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Learning that Matters
Year 9 Beaconhills chess whizz Regan C will represent Australia in the 2016 Commonwealth Chess Championships.
The Australian Chess Federation chose Regan to play for Australia in the Under 16 category at the Championships in Sri Lanka from 30 July to 7 August.
While Regan will take on the best players from 54 coun
tries, he has plenty of competition experience under his belt, having played some 64 competitive games to date. Late last year, he narrowly missed first place at the National Interschool Chess Championships, but received a Junior Master certificate recognising his outstanding achievements in the game.
He is a member of the Melbourne Chess Club and plays chess after school every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday night as well as Saturday.
We wish him well for the Commonwealth Championships.
Beaconhills College can proudly claim the title of Victoria’s biggest Scouting school.
The College’s two campuses have nearly 100 students from all year levels signed up to Joeys, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers.
The huge popularity of Scouting in the local region is due to a number of factors, according to school and Scouting Victoria representatives.
Peter Hockey, Head of the College’s Pakenham Campus Junior School, often attends local Scouting award presentations to his students. He said there was no doubt that Scouts had wide appeal to both students and parents.
“My belief is simple – it is a wonderful activity for children, even more so today because children still love to experiment outdoors,” he said. “With the increase in organised sport and the use of technology, the Scouts and Guides movements – rather than appearing outdated – meet the needs and interests of the modern child.”
Good citizenship, a core value of Scouting, is also one of Beaconhills’ six key pillars of learning.
Pakenham Scout Group leader Jason Baird said group membership had doubled in the past two years which was “pretty significant”.
He said the exciting range of activities offered at Scouts, from billy-kart racing to camping, canoeing and cycling held wide appeal.
“It is important for kids, because they spend so much time in front of technology,” he said. “It also broadens their social network.”
Mr Baird also attributed the growth in Scouting to initiatives such as La Trobe University’s Aspire Program, where Venturers who have achieved a Queen’s Scout Award can receive university entry recognition.
Immediate Past Chief Commissioner of Scouts Australia (Victoria Branch), Mr Bob Taylor, said students from the College’s Pakenham Campus belonged to 16 different Scouting groups, with 12 groups attracting members from the Berwick Campus.
“The strength of Scouting in the school may reflect our complementary educational aims and programs, which appeal to youth and parents in the Casey and Cardinia shires’ scout groups,” he said.
Mr Taylor said Scouting was the largest voluntary educational movement in the world with more than 40 million members.
• Pakenham Scout Group welcomes applications from new leaders. Email Jason Baird firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaconhills Year 3 student Oskar W is a member of the Pakenham Scout Group
It was a spectacular end to Term 2 at Beaconhills with House Performing Arts and Celebration of Learning events at both campuses topping off a busy term.
The Middle School Celebration of Learning at the Pakenham Campus again showcased the diversity of student work on topics ranging from ancient civilisations to Shakespeare, the Middle Ages and world landscapes. There were also plays and performances and artwork on display.
Senior and Middle School students went on stage to present their House Performing Arts productions, with only two days allowed to create and rehearse their piece based around a set theme.
Each performance incorporated all aspects of performing arts – from singing, dancing and drama to costumes, set design and lighting.
Berwick Campus’ Head of Performing Arts, Stephanie Borrie, said the competition was traditionally fierce between the Houses.
“The performances this year have been outstanding – the quality is just out of this world,” she said.
Beaconhills College families have donated 6000 cans of food to local charity 4C’s (Cardinia Combined Churches Caring) in the College’s annual can drive.
The Pakenham Campus senior chaplain Rev. Peggy Kruse said she was thrilled with the result and proud of students’ efforts in donating, collecting and stacking cans.
4C’s general manager Cheryl Daly said the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The demand for food assistance is increasing and we have been very low on canned items – in fact our cupboards were running on empty,” she said.
“Six thousand cans is an incredible effort and will make such a difference to the lives of individuals and families in need in the Cardinia Shire over the winter months.”
She said the donation would help many local people who were marginalised, vulnerable and experiencing crisis or distress over the winter period.
Many of the organisation’s families are on low incomes and needing food relief due to “bill shock”, with no money left to spend on essential food items.
“When a child or family member is sick, the cost of vital medication is put ahead of basic food,” she said.
“Well done Beaconhills College community! You have done and will continue to make a vital difference into the lives of those within our community experiencing hardship, crisis or distress. You are showing God’s love and compassion in a tangible way.”
For the annual can drive, the Pakenham Campus held a free dress day and each student brought in at least four cans to donate.
Year 8 students helped stack the cans ready for collection by 4C’s: (l-r) Jayashri T, Leah M, Brooke G, Charlotte R, Grace O and Alysha H.
This year the College has introduced a new concept called the ‘Learning Mindset’, which will be incorporated into all Year 5-12 students’ semester reports.
This initiative is aimed at encouraging students to reflect on how they can continuously improve as learners.
Rather than focusing on grades or scores – although these are still part of our reporting – the Learning Mindset reframes our thinking from “I can’t do it”, to the more positive “I can’t do it yet”.
At the end of the term, the results page on our parent portal will give feedback on each teacher’s observations of the student’s Learning Mindset throughout the term. This includes how the student uses knowledge (knowledgeable), is likely to try new things in their learning (adaptive), applies effort (focused), takes responsibility for their own work (responsible), uses feedback to improve their work (reflective) and works with others outside the classroom (collaborative).
Students and parents will continue to see an overall grade for each subject and House report, when the reports go online from June 21.
These changes to our assessment and reporting practices are a major part of our commitment to give the best support possible for our students’ learning.
Beaconhills’ sister school ‘Immaculée Conception’ in Laval, western France, is celebrating its 150-year anniversary.
The College has sent a gift of framed artwork featuring Australian gum leaves to the French school. A representative will present the gift at a commemorative ceremony in Laval on Saturday 11 June.
Headmaster Tony Sheumack said the two schools had strong ties, with the first exchange visit taking place late in 1999. The following year, eight students from Immaculée Conception, accompanied by Isabelle Baudouin, visited Beaconhills.
“This language program has been strongly supported by the Immaculée Conception school and has given students wonderful opportunities for cultural and language enrichment,” Mr Sheumack said. He congratulated the school for achieving its 150th anniversary.
A group of Beaconhills students will visit Laval in mid-November, with a return trip from the French students planned for February 2017.
Headmaster Tony Sheumack (left) and College Board chairman Noel Martin with the framed gift to go to Laval
Beaconhills College students continue to be keen donors to the Red Cross Blood Bank in 2016, despite changes to blood collection practices.
While this year the Red Cross no longer visits schools directly, students can still donate blood when the service visits local communities twice a year.
In May, 58 students – 40 of whom were first-time donors – travelled by bus to give blood at local collection points. The Blood Bank will seek a further 70 donors from the College when it returns to the area in November, with details announced in Term 3.
This year we have four new Red Cross ambassadors. Chelsea G and Jessica B from the Pakenham Campus and Madelyn J and Jemma L from the Berwick Campus attended a training day last month at the Red Cross’ Melbourne Processing Centre.
Students had the chance to see what happens to blood that is collected, an experience they described as “amazing”.
Madelyn J said the day taught her many new facts about how blood is used: “They showed us the processes and how they find the best possible place for the blood to go.”
Chelsea G said she felt lucky to have taken part in the program.
“The tour of the blood lab was definitely my favourite part as it was really detailed and showed all of the process,” she said.
The ambassadors’ roles are now to recruit more Beaconhills donors and help educate other students about the need to donate.
Enthusiastic Blood Bank ambassadors: (l-r) Jessica B and Chelsea G
Combine horses, swimming and cross-country running and what do you get? An Equathon!
Beaconhills College entered a huge contingent of competitors in the 2016 Balcombe Grammar School Equathon Challenge on Friday 3 June at the Boneo Park Equestrian Centre.
With 25 Beaconhills teams and 75 Prep to Year 11 students, it was little wonder the school claimed many prizes.
Equestrian Co-ordinator Channelle Jenkin said students loved competing in the multidisciplinary event.
“Because it is an opportunity for students from all year levels to mix together in teams, it really breaks down all the age barriers,” Ms Jenkin said.
She congratulated the Beaconhills teams for their outstanding results against around 500 competitors from other schools:
Ebony W (Year 7): first in female individual 16-18 years division
Jai M (Year 8): overall best swimmer male 16-18 years division
Rhianna C (Year 7): first overall female swimmer 16-18 years division
Corban B (Year 8), Jy M (Year 8), Georgia P (Year 7): second in 16-18 years division
Jacqueline D (Year 8), Tom W (Year 8), Stephen C (Year 8): second overall in 13-15 years division
Ebony W (Year 7), Rhianna C (Year 7), Jemma T (Year 10): second in female 16-18 years division
Amy W (Year 7), Ella C (Year 8), Holly S (Year 8): first in female 16-18 years division
Tyler M (Year 6) Adi N (Year 7), Kaigyn T (Year 10), fourth in 13-15 years division. More junior results to come.
If you thought teenagers were selfish and narcissistic, this might change your mind.
Year 9 Beaconhills College students are bringing a ray of joy to strangers around Melbourne’s CBD by performing ‘random acts of kindness’.
The program involves students handing out simple gifts, flowers or even poems to a stranger to spread some joy and positivity. It also encourages students to think of others.
Anne Field was approached by students Alex, Josh, Tyrell, Tyler and Chase in the Bourke Street mall recently and handed a chocolate and poem. She was so thrilled that she wrote to thank the school.
“I am a grandmother who rarely goes into the city but was there on Friday simply listening to the street music and ‘watching the world go by’ when I was approached by your boys,” she said. “They were extremely courteous and asked if I would be willing to accept a random act of kindness from them.” They handed her a chocolate and a short poem.
“They were responsible for ‘making my day’,” she said, adding that everyone “could do with a little more kindness”.
Head of Year 9 at the Pakenham Campus, Graham Broderick, said the scheme started five years ago when a student, on one of the school’s regular ‘City Experience’ excursions, bought a bunch of flowers at the Vic Market and gave them to a man on a park bench, who was delighted.
“People are sometimes scared of teenagers and don’t know how to respond to them,” Mr Broderick said. “But we know they have big hearts and we want to encourage them to think about others.”
He said other kindness gifts have included blankets or dog food. One year a student made toffee apples and gave those away.
At the Berwick Campus, Head of Year 9 Warren McLeod said students would give out flowers, chocolates and ‘happy messages’ and would also do good deeds like help people carry shopping.
‘Citizenship and service’ is one of the pillars of learning at Beaconhills College. Students have just raised nearly $7000 for the Salvation Army during their annual tin-shake on Melbourne’s streets.
(L-r) Spreading kindness: Alex K, Josh N, Chase H, Tyrell B and Tyler M
Annual general meetings for the College and the Beaconhills College Old Collegians Association were held on Monday 23 May.
College Board Chairman Noel Martin delivered his report on behalf of the Board. He described 2015 as a “year of much achievement and significant challenges” for our College and its staff.
He said last year saw some positive signs in the economic conditions affecting families in our region and praising the recognised strength of our student program – supported by our parents, along with careful financial management.
The Board remains vigilant on the issue of ongoing funding from the State and Federal Governments, with clarity yet to be provided.
The meetings saw some governance changes. We welcome to our Beaconhills Alumni Association a new president, Jennifer Roberts, who is one of our staff alumni at the Berwick Campus and takes the position over from Kimberley Bulka.
On the College Board, we approved the re-election of long-serving member Roger Lord, as well as David Moseley, another former student of our school. Former staff member Mae Scott concluded her year’s service, with her position remaining vacant for the present time.
We will publish a full update from the College Board, including the AGM details, for our Beaconhills community in coming weeks.
Retiring Board member Mae Scott
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