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92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
Learning that Matters
There were some strong individual performances at the recent SEISA (South Eastern Independent Schools Association) swimming, badminton and table tennis competition held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
In swimming, Pakenham and Berwick campuses finished in fourth and fifth place overall. But College records fell during the day, with Pakenham Campus student Patrick V (Under 13 age champion) smashing a 20-year-old butterfly record with his time of 33.24s.
Patrick also broke records in his 50m freestyle (29.39s) and 50m backstroke (35.02s) swims, while Jy M was Under 14 age champion, breaking records in the 50m freestyle (28.40s), 50m backstroke (32.80s) and 50m butterfly (32.08s). Teneille M broke the Under 15 50m freestyle record with her time of 29.55s.
For Berwick Campus, Liam B was the star performer, earning the Under 12 champion title. He swam the 50m freestyle in 30.74s, the 50m breaststroke in 46.44s and the 50m butterfly in 35.01s, breaking those three College records.
Pakenham’s Junior Girls’ team of Georgia G and Madelyne G were the premiers in table tennis.
Liam B from the Berwick Campus was happy with his medal
Pakenham Campus age champions Jy M (left) and Patrick V
Our Human Powered Vehicle program is off to a flying start for 2016.
This weekend the College’s HPV team will take to the track at Cranbourne’s Casey Fields for the first of four big race events for the team this year.
From humble beginnings of just one vehicle and nine students around a year ago, now the program has flourished into a spectacular team of 30 Middle School and Year 9 students, four vehicles, two big marquees, barbecue facilities and a band of committed parents.
An HPV is a specially designed recumbent bicycle. The sport has a huge following of students who take part in regular race meetings around Victoria and interstate. Beaconhills now proudly boasts four HPV vehicles, each with its own name. Watch out this weekend on the Casey Fields track for the Beaconhills Blazers, the Scorchers, the Burners and the Jets.
HPV racing is a great opportunity for students to build their fitness, develop leadership and team skills and spend fun time with family and friends.
As well as HPV racing this weekend, of course we also have the Cardinia Relay for Life event, in which we have five House teams from Pakenham Campus and – for the first time – a team from Little Beacons Learning Centre. We look forward as well to the Casey Relay for Life on Friday 4 March at Akoonah Park in Berwick. We have a huge team from Berwick Campus’ Middle School walkers participating, raising money for this very worthy cause of helping conquer cancer. Best wishes to all walkers and pedallers this weekend!
Year 9 HPV team members Chloe M (left) and Carter W
A ‘Colourful Run’ at the Berwick Campus has given an early fundraising boost to the Middle School’s Relay for Life campaign, reaping more than $3000 in early donations.
Relay for Life gets underway this weekend with five House teams from the Pakenham Campus and – for the first time – a Little Beacons Learning Centre team taking part in the Cardinia Relay for Life.
The Casey Relay for Life will be held on Friday 4 March and the Berwick Campus Middle School’s huge team of volunteers are busy preparing. Last year Beaconhills was that event’s top fundraiser, bringing in $17,919.65 for cancer research. All College teams will participate under the name of ‘Beacon of Hope’.
Middle School teacher Jennifer Roberts said the Colourful Run was a major fundraising event for the team, with 150 families taking part on the night of 19 February.
Participants could either run a five, three or one km run around the Berwick Campus’ two ovals. There were three stations where volunteer parents and staff threw ‘colour’ (corn flour and dry food dye) onto runners.
“Our Middle School Year 9 student committee and Senior School Relay for Life captains also played a vital role in registering participants and helping out with the sausage sizzle,” Ms Roberts said. “Overall it was a hugely successful event. We hope to make it campus-wide in the future.”
Maddison A on the Colourful Run
Happy to help out on the run: (l-r) Hollye A, Caitlyn H and Ashla M
Beaconhills’ Year 9 students are proving the critics wrong who say teenagers have bad manners – particularly on public transport.
Random train travellers have written to the College praising students for their exemplary behaviour on trains. The College has responded with free lunchtime barbecues – and the promise of more to come in the future, if the good letters keep coming.
Head of Year 9 Graham Broderick said the emails had followed train trips on the Pakenham line on two separate occasions last week when students were on their ‘City Experience’ program.
“The fact that people out there have taken the time to look up our email address and contact us speaks volumes,” Mr Broderick said.
One passenger wrote: “The students were polite and offered their seats to others getting on which is something you don’t see a lot of anymore.
“As a regular public transport user, I see kids of all types that swear and show no respect for other commuters (but) your students were the complete opposite and should be commended.”
Another commuter said the sight of a group of high school-aged boys on a train “normally make me inwardly sigh” as they were often loud, rude and crude.
But the group of Beaconhills boys gave up their seats for others and were “respectful, courteous and aware.”
“In a world where so many focus on the negative, I wish to commend these boys on their standards of behaviour. They were a pleasure to travel with, and it did not go unnoticed.”
In a note to students, Mr Broderick thanked students and said he was prepared to provide more free lunchtime barbecues if the positive feedback continued.
“Please continue to show the public how teenagers can behave properly and how to model good behaviour,” he told students. “It does not go unnoticed.”
As part of City Experience, the Year 9 students learned to cook traditional Vietnamese food and visited a local Vietnamese market. A large group of students will head to Vietnam in coming months as part of the Beacon Explorers’ program, where they will volunteer in orphanages.
Simone G, Year 9, on City Experience
We have just seen the launch of Beacon Explorers for 2016, with 1000 students in Term 1 alone taking part in this exciting ‘beyond the classroom’ program.
Beacon Explorers is a far-reaching program which covers all of our global and outdoor activities; camps, international expeditions to destinations such as East Timor and Vietnam, exchange programs and study tours, cadets, equestrian, snowsports and tennis programs.
Already parents have farewelled students on their way to experience the High Plains of Victoria, Eildon and Canberra. Next month, our 300 Year 10s have chosen to either go rock climbing, mountain biking, sea kayaking, a Yarra River expedition, develop their creative talents on an art camp or hike through the Alpine National Park.
Beacon Explorers is one of the College flagships. The work that goes in behind the scenes in this huge program – the risk management, planning, research and reporting – makes Beaconhills one of the trail-blazers in this field.
I urge parents to visit our Beacon Explorers intranet website (via BeaconNet) to see the scope of this program. This website is essentially a ‘one-stop shop’. It covers health requirements, travel dates, forms, accommodation details and information about food or each country’s culture and history. Here you will find blogs and Instagram links where photos and videos from our student explorers keep you informed – and entertained!
Underpinning the entire Beacon Explorers program is the aim of equipping students with invaluable life skills. Whether volunteering in developing communities, hiking to a snowy peak, spending ‘solo’ time in a tent or co-ordinating a simple meal budget, they will be learning leadership, resilience and how to become good global citizens.
A new mural in the Pakenham Campus Junior School celebrates multiculturalism in Australia.
The College’s artist-in-residence, Rob Matheson, joined forces with a group of Year 3 and 4 art co-curricular students last year to create the clay tile mural.
Visual Arts teacher Rebecca Driscoll said the mural showed different hands reaching out around the Australian continent, with three iconic animals – the emu, kangaroo and koala – in the centre.
“Students contributed to the process of creating the clay hands and animals,” Ms Driscoll said. “Then Rob spent many hours completing the hands, adding texture, firing and glazing.”
The mural is now proudly installed in the Junior School courtyard.
(L-r) Artist Rob Matheson in front of the new mural with Year 4 students (l-r) Stefanie H, Jordan W and Olivia H and Visual Arts teacher Rebecca Driscoll
Calling all Beaconhills alumni who had the joy of making music with Don Laughton, founder of the College band and instrumental music program.
A special event on Friday 18 March will celebrate and honour Mr Laughton’s 24 extraordinary years of service to the College, following his recent retirement.
Mr Laughton built the band and music program from scratch in 1990, giving hundreds of students at both Pakenham and Berwick campuses their first experience of learning an instrument and playing in a band or an ensemble.
College historian/archivist John Waterhouse described him as a charismatic and supportive bandmaster who inspired a generation of pioneer musicians.
“The most lasting aspect of Don’s legacy has been the impact he had on his band members,” he said. “They have left the College with a great love of music and many have gone on to become professional musicians or music teachers.”
‘Don Laughton’s Farewell Hoot’ will be held at 7pm on Friday 18 March in the Global Beacons Centre, Pakenham Campus. Cost is $20 which includes entertainment. RSVP by Friday 11 March – tickets online at the College Shop. Details: (03) 5945 0224.
Year 11 Beaconhills student Emma S has become one of just a handful of Australian females to make it to the top in ice hockey.
The achievement is remarkable because, up until just two years ago, Emma had never even been ice-skating, let alone chased a hockey puck around a rink.
Emma will represent Australia at Singapore’s Lion City Cup ice hockey tournament from March 2-8. Last year she tried out for the national women’s team, but missed out on a place. The team will compete in the World Championships in Spain later this month.
After Emma discovered ice-skating in 2014, she immediately enquired about playing ice-hockey and was told it would take at least two years to gain enough skills to qualify for a team. It took her just two months.
But she had one thing in her favour – good ice-hockey genetics. Her great-grandfather William (Bill) Gash was a player with ‘The Pirates’, an Ice Hockey Victoria team. She still has his ice-hockey stick.
Emma also trained hard in the male-dominated sport to make it onto a team, ‘The Bears’. Now with the Melbourne Ice Wolves, she is one of only four females in the entire IHV Bantams’ League and trains at Oakleigh and the O’Brien Group Arena at Docklands.
The forward player said she loved the fast-paced sport, but it did involve the occasional injury.
“It is quite an aggressive sport which is maybe why there are so few females,” she said. “You have to be willing to take a hit.”
“They say you need to have the hands of a surgeon, the quickness of a footy player and the determination of a runner.”
After competing in Singapore, Emma – who is at the College’s Pakenham Campus – will return home then travel to Canberra to represent Victoria.
Some of Emma’s favourite subjects include Sport and Health and Human Development. She is interested in a career as a sports scientist or physiotherapist.
Emma S at a recent game
Wonderful news that nearly all (94.6 per cent) of our 2015 Year 12 graduates who applied for a tertiary place gained a first round offer.
Once again, I believe this demonstrates the expert guidance from our careers team in helping match each student with their best individual pathway to tertiary study.
The tertiary offers for the Class of 2015 paints a very strong story for our graduates. Of the 274 students who successfully completed their VCE, there were 240 VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre) applications, with 227 first round offers.
One hundred and eighteen students received university offers, with 31 students heading to TAFE and eight to independent colleges.
Most popular tertiary destinations included Monash (60 students), followed by Deakin (40) and Swinburne (28). Arts and Commerce courses topped the list of popular courses (62 students), followed by Health Sciences (44), Sciences (33), Creative Arts (28), Education (22) and Engineering (20).
Of course we have also had many nominations for the VCE Season of Excellence, demonstrating the fantastic work of our students in the Arts and Technologies. These subject areas traditionally scale down and are not reflected easily in ATAR scores.
I wish our students every success in their future pathway.
Beaconhills College has welcomed 20 talented students and their families to the College’s scholarship program.
The new scholars attended an afternoon tea which included a formal welcome from the Headmaster Tony Sheumack, speeches by current scholars and musical performances.
Performing Arts scholar and School Captain Mitchell H told students that “each and every one of you has a gift” and to make the most of the opportunities at Beaconhills.
He said since attaining his scholarship “many doors had been opened” and he had grown as a performer.
The College offers just 20 scholarship places each year in the categories of Academic, General Excellence and Performing Arts, providing up to a 50 per cent reduction on basic tuition fees. Applicants must sit a test run by a professional external provider.
Mr Sheumack said the College had maintained a high level of integrity with the scholarship program for many years. He said scholarships were not liberally handed out, but awarded only to the most deserving, dedicated and talented students.
“Our scholars are required to be actively involved in the life of the school. Their aim is to give as well as receive,” he said.
Applications for 2017 scholarship are now open. You can find more information about the program on the scholarship page.
Performing Arts scholars Mitchell H (left) and Joshua H played at the Scholars’ Tea
Meal Relief Program grant
Noah’s project best on ground
Singing students hit high note
Mr Munday is Casey/Cardinia’s Most Outstanding Teacher
Welcome back to school
Music scholar making the most of time at home
Premier’s Award for our student
ANZAC Day reflection
Boom time for digital borrowings
Relay For Life results
An Easter Blessing from Revd Peggy Kruse
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