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Learning that Matters
Beaconhills College’s Berwick Campus Dux Lucas Nielsen has had a big week.
As well as a 97.4 ATAR for his VCE, he’s had a trip to Sydney, a birthday and gained his driver’s licence.
Lucas is excited that he has more than enough marks now to get into the University of Melbourne to study Arts, with plans to pursue his love of politics, international studies and history.
He admits he was surprised at achieving such excellent results: “We had a lot of super-smart people in our cohort this year, but I think I was really organised and had a good study timetable.”
Lucas also praised his teachers and the resources available to Beaconhills students, such as the regular seminars, study guides and after school tutorials.
“I had really good teachers for all of my subjects,” he said. “Number one, they were good at teaching, and number two they liked their subject.”
Lucas was born in Malaysia and has lived in Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore before moving to Australia, so he said international studies appealed to his interests – with a view to eventually living and working in Asia.
Berwick College Dux Lucas (centre) with his family
The good VCE news rolls on for Beaconhills College with the subject scores for two Berwick Campus Dance students amongst the top six in Victoria.
Holly Neale was second in the state with a 49 for Dance while Michala D’Elia earned a 45. The two dance scholars received an A+ for their dance solos, with both students already invited to audition for Top Class as part of the VCE Season of Excellence awards.
Proud teacher Stephanie Borrie said Beaconhills College had established a strong reputation in Dance.
“We have had many students achieving study scores in this subject above 40,” Ms Borrie said.
And in other news, Berwick Campus’ 2017 captain Madison Schenk made the second highest score in the state with a 49 in Extended Investigation.
Perfect scores: (l-r) Nicholas Prowse, Gemma Sorrell, Tess Wilkens and Victor Benko
Four Beaconhills College students earned a perfect 50 out of 50 in one of their VCE subjects this year.
Tess Wilkens scored 50 for English, Gemma Sorrell 50 in Outdoor and Environmental Studies and Nicholas Prowse 50 for Systems Engineering. Year 11 student Victor Benko achieved 50 in Systems Engineering.
Headmaster Tony Sheumack said it was an outstanding achievement across the diverse range of VCE subjects offered at Beaconhills College.
Gemma joined the College in Year 7 and was school captain at the Pakenham Campus this year. She has been an enthusiastic member of the school community, participating in World Challenge, debating and a wide range of sports. In July she won the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin sporting award for all-round sporting excellence.
She praised her teacher Emma Cooper for helping her achieve her Outdoor and Environmental Studies score.
“She was so helpful – especially at lunchtimes and all the after-school sessions leading up to the exams,” said Gemma, who plans to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy.
Victor Benko is hoping his fixed wing aircraft, which he built in Systems Engineering, will make it to the Melbourne Museum exhibition in 2017. It has been shortlisted for Top Designs in the annual VCE Season of Excellence awards.
Beaconhills College’s sweeping choice of 39 VCE subjects is reflected in its strong 2016 results, with 10 students earning ATARs of greater than 95 across 24 different subjects.
Rachel Chen, Pakenham Campus, was College and Pakenham Campus Dux with an ATAR of 99.4 and Lucas Nielsen the Dux of Berwick Campus with 97.4.
Perfect study scores of 50 went to Tess Wilkens for English, Nicholas Prowse and Victor Benko for Systems Engineering, and Gemma Sorrell for Outdoor and Environmental Studies.
Each of the top performing students achieved outstanding results through different subject combinations. These included English, Maths, Japanese, French, Systems Engineering, Outdoor and Environmental Studies, Health and Human Development and Food and Technology.
This year 242 Beaconhills students successfully completed their VCE. Headmaster Tony Sheumack said he was “absolutely delighted” with the results and paid tribute to the students, their families and teaching staff for their hard work and dedication.
“These students have not only been highly successful in their academic subjects but in their contributions to the College’s service programs both locally and internationally,” he said.
“All we have ever wanted is a school where students can reach their true potential. This is what we are seeing reflected in the Class of 2016.”
Mr Sheumack said the College’s careers counsellors now faced a busy time supporting students to reassess their tertiary choices for 2017.
“I am anticipating that quite a number of our students will be reconsidering their university course choices, as their ATARs have now given them some exciting new options,” he said.
He said it was important to remember that Beaconhills was an open-entry independent College: “These VCE results show that we stand for diversity in every sense of the word.”
College Dux has a love of languages
With an ATAR of 99.4 for her VCE, College Dux Rachel (Wen Lei) Chen hopes her dream of travelling the world as a translator will become a reality.
The self-professed ‘foodie’ plans to study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne and pursue her interest in languages.
Rachel, whose first language is Mandarin, earned subject scores of 47 for English as an Additional Language, 44 for Japanese as a Second Language, and 36 for Chinese (Second Language Advanced) in Year 11.
This year she won a Latrobe University prize at the Japanese Language Speech Contest Victoria.
Rachel joined Beaconhills College three years ago as an international student and said she has loved it.
“Beaconhills is not just a place where you go to learn – it’s like a big community,” she said.
Our Top 10:
Rachel (Wen Lei) Chen 99.4 (College Dux)
Tess Wilkens 98.7
Nicholas Prowse 98.65
Laura Gleeson 98.2
Lucas Nielsen 97.4
Enrique Dehaerne 96.4
Charlotte Tiplady 96.2
Paris Houeix 95.95
Jake Santini 95.45
Gemma Sorrell 95.45
Former Beaconhills student Rebecca Ellis was a proud mum at today’s Little Beacons ceremony to welcome children to the Junior School, Pakenham Campus.
Rebecca (nee Swifte) graduated from Beaconhills in 1997, the same year Headmaster Tony Sheumack joined the College. Today it was her turn to watch her son Flynn farewell Little Beacons to move to the Junior School. Her older daughter Ashby will join Year 4 next year, while daughter Milla is in childcare at Little Beacons.
I wanted to share an excerpt from a recent parent letter about Year 9:
“I would like to thank you and your amazing team of teachers for the wonderful year my son has had this year with you all in Year 9. I am not only grateful for all the time, effort and dedication of your teachers within the classroom, but also for all of the life skills that have been taught outside the classroom as well. You have a very special team of teachers.”
It’s very gratifying to receive this sort of feedback – and well-deserved.
It’s a busy time of the year for teachers across all year levels as they complete their student assessments, teach in the ‘Headstart’ (transition) programs and begin their planning for 2017. Like the Year 12 students and their families, senior teachers are also eagerly awaiting VCE results next Monday 14 December.
Congratulations to all of our staff – teaching and non-teaching – on their efforts this year.
An innovative park design by a Year 7 Beaconhills College student is heading its way to a housing developer’s desk after it earned top prize in a local geography competition.
Elliot Perez, Year 7, has just won the MapIT! Challenge, run by the Cardinia Shire Council and the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria.
Elliot’s design of a park in Officer’s Savannah Estate delighted the judges, who have now forwarded his concepts to the estate’s developers.
While Elliot’s project took the individual prize, four other Beaconhills students earned accolades at the awards ceremony. Hayley Drake, Ethan Blake and Rhianna Clemow were awarded ‘X-Factor’ awards and received certificates and $50 Village movie voucher. Aaron Sharp was crowned the Individual Winner – Vicwalks, for his walking map.
The MapIT! Challenge, now in its second year, takes students out into the local community, getting them to evaluate an area and then redevelop it. Student also have to create a walking map and identify good and bad points along the way with accompanying photographs.
Beaconhills Geography teacher Jodie Bayley went with the students to the awards night and said she was incredibly proud of all of their work.
“And it was amazing to hear the judges speak so highly of Elliot’s ideas and say that they were forwarding his work on to the developers,” Ms Bayley said.
Ethan and Hayley
Elliot’s park plans
Elliot and Aaron
Year 7 students from Beaconhills College’s Berwick Campus have been busy sewing pouch liners to donate to Wildlife Victoria to care for orphaned joeys.
Students from three classes have made nearly 300 liners, learning skills such as using overlockers as well as teamwork and leadership. Teacher Mary Gast said the project reflected the College’s commitment to community service and learning about the environment.
“By using old fabric to produce the liners, they are working in an environmentally friendly way,” she said. And of course the pouches keep joeys safe and warm.
Mark Twain once quipped that he could live for two months on a good compliment.
As well as compliments, it’s very important that our students’ accomplishments earn more formal recognition. When they have worked hard, they should know that their achievements are valued and recognised, by the College and the wider community.
I’m delighted that already we have five students shortlisted for the annual VCE Season of Excellence awards run by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).
Congratulations to Berwick Campus students listed so far: Kelly Jones (Top Designs – Media), Ruby Lang (Top Arts) and Victor Benko (Top Designs – Systems). Pakenham Campus students Tom Algie (Top Designs – Systems) and Tess Wilkens (Top Art) are also on the shortlist. Congratulations.
Beaconhills is no stranger to VCE awards. Since our inception we have well over 100 students who have achieved Season of Excellence awards, Premier’s awards and perfect study scores. It’s a fine record.
The College also recognises achievements in a variety of other ways and across all year levels, whether it is in academic assemblies, in events such as our recent art and technology exhibitions, dance concerts or through our College marketing.
Tess Wilkens with her book
Kelly Jones’ art
Ruby Lang’s lantern
Tom Algie designed an ‘exoskeleton’ in Systems Engineering
Victor Benko’s Systems Engineering project
Beaconhills College student Tom Collard has earned entry to the prestigious University of Melbourne Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program.
The program is named after Professor Kwong Lee Dow, the university’s former Vice-Chancellor. It aims to nurture high-achieving students with qualities of leadership, engagement and involvement.
Tom’s Year 11 subjects next year include Japanese, Mathematical Methods, English, Biology, Physics and Physical Education and he hopes to study criminology when he joins the university in 2019.
He said he was “very excited” when he heard news he was accepted into the program.
A keen football player with Narre Warren, Tom was part of the Beaconhills Hillary Challenge (outdoor team competition) this year but broke his leg just before the finals during a semi-final football match.
He said football umpiring is also one of his passions, with his dad and sister Jaimie – a former Beaconhills student – also keen football umpires. Jaimie is in the Female Umpire Academy with the AFL and is studying paramedicine at the University of Melbourne.
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