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I have some good news to share about two of our Year 12 graduates.
Firstly, happy new year to all of our Beaconhills community. I hope you have had a restful Christmas break and found time to connect with family and friends.
Exciting news for two of our graduating students whose technology work has made it into Top Designs 2018, as part of the VCE Season of Excellence.
Congratulations to Lachlan Toth from the Berwick Campus for his chair he created in Product Design and Technology, and to James Wilkinson from the Pakenham Campus for his racing car simulator made in Systems Engineering. Both these projects will be on display, alongside with the best VCE design work in Victoria, at the Top Designs Exhibition, Melbourne Museum from 17 March to 15 July. You can read more about their work here in Beaconhills latest news.
I would also like to congratulate all Beaconhills students who were shortlisted for the VCE Season of Excellence awards. We await results of dance students who have also been invited to audition for Top Class. Outstanding results again for Beaconhills, well done.
I would like to congratulate all of our VCE students on their results for 2017.
Once again we have had excellent results across both campuses, truly demonstrating our extraordinary subject choices and determination to give our students the opportunity to follow their passion. It’s pleasing to see a strong culture of high expectation throughout the year level.
Twenty students achieved ATARs of 90 or higher and one third of all our VCE students who received an ATAR scored above 80. This is outstanding.
I am proud of our students’ achievements and Beaconhills’ reputation as a community school that enables a choice of some 40 VCE subjects.
Even among just our top 10 students this year, there were 19 different subjects studied. These included Biology, Legal Studies, Psychology, Extended Investigation, Chemistry, English Language, Music Performance, Physical Education, Drama and Dance to name a few.
I would also like to congratulate our College Dux Madison Schenk, from the Berwick Campus, who achieved at ATAR of 97.8. Russell Reader was our Pakenham Campus Dux with 96.7. Congratulations to Madison and Russell.
I wish all of our Year 12 students the very best for their future. Whatever path they choose in life, I hope they will carry with them fond memories of Beaconhills College.
I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all of our College community for peace and joy this Christmas. Looking forward to seeing you all in 2018.
Headmaster Tony Sheumack pictured with 2017 College Dux Madison Schenk, who achieved an ATAR of 97.8.
With more than 40 long-term international students, a new residential facility next to our Pakenham Campus, extra study tours and a suite of academic programs, Beaconhills’ international program is truly moving to an exciting new level in 2018.
Why? What are the benefits for our College community – and for your children?
I believe we have an obligation to give our students opportunities to better understand and appreciate cultural differences. For more than 30 years, our students have been able to learn new languages, take part in service and cultural programs overseas and host international students in their own homes. The benefits have been immense. The richness it has brought to their lives – personally, and in many cases professionally, is immeasurable.
Beaconhills now has a new Head of International Student Programs, Pooja Gupta, who leads our international programs, with Michael Johnson heading the International Teaching and Learning.
With a busy 2018 planned for study tours, the team is keen to hear from families who like to be homestay hosts for short or long-term students. If you would like to help give one of our international students the experience of living with an Australian family (and there is a payment for hosting) I invite you to email us on email@example.com
Chinese student Steve Shao (left) has enjoyed his stay this year with homestay hosts Wendy and Noel Saunders
This kitchen at the Railaco Pre-Secondary College in East Timor must produce around 550 lunches each day for students. We want to help.
Thanks to two of Beaconhills College’s Food Services initiatives, we believe we can raise the $11,000 US needed for a new kitchen at Railaco in less than a year.
Our BeaconMeals program, where Year 8 Certificate of Excellence students prepare family-sized meals for sale through the College, is already supporting local charity 4C’s by way of donation of surplus meals. Now we plan to direct profits from all BeaconMeals sales to the Railaco kitchen project.
In addition, our Food Services department has recently launched ‘Beacon Boxes’. This scheme enables our community to order fresh vegetable boxes through FarmGate and have them delivered fresh to the College each week for collection. Up to 10 per cent of profits from these sales will now also go to the Railaco kitchen project.
Beaconhills College has long supported schools in East Timor and our Year 10s will again have the opportunity to visit the East Timor schools in 2018. I am absolutely delighted that we are able to further support education in East Timor through our College initiatives.
Railaco school kitchen, East Timor
Beaconhills College canteen, Pakenham Campus.
I am proud to announce the names of our Beaconhills College senior captains for 2018.
Congratulations to Pakenham Campus students Ashleigh Gilson and Kaigyn Tytler (captains) and Katie Corley and Bryce Hathaway (vice-captains). Also to our new Berwick Campus captains Caitlyn Pritchard and Riley Boland and vice-captains Nakeesha Vogrig and Ben Casey.
These fine young people aptly demonstrated the qualities needed for the responsibility of these positions. Leadership at Beaconhills is focused around service and all of these students completed a rigorous process of application. This involved completing a letter that addressed the statement ‘Consider how you have and will demonstrate the College values of integrity, compassion and respect as a leader within the Beaconhills community and beyond.” Students also did a five to 10 minute presentation outlining why they would be the most suitable applicant for the role.
To further develop their leadership abilities, students will now attend a SEISA leadership weekend in December with students from other SEISA schools.
I congratulate all captains on their appointments. They will make fine role models for our Beaconhills College students in 2018.
Pakenham captains (l-r) Bryce Hathaway (vice), Ashleigh Gilson (captain), Kaigyn Tytler (captain), Katie Corley (vice)
Berwick captains (l-r) Caitlyn Pritchard (captain), Riley Boland (captain), Nakeesha Vogrig (vice) and Ben Casey (vice)
Hear from the students themselves more on what this role means to them in this short video.
The final day today for our Year 12 students is always a mixture of joy and sadness for our students and staff.
It’s the end of a long road of education and the start of an exciting new chapter of their lives.
Next week we will formally farewell our Year 12s from both campuses at their respective Valedictory ceremonies – then, of course, exams begin.
It is lovely to see our second generation Beaconhills students graduate, showing how our College has truly come of age. This year Pakenham Campus student Madeline Anderson graduates.
Madeline’s mother Meagan (nee Burridge) was at Beaconhills from 1986-1991 and was very involved with many aspects of College life including the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme. (Meagan and Madeline are in the first picture)
I wish all our departing Year 12s the best for their exams and I thank their dedicated ‘support team’ of parents and teachers as we all celebrate this special day together.
The Beaconhills College Board of Directors has formally approved the 2018 College fee schedule.
I am pleased to announce that again we have kept our tuition fee increases to no more than three per cent. This compares favourably to the government’s consumer price index for education, which has averaged at around 5.15 per cent over the past 17 years.
Finally, some certainty from both sides of government on school funding has enabled our Board to confidently plan for our future. Clarity around the minimum amount of funding schools will receive has meant the College Board is confident we can continue to keep fee increases at modest levels well into the future.
The Board has again provided expert guidance in forward planning, to ensure we maintain the highest standard of programs and facilities possible for your educational dollar.
With exams on the horizon, Beaconhills’ Head of Wellbeing, Yvonne Ashmore has put together some wonderful tips for students on coping with exam stress.
Many of these ideas are simple but truly effective if put in place early. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start.
I would like to wish all our students a restful holiday break and look forward to seeing you in term 4.
Yvonne Ashmore’s exam advice:
• Ask who can help me? Identify a person or people who can help and challenge you as you head toward exam times. This person can be a kind ear when you are feeling stressed and someone to push you when you are procrastinating.
• Develop a coping menu. Think through all of the things that help you remain calm and focused. Share these with your support person and encourage them to remind you to use these strategies. They may include writing a study plan, studying in a common family area away from your bedroom, regular exercise, mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
• What’s the point? Be clear about why you are doing exams. Consider more deeply the reasons you are putting time, energy and effort into your education. It is easy to say “I am doing it because I have to” however more significant reasons may include wanting to go on to further study, looking forward to a well-paying career, developing a sense of achievement. This is not about knowing what you want to be in the future, this is about how you grow and develop your skills for the future.
• Use your class time. Students have frequently said that the simple idea of using class time well to complete work and ask questions can significantly impact on lowering your homework load and keep up to date. So arrive on time, sit alone or with others that are working hard, bring your questions and appropriate learning materials and review what you learned and still need to know. This will make a big difference to future stress.
• Take care of yourself. You need about nine hours of quality sleep to ensure you can concentrate, absorb information and maintain positive mood. Eat well, exercise daily and create balance in your day.
• Practise mindfulness. A calm brain learns more effectively. Practise short mindfulness techniques that help your brain to calm and focus.
• Develop a study plan and share it with your family. This plan will help you and others to see when you are studying effectively
• Put in effort. With effort and practise you will improve and so the greater the effort, the greater the improvement
• Ask for help. At school there are many people such as counsellors who can help you to maintain positive mental health and teachers to help you with specific learning topics
The upcoming issue of our Lux Luceat magazine has a wellbeing theme, with more helpful information from our teaching staff about exams – and much more.
Our first leadership seminar for Senior School students held on Monday 28 August was a resounding success.
The half-day seminar was designed for current Year 11 students interested in pursuing leadership positions in the College for 2018, such as captain, House captain or co-curricular captaincy positions. Along with various sessions and group activities, students were challenged to think about their strengths and how they could be positive role models for other students.
Thirty-seven students from both campuses relinquished their student-free day on Monday to take part in the seminar. A wonderful response.
My address to students on the morning was around the changing face of leadership and future employment. I also emphasised my belief that strong future leaders will demonstrate integrity, compassion and work for the common good.
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.
Happy new year – and congratulations…
International education flourishing at Beaconhills
Our mission for a new kitchen
Introducing our 2018 school captains
Farewell Year 12s
2018 College fees
Timely advice for exam time
Senior School leadership seminar
Why Year 9?
Calling for senior scholars
Boarding at Beaconhills
Beaconhills tech projects make Top Designs
We’re making music!
English teacher hits the write note
Rounding out our top 10
Broad subject range reaps excellent results
Congratulations to our VCE students
Jess lands role as Paris Disneyland performer
Relay for Life campaign launched
To market, to market!
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