Category Archives: Senior Library

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Gender Respect Project – ‘Listen To Her’

The Gender Respect Committee, a part of our Public Purpose Program, aims to educate our students on important social issues. The committee was the brainchild of Philippa Douglas, Coordinator of Public Purpose. Their latest campaign ‘Listen to Her’ has seen the boys on the committee working with girls from surrounding girls’ schools to learn what gender respect means to young women of today. This has culminated in an amazing display outlining important aspects of gender equality from a youth’s perspective, located in the Learning Commons in The Lilley Centre.
(David Carroll, Deputy Headmaster – Students)

The aim of the Gender Respect Project is to equip boys with an understanding of gender inequalities so they can build respectful relationships with the women and girls in their lives. The project teaches boys how to be the best people they can be, and how they can be leaders among their peers and in the their school by modelling healthy and respectful manhood that values women and girls.

The Listen To Her Campaign, a part of the Gender Respect Project, was created to help boys see the world through the female lens. Seven girls’ schools from Brisbane and Interstate participated in the project. The girls were invited to write on post-it notes one thing they wanted boys to know.

There were three objectives to this campaign:

  1.   To provide a platform for girls to be heard in a safe and supportive environment,
  2.   To help boys understand what it is like to walk a day in a girl’s shoes,
  3.   To empower young men through knowledge and language to challenge attitudes and behaviours within their peer groups to bring about change.

(Philippa Douglas, Coordinator of Public Purpose Program)

The following is a message from David Morrison, Australian of the Year 2016:

To the men of the Gender Respect Program, Brisbane Grammar School  … Taking time to see the world through the eyes of others and to hear their challenges is quintessentially human, but too few pause to do just that. It is all too easy to immerse yourself in the busyness of your own world. But be warned. I feel that such a course leads to a diminished life; shallow and selfish. You have taken a different path and will leave a great legacy as a result.

Now I know from my own experience that taking a stand will attract the criticism of some. That is life, I guess. I find an observation by the Greek philosopher Aristotle helpful when that happens. He said, “Criticism is easy to avoid. You just need to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” So stay strong, keep the faith and be someone.

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Science and Tech Activities

The Lunchbox Club participants have been enthusiastically exploring ecological themes and water cycles by cultivating Spice Jar Terrariums. Building on the knowledge they have gained across time in Science, the boys were able to explain comfortably the processes of the water cycles and were even in deep discussion about pressing sustainability and environmental issues.


The eXchange hosted a series of Deconstructing Tech workshops, designed to teach students how to do a ‘tear-down’ of the most popular tech devices. The boys have disassembled various generation iPhones in the first workshop in this series, followed by exploring computers and tablets with Mitchell Collins, one of our IT support staff.

The hottest things right now in animation are Frankentoys. Imagine mashing together a doll and a dinosaur to create Barbiesaurus Rex or gluing your favourite action hero’s head to a troll to make Spidertroll. The fun (or chaos) doesn’t need to end there. After they are created we will be using them in stop motion productions. This simply cannot be boring. Workshops started in week 4, so watch this space for the final versions!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw5ATSVolaI

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Science Week – tweaking their curiosity!

Open Day this year marked the first day of National Science Week and was an excellent way to kick off our annual partnership with the Science Department and tweak the curiosity of both young and older visitors. A Forensic Science display in the Senior Library allowed visitors the opportunity to see and use technology and scientific techniques used by the police force to help solve crimes.  We were also very indebted to the University of Queensland ….. Department, for the generous loan of their ……. kit. Visitors were able to explore examples of plaster castings and various species of fly larvae used to help estimate time of death and decomposition rates.  Black light showed up fingerprints, and microscopic investigation of blood, pollen and fibre samples were available for budding young investigators. The hit of the day, however, was a photo booth where visitors could have fun dressing up in detective costumes.

Science Week continued in full swing with Science teachers and teacher librarians working together. To lighten the mood during the week and show the humorous side of science, the Middle School libraries screened episodes of Richard Hammond’s The Science of Stupid, a show that gives detailed explanations of the science behind  breathtaking stupidity caught on camera.

Physics teacher, Scott Jones, also gave an abbreviated version of his TEDx talk –  Where are all the Aliens? – addressing the ongoing question of life in our Galaxy. With 100,000 light years in size and over 100 billion stars, why have we not seen other civilisations out there in the Milky Way Galaxy? Scott examined some of the best ideas concerning the topic and finished with a brief discussion about the need for humanity to take full control of our world and its environment to ensure the future for our children and enable us to one day explore the galaxy.

Middle School Science teachers took over both libraries with practical demonstrations of the physics of air pressure and friction, encouraging students to construct air-powered cars from cardboard and balloons, and then test these experimental models against one another on the racetrack.

As the week came to an end, students from Years 5-8 competed for prizes in exciting year-level-specific Kahoot quizzes, designed and created by Science staff to challenge the students’ scientific knowledge about topics ranging from Chemistry to Astronomy to Biology.

We love partnering with all departments, but Science Week holds a special place on our calendar each year.

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2017 TEDxYouth@BGS

Last Friday, 200 students and guests enjoyed the culmination of months of planning and hard work when they attended our second TEDxYouth@BGS, held in the Forum.  TEDx is a worldwide program, consisting of locally organised TED events where local speakers can showcase their ideas and inspiring stories, and we were very proud that two of our staff members – Scott Jones, Physics Teacher and Rick Pendleton, Swimming Coach – and three of our Year 12 students – Ashmit Vyas, Sam Souyave-Murphy and Edmond Chang – were all willing to share their ideas with a global audience.

Our event represented an outstanding achievement, not only by the speakers, but also by the team of students who worked tirelessly in the background to organise the speakers, the performers, the program, the website, the ticketing, the marketing, the parking, the catering, the AV, the recording, the photography and the overall smooth running of the event on the day.

We were also extremely fortunate to have the help of a speaker coach this year, Carl Lindgren, who has been involved in TEDx since its worldwide inception, and who generously gave up hours of his time to help create a wonderful event that Brisbane Grammar School can be proud of.

To access the website, click here:  https://www.tedxyouthbgs.com/

To access the photos, click here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/142921424@N05/albums/72157684926852200/with/36287823202/


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The 2017 Tea Duel Competition – Duel you Fool!! …and they did!

Under the expert eye of our Tea Duelling Tiffen Master, Mr Michael Moloney, the second annual Tea Duelling competition was as intense as it was tumultuous. The last week of a long busy term is a perfect time for Year 12s (and teachers) to let down their hair. On the teacher’s team, we had a perfect blend of youth (Amy Busuttin and Julia Brereton) and wily experience (David Hills and David Carroll). On the boy’s team there was a galaxy of sporting and academic talent from the Dux of School, Joshua, to resident sporty types Olly, Will and Hugo. On the last Thursday lunchtime of term two, the players were ready to rumble.

The action was fast and furious. The crowd that packed the Learning Commons alternated between elation and despair. There was shock after schlock. Just when the crowd thought they had seen it all, pandemonium ensued when one of the biscuits turned out to be made of acrylic! Mr Dan O’Kane was given the red card – disqualification – without a doubt the most controversial moment in the entire history of Tea Duelling at Brisbane Grammar School. The competitors were stunned but had to carry on. In the semi-finals, Ms Brereton beat Olly while Phillip used a “half-drop” with stunning poise and timing to edge out Ms Busuttin. Mr Moloney’s cups of team may have been losing their heat but the Tiffen Master was on fire! The grand final pitted Ms Brereton against Gareth and the winner was…..Ms Brereton!! Congratulations to all who took part!!


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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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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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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.

 


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Our OverDrive eBook Collection has grown

Here are a few series that have proven to be popular in hard copy and so, to help us keep up with demand, we now offer these great series as part of our OverDrive collection. 

Magisterium –  By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Think you know magic? Think again. The Magisterium awaits . . .

Most people would do anything to get into the Magisterium and pass the Iron Trial.  Not Callum Hunt.  Call has been told his whole life that he should never trust a magician. And so he tries his best to do his worst – but fails at failing.  Now he must enter the Magisterium.  It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister. And Call realizes it has dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.  The Iron Trial is just the beginning. Call’s biggest test is still to come . . .

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Iron Trial, The Copper Gauntlet, The Bronze Key.


Empire Series – By Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurst

Enter the mysterious and exotic world of Kelewan… Mara, the youngest child of the ancient and noble Acoma family, is about to take her pledge of servitude to the goddess Lashima when the ceremony is disrupted by news of her father and brother’s death in battle. Despite her grief, as the only surviving member of her house, Mara must now take up the mantles of Ruling Lady. But she soon discovers betrayal at the heart of her family’s loss, and the Acoma’s enemies have brought her house to the brink of utter destruction. Daughter of the Empire is the magnificent first book in The Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. Mara, an inexperienced political player, must draw on all her wit, intelligence and cunning to navigate the ruthless Game of the Council, regain the honour of House Acoma and secure the future of her family. But with assassins waiting around every corner, it might take everything Mara has simply to survive.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: Daughter of the Empire, Mistress of the Empire, Servant of the Empire. 

The Belgariad – By David Eddings

Myths tell of the ancient wars of Gods and men, and a powerful object – the Orb – that ended the bloodshed. As long as it was held by the line of Riva, it would assure the peace.  But a dark force has stolen the Orb, and the prophecies tell of war.  Young farm boy Garion knows nothing of myth or fate, but then the mysterious Old Storyteller visits his aunt, and they embark on a sudden journey. Pursued by evil forces, with only a small band of companions they can trust, Garion begins to doubt all he thought he knew…

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician’s Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter’s End Game.

Serpentwar By Raymond E. Feist

This is the first book in the bestselling Serpentwar series. A nest of vipers is stirring… Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation… A dark queen has raised her standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might. Into this battleground of good and evil a band of desperate men are forced, whose only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Among them are some unlikely heroes – Erik, an illegitimate heir denied his birthright, and his friend Roo, an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery. They are accompanied by the mysterious Miranda, upon whom all must wager their lives.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, Shards of a Broken Crown. 

Lord of the Rings By J.R.R. Tolkien

Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, featuring the definitive text and a detailed map of Middle-earth.  Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.  In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.  J.R.R. Tolkien’s great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King.

The Iron Druid – By Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbours and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old — when, in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old! Not to mention: he draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power — plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic butt and deliver himself from evil.

– Goodreads

Books available in the series: Hounded, Hexed, Hammered.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyBy Douglas Adams

On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. At this moment, they’re hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON’T PANIC.

The weekend has only just begun…

 – OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long and Thanks for All the Fish; Mostly Harmless. 

The Phoenix Girls By Brian Knight

When thirteen-year-old orphan Penny Sinclair moves to the small town of Dogwood to live with her godmother, she expects her life to become very dull.  She doesn’t expect to find a strange talking fox roaming the countryside near her new home, a kindred spirit in her new friend Zoe, or the secret grove where they discover the long hidden magic of The Phoenix Girls.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Conjuring Glass, The Crimson Brand, The Heart of the Phoenix. 

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Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers

Each year we have students volunteering in the library as part of the Service requirement for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.  These students assist with returns, collate statistics, help with displays, and search online for book summaries and cover images of new books. They also learn how to cover and repair books.

They quickly become independent workers, knowing what jobs need doing and working efficiently and diligently with all tasks. They are a great assistance to the library staff, allowing the staff to concentrate on other duties.

Written by BGS Library Technician Bernadette van den Hout