When Jennifer Tod joined Balcombe Grammar, the school was about to embark on its first Year 12 class. From day one, Jen rolled up her sleeves and joined the leadership team in building the school into the very substantial community we all now enjoy. Behind the scenes, she has developed volumes of policies, ensuring the school built its capacity along with its enrolments. Often this work was out of sight and involved many hours beyond the school day, so we take this opportunity to acknowledge her generous and significant contribution to the fabric of the school.

In addition to her significant duties as an F-12 Deputy Principal, Jen is also admired for her work in building the school’s global initiatives. We have all been excited to welcome the world to BGS through this program. When families look back on their BGS experience, hosting, travelling and forming relationships globally will surely be a treasured memory of their time at BGS.

Jen was also an outstanding English teacher with students excelling in her classes. Her students were a constant feature in her office, where she tutored and offered advice for many hours after classes.

Her readiness to generously share her talents across the school was typical. Whether teaching parents, students and staff how to throw their first clay pot, helping construct the community garden or coaching aspiring leaders across the staff, Jen was happy to give her time to others.

Jen has worked tirelessly to ensure each student enjoys the best experience possible at BGS. We are indeed very grateful for the significant contributions she has made in the development of our fine school. We wish her every success with her future endeavours.



This year, we studied and performed the Shakespeare play Macbeth with the theme of punk rock. Everyone got a chance to show off their hidden talents through the performance. We took a step back in history and discovered and learnt the language of old England as well as the songs of punk rock.

It took a lot of teamwork and long and hard rehearsals but in the end every minute was worth working for because the play looked spectacular! Seeing everyone taking risks and challenging themselves was outstanding. It was so inspiring to see all Shakespeare’s characters come out of people you never expected, and to hear all the different people get up on stage and blow everyone away with their amazing voices. It was an extremely successful night and wherever we end up we will always remember our last memories of Primary School being fantastic!

Millie Griffiths and Luca Daniel
Year 6


The Year 4 Portsea Camp provided a wealth of opportunities for students to participate in challenging, fun and rich activities. The students were treated to an Indigenous walk along Portsea back beach to deepen their understanding of the Bunurong people’s connection to and use of the land. Lionel demonstrated how to throw a spear using a complex mechanism. Students were also shown how to get a fire going without the use of matches and fire-lighters. During this activity, the waves were roaring and a few brave paddle-boarders entertained the students with their skills. Lionel helped the students with some meditation by getting them to lie down and listen to the wonderful and hypnotic sounds of the didgeridoo.

At Portsea Camp, the students walked along the beach to find and sort rubbish, attempted to make and sail on their own raft and snorkelled in freezing cold weather. Many scaled to the top of the Giant Swing and zoomed down the Flying Fox. The weather made it impossible for us to complete all activities, as thunder and lightning invaded the camp. The students put on a talent show and it was great to see the bravery, support and creativity on display. The final day was a highlight. The students loved speeding through Port Phillip Bay and seeing seals fight and bark.


On a sunny Tuesday morning the 2019 Year 12s, with their tutors and Mrs Kurelja, Ms Waters and myself travelled to the Mount Martha Surf Life Saving Club for our Year 12 Retreat day.

This day is designed around a variety of activities to allow our Year 12s to get away from the usual, the demands and the pressures. It was also an opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone in a supportive environment and to work together to see the big picture and to provide them with the opportunities to consider significant events, places, people, relationships and beliefs of their life, past and present.

Sometimes at home we are blinded by the familiar and the day-to-day, but on retreat we look with different eyes to try and see what we have not seen before.

It is not your normal set of experiences – the students were challenged emotionally, spiritually and physically and they all rose to the occasion in an optimistic, compassionate and inclusive manner.

The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive in relation to what they gained from this day. I am confident that they gained so much as individuals and as a group and I thank them for their openness and for their participation in the activities of the day.

Mrs Celia Mara
Head of Year 12


At the upcoming F-2 Christmas Play, to be held on Friday 7 December at 10am in the Gymnasium, our Foundation students will be performing a couple of songs from their nativity ‘Born in a Barn’.

The community are also invited to see the full version of the nativity at the BGS Christmas Service on Tuesday 11 December at 10:30am in the School Hall.


Monday 3 - Thursday 6 December
BGS Annual Art Exhibition

Thursday 6 December
Year 7 2019 Orientation

Celebration Evening
7pm in the Gymnasium

Friday 7 December
F-2 Christmas Play
10am in the Gymnasium

End of Secondary Transition


Monday 10 December
Year 6 Celebration
10:30am in the School Hall

Tuesday 11 December
Christmas Service
10:30am in the School Hall

End of Term 4

Wednesday 12 December
Year 12 2019 Leaders Workshop
Staff Day

Thursday 13 December
Staff Day

Friday 14 December
Staff Day

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Primary and Secondary Co-education
389 Nepean Highway Mount Martha Victoria 3934 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 5970 1100 Facsimile: +61 3 5974 2755