

While many of the boys found the task challenging, there is no doubt that persistence paid off and they were very proud of their achievements as they were able to field all manner of questions from parents and older brothers who had been a “savvy scientist” themselves.

 

 


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Something Squishy This Way Comes!

Our Year 6 students participated some very squishy lessons recently exploring electrical circuits using play doh, battery packs, insulating material, LEDs, small motors, buzzers and switches.  This has been an awesome way to explore electricity and conductivity in a hands-on and fun way.

In the first lesson Ms Smith guided the students through the basic concepts of electrical circuits, basic safety and how to make simple series and parallel circuits.  The boys followed along with close attention, as they moved though the activities.  Once the basic concepts were clear, the boys were set loose to experiment in creative ways, incorporating these different circuits and insulating material into crazy sculptures.   Trolls with glowing eyes, creatures from the deep with glimmering lures to draw in unwary prey, carrots in sunglasses and planes with whirring propellers were just some of the wonderful creations produced.  In an astonishingly short period of time each class crafted creatures and inventions in a seemingly never-ending stream of creativity and variation.

Students returned to the library for a second session this year involving four different circuit challenges that they needed to complete independently.  They were able to work on their problem solving and resilience in this lesson to understand why their circuit may not have been successful the first time.    Students met these challenges well with some individual experimentation, collaborative effort and the occasional instructor expertise.


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Book Bowling Fun!

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Boys in Year 6 have been brushing up on their catalogue skills. With a lesson on the Dewey Decimal System under their belts, it was time to tackle the issue of how to locate a book they want to read once they have found it in the catalogue. Prac teacher librarian Mrs Lusink and Ms Palmer planned out an informative and fun task. Boys were shown a short clip on how to find a book in the catalogue and then given a title of a book taped onto the side of a wooden skittle. The challenge was to find the book in the catalogue, record the call number information and then retrieve the book from the shelves. This was a timed challenge and  the number of skittles set up to be bowled over depended on the number of books found in the set time. The first four students to present the matching book and skittle were then able to bowl along with the class teacher. The search was repeated and the top Year 6 class won a prize.

This was an incredibly energetic and enthusiastic activity and enjoyed by all. Thanks must go to Anna Zbacnik for her original idea as the activity was found on the A to Z Library blog.