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30-34 Toomuc Valley Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810
92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
The bushfire crisis has significantly impacted our region and College community. We have more than 400 students and at least 25 staff affected in some way – either directly or indirectly (ie cancellation of bus services).
Our community response has been heart-warming and overwhelming. Many people have offered to donate food and uniforms. Others are currently accommodating families who can’t yet access their properties, or are helping to provide horse agistment. Thank you all.
Following a Cardinia Shire meeting today, all emergency services have acknowledged the generous community support. Cardinia Shire is working with all the relief agencies to co-ordinate the response. They have requested patience from the community while they determine where the need is the greatest. At this stage food and clothing donations are not required, but we will keep you updated.
Once again I wish to thank our Beaconhills community for the spirit of generosity and goodwill which never fails to surface during these times. Our thoughts and prayers are with all emergency services personnel and everyone involved in this crisis.
Pakenham Year 3 students have written letters of thanks to the emergency service men and women, currently battling the bushfires.
The fires currently burning in the Bunyip and Gembrook state parks have impacted members of our local community. Beaconhills College will open for school tomorrow (Monday) as normal. We are working with the Department of Education in relation to safe transport routes. We anticipate a number of bus lines will be cancelled and will contact affected families as soon as we are informed.
The College has postponed the Pakenham Unit 3 Outdoor Education camp to Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park scheduled to depart tomorrow and the Pakenham Year 7 Mornington Peninsula Camp scheduled to depart on Tuesday.
The College is committed to supporting students and staff who are impacted and counselling and support services will be available. We are aware that as a result of evacuations, some students may not be able to come to school with a range of practical items such as lunch, school uniform and school stationery. Please be assured that all students impacted in this way are welcome to attend with whatever items they have available. We encourage families to contact our Wellbeing team via the main reception on 1300 002 225 so we can understand your situation and how we can best support your child.
Our thoughts are with everyone in our local community, including the dedicated emergency service teams, during this challenging time.
I am delighted to announce that Beaconhills College is set to expand its boarding residence at the Pakenham Campus to accommodate local students.
This is an exciting new expansion of our existing 10-bed boutique-style residence for international students, enabling us to now offer boarding to both boys and girls aged over 13 years. The new 16-bed accommodation also gives students in our region – and further afield – an option of boarding during weekdays.
I believe this could be a very attractive alternative to a city-based boarding school for families wanting the benefits of a Beaconhills College education. We are proud to be the only school in the Casey/Cardinia region currently offering boarding.
This year we have appointed a new live-in Head of Residence, Ingrid Watson. We also have two former students working as residential supervisors. One is studying arts and music at Monash and the other law/arts at Deakin University. Both girls have been exceptional in helping our live-in students with their studies.
Students also have seven-day access to schools facilities such as basketball and netball courts and of course the local swimming pool, sports competitions or dance classes.
Our residence extension will open in semester 2, 2019. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org you would like more details.
I was delighted to hear that our Beaconhills College Board Chairman Noel Martin has received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
Noel’s medal recognises his service to the community through charitable organisations Endeavour Ministries Inc, Elevo Institute, The Andrews Foundation and of course his outstanding contribution to the Beaconhills College Board for the past 24 years (he was appointed Chairman in 2011).
At the Andrews Centre, Noel volunteers every day. As just part of his work, he offers free legal advice, supports the administration and drives the van to collect food or furniture for people in need.
Noel is a gracious and generous man who has worked tirelessly for the common good. In his role with our College Board, he is committed to providing affordable, independent, Christian education to the broader community.
This OAM is a well-deserved honour for a person who truly exemplifies the Citizenship and Service pillar of our Beaconhills philosophy.
It’s wonderful to see all of our students back on deck today. We can’t wait to seize the challenges and opportunities that a new year of learning at Beaconhills College brings.
Citizenship and service underpins our ‘Learning That Matters’ philosophy at Beaconhills. Planning is well underway for the first major community service initiative for the year, the two Relay For Life events at Cardinia (22-23 February) and Casey (1-2 March).
Last year we had 444 walkers and many others from our community giving their support to this major fundraiser, helping the vital work of Cancer Council Victoria. What an outstanding effort from our College to help contribute more than $45,000 to the battle against cancer. That money was enough to earn us two Cancer Council Victoria Research Awards. A proud achievement.
Let’s go even bigger and better this year. There are many ways to show your support. Details are forthcoming of our Twilight Picnic and Movie Night on Friday 22 February at the Berwick Campus, along with a number of other fundraising initiatives this term.
If you are interested in donating or joining our ‘Beacon of Hope’ teams, here are the links. City of Casey event 1-2 March
..and Shire of Cardinia on 22-23 February
A warm welcome to all students who have just joined us in 2019. I hope you make the most of everything our school can offer.
Berwick Prep student April Thrikawala was all smiles on her first day of school.
One of the highly valuable programs we deliver effectively at Beaconhills College each year is HeadStart.
HeadStart is an exciting introduction to the 2019 curriculum for students moving to Years 9-12.
At Beaconhills, HeadStart evolved more than a decade ago from a simple two-day transition program. Rather than a tokenistic entrée to the next year level, HeadStart actually gives students the first two weeks of their 2019 curriculum in each of their subjects.
Academically, it not only provides some meaningful holiday homework, but sets strong foundations on which each student can build from the moment they recommence school in 2019.
It also gives senior students confidence in their decisions about the subjects they have chosen, resulting in far fewer last-minute subject changes at the start of the year.
We welcome students who are new to our College community next year, as they also enjoy our HeadStart program!
Beyond Blue tells us one in seven young Australians aged between four and 17 years experience a mental health condition. That’s a sobering statistic.
As part of our Wellbeing program at Beaconhills College, we have trained our staff for many years, using external providers, to increase awareness of youth mental health. Now we have taken steps to enable our staff to become accredited trainers so we can increase the frequency of staff training across the College.
Staff are trained in awareness of the mental health issues affecting young people, including early identification of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, trauma and psychosis.
The program teaches staff to have awareness of the issues and a stepped-out response plan to get young people to professional support as early as possible.
The next stage will be to offer a senior student version of training to help students identify friends and peers who may need help. These are positive initiatives in the long-term battle to address a critical social issue.
The Prime Minister’s National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on Monday 22 October was described as a ‘watershed moment’ in Australia’s history.
As Head of Beaconhills College and a member of the Board of the Victorian Institute of Teachers (VIT), I wholeheartedly agree. I was among the many people who listened intently to the apology and witnessed the enormous pain and suffering of those to whom this apology meant so much.
As we have previously reported, all schools are now required to demonstrate that they are Child Safe schools. We fully support these government initiatives and work towards ensuring all children are safe from abuse in our schools.
The VIT is the responsible regulator for our teachers. It has always had an important role in the wellbeing and safety of children, and these responsibilities are now formally spelt out in legislation. Chief executive officer Peter Corcoran has made it clear that in coming months the Institute will explore what more it can do to improve and enhance its work in this area.
Along with other Victorian schools, Beaconhills College has implemented new Child Safe standards which embed a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse. In addition, our Wellbeing team has developed a proactive program for our students and staff, to ensure we maintain the best practice possible.
Today I was proud to be part of the official opening of our new Year 9 centre at the Beaconhills College Pakenham Campus.
As the State Member for Eastern Victoria, Daniel Mulino, emphasised in his speech today, this magnificent facility represents a partnership between the government and our community. Schools like Beaconhills are critical to providing education services in what is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.
We had some 80 guests join us today, including students, parents, former and current staff, Melbourne Anglican Archbishop The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier and Reverend Ann Simons from the Officer Pakenham Mission Area, State Member for Gembrook Brad Battin, Board Members and House patrons.
Today was not just about celebrating the facilities, but also the innovative Year 9 program and those who helped bring it to life when our original centre opened in 1997. This first dedicated, on-campus Year 9 program in Victoria was just three months old when I joined the College as Headmaster that same year.
My predecessor Rick Tudor, who was present today, had extensively researched the concept of the Year 9 campus. His vision was of a campus where:
Twenty-two years on we have affirmed that early vision. We have a beautiful new $5.7 million centre, built on the same village concept as the original centre, with a central courtyard.
For our students, Year 9 at the Berwick or Pakenham Campus is on their list of their most memorable schooling experiences, a life-changing year where lifelong friendships are forged.
I welcome the Federal Government decision on non-government school funding announced yesterday, which now gives us a degree of certainty on our College funding for 2019 and beyond.
In my August blog, I had expressed concern about the proposed funding model and its effect on independent schools. However, the decision now enables us to maintain our modest fee levels while continuing to deliver the broad, high quality programs our community has come to expect.
Under the new model, to be phased in over coming years, parental income tax records will be used to assess the socio-economic status of private schools to determine their level of Federal Government funding.
Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) has expressed cautious optimism that the model will create the long-term potential for a workable funding system. ISV is pleased the government has not made any “special deals” that unfairly favour one non-government school sector over another.
So how will it affect our fees at Beaconhills?
Our policy has always been to keep fees as affordable as possible. We are now confident that we can – as in previous years – set a modest fee increase when the College Board ratifies the 2019 fee schedule next month.
Beaconhills represents true value. We are an open-entry, community school, offering an exceptional range of programs, outstanding co-curricular opportunities and an all-inclusive fee structure for curriculum-based activities. Teaching staff salaries remain competitive and our program of improving infrastructure continues to flourish, with a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability. We are now one of Australia’s largest solar-powered schools.
I am delighted that local families choose to educate their children at Beaconhills. We will officially confirm our 2019 College fees in October.
Bushfires: thanks for your support
Boarding residence now open to local students
Order of Australia medal for College Board Chairman
Welcome to a new school year
Getting a HeadStart
Wellbeing in action
Importance of Child Safe legislation
New centre a celebration of original Year 9 vision
School funding model announced
Vale Nigel Creese, AM
Pakenham pumpkins best in show
Bushfire Appeal results
Family fights energy poverty
Call for Homestay hosts
Beaconhills joins National Day of Action
State athletics results
Beaconhills ‘blues’ are bound for Bunyip
Beaconhills Bushfire Appeal
From log to lighthouse
Twenty years of French exchange program
1300 002 225 | Int: +613 5945 3001
Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810