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Above: BGS Gender Respect Project Group

Student wellbeing at Brisbane Grammar School (BGS) focuses on promoting effective learning, positive mental health, good physical health, and high levels of social and emotional wellbeing for students.

Providing a safe and supportive learning environment is part of the BGS Strategy and the Student Wellbeing program plays a vital role in ensuring every student develops a sense of belonging and connection.

Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School David Carroll leads the Student Wellbeing Team – a formal structure of wellbeing programs that combine to ensure every individual’s progress through all areas of school life is monitored.

Mr Carroll explained that when a boy feels connected, they also feel that important sense of belonging. “We know through research that the most important protective factor for mental wellbeing is having a sense of belonging,” he said.

As part of the Student Wellbeing curriculum, boys engage in programs that nurture their social, ethical, physical, intellectual and emotional development. These programs provide relevant, age-specific experiences. Student Wellbeing experiences include public purpose, student committees, and cultural and leadership tours.

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Above: BGS Year 9 student Angus Bale with donations for TennisAid

Director of Student Wellbeing Programs Philippa Douglas said public purpose activities offer BGS boys meaningful opportunities to volunteer in response to important humanitarian issues.

“Students learn and explore fundamental values of life, develop their leadership potential, and enhance their personal character,” she said. “With compassion and community as the core principles of the Public Purpose program, the student-led committee participates in projects ranging from hands on voluntary work to fundraising activities.”

“Participation in immersion projects is another way BGS boys become graduates who understand personal accountability. Students are offered opportunities that encourage them to make a difference in their local, national and global communities.”

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Above: BGS students on the Boarders’ Lawn

BGS Year 9 student Angus Bale has taken Public Purpose principles beyond the school gates, collecting tennis shoes and equipment no longer needed by children in Australia to send to TennisAid, who then distribute to children in developing countries.

“As I grow older and am exposed to more of the world, I have developed an understanding that not everyone has access to the same opportunities. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sport to help develop their own sense of self,” he said.

“The impact of the initiative has not only benefited the receiving communities, it has also benefited boys at BGS. It raised awareness of our privilege and our ability to help others. It started discussions across different age groups and prompted conversations about developing countries.”

Brisbane Grammar School | 24 Gregory Terrace, Brisbane | 3834 5200