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Learning that Matters
Olivia H discovered the dangers of driving and texting in the car simulator
Students had a taste of the dangers of the road recently while behind the wheel of a car simulator at the Pakenham Campus.
The simulator was at the Pakenham Campus as part of the Positive Choices Road Safety Program. Aimed at Year 10 students, the program shows the ramifications of irresponsible driving.
In the simulator, students experienced a number of driving scenarios, including driving while using a mobile phone, speeding, wet weather driving, and driving with alcohol or drug impairment – each one showing the dangers of making poor decisions.
The program formed part of students’ learning in their subject ‘Personal Skills for Life’, which has covered road safety issues, personal safety and responsibility and strategies to create safer drivers and passengers.
Teacher Kerry Burns said the aim of the car simulator was to leave students with the proper mindset to be safe on our roads.
“I cannot stress the importance of a program such as this one where students were able to experience practical situations of poor decision-making, without the serious consequences if they had made the same decision in a real car,” Mrs Burns said.
After driving the simulator, many students said they learned how distractions could have such a big influence on driving ability.
“The car simulator showed me the importance of not using the phone while driving,” said one student, while another said that it taught her “how hard it was to multi-task while driving”.
Mrs Burns said the Personal Skills for Life subject had also involved a day at Bayswater North’s Metec Driver Training Centre and visits by guest speakers.
She said the Positive Choices Road Safety Program was very beneficial.
“I can only hope as many students as possible have the opportunity to experience such an extremely invaluable program.”
Berwick’s winning Junior Boys’ Soccer team with coach Germain Ramos
The Berwick Campus Junior Boys’ Soccer team has beaten Newhaven College in the grand final of SEISA winter sport for Term 2.
Coach Germain Ramos said the atmosphere was tense in the final match held at Drouin’s Bellbird Park. Newhaven had lost only one game during the whole competition, but it was to the Berwick Campus.
“The Junior Boys’ Soccer team was the first team from Berwick Campus to win all five games – and scored a record 32 goals in the five matches,” Mr Ramos said. “It was a pleasure to coach such a talented and dedicated group of young gentlemen.”
Berwick’s Netball B team also made the finals, but lost 32-30, after tying at full time and again at first overtime. Pakenham Campus’ Netball A team also lost to Newhaven by just two goals after a hard-fought match.
I am always proud of the fact that Beaconhills College was the first school in Victoria to introduce a specialised on-campus Year 9 program.
The College recognised 18 years ago that Year 9 was a time when students could disengage from learning. It’s also a critical time when they really begin to examine their own philosophies, attitudes and identity as they move into adulthood.
What grew from this is the incredible Year 9 program we have today.
For students returning from Vietnam, leaving for East Timor or taking part in the Outdoor Education program this month, the experiential learning focus of our Year 9 program is evident. They are actively participating – being immersed – in the experience. They are being challenged and confronted. They learn to look at their own life and lifestyle through new eyes.
Berwick Campus students have just completed their Personal Best projects, another cornerstone of our Year 9 program. This term-long project is about self-directed learning – again learning through direct experience, by planning and building a major project that reflects their own personal passion.
Personal Best also has a valuable spin-off benefit of strengthening relationships. Mums and dads are often involved in the project, from helping with construction to offering advice and ideas. Families attend the Personal Best night where projects are on show. Without fail they are absolutely astounded at the standard of what our students produce and the creativity displayed.
Year 9 is an experience that our students never forget.
Leshea’s amazing steam punk stilt dress – shown here without the stilts.
A Year 9 student has created a stunning ‘steam punk stilt costume’ as part of the term-long ‘Personal Best’ project.
Leshea P, from the Berwick Campus, said her own passion as a performer with the circus troupe ‘Ruccis’ inspired her to create the dress, which is in the Victorian gothic style of traditional circuses.
The vibrant pink dress comprises metres of material and is designed to worn by Leshea when she is walking on stilts.
Leshea said she joined the circus troupe 10 years ago and trains with them six times a week, learning various skills such as tumbling and aerial work.
“I do want to make a career out of it,” Leshea said. “I will be wearing this dress when I am roving about during performances.”
She said once she decided on a design and sourced the materials, the dress took about 70 hours to complete, including workshopping different ideas and doing sketches.
Personal Best is a major part of the Year 9 program and focuses on student-driven projects. Students spend a whole term and many hours creating a significant project that is their passion, with each project documented in a detailed folio including sketches, budget considerations, materials and tools used.
Other students this year have created projects as diverse as a Ghillie (camouflage) suit, a book about Melbourne, costumes and art work.
Beaconhills was the first school in Victoria to introduce an on-campus Year 9 program, in response to the observation that Year 9 was traditionally when students switched off from their learning – often the most unproductive of the senior years. The program became the blueprint for many similar programs in schools across the state.
Teaghan B plays the queen in ‘Marc the Magician’
Ten years ago Beaconhills College successfully introduced an innovative new gesture method of learning French adopted from Canada called AIM (Accelarative Integrated Methodology).
Middle School students at the Pakenham Campus celebrated the anniversary of AIM at Beaconhills with series of plays and performances. They ranged from the traditional ‘Three Little Pigs’, to ‘Louis the Frog’, ‘Animals’ Café’ and ‘Marc the Magician.
Head of French Yelena Pinchuk said that AIM was the first language program to provide a truly hands-on, participatory experience for students.
“By teaching a language through story, theatre, drama, dance and music, students acquire language faster and more efficiently,” Ms Pinchuk said.
“We truly believe that speaking another language opens more doors for students. So many of our past students continue learning the language at university and have chosen careers where speaking another language is very beneficial.”
Students perform Animals’ Café (Le bistro des animaux)
(L-r) Cooper G, Jaxon B and Brooke E
Year 5 students Jaxon B (Berwick Campus) and Bailey M (Pakenham) have made it through to the state finals of Cross-Country after competing in the regional race held in Frankston on Monday 15 June.
Jaxon was one of three Berwick Campus students – including Cooper G (Year 5) and Brooke E (Year 6) to progress through local, district and divisional races, before Jaxon qualified for state.
Head of Middle School Clare Tuohy said the College was proud of the students’ achievement and their outstanding sporting skills.
Other notable runs included Will L (Year 3 Pakenham) who placed 11th and Ryan M (Year 6 Pakenham) who placed 15th, with both runners narrowly missing out on state qualification.
Students proudly display the thousands of cans collected
Beaconhills’ annual can drive for local charity 4C’s (Cardinia Combined Churches Caring) reaped a new record of 5849 cans.
Students held a free dress day on Monday 15 June at the Pakenham Campus, collected the thousands of cans and arranged them into a giant love heart.
The cans will be distributed through 4C’s to families in need this winter.
Senior Chaplain Rev Peggy Kruse, who co-ordinated the event, said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of College families.
“This is such an important fundraiser and with winter upon us, it will benefit many families and people in our community,” she said.
“Thank you to the students who did a wonderful job in counting, transporting and stacking all of these cans – and to our families for your substantial contribution.”
For those in the community accustomed to the traditional primary/secondary model of schooling, the concept of Middle School (Years 5-8) can sometimes seem curious.
However, there are very sound educational reasons behind the philosophy of Middle School. The Middle School model matches the stages of growth and development of children and young adolescents.
It’s a time when students are going through puberty, developing their identity, challenging accepted norms and forming their views based on their experiences and, of course, their own upbringing.
Middle School teachers at Beaconhills specialise in the needs of students in this age group. The outstanding Middle School programs are tailored for this group – covering areas such as adolescent health, bullying, ethics, morals and values.
Our Middle School Celebrations of Learning (at the Pakenham Campus on Thursday 18 June and Berwick Campus Tuesday 18 August) will give you a fantastic insight into the huge scope of learning in Middle School. It is an opportunity to see the exciting variety of ways in which our students learn and also witness the pride they have in their own work.
I highly recommend these events as a window to the wonderful world of Middle School.
Charlotte B with her model of Shakespeare’s house
Delicious food to sample, colourful costumes, displays of ancient civilisations, theatre sports and plays and performances lend a definite party atmosphere each year to Beaconhills College’s Middle School Celebration of Learning.
This year’s event on Thursday 18 June promises to be bigger and better than ever. Everyone is invited to experience the buzz and see the amazing diversity of learning in Middle School at the Pakenham Campus.
Just some of the learning on show includes:
• Year 8 Middle Ages and World Landscapes – and Shakespeare
• Year 7 Ancient Civilisations
• French and Japanese plays and performances
• Theatre Sports
• Art exhibition
• Controlled science experiments
• Year 5 astronomers’ displays
Head of Middle School Learning Monica Doman described the event as “a wonderful exhibition of the scope and breadth of learning in Middle School.”
“It’s an opportunity for students to showcase to parents, grandparents and friends what they have learned and celebrate their achievements.”
Rosemary Russell, Head of Middle School English and Humanities, said when students studied topics such as the Middle Ages, they were astounded at the similarities between the lives of people back then and now.
Students Kiara V and Jasmin A said it was fascinating to learn about Shakespeare and London’s Globe Theatre, where his plays were performed.
Jasmin said she enjoyed learning how to write a sonnet: “I realised how talented Shakespeare was to write 154 sonnets.”
The Middle School Celebration of Learning will run from 4.30-6.30pm on Thursday 18 June in the Lois Maghanoy Centre for Performing Arts, Beaconhills College, Pakenham. Entry is free.
• Middle School Celebration of Learning video
Emlyn S is working on a new series of films
Year 12 student Emlyn S has won the best young filmmaker award at the Warburton Film Festival.
Emlyn’s film ‘Four Walls & a Murder’ will be screened this Friday (12 June) in Warburton as part of the ‘Show Us Your Shorts’ section of the festival.
Emyln, from the Berwick Campus, has a keen interest in film and drama and hopes to pursue a career in the film industry.
‘Four Walls & a Murder’ tells the story of a detective who purposely gets caught. Emyln and his classmate Hayden shot the film in one location on a Canon 60D camera, with Emyln starring the lead role of the detective.
“I canned the first idea I had, which was for a zombie film,” Emyln said. “We started filming it in the holidays but we didn’t really have the right make-up and costumes.”
He said he was really excited to win the Warburton Film Festival award, which included $350 prize money.
Emlyn is now working on more films – five vignettes as part of his Unit 3 and 4 VCE Media studies.
You can view his film on Youtube.
Videos for Change winners
A big camp for Little Beacons
Victorian All Schools Track and Field Championships
We are now an eSmart school
Harmony Club means no-one has to play alone
Brain Food: What to Eat When Revising
Vale Snr Antonio
Tribute to our teachers
Importance of Child Safe legislation
New centre a celebration of original Year 9 vision
School funding model announced
Vale Nigel Creese, AM
Roger Lord awarded Life Membership
New school funding model a cause for concern
Parent input benefits BeaconNet
Welcome to term 3
Tony talks Beacon Explorers
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810