TAG | Year 8


Last week, two teams of  Middle School students represented Brisbane Grammar School in two separate Children’s Book Council interschool Readers’ Cup competitions. On Thursday night, the Forum in the Lilley Centre was the venue for 17 teams of excited Year 8 and 9 students competing in the Brisbane North region. Teams were required to read 5 books before the competition, and on the night local author Kate Hunter asked questions on each of the books. Students then had 30 seconds to talk about each answer and write it down. Books were chosen for their range of genres, and they represented a mix of male and female main characters, as well as Australian and overseas authors.

The Gap State High School won the competition and will now move on to compete in the State finals. Despite the fact that they did not win, our team of Year 8 boys still enjoyed the opportunity to read different books and compete against other students from across the Brisbane North region.


In addition, five of our most avid younger readers participated last Wednesday in the Northern Region final for Years 6 and 7, an event which took place at Rainworth State School. There were 23 teams competing for the trophy and our boys did a sterling job, finishing 10th on the ladder. Guest author was Christine Bongers who wrote Henry Hoey Hobson, one of the books in the challenge. The other titles were Toppling, War Horse, Captain Congo and the Maharajah’s Monkey and Golden Door. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the morning after their many weeks of focused reading. Congratulations to them all for being such great representatives of the Middle School.


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On Wednesday this week, 120 enthusiastic Year 8 boys lined the Middle School amphitheatre for an author visit with a difference.  Alison Taafe , author of a cook book entitled Fun, Fast and Fabulous Food, is a Master Chef and has cooked for American Presidents, European royalty, movie stars and captains of Industry as part of her culinary career across the continents.  She was a Leading Vocational Teacher of Professional Cookery at Southbank Institute of Technology for 14 years, and is one of the few female members of Les Toques Blanches, an international organisation for leading chefs.

Using just a BBQ and a small gas burner, Alison enlisted the help of some of the Year 8 boys, and demonstrated 3 of the recipes from her book: char-grilled haloumi with caramelised balsamic strawberries; citrus and rosemary lamb cutlets on a warm potato salad; and panna cotta and poached pears with star anise syrup. To top off this most enjoyable session, the boys were given samples of the panna cotta and balsamic strawberries to taste, and recipes to take home.

The Year 8 boys have been learning about healthy, nutritious food in their Personal Development lessons, and this demonstration tied in well with what they have been learning. In two weeks time the remainder of the Year 8 boys will be able to enjoy the same demonstration. We are also hoping  to organise a Year 8 Breakfast Masterchef cooking contest to see the skills of our Year 8s in action.

Comments from some of the boys:

The presentation of the food was amazing. All of it was healthy and tasted brilliant.” (Tom 8E)

It was good how she gave us hints and tips as she talked.”  (Bart 8F)

The panna cotta was delicious and I would like to cook it myself at home.”  (Matt 8F)

Copies of Alison’s cook book are for sale at Middle School Reception. The cost is $29.95, with $5.00 from the sale of each book donated to the Year 8 Service Project, an orphanage in Vietnam.


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