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Learning that Matters
Beaconhills College’s innovative Year 9 program has led to 15-year-old student Bryce Hathaway making his first solo flight at Tyabb airport as part of his pilot’s certificate.
Bryce took to the air alone in an A22 Foxbat aircraft at the Peninsula Flying School at Tyabb, recording the exciting event and posting the video on Youtube.
Bryce used Beaconhills’ Personal Best project in Term 4 of 2015 to kickstart his certificate training, spending the allocated day each week on theory and flying training. Personal Best gives students a term to create or pursue a major project that is their personal passion.
He was allowed to complete his first solo flight just under five hours into the certificate’s required 20 hours of flying. But as the grandson of a keen aviator, Bryce is no stranger to the skies.
“My grandfather has had 30 years of recreational flying and I’ve been going up with him since I was seven,” Bryce said.
He said it was a nerve-wracking experience flying alone for the first time, without the safety-net of an instructor sitting alongside. However, as the video shows, he was in complete control and executed a perfect landing.
“In the video I retell the feelings and thoughts I had while flying,” he said. “I tell you now I got very nervous when the instructor told me I was ready to do it on my own!”
He thanked family friend Mike Rudd for allowing him to use the plane during his training and the College for giving him the opportunity – through Year 9 Personal Best – to pursue his passion.
Once he achieves his pilot’s certificate, Bryce said he would consider whether to to continue as a recreational flyer or aim for a commercial pilot’s licence and a career in aviation.
Watch Bryce take his first solo flight on Youtube
The VCE results have arrived and as a College we have many reasons to be proud.
Year 12 is not an easy year – it takes hard work and sacrifice, not just by students but the ‘back up team’ of parents, teachers and many others.
We are lucky to have a wonderful supportive community at our College. One of our Media teachers at the Berwick Campus, Deborah Spilsbury, remarked on the incredible support students in her class gave each other this year, helping each other to achieve either through revision or working together as a team.
Our sense of community spans generations, and now – as we head towards our thirty-fourth year – we can justifiably start talking about tradition! Amongst our top VCE achievers we had students whose parents attended the College. One of these students, David Lorimer, is the grandson of the late Richard Lorimer who was part of the College’s original steering committee. Richard was here to open the restored Junior School buildings at the Pakenham Campus back in 1999 and all of his grand-children have attended Beaconhills. No doubt he would have been proud to see David’s achievements.
Our community is our strength and I am certain we will only get stronger as we go forward. Another great year at Beaconhills College.
Beaconhills College has congratulated its Class of 2015, with 272 Year 12 students from the Pakenham and Berwick campuses successfully completing their VCE.
Our open-entry community College offers its students a huge range of VCE subjects – 42 in total – tailored to meet the needs of its students.
The Class of 2015 chose subjects as diverse as Dance or Chinese to Systems Engineering – with solid results across the board.
Nineteen students earned ATARs (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) in the 90s, with around half of all VCE students ranking in the top third of the State.
College Dux was Pakenham Campus student Amy Li Ting Tung with an ATAR of 95.55. Amy studied Biology, Further Mathematics, French, English and Chemistry. Berwick Campus Dux was Dua Nazar (94.5), who scored a 46 for Media and also studied English, Music Performance, French, Business Management and Further Mathematics. Both students joined the College in Year 5.
Amy said she was thrilled with her 95.55 and hopes to study Biomedicine at Monash University next year.
“My uncle works in obstetrics so if there is an opportunity to specialise, that’s the area I would like to pursue,” Amy said.
She said it was important to have a good balance during the year – she maintained her interests in martial arts, drawing, art and reading.
Berwick Campus Dux Dua Nazar said she couldn’t believe her result and “felt like it was a dream”. Her interests include playing the drums and she hopes to join a band once she is at university.
Headmaster Tony Sheumack said the year’s highlights were in subjects across very diverse pathways.
“I am delighted that students have followed their passions and not just subjects that score highly,” he said.
“We had excellent results in Literature and IT Applications, along with Outdoor and Environmental Studies, Health and Human Development, Studio Arts, Dance, Art and Media.”
In line with the College’s innovative ‘Learning that Matters’ philosophy – which focuses on learning most relevant for our future – a relatively new subject called ‘Extended Investigation’ proved a winner.
The highly academic, research-based subject requires students to produce a mini-thesis on an individual area of research and helps develop critical thinking and analytical skills essential for tertiary study.
Mr Sheumack said while it was only the second year of the subject at Beaconhills, 12 students (of 252 in the State) completed the subject and scored a good subject average of 30, “surpassing our expectations”.
He said the College’s overall VCE results were a testament to the “broad educational programs that matter to our students”, along with the quality and professionalism of teaching staff who consistently supported and encouraged their students.
“Beaconhills is an open entry school and it is wonderful to see students following their diverse interests and being successful. We wish them every success as they now choose their future pathways.”
Departing Year 12 students recently produced a video called grATAR than the ATAR, which reflected the College’s holistic approach to education and was widely shared on social media.
“Our students understand that the ATAR, while it is an important sorting process for tertiary admission, will not define them as individuals or predict the success of their future lives,” he said.
Our top 10:
Amy Li Ting Tun 95.55 (College Dux and Pakenham Dux – pictured below with Headmaster Tony Sheumack)
Elyse Willemsen 94.65
Dua Nazar 94.5 (Berwick Dux – pictured below with Berwick Campus Principal Jenny Williams)
David Lorimer 94.5
Kelsy De Prada 94.45
Kristy Amos 94.35
Taylah Orr 93.7
Aaron Dudley 93.5
Hayleigh Sharman 93.4
Kaili Scarlett 92.8
The generosity of the Beaconhills College community will add a little sparkle to Christmas for children in the local area.
Parents donated hundreds of presents to fill the ‘empty Christmas trees’ at both campus receptions and the Little Beacons Learning Centre. Charities 4Cs and Windermere have collected the presents to distribute to families in need.
A major donor at Little Beacons was Moorabbin’s Moose Toys, thanks to staff member Carrol Conole whose husband works at the company.
“Moose Toys donated last year as well, so I just asked my husband if they would be able to donate again this year and they were happy to do so,” Ms Conole.
4Cs in Pakenham will distribute the presents with Christmas food hampers to families struggling to make ends meet this Christmas.
(L-r) Little Beacons staff member Carrol Conole with children Omera and Dylan under the giving tree
Student Regan C has placed second against the best Middle Years’ chess players in the country at the National Interschool Chess Championships held from 30 November to 1 December.
Regan came second in the ‘individual performance’ category by winning six out of seven games (five wins and two draws). He missed the championship title by just half a point.
Regan also played in a warm-up tournament winning all seven games. On the day he received a ‘Junior Master’ certificate recognising his outstanding achievements in chess, presented by International Master and former Australian Chess Champion, Robert Jamieson.
I would like to congratulate all students who received awards at our current series of Presentation and Academic assemblies.
These assemblies across all year levels have been a wonderful celebration of our student achievements and the culmination of a very successful 2015 at Beaconhills College.
We have seen some outstanding academic achievements, for some students in more than just one subject, as well as awards for community service, performing arts, sport and much more including our House awards. It has certainly been a week of celebration.
Why are these assemblies important? Of course they celebrate achievement, but they also raise our standards and give all students a benchmark to aspire to. Importantly, they also bring the College together as a community and foster a positive culture within the school.
Thank you to all parents who attended these events to help your children celebrate their achievements.
Mikaela D, Pakenham Senior School, won the Pierre de Coubertin award
Joel W from Berwick Middle School receiving his award
Llewellyn M from Middle School Pakenham earned a citizenship award
Amy C from Pakenham Senior School was best all rounder
Senior School Berwick twins Stuart and Matthew L won many Dux awards
Year 8 Pakenham Campus Dux Callum P
Beaconhills College’s combined campus girls’ basketball team has won the silver medal in the Australian Schools Championships in Canberra.
The Under 17 girls’ Division 2 team had a spectacular week of basketball at the AIS Basketball and Netball Centre to win through to the finals against Ballarat’s Loreto College. The final score was 46-58.
Coaches Colin and Kerry Burns said the girls played to the best of their abilities.
“It was a well-deserved win after a full year of strong commitment and hard work for the first truly combined College squad,” Mrs Burns said.
In other results, the Under 17 boys’ Division 3 placed tenth and Under 17 Boy’s Division 2 placed seventh – and amazing week-long effort from every student.
The finals team included Kate B, Kyra E, Vanessa F, Ashley G, Bryannen G, Mady H, Madelyn J, Stephanie K and Briana S. Paige C was unable to play.
Silver medalists: Under 17 girls
The Masons have generously donated $3700 to support Beaconhills’ East Timor School building project.
The recent cheque presentation at the Berwick Campus followed a visit by the campus’ Senior Vocal Ensemble to Keysborough’s South Eastern Masonic Centre in July, where they sang at the dinner.
The Companions donated $947 on the night, with further donations later gathered from the Burgundy Ladies (partners of the Companions) and the Bairnsdale Chapter, along with a $2000 donation from the Victorian Freemasons Charitable Foundation.
Mason leaders Peter Crick and his wife Deidre presented the cheque to Headmaster Tony Sheumack and thanked the choir for its performance in July.
“One of the choir spoke eloquently about the East Timor Friendship School project and how they were working towards the building of two school rooms with toilets and the supply of good quality water for the school, “ Mr Crick said.
He said the Masons were proud to present a cheque for $3700 to Beaconhills to support the project.
“We thank your students for being with us that evening and wish your College all the best in their endeavours with this most important project.”
Middle School students have showcased their French language abilities in a series of plays presented to students and parents.
The entertaining and humorous plays were the result of a semester’s work and the chance to celebrate their learning in a fun and entertaining way.
Beaconhills teaches French using AIM (Accelarative Intergrated Methodology), which is an innovative gesture method of learning. It focuses on teaching the language through story, theatre, drama, dance and music.
Teacher Joseph Zamer said the students’ participation in the plays helped them increase their fluency, comprehension, reading and writing.
Camelia Surdu, another French teacher, said the students had worked hard to rehearse and memorise their lines.
“Parents are very impressed at the progress they have made in French,” she said.
Year 5s presented ‘Comment y aller’ (How to go there), Year 6s ‘Chat Angora’ (Angora cat), Year 7s ‘Salut mon ami’ (Hi my friend) and Year 7 advanced class ‘Veax-tu aller au Carnaval?’ (Do you want to go to the carnival?’
Year 6 students Leila S (right) and Grace W present ‘Chat Angora’
Yesterday in Japan I was part of a ceremony to celebrate our 20 year friendship with Ibaraki Christian Junior and Senior High School.
Beaconhills currently has a group of students visiting Ibaraki and it was wonderful for them to also be part of this ceremony.
Our links were forged back in 1992 when Miss Nogi from Ibaraki visited Beaconhills and floated the idea of a sister school relationship. We hosted the first visit from Ibaraki students in 1994 and our students returned there in 1995. Since then there have been many successful student exchange visits.
There was only one year where student exchanges did not take place. The devastating tsunami in March 2011 brought much sadness to Ibaraki and made visits impossible. We were pleased to be able to provide some support to the school during that very difficult time.
At the ceremony yesterday, the Ibaraki Principal Mr Suzuki and I exchanged gifts in recognition of 20 years of friendship. Beaconhills presented a painting by Australian indigenous artist Tommy Crow called ‘Sunset Dreaming’.
It takes commitment from dedicated staff from both schools to maintain a strong friendship and continuous exchanges. At both Ibaraki and Beaconhills, we highly value the importance of building international relationships and having our students share each other’s culture, foods and customs.
We want our students to enjoy these experiences first-hand and to be truly global citizens.
The ceremony at Ibaraki
100 days of school
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
A sobering story for Year 9s
Beaconhills runs around Australia
Mia’s YouTube channel
7 tips for staying positive in the pandemic
Video thanks for the everyday heroes
1700 cards of thanks
Research award for Beaconhills
Meal Relief Program grant
Combatting racism starts with education
Get ready for a return to school
Supporting our community through crisis
Term 2, with a difference
Online Learning to continue into term 2
Support for health care workers
From humble beginnings
Welcome to 2020
Let your light shine
3 meaningful ways for alumni to stay connected
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810