Category Archives: Centenary Library

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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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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.


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Orientation in the Centenary Library

This week Year 7 students were invited to visit the Centenary Library during their English lesson to learn about their new space for the next two years.  The lesson involved a game called Library Smarts which was both an informative and an engaging hands-on activity requiring students to work together as a team to explore the resources and facilities available to them in the library.

In table groups students moved their way around a game board, landing on spaces which asked them to complete set challenges created to get students up, exploring the space.  Teams were also tasked with the job of making their own Centenary Library guidelines with the help of Grammar Man and Grumpy Cat cards.  Students then completed a pop quiz at the end of the lesson to investigate how much they had learnt during their activity and a winning group was crowned.

It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm, competitiveness, teamwork and problem-solving approach that was on display throughout the activity.  We look forward to a year of reading, leaning and fun in the Centenary Library for 2021.

You can follow BGS libraries on Instagram @bgslibrary.


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A very spooky week in the Middle School Libraries!

Last week students in the Middle School Libraries were treated to a week of lunch time activities exploring the popular Horror genre.  The scarefest began with a delicious Monster Pops activity which saw the boys creating some frightening creatures out of marshmallows covered in chocolate and decorated with all kinds of lollies.  Judging by the smiling chocolate covered faces, those that signed up for this activity had a lot of fun! On Tuesday there was a nail biting Kahoot which stumped a few students with questions relating to horror themed books, movies and music.

The excitement continued on Wednesday as students competed in a range of games like mummy bowling, skull toss and spooky bingo. Other activities throughout the week included a viewing of the very funny and slightly scary Goosebumps film, a sensory bat slime activity and a challenge to make your own dancing ghost. During the week students in Years 7 and 8 also volunteered to make their own horror trailer based on a real or fake book or movie of their choosing using either their computer or a library iPad.  On Friday these trailers were screened in the Centenary Library at lunch to a captivated audience and a winner for  ‘best trailer’ was crowned.  Thank you to all who participated, it was wonderful to see the libraries filled with such enthusiasm and excitement and to see the books from the horror display flying off the shelves as students immersed themselves into the genre.


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The Land of Remorse

Unravelling riddles, practicing sword skills, defeating monsters, working as a team to solve problems, and skyping a fantasy author – these were just some of the activities a group of Year 8s were involved in last week as they traversed The Land of Remorse, one of the Middle School Signature Programs. Each group of five was assigned a colour, a character trait and a team (Atreyu, Gandalf, Dumbledore or Excalibur) and then sent on a quest to physically experience some of the challenges characters in a fantasy story might encounter.  They then used the notes from their journals and ideas suggested by author Dawn Meredith to craft a group story where members wrote a section from the perspective of a different character. The final task for the band of heroes was to create a video presentation of their story to share with younger students.

Not only was this a fantastic writing experience for the boys, but it’s value extended to a whole set of other skills important to the development of young grammar men:

  • Collaborating with people who are not close friends,
  • Inclusivity and respecting differences,
  • Actively listening to others,
  • Following instructions,
  • Being prepared,
  • Thinking creatively,
  • Solving problems,
  • Taking the initiative,
  • Being persistent but resilient,
  • Reflecting on character strengths,
  • Reflecting on their successes and how to improve.

 

 


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Science Week 2020

Science Week was held during Brisbane Grammar School during the week 17-21 August 2020. The theme for the week was Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans.

Activities were coordinated jointly by the Science Department and the School Library. The main library was set up as a scene from ‘Under the Ocean’ and numerous events, screenings and competitions were held throughout the week.

A group of six Year 11 pupils who are acting as University of Queensland Science Ambassadors in 2020, whose role is to promote Science at Brisbane Grammar School, were central to the planning and running of the lunchtime activities for Year 7, Year 9 and Year 11.

Marshmallow Tower

On Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th, the Centenary Library was alive with the sound of students competing to build the tallest marshmallow tower. There was a prize for the tallest tower on each day, with victors from class 7A and 7E. More creative structures were rewarded also. The boys thought ‘outside the packet’ and used strategy to create towers that stood tall without assistance. They were only allowed 10 skewers as supports, so they had to be creative with their use. Well done to all the Year 7 students involved.

Staying Afloat

This activity in the Learning Commons on Wednesday 19th had the boys working in teams of 3 to design and build a boat out of aluminium foil. The boat then was floated in water and weights added until the boat sank. This was a trial of design and execution of the build and in addition they needed to plan where and how to add the weights to ensure even distribution on the boat.

Tarp Turn

This activity on the Boarders Lawn had the student problem-solving in teams of 4. They had to work out in real time how to turn a small tarp over without any members of the team stepping off the tarp in as quick as time as possible. This proved to be a lot of fun for the participants who tried hard to find ways to bend the rules but our ambassadors were on hand to ensure fair play.

 


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Art Exhibition

Last week the Centenary Library and the Lilley Centre Learning Commons were lucky enough to host the Year 5 – 12 art exhibition, Survey.

The first half of 2020 has shown us how quickly the world, and our perspectives, can change. The pandemic has changed the lens through which we view everyday life. It has also taught us to survey what we take for granted.

Faced with the challenges of home-based learning, Visual Art students were resourceful and innovative in approaching the creation of their artworks. Survey was an exhibition showcasing artworks that represent the variety and diversity of student perspectives on our world.  The exhibition was enjoyed by students and staff alike.


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Christine Bongers, Writer in Residence

Term 3 began for Centenary Library students with an extra special guest in their midst .  The very talented local author Christine Bongers spent three days visiting BGS and working with a group of aspiring writers from years 5 -7 in a Writer in Residence workshop.

Christine talked to students about her writing and editing processes and spent time working with the boys as they created their own short story.  Over the weekend she read each student’s work and gave individual feedback on how they could develop their story further.  This opportunity was a wonderful experience to learn one-on-one from a writing specialist. The students were very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in this event and we look forward to hosting Christine again in the future.

 


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Engaging Book Trailers

At the end of last term, the year 7 boys enthusiastically embraced their task of creating a book trailer for their peers to watch.  Ms Smith asked the students to create something that would entertain and inform their classmates and also provide reasons why they should read that particular novel.

In seven minute rounds, each class was able to watch the trailers and, at the end of the viewing, vote for their favourite book trailer. These included Harry Potter, Nevermore, Eragon and many more.

After a winner was chosen from each class, the library staff were then given the weighty task of choosing the overall winner, and this honour went to Gabe. His trailer was for The Magician by Raymond E Feist and the judges felt that the trailer looked almost professional.  Well done Gabe!