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30-34 Toomuc Valley Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810
92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
Learning that Matters
An innovative reading program which has Beaconhills College students stopping to read for 15 minutes in their first class after lunch each day has led to a boost in NAPLAN reading results.
The Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) program was rolled out in the Middle School (Years 5-8) at the College’s Berwick Campus more than 18 months ago. Pakenham Campus has a variation on the program called Power Reading.
The Middle School’s Head of Teaching and Learning, Victoria Spicer-Stuart, said that in 2014, the Year 7 NAPLAN results for reading were five points below the state average. This year, the results have risen to 15 points above the state average.
Year 5 reading results have also lifted – from nine points below the state average in 2013, to five points above the average this year.
“This is excellent,” said Ms Spicer-Stuart. “This five year trending for reading is extremely positive, with the highest results in 2017 that we have seen in some time.”
She believed the results were directly linked to the DEAR program and the work of teaching and library staff in implementing a “reading culture” in the Middle School.
The Middle School’s Head of Literacy and English, Clare Polglase, said the DEAR program has required the co-operation of all staff as students needed to stop and read, no matter what their class was at the time. Students are free to read whatever text they choose.
Ms Polglase said it was particularly gratifying to see some boys, who until a year ago had refused to read anything, suddenly discover a new love of reading. And parents had reported back similar observations.
Library borrowings up
Not surprisingly, the program has led to jump in library borrowings. Head of Information Services, Carmel Byrne, said Middle School loans rose 95 per cent from semester 1, 2015 to same period the following year, then a further 30 per cent for 2017.
“This increase includes a sharp rise in loans of audiobooks and ebooks across our three platforms – Overdrive, eplatform and Borrowbox,” Ms Byrne said.
Both Pakenham and Berwick Campus libraries have also increased book borrowings by cataloguing books by genre (eg adventure or fantasy), similar the way you find them in bookshops. Regular author visits, dress-up days, book clubs and Book Week events also make the school’s two libraries popular with students.
“Every single day, every single child in the Middle School is not only reading for pleasure, they are also seeing this positive behaviour being modelled,” Ms Spicer-Stuart said.
To add to last week’s winter sport premiership news, congratulations to the Berwick Campus’ intermediate boys’ soccer team for winning 7-1 against Newhaven College.
The boys finished their winter SEISA (South Eastern Independent Schools Association) season with a convincing win in heavy conditions after overnight rain.
Berwick’s intermediate girls’ soccer team played well throughout the season, but were defeated 5-1 in the finals against Gippsland Grammar. A great season of soccer for the Berwick Campus!
That makes a total of four SEISA premierships for College teams this winter season.
Today is a special day for our College.
On this day in 1980, the very first meeting was held at St John’s Fellowship Hall, Upper Beaconsfield, to consider the possibility of a local Christian school.
The meeting was called by John McConchie with permission and approval from his vicar, Reverend Roger Rich – 17 people attended the meeting, including Lois and Ben Maghanoy.
Happy Founders’ Day to all of our College community.
Some fantastic results for the College from this week’s SEISA (South Eastern Independent Schools Association) Winter Sports finals, with four winning teams.
Pakenham Campus SEISA Premiers:
Inter Boys Football defeated Newhaven College 83 – 42
Senior Girls Soccer defeated St Pauls 4-2
Senior Girls A Netball defeated St Pauls 39-36
Pakenham Campus SEISA Runners Up:
Senior Boys Soccer lost to St Pauls 4-3 (on penalties after 0-0 draw)
Senior Boys Hockey lost 4-1 to Gippsland Grammar
Congratulations to the Berwick Campus’ intermediate boys’ soccer team for winning 7-1 against Newhaven College.
Well done to all the students and staff who have dedicated their time and effort to such a successful season!
Creative business ideas by two Year 10 Beaconhills College students have earned multi-media prizes in Victoria University’s ‘I Plan a Business’ (iPAB) awards.
Paige Van Leeuwen and Jake Cawfield were equal winners of a $500 prize. Paige designed ‘Adorn Bridal’, an exclusive jewellery business for brides and debutantes, while Jake’s business idea was called ‘Munch Busters’, a school lunch-making business.
Nearly 300 business students from 34 secondary schools across Victoria entered the competition. The students’ teacher at the Berwick Campus was Rodney Gonsalves.
Today we farewelled our longest-serving staff member, Andrew Staindl – Property Team Leader. Andy leaves after 31 years of employment in the Beaconhills College maintenance team.
Andy has been ‘part of the furniture’ since he replaced our first handyman back in 1986, originally planning to stay for just one year. Many will remember ‘Andy’s shed’, which was a College landmark for many years.
Andy (pictured to the left with me at the Pakenham Campus farewell today) has seen Beaconhills College transform from a small, rural school to the magnificent College it is today. We thank Andy for his invaluable service and contribution to our College community and wish him all the best for the future.
Show jumping, swimming and cross-country running? Sounds like fun – and it was, for the keen team of Beaconhills College competitors at the annual Equathon held on 13 August at Boneo Park.
Our team had some great results in the exciting multidisciplinary event, competing against teams from 68 schools. Beaconhills placed first, third and fourth in the 16-18 years section, second in the 10-12 years and sixth in the 13-15 years section.
Ebony Watson (aged 13) did well to win individual overall champion in the 16-18 years section.
Congratulations to the girls from the Pakenham Campus Year 6 tee ball team, who today won the School Sports Victoria (SSV) competition and will now compete in the state championships on 13 September.
The girls won all three of their games and represented Beaconhills College with pride and great sportsmanship.
Voice and Drama students from Beaconhills College have collected a variety of prizes in recent weeks for their performances at the West Gippsland Eisteddfod.
Last weekend Christina Keen, Cael Fisher and Indra Liyanaarachchi were successful in the Drama Eisteddfod, with Christina winning four sections including the ‘dramatic duo’ with Cael. Both students earned the ‘Most Promising Actor Perpetual Award Trophy’. Cael also won the Junior Secondary Speech and Drama Championship. Indra placed first in the Open Section Dramatic Character Solo.
Six Beaconhills students participated in the Eisteddfod’s Contemporary Vocal sections held earlier in August. Congratulations to Brodie O’Halloran, Dakota Thornley, Lucinda da Silva, Casey de Kock, Caitlin Buckey and Chenuli Haththimuni for their performances and placings, with firsts going to Lucinda for her rendition of What a Wonderful World and Chenuli for her ‘Novice Character’ song Alone in the Universe.
Christina and Cael with their trophies
Congratulations to Year 6 student Olivia Bartlett who achieved fourth place overall in dressage (novice primary section) of the Victorian Equestrian Interschool Series (VEIS).
Olivia is a member of the Beaconhills College Equestrian Club. She’s pictured with her horse Black Opal.
Year 7 camp
Early Explorers site sod turned
College Facebook page temporarily unavailable.
Top Class Drama award
Headmaster concludes service in 2021
Paige is a Top Class Dancer
Grant to help build ‘nature’s classroom’
Seetali’s solar farm
Staff Day focuses on renewal
Georgia’s Top Art
Get set for the new Community Arts and Recreation Centre
Vale Neville Clark
World Teachers’ Day
7 key questions to ask when choosing a school
The importance of regular school attendance
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
Celebrating student leadership in 2021
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810