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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.
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.
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.
When it comes to mental and physical wellbeing, as a College we strongly believe it is important to “walk it like you talk it”.
Hence our Wellbeing Day for all College staff on day 1 of term, which focused on how each staff member could maximise their own wellbeing as well as strategies and ideas for teachers to share with students.
As part of this day, we had two excellent guest speakers. Dr Craig Hassed from Monash University’s Department of General Practice spoke at length on ‘mindfulness’ – essentially the practice of ‘living in the now’. Dr Hassed is an internationally recognised speaker on holistic, integrative and mind-body medicine. His presentation set out some of the evidence linking the practice of mindfulness to improved cognitive and academic performance, increased immunity and reduction in stress.
Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of The Resilience Project, also spoke about his work in the area of mental health and resilience, sharing some practical ways to help build resilience. Volunteering in an underprivileged school in the Himalayas helped him discover resilience in its purest form and he has since developed and facilitated programs for schools, National Rugby League clubs, the AFL, Cricket Australia and the Australian Netball team.
I am including here some resources from Dr Hassed – a mindfulness description and useful daily mindfulness tips. Dr Hassed also has a free online mindfulness course.
Staff at a Wellbeing Day workshop
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
Wellbeing in action
Reports that tell the whole story
School funding landscape clearer
Personal Best projects unveiled
We have holidays covered
Remembrance Day services
Minister Merlino visits Year 9 Centre
Baseballer to represent Victoria
2017 All Schools Track and Field Championships
Jack’s charity drive helps homeless
Chinese Writing and Speaking Competition
East Timor classrooms ready for the wet season
Laundry bag project lightens the load
Diamonds dazzle at aerobics challenge
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