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30-34 Toomuc Valley Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810
92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
Learning that Matters
Since Beaconhills College became the first school in Victoria to establish an on-campus, specialised Year 9 program more than 20 years ago, other schools have followed suit.
Various adaptations of Year 9 programs are now commonplace. But as we prepare to open our major new Year 9 Centre at our Pakenham Campus in 2018, I have been reflecting on what really sets our program apart.
Year 9 at Beaconhills is a ‘bespoke’ program. For the past 20 years, we have developed the key elements – Personal Best, Common Good, City Experience and the challenging Outdoor Education program – to really give students some unique and life-changing learning. Learning that matters.
This program was founded on research showing that around Year 9, young people tend to disconnect from their school work and families and focus strongly on their peer relationships. It’s a transitional time, where they’re learning about their own identity and place in the world.
At a time when young people can disengage from learning, what better way to re-ignite their interest than give them a term to develop a project that is their personal passion (Personal Best)? At a time when teenagers can become self-absorbed, what better to discover the joy of altruism and empathy by handing out small gifts to people on Melbourne’s streets (Random Act of Kindness), or raising money for a charity organisation (Common Good)?
Our newly-launched Year 9 website tells you much more about this program and the immeasurable benefits it delivers for students.
Berwick Campus dance students have collected three gold, a silver and three bronze medals after competing in the recent National Glee and Dance Star competition at the Gold Coast.
It is the fourth time the campus has won the national title in the ‘Secondary Lyrical/Contemporary Large Teams’ division. Special mention to Holly Neale, who was awarded the top score of the day for her solo piece.
The results were as follows:
1st place – Secondary Junior Slow Tempo Solo, Ruby Thorton-Mackay
1st place – Secondary Senior Slow Tempo Solo, Holly Neale
1st place – Secondary Lyrical/Contemporary Large Teams
2nd place – Secondary Glee Down Tempo
3rd place – Secondary Glee Up Tempo
3rd place – Secondary Broadway Jazz Large Teams
3rd place – Secondary Lyrical/Contemporary Small Teams
Year 12 Berwick Campus student Bryce Peatling has become a media sensation after successfully recording GoPro footage from near space as part of his Year 12 Media project.
Bryce has featured on Channel 7 news and the Sunrise program this week where he described how he launched a camera to 21,000m, using a weather balloon and GPS trackers to retrieve it.
The project idea, to gain photographic images from the stratosphere, quickly became a major task involving hours of paperwork to seek approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
Finding the optimal weather and location to launch was also a challenge. The final location chosen was Elmore, to the north-east of Bendigo, Victoria.
Bryce said his biggest concern was retrieving the camera (on loan from a friend), but luck was on his side. The balloon rose to 21,000m, where the temperature was -72 deg c, burst, then fell to earth just an hour’s drive away. It landed in the driveway of a farmhouse.
Bryce rushed to retrieve the images from the camera and said he couldn’t believe the results.
“I am still blown away by the outcome,” he said. “I just wanted to capture the blackness of space and the blueness of the atmosphere and that’s what I got.”
His Media teacher Nick Zomer said when Bryce initially approached him with the idea he encouraged him to go for it.
“This type of project held significant challenges in the pre-production and launching phases, but to finally see the footage and imagery that has come from it is a real testament to Bryce’s resilience to continue to push boundaries creatively,” he said.
“I’m confident that the finished imagery, once edited in post-production, will be stunning.”
You can see a snippet of Bryce’s footage from near space by clicking here – and his interview with Channel 7’s Sunrise program here.
Bryce shows some of the work that went into his folio for the project
Age is no barrier when it comes to a good yarn or a joke, as students from Year 9 at the Berwick Campus recently discovered.
Students visited residents at the aged care facility Lifeview Emerald Glades in Emerald, as part of their Common Good program. The students took part in simple activities such as reading, board games or just swapping a story.
The visit helped residents, some who have memory loss or little family contact, recall happy times in their lives.
Beaconhills College has launched a bold new initiative called Beacon Meals.
The ready-made, family-sized meals are prepared each week by our Year 8 Certificate of Excellence students using College garden ingredients.
The healthy meals, which serve a family of four to six, are available to order through the College Shop each Tuesday, for collection by parents and staff on Thursday at either Berwick or Pakenham Campus.
Each meal purchased also helps provide an identical meal for a disadvantaged family in the local community – citizenship and service in action.
All meals are prepared under supervision and in accordance with food safety standards.
Year 3 students from Berwick Campus have ventured off on their first overnight College camp this week at Forest Lodge Farm, Jack River.
The two-night camp gives students the chance to try activities out of their ‘comfort zone’ in a supportive and encouraging environment.
The cold weather hasn’t dampened their enjoyment of activities like canoeing, team-building and the ever-popular giant swing.
I am always in awe of the incredible talent of our performing arts scholars when I attend our annual Scholars’ Concert. This year’s concert was on Monday night at Beaconhills’ Pakenham Campus.
Whether their talent is in drums, dancing or drama, our scholars always present a spectacular show of their performance skills and creativity, underscoring the high level of integrity of our scholarship program.
Last year we had a total 172 applications for our broader performing arts, general excellence and academic scholarship program, from which we offered 20 scholarship places in 2017. With this annual scholarship program, both current and new students may apply.
We also have a separate scholarship program aimed at students from outside the College. This week we will invite interested students wishing to join Years 9-11 in 2018 to apply for one of our new Senior School scholarships.
This program is for students who would like to take up the opportunity of a Beaconhills College education. Assessment for these scholarships is based on a portfolio submission and an interview, giving students a chance to highlight their academic achievements and contributions to school life and community. More information will be on our website by Friday 4 August.
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1300 002 225 | Int: +613 5945 3001
Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810