Author Archives: Debbie Rawson

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Writer in Residence – Tristan Bancks

Earlier this term the Centenary Library was again delighted to host this years ‘Writer in Residence’ program.  This workshop is provided for a group of students selected from Year 5 -7 with an interest in creative writing.  The selected students were lucky enough to be joined this time by the very talented and extremely popular author Tristan Bancks.  Writer of many very successful middle grade and young adult books including The Fall, Two Wolves and Detention. This opportunity was thoroughly enjoyed by those in attendance.

Tristan spent two days working with students as they created their own 500 words short story.  He shared with them his writing and editing processes and spent time listening to students ideas, even brainstorming how they could develop their work. Tristan is currently reading through the work created during the program and will later provide feedback to all participants.  The privilege of working so closely with someone with so much talent and experience makes the opportunity to participate in the annual ‘Writer in Residence’ program such a much coveted and eagerly awaited event each year.

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International Chess Day

International Chess Day was celebrated at BGS with Nadula taking on six different opponents simultaneously much to the interest of passing spectators. The competition was intense, with Nadula emerging victorious for most games but, in the end, time was not on his side and lunchtime finished all too quickly.

The Library is the home of 9-12 Chess, with boys coming in before and after school, at morning tea and at lunchtime to hone their skills with coaches, or just to play for enjoyment. Term 3 is also GPS Chess season, so each week our team plays other schools in the GPS competition. We wish them all the best for the season.

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Get on board the MS Bookopoly Competition

Last week the Middle School libraries were very excited to announce the commencement of the Bookopoly Reading Challenge!

Running until week 7 this challenge will see form classes reading together while they move around an extra special Bookopoly Board.  As a form class they will compete for the chance to become the champions of Bookopoly for 2021.

A giant Bookopoly board is currently located in each Middle School library as well as a regular sized version in student classrooms. Every Friday the libraries will conduct an official dice rolling ceremony and each form class will land on a square on the Bookopoly board with brand new task.  Each student or teacher who completes this task will score a point for their class. Participants can read as much as they would like but each time they finish a book they must then complete a book review from the link on the Bookopoly Libguides page in order to gain their point.

Already this challenge has encouraged many excited conversations about what students, parents and teachers are currently reading.

Please contact your friendly teacher librarians if you have any questions. You can follow along with student progress on the BGS libraries webpage and Instagram. Good luck to everyone and happy reading!

 Dani Smith

Teacher Librarian

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Books, Boys and Bikkies

The Book Club for boys in Years 5 and 6 has proven to be very popular. Each Monday boys turn up to talk about the books that we have read or participate in fun activities relating to the books. Of course, they also get to eat bikkies!

Our latest read was Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library. This is a great story about a group of children who win the opportunity to overnight in a fantastic new library and must solve puzzles in order to escape in time. This week our boys played a breakout game based on this idea where they had to solve puzzles to unlock the box and receive a reward. They worked together to find the correct answers and had lots of fun along the way.

Our next book is a the beautiful graphic novel This was our Pact which is the story of 5 boys who are determined to follow their lanterns down the river to see where they go.

All boys in Years 5 and 6 are welcome to attend.

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May the Fourth be with you!

Middle School boys were treated to a week of Star Wars fun and activities last week. In both the Middle School and Centenary Libraries boys competed in trivia Kahoots, raced droids, played Star Wars Family Feud and watched TV shows related to the theme. Displays set the tone for the week with boys poring over the numerous fiction and non-fiction books. Years 5 and 6 boys were also given the opportunity to enter a colouring competition. Congratulations to Christopher who won the mini R2D2 figurine.

Vicki Palmer, Dani Smith and Sarah Lusink

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2021 Photography Competition!

Congratulations to the three winners of our 2021 Photography Competition!

The theme for this year was ‘Generations’ and entries were judged by Mr Stewart Service, our previous BGS Head of Art and a keen photographer himself.

Middle School Winner: Elliot “Mothers and daughters” (Year 5) – Babushka dolls representing generations of women.

Senior School Winner: Nate “Turning back time” (Year 9) – Capturing the joy associated with learning something new, especially when it is the younger generation teaching the older generation.

Staff Winner: Chris Walker “Talking with Granddad” (Staff) – In matching wide brim hats, great grandad and great grandson discuss life at different ends of the spectrum. Almost 90 years separate the pair.

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Visit by Gwenda Stanley

Last week our Year 5 boys were treated to a visit by indigenous performer Gwenda Stanley. The session showcased Gwenda’s deep understanding and passion for her Gomeroi culture. Through song, dance, story, language and the demonstration of traditional tools and artefacts, Gwenda inspired the boys to learn and engage with her living culture. The boys will draw on this knowledge in Term 3 when they read Walking the Boundaries as part of the English curriculum.

Ms Palmer and Mrs Lusink

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Last week our Year 6 boys were reflecting on ANZAC Day in their Library lessons. The book The Beach they Called Gallipoli by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley was shared and this set the scene for a sombre but thoughtful reflection on the Gallipoli campaign. Following the reading and discussion of the text, boys worked to make paper poppies which they attached to our ANZAC display on the windows. The symbolism of this reflects the placing of poppies on the Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.


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Year 8 students fully ‘immerse’ themselves in Science Fiction

Every year during the Year 8 Science Fiction unit students find themselves visiting a world of mysterious water, strange towns people and a tower whose powers cannot be explained.  Upon entry into the library boys are read an award winning tale by their teacher librarian titled The Watertower.  Written by Gary Crew and illustrated by Steven Woolman, this story follows two young men as they visit the local water tower in their small outback town for a swim one hot summers day.  What starts out as an innocent dip in the cool waters begins to take a strange and ominous turn when one of the boys returns to town to collect some clothes leaving Bubba alone at the tower.  After listening to the story students are tasked with the job of working in groups as detectives to find out what might have occurred.  Steven Woolman has gone into great detail to leave clues throughout the book in his illustrations for the audience to discover.

Once the classes have shared their predictions, questions and discoveries they are treated to the surprise of a sequel story Gary and Steven created years later.  Without giving away the secrets of The Watertower,  one of the main elements of this story centres around the substance ‘aqua pura’ which just might hold the answer to everything.  As students leave at the conclusion of the lesson they are excited to find out that the library has sourced some of this ‘aqua pura’ for them to try.  The bravest in the class, those who try this drink on their way out, may even discover one last clue in the cup before they leave.

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Library Lovers’ Day

Queensland School Libraries Week is celebrated in February each year, coinciding with Library Lovers’ Day on 14 February, and both provide an opportunity for the school community to reflect on the value of our libraries in their lives.

Last Friday our staff celebrated Library Lovers’ Day with a book character quiz and a chocolate heart to help get their brains ready for the workout!  Very impressively, many staff were able to name all the characters, and went into the draw to win one of four Dymocks vouchers.

On Monday the Year 7 and 8 students discovered a Library Lovers’ heart trail leading them into the Centenary Library and onto tables filled with books free for them to take home.  The excitement was audible and students (and even some staff) left with armloads of previously loved books to enjoy, all under the watchful gaze of Grumpy Cat who dressed for the occasion with a large red bow.

Senior students and staff also felt the love on Monday when they arrived to find tables outside the Lilley Centre loaded with free books. These were eagerly snapped up throughout the day by our avid BGS readers, with the remainder going to a community library for migrants wishing to improve their English.

Year 5 boys embraced the spirit of Library Lovers’ Day in their Library lessons last week. The boys were challenged with writing a haiku poem under the umbrella topic of “Library”. Boys were able to work in pairs or individually to create their poems which were then added to a special display space. This gave them a chance to share their work and see the thoughts of other boys in their grade. As they are new to the Library it was encouraging to read of their positive connections with this space:

Many awesome types
Many books on shelves to read
Many kids to read

Pages and pages
Superheroes and fiction
Free your mind and read

Here my mind wanders
A space of freedom and fun
I love the Library

Knowledge is power
We find knowledge in our books
Books are our best source

BGS Library
A good Library it is
Lots of books there is
(Attributed to Yoda!)

All in all it was a wonderful opportunity for the Library staff to share some of the joy and fun of the library with the wider school community.