How time flies! It’s hard to believe that, in just over two terms’ time, all Year 12 students and many Year 11 students will partake in the Unit 3 & 4 VCE Examination period. This is an important time and we are very keen to support our students as best as possible in the lead up to these exams.

Many factors play a role in developing the academic culture of a school and I believe that if we are to be truly committed to students achieving their academic potential, all students need to be given every opportunity to develop a strong work ethic and maintain well-balanced lives.

With the opening of our new Senior Centre we now have the exciting opportunity of providing supervised after-hours study support in the Resource Centre (Library) which is open until 500pm Monday to Thursday for students in Years 10 to 12. We really do hope many of our senior students will look to embrace the opportunity to do some of their study at school over the coming months.

In addition to this support, we continue to educate our students on planning their time, developing their help seeking behaviour, utilising the ‘pockets of time’ available and working smarter not necessarily harder to achieve their full potential.

However, in spite of our best efforts, not all students will take this advice on board. The connection between home and school is critically important here and, for such students, parents and teachers must unite to effectively engage them. Together we need to be clear and consistent in our messages and give these students effective and workable strategies that they understand and implement. Our focus on continuous reporting and high-quality teaching certainly supports this direction.

In my experience, and that of many others, students who have the following attributes are generally those who achieve their best in all year levels, and particularly during VCE:

  • They work hard. By this, I mean that they really work hard. Students who achieve their best in the VCE are those who study extensively outside of class time and structure their free periods and homework sessions very well.
  • They work independently and consistently on the weekend. Often this will not be an enormous number of hours, but it is regular.
  • They go out and enjoy themselves during holidays and occasionally on weekends (generally in moderation) and usually enjoy a group of friends who do similarly.
  • Their parents are supportive of the academic program and are aware and conscious of their child’s social activities.
  • They are involved within their school community ensuring that they attend all classes and school commitments. Where possible outside appointments are not made during class or study time.
  • They view their teachers as a learning resource rather than task dictator, prioritising class time to extend their understanding.
  • They utilise environments such as the Resource Centre (Library) or Senior Centre after hours for study. This provides the opportunity to study without distractions, to seek teacher support and to form study groups.

I have no doubt that we all want the best outcome possible for the students at Balcombe Grammar. A student’s final few years pass quickly and it is important that as much support and structure is in place to assist them sooner rather than later. We have dedicated and supportive staff and should you feel the need, please ensure that you reach out to your child’s Tutor or Head of Sub-school to discuss how we can support your child further.

Mr Ross Patterson


On ANZAC Day, our School Captains and Vice Captains represented Balcombe Grammar School at both the Dawn Service and the 10am Service at Memorial Park, Mornington. They lay wreaths on behalf of the School at both Services and participated through the reading of “In Flanders Fields” and “We Shall Keep the Faith”. Thank you to Ruby Hadaway, Chris Hollins, Jack Bradley and Ashleigh Mascitti for their participation at this significant event. Then on Friday 26 April the Balcombe Grammar ANZAC Service was held in the School Gymnasium where we commemorated as a School the sacrifice of those who have served our country, and their families. Mr Craig Malcolm, a former Army Apprentice who trained and served at the Balcombe Army Apprentices School gave the ANZAC address which included an informative account of aspects of life at former Balcombe Army Apprentices School. It was wonderful to have a number of the former Army Apprentices travel from near and far to attend the Balcombe Grammar Service. Afterwards, the Senior Student leaders shared with the former Apprentices over cuppa’s and ANZAC biscuits followed by a tour of the new Senior Centre. A huge thank you to all involved in making this Service a significant and honoring one.

Reverend Cindy Waters
School Chaplain


Late last term we had one of our biannual visits from the Young Muslim Leader Program, which is part of the Australia-Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program (AIMEP); a flagship program of the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The AIMEP is a national program, which involves visits to Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. It is a people-to-people exchange program which invites emerging Muslim leaders in Australia and Indonesia to apply to participate in a prestigious, two-week, community-based international leadership program in their neighbouring country.

Each year Balcombe hosts  groups from Indonesia as part of the program to break down stereotypes and strengthen interfaith connections. This year the group started off the morning with one of our Year 7 Faith and Wellbeing Classes who gave an enthusiastic tour of the school. After that they joined a Year 9 Faith and Wellbeing class, and then the Year12 Religion and Society class. The students and visitors shared interests, differences, cultures and stories. It was heartwarming to see the adults and students connecting despite very different backgrounds and beliefs. It was agreed that despite all of the differences, we have many shared principles around human kindness.

Mrs Natalie Kurelja
Head of Faith and Wellbeing 


The Career Centre is located next to the library in the new Senior Centre. It is open at lunch time and after school when students can use the centre to independently research careers, universities or other pathways.

Making an appointment
Students and families can also drop in to see me at any time for an individual or small group discussion. To guarantee my availability, students and families can go online to book an appointment through our one stop careers site (see link below)

Then click on either ‘For Parents’ or ‘For Students’ and click on ‘Appointment Booking.’ Appointments are for 30 minutes and can be either in person or over the phone. It is advisable to then send through an email that states the purpose of the appointment. This will allow time for any research that might be required beforehand to make the appointment more productive.

What the Career Centre can assist you with?

Online Career Tools 
The Careers Site (see link below) is a one stop careers site available to the whole school community. It provides information on a wide range of career related topics including upcoming open days, the monthly Career News newsletter, how to attain you tax file number, work experience documents, career conversations for parents and VTAC.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Mr Philip McDonald
Careers Co-ordinator

BGS Careers Website


On Monday 25 March, ten excited Year 10 students arrived at Melbourne Airport ready to embark on the 2019 Japan Outbound Tour. We travelled to Fukuoka Airport via Thailand with a three-hour layover at Bangkok Airport. The trip was a bit more exhausting than most of the students expected! Many of the students were unable to stay awake during our stop over and instead found a comfy-looking piece of floor to curl up on and have a snooze. However, when we finally arrived in Japan, the students were revitalized and ready to travel to Nobeoka.

We spent the first night in Nobeoka at a beach house with students and teachers from St Ursula High School and experienced a traditional Japanese barbeque, engaged in conversation with students from Japan, played games and slept on futons in traditional style wooden cabins. The next day we travelled to our sister school and participated in a welcome ceremony. Olivia and Hannah read a speech to the St Ursula community and we were warmly welcomed by each of the families. For the next two days the students spent time with their host families doing various activities such as seeing the cherry blossoms, hiking, going to an amusement park, going shopping and eating out at various restaurants.

On Friday 29 March, the students said a sad farewell to their host families and we boarded a bus to the airport. Erin and Charlotte read a lovely speech at our farewell ceremony thanking St Ursula for their hospitality. We took a domestic flight from Miyazaki Airport to Itami Airport (Osaka) and our journey wasn’t to stop there! From Osaka we boarded a bus and travelled to Kyoto via Nara with an English-speaking tour guide. We visited Nara park, saw a Shinto Shrine and Buddhist Temple and met lots of friendly deer. Our time in Kyoto included visiting many shrines and temples, dressing up in Kimonos to tour around Arashiyama bamboo forest and visiting the International Manga Museum where the students had a turn editing some Manga drawings. From Kyoto we took a bullet train to Tokyo and said farewell to our tour guide. While in Tokyo we visited Meiji Shrine, went shopping in Harajuku, took a train to Ueno park, visited Tokyo Skytree, went to the baseball, went to a Karaoke box to sing our hearts out and also had dinner with Mr Patterson and Ms Griss. It was such a busy few days! We flew home on Thursday 4 April and arrived home on Friday afternoon. The trip was very busy and exciting; however, I think the students were glad to see their families waiting for them at Melbourne Airport.

Ms Kaitlyn Brand
Japanese Teacher


On Monday 29 April Year 3 visited Chesterfield Farm. This visit was planned as the hook into our Inquiry unit ‘Food and Farming.’ Whilst at the farm the children rotated through many engaging and educational experiences. In the Discovery Centre students found out about the animals that live on a farm and the produce that they provide. In the barn we learnt how to milk a cow. One child said “the cow teats are soft, warm and squishy.” The 23 cow milk drinkers in 3KC were fascinated to learn that the average dairy cow produces 30 litres of pure milk each day. We on the other hand only managed to milk 400ml and that was with the whole grade having a go! Machine milking is definitely a lot easier that hand milking. We were amazed to learn that the world record for milk production is held in the USA with one cow producing 107 litres in one day!

Soon after, students were invited to feed the animals, what a great experience this was, many of the students were surprised to find them such gentle creatures. Next we met ‘Scout’ a Kelpie, he was a working farm dog. Scout showed us how he responded to voice, sound and hand commands. He followed instructions skilfully making his mob of sheep first stand and then walk towards the pen. Scout used a zig zag movement around the back of the sheep to ensure the sheep kept moving forwards. Year 3 were thrilled to watch such a young dog demonstrate her herding skills. Finally we watched Farmer Steve skilfully use electrical blades to shear a sheep in only a few minutes, Steve told us the world record for sheep shearing is 719 sheep in 9 hours - which is incredible!

We had a great day and can’t wait to continue our learning in the classroom.

Ms Karen Chatterley
Year 3 Teacher


Mitch from True Culture graced our classrooms with an exciting, educational and highly entertaining incursion that delved into aspects of his Aboriginal culture. Mitch comes from the Yurujuru tribe in Northern Queensland and has lived with the Gamilaraay tribe in NSW. He took us on a journey through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags, as well as traditional ceremonial wear. We learnt a few Aboriginal words from his tribes; Wadda-mooli means hi and bye (from Yurujuru), and Yaama means hi (from Gamilaraay). Mitch taught us a dance, which we enthusiastically sang, moved and twirled to. He ended his session with the didgeridoo – much to the amazement of our sensational Year 2 students. This incursion is part of our current Talk for Writing program, which looks at several Aboriginal dreamtime stories.

Mr Chad Gallaher
Year 2 Teacher


Running Club for Term 2 will commence on Thursday 2 May at 8:15am and the final session will be Thursday 13 June. No session on Thursday 9 May (Whole School Photo Day) and no session on Thursday 6 June (Primary Student Free Day - Parent/Teacher Interviews).

This is a great opportunity for the Primary students to come along and consolidate their running skills and fitness, something that we are working on in our PE lessons, before the House Cross Country Carnival on Friday 17 May.

Please make sure the staff member on duty is present before leaving your children at the beginning of the session. As we move in to the late end of autumn and the beginning of winter the location for Running Club may be on the oval or in the gym. Due to OHS please refrain from bringing hot drinks and food in to the gym. Thank you for your continuing support of this activity.


Thursday 9 May, please refer to previous emailed information for details.



Our bicycle storage facility will be completed in the coming weeks and will include more bicycle racks to support students who are riding to school. However, there is always a risk of a bicycle being stolen particularly if it is unlocked. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that their bicycle is locked throughout the school day and therefore the school accepts no responsibility for the loss or theft of any bicycle. Your support in ensuring that all bicycles are locked throughout the school day would be greatly appreciated.



Please be advised that due to a printing error, the published Term 1 2020 dates on the calendar are incorrect, the correct Term 1 2020 dates are Wednesday 29 January – Friday 27 March with Term 2 starting Wednesday 15 April, full Term dates are on our website

See BGS Term Dates Online


Latest news articles available on the Intranet...

PFC Mother’s Day Breakfast
 Theatre Studies Production
Year 8 ACP Groupings
Career News
Addams Family Tickets on Sale

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A reminder to all visitors, including parents, to please sign-in at reception before heading to other areas of the school.

TERM 2 2019, WEEK 3

Monday 6 May
Top Designs Exhibition

Tuesday 7 May
Michael Ymer visit
SIS Public Speaking Competition
Secondary House Cross Country

Wednesday 8 May
Michael Ymer visit
Year 11/12 Theatre Studies Excursion
Year 11 Dance Lessons
Year 9 Media & Performance Excursion

 Thursday 9 May
Whole School Photos
Year 8 SIS Sport
Foundation & Year 5 Astronomy Evening

Friday 10 May
PFC Mothers Day Breakfast
VCE Studio Arts
VCE PDT Top Design Forum and Exhibition
Year 5 & 6 Inter-school Sport

TERM 2 2019, WEEK 4

Monday 13 May
Independent Schools Surf Competition
Unit 3 Business Management Excursion
VSAC Swimming
School Production Sitzprobe

Tuesday 14 May

Wednesday 15 May
OES Mountain Bike Excursion

Friday 17 May
Year 11 Dance Lessons
Primary House Cross Country & Soccer Day

BGS Intranet Calendar
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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