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30-34 Toomuc Valley Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810
92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
Learning that Matters
The Association of Coeducational Schools (ACS) Chess Tournament is usually held in May where 7 schools play off face to face in a round robin. However, due to Covid-19, it looked highly unlikely that this event would be possible in 2020.
Fortunately, due to the technology of Zoom and Tornelo, an online tournament was held on August 21st. Due to all the technology involved that could possibly go horribly wrong, it was with excitement and some trepidation that our team of seven students (Sam Sail, Sarah Prendergast, Matthew Pearson, Cooper Lambert, Terry Prendergast, Taiji Ogawa and Alfie Howat) played in the Swiss format online tournament.
The team started strongly and after 5 rounds were equal 1st. However, although the students played determinedly, we finished 5th after the final round. Our best players on the day were Sam Sail who placed 5th after winning 5 games while Alfie Howat and Matthew Pearson placed 15th and 16th, winning 4 ½ of their 7 games. All players enjoyed the event immensely and commented on how much fun they had.
The importance of regular school attendance is an issue we have highlighted recently with our College community.
At this complex time we need to find a balance between managing the challenges of family life and keeping daily structures as normal as possible. The routines of the school day, even in the online world, can help keep a familiar rhythm to life. Things like going to bed at a reasonable time, getting up in the morning, being ready for the day, healthy eating and regular exercise patterns help support wellbeing and mental health
School refusal is an issue to be understood and closely monitored at this time of online learning. It may happen gradually or suddenly. School refusal is when a child begins to actively avoid class attendance. It may begin by students telling you classes are not on, or cameras don´t need to be switched on, or even that they are not required to submit work or participate. You may notice a decrease in engagement with friends or changes to sleeping patterns. The most powerful prevention of school refusal is to support and encourage your child to get a good night’s sleep.
Although it’s normal for a child to occasionally miss a day of school, parents should only be concerned if a child regularly complains about feeling sick or often asks to stay home/ avoid classes due to minor physical complaints.
School refusal is a complex issue as there is rarely a single cause. It affects children of all ages across primary and secondary levels. It can often occur during times of transition at school. More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the educational experience of all students, affecting some more than others. Dealing with a school refusal child can affect the whole family, adding pressure to an already challenging time. As discussed by Dr Michael Carr-Greg on the SchoolTV site, school refusal is not considered a formal psychiatric diagnosis. It´s a name given to an emotional and/or behavioural problem that with assistance can be resolved.
You can click on this link to the school refusal edition of Beaconhills SchoolTV to find a range of information on the topic. And if you have any concerns about your child, please contact the school counsellor for further information or seek medical or professional help.
By Yvonne Ashmore
Head of Wellbeing, Beaconhills College
The ‘Great Boarding House Bake Off’ is currently underway to inject some culinary fun into Stage 4 restriction for residents of the Beaconhills College boarding house.
Each weekend of term 3, students are cooking their favourite dishes that are then anonymously scored by their peers. These sweet sticky rice balls look particularly delicious!
The quest to find a seizure alert dog for their teenage son Cody has led to success for Pakenham Campus teacher Scott Wallace and his wife Tracy.
Cody Wallace, 14, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and hydrocephalus (excess fluid on the brain) 12 years ago. He has since undergone multiple brain surgeries and lives with constant seizures. The family raised money two years ago for a seizure alert dog to help with Cody’s care and has been waiting since then for the right dog to be found.
Last month – after an exhausting and stressful process – the Wallace family was granted an exemption to travel to Queensland so they could be trained to handle their special new family member – Lulu the SmartPup.
The initial outbreak of COVID-19 had meant the placement of Cody’s first dog was cancelled. Without the recent exemption to travel to Queensland, he would have lost Lulu too.
“We spent two weeks in quarantine – during that time, I taught my classes via Zoom while my wife and son counted down the days until we were out of quarantine,” said Mr Wallace, who is Head of eLearning and Information Technology at the Pakenham Campus.
He said the family had a weekend to enjoy the sun and sand before the intense training began. By the end of the week, Lulu had passed her Public Access Test and was ready to move to her new home.
“Getting home wasn’t without its challenges… three cancelled flights and the fourth delayed certainly tested our patience,” Mr Wallace said.
This video shows a small part of Lulu’s training. She has responded to a t-shirt that has Cody’s seizure scent on it, her bark is to alert the family of a change in Cody’s condition.
“Knowing that Cody has a companion who can detect the slightest change in Cody’s health will definitely have a positive impact on our entire family, moving forward,” Mr Wallace said.
A seizure alert dog costs $30,000 for its initial training and more than $5000 a year to maintain its training, diet and overall health.
Lulu the SmartPup is a welcome addition to the Wallace household
Scott Wallace, who is Head of eLearning and Information Technology at the Pakenham Campus
2020 has aged us all! None more so than our Preps, or so it appears from the photos below.
It certainly hasn’t been the first year of school that our students would have imagined, but the resilience and teamwork of teachers and families alike is something to be celebrated. To recognise 100 days of school students celebrated (at home) by dressing as centennials, and taking part in 100 themed learning activities.
On Monday, children from our Little Beacons centres caught up with Wurundjeri elder Murrundindi, who shared songs and stories with them via Zoom. He also showed them around his property and introduced them to his horses and chickens. Yesterday was National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, and children attended a Zoom presentation by Birra (Beaconhills’ Head of Indigenous Initiatives).
Beaconhills College proudly acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples as the traditional custodians of the land on which our College is built.
Former Collingwood Premiership player Gavin Crosisca was online with our Year 9 students last week to deliver a sobering message about addiction.
Crosisca, who now works in the drug rehabilitation field with an organisation called Sober Living Rehab, shared his life journey with students, describing his years of drug and alcohol addiction. The session explored the risks and responsibilities around drugs and alcohol, to help students make positive and informed choices regarding their health and wellbeing.
“I could list many take home messages I would love the students to grab a hold of but I guess the main message I always would like to get across to young people (or anyone for that matter) is that ‘asking for help’ is imperative for our wellbeing and that there is support out there so we don’t have to do it alone,” he said.
Students asked Crosisca a number of questions about his recovery – and the wisdom he had gained from his experience.
Little Beacons Berwick completes Achievement Program
R U OK? Day
Zoe takes on the beanie challenge
Early Childhood Educators’ Day
ACS Chess Tournament 2020
Great Boarding House Bake Off
Seizure alert dog success for teacher’s family
100 days of school
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
A sobering story for Year 9s
Beaconhills runs around Australia
Mia’s YouTube channel
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
Welcome to 2020
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810