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30-34 Toomuc Valley Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810
92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
In his latest vlog, Headmaster Tony Sheumack talks all things Beacon Explorers with Head of Outdoor Education at Beaconhills College, Sam Maddock.
The Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools – the so-called Gonski 2.0 – has some important key recommendations around reforming student learning to best prepare students for the future.
If this sounds familiar to Beaconhills College, it’s probably because this is the essence of our Learning That Matters philosophy underpinning our curriculum. Beaconhills has always stood for innovation – and Learning That Matters delivers the learning that will be most relevant and useful for students in their future careers.
The new report states that Australia still operates an industrial model of school education, not designed to “differentiate learning or stretch all students to ensure they achieve maximum learning growth each year”.
The report contains a total of 23 recommendations on how the education sector can undergo a reform agenda. Our staff will be spending time reviewing these recommendations to ensure we are continuing to provide programs that meet the needs of our students. If you would like to read the report, you will find a link to it here .
As Deputy Headmaster, I am looking forward to working with our community this term while Tony Sheumack has a well-deserved break on long-service leave.
In his latest vlog, College Headmaster Tony Sheumack talks about his passion for gardening, and how the vegetable gardens at Beaconhills contribute to our sustainability.
Easter services, presentation balls, a wildlife linen drive, ‘coin trail’ fundraising, athletics, and swimming. What more could we fit into the last week of term? And I’m sure there was more!
It’s important that the Easter message is not lost amidst the end-of-term rush and preparations for the holiday break. I believe our chaplaincy team did a wonderful job at the Easter services held across both campuses, in what is a most important part of the Christian calendar.
No matter how dark or difficult life can be, it’s worth reflecting on messages of hope God has given us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I hope Easter is a time of renewal for you and your loved ones. We look forward to seeing you back at Beaconhills for term 2.
As today is International Women’s Day, I thought it was the ideal time to hand my blog over to our two Campus Principals, Jenny Williams and Sarah Rudiger. They share their reflections on how Beaconhills encourages our College community to “think, act and be gender inclusive”.
Jenny Williams, Berwick Campus Principal:
As educators, we endeavour to create gender-inclusive environments so our students can find their strengths, interests and confidence. I believe we are breaking down the barriers to the belief that “girls can”. For example, these messages are reinforced through our assembly programs from Junior through to Senior School, or by our co-captains (male and female). Our SEISA competition allows for gender equity in sport – girls play in a girls’ AFL competition and girls and boys compete together in cricket and other sports.
It is also important to have male or female teachers as role models. We now see both girls and boys participating in Product Design and Technology, Systems Engineering and Food Studies.
I also think the recent changes to uniform have been excellent. In the past, some of the younger girls were restricted in their activities on the play equipment. Now we see equal numbers of boys and girls using the playgrounds.
Sarah Rudiger, Pakenham Campus Principal:
From my perspective, everyone should have an opportunity to excel in anything they wish to pursue. Our classrooms are ideal environments to raise awareness and discuss gender stereotypes and encourage students to think critically about their understanding and views, and to develop their own informed conclusions.
As a society we have come a long way in recent decades, although there is still some gender stereotyping in our world. As a school, what we do well is to assist students to develop skills and characteristics which enable them to develop the confidence to realise their dreams and achieve success. One of our key messages to senior students is to study the subjects they enjoy and to have the confidence to pursue non-traditional fields if that is where their passion lies. Gender shouldn’t determine what we can and can’t do.
(L) Pakenham Principal Sarah Rudiger, (R) Berwick Principal Jenny Williams
I read with interest an article in The Age (7 February, 2018) where Fitzroy Community School principal Tim Berryman urged parents to be brave and give their children more freedom.
His comments were backed by Queensland University of Technology education lecturer Dr Rebecca English, who warned that unless we let children have some level of danger or fear, we are “not allowing the human brain to develop to the full potential”.
I too worry that the risk-averse society we’ve created is doing our children a huge disservice. That in our desire to protect our children from danger, we are denying them the very skills they need to protect themselves.
As Beaconhills College’s Beacon Explorers programs begin in earnest, I reflect on the wonderful new experiences and skills they give our students. Whether it’s their first night camping in the high country of Victoria, or crossing a busy road in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, there is always a level of risk involved. Stepping out onto a football field, or competing in equestrian competitions carries a level of risk. But it’s important to remember how much is gained – leadership skills, resilience, teamwork – and hopefully the ability to competently assess risk and make the sensible decisions.
I am delighted to announce that plans are well underway to open a Little Beacons Learning Centre at the Berwick Campus in 2019.
While this will be welcome news for parents seeking early learning programs, childcare and vacation care, this centre will also serve as a community hub in the City of Casey. It will offer the total package of children’s services, including maternal and child health, speech and occupational therapy, family support, playgroups and early intervention programs.
We are fortunate to have secured a $1.6m State Government grant to help fund this $6m project. Little Beacons will be located on the south-western corner of the Berwick Campus off Kangan Drive.
At this stage we are awaiting approval of the planning permit, before proceeding to the tender process and construction. We will announce more details as the year progresses.
This centre will complement our award-winning Little Beacons program already operating successfully from our Pakenham Campus.
We’ve had a flying start to 2018 at Beaconhills – three VCE Season of Excellence awards, a City of Casey Australia Day award (Community Group of the Year) and strong enrolments across both campuses.
The spirit of community – reflecting our commitment to citizenship and service – has been prominent in recent months. As we start the school year, I’m pleased to report we have had 700 volunteers complete the necessary Childsafe requirements to enable them to be actively involved in College life, from the canteens to the classrooms.
Staff have volunteered their time and donated their money, whether volunteering on the Vinnies food van or supporting some of our charitable initiatives at Christmas services and on staff day held on Monday 29 January.
Our staff day offertory raised $1700 which will go to the CFA, in memory of former Pakenham Campus student Sophie Cann who passed away in September 2017. Sophie was a member of the Menzies Creek CFA.
Today was Orientation Day for our Prep, Years 5, 7 and 12 students and there were many excited faces coming through our College gates this morning. I hope it was the first of many wonderful days at school in 2018.
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.
Tony talks Beacon Explorers
Tony talks learning about sustainability at Beaconhills College
International Women’s Day
The benefits of risk
Little Beacons at the Berwick Campus
Happy new year – and congratulations…
International education flourishing at Beaconhills
Our mission for a new kitchen
Floorballers make their mark in World Cup
Grace picnics at hanging rock
Volleyballers win silver
Vale Rev. John Leaver
Beaconhills College, it’s time to Feed Melbourne again!
Great South West Walk
Out with the old and in with the new
Unit 3 Drama showcase
Internationally acclaimed educator comes to Beaconhills
Dancers through to state finals
2018 TOPShots finalist
Netballers on a roll
HPV Knox Grand Prix
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