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30-34 Toomuc Valley Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810
92 Kangan Dr, Berwick VIC 3806
Beaconhills College is committed to doing its utmost to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and support our community.
As we finalise our Home Learning Program for next week, we will now offer limited spaces on our campuses for students whose parents are on the frontline in medical, emergency or allied health services and don’t have care arrangements in place.
These parents have a critical role in supporting the COVID-19 emergency response. The Prime Minister has made it clear he wants these health professionals to continue their vital work. We hope this new arrangement gives families further flexibility.
During our three home learning days planned for next week – 25 through to 27 March – we will provide limited learning spaces at both of our campuses for Junior and Middle School students who have parents working in the health care frontline.
I hope this can help alleviate some of the pressures on those parents who are at the coalface of this pandemic.
It’s nearly 40 year ago since Beaconhills College opened its doors. What enormous change the College – and the local community – has witnessed over that time.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a tour of Pakenham Campus with some of the College founders, including foundation Principal Frank Millett and his wife Joy (also a former staff member).
We hosted four of the five original staff members and six foundation parents, all who played a significant role in those early years. It was fascinating to hear of some of the struggles and sacrifices these pioneers endured to start a new Christian school in Pakenham – without the broader community support or government funding.
Frank Millett envisaged that Beaconhills would be a “small school”. He regards our development and expansion as nothing short of remarkable. From a block of land bought with a “$50 deposit and a promise to pay the rest later”, it is indeed an incredible success story.
Frank Millett shaking hands with College Deputy Headmaster, Stephen McGinley.
This is a call out to suitably qualified people in our community who would like to be part of the governance of our school.
Last year Beaconhills College adopted a new Constitution to meet the changing complex operating environment, while retaining our heritage and Christian ethos. This was an important milestone in our College’s 39 year history. The change gives parents and members of our wider community the opportunity to be involved in the strategic future direction of our school.
The importance of good governance cannot be overstated. We seek forward-thinking people with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds who wish to serve on a variety of committees where positions may arise from time to time. These include finance and audit, nominations, risk and compliance, property and community engagement.
If you value the importance of good governance and the long-term sustainability of Beaconhills College, we welcome your expression of interest. Apply to David.Young@beaconhills.vic.edu.au.
Welcome to the 2020 school year. January has already delivered its own unique set of challenges, but at Beaconhills College we are raring to go for term 1 which starts in earnest on Monday.
I extend a warm welcome to all our new families who have (wisely!) chosen to join our College community and experience the benefits of a Beaconhills education.
Community is a key word associated with our school. It’s a community that supports each other and those who are less fortunate – in our local region and the wider world. We are compassionate, kind and resilient in the face of adversity.
The first day of school can be exciting for some, or overwhelming for others. I would encourage all of students to look out for your friends and classmates. If you see someone who looks lonely, or isolated, give them a smile. Or just say hello. It could make all the difference.
Best wishes to all students for a wonderful 2020.
Recently communities Australia wide have felt the force of the bushfires, which have ravaged homes, habitats and landscapes. The level of trauma caused is unfathomable, and I struggle to express in words the sympathy and horror I feel for all affected, locally and nationally. I would like to express my deepest condolences.
Thank you to the Beaconhills College community for their enthusiasm and involvement in providing charity for those impacted by the fires. I have heard numerous accounts of Beaconhills families who have contributed immensely in their own ways, and I encourage all of you to continue in these efforts of compassion and community spirit.
A number of students have contacted our Head of Citizenship and Service, Clare Tuohy, asking how they can help and we will be formulating a fundraising response ready for the start of term 1 .
I hope for a year of restoration and recovery, where we can continue to address all aspects of bushfire trauma and continue to reflect on an effective means of fire prevention and preparation as a country – to the best of our ability.
Thursday 12 December is an important day for Year 12 VCE students, when results are released. For many students, the anxious wait is over – and the weight is lifted. Some will be jubilant, others will face disappointment.
At Beaconhills College, our motto is ‘Let your light shine’ and indeed some of our students will shine in their exemplary academic results. We will celebrate their well-deserved successes.
But it’s also important to remember that there are many pathways to success. Ultimately, the most important outcome is the person each student has become. The character and values they take with them into their future lives.
My hope is that a Beaconhills education means that our students graduate with a sense of gratitude, not a sense of entitlement. That they are optimistic about their future, have a strong sense of self-worth, a commitment to service of others, care for the environment and are proud of their achievements – whatever the outcome.
It’s not the beginning, or the end, but just part of the journey.
Let your light shine.
Next year there will be 3 meaningful ways for alumni to not only stay connected with Beaconhills College, but share their personal or professional wisdom with current students:
Led by our Community Relations Co-ordinator, Alan James, our alumni program continues to flourish. 2019 has been an exciting growth phase for our alumni community, now nudging around 10,000 members.
Last Friday night, I was among the 80 attendees at our final alumni reunion for this year – the Class of 2009. It was a great night and wonderful to see our former students reconnecting with each other and the College.
Beaconhills College reunions at the one, five, 10 and 20 year mark are well underway. Alumni are increasingly part of major community service events such as Relay for Life and other outreach and service programs, for which Beaconhills is well-known.
I look forward to the continued growth of our alumni community in 2020 and encourage former students to connect with us through our Beaconhills Alumni Facebook group, by updating their details on our website or emailing Alan.James@beaconhills.vic.edu.au.
The perennial topic of private versus public school public school funding was back in the media recently. However, reports do not always paint the whole picture of school funding.
It would be easy to assume that some private schools are awash with funding, but it’s important to understand the underlying funding model.
Beaconhills College runs on 50 per cent of government (largely federal, not state) government funding and 50 per cent parent fees. Because 50 per cent of the cost of operating Beaconhills is paid for – after tax – by parents, this is in fact a significant saving per child for the government.
We actually receive a lot less funding from governments per child than our state counterparts. We are not diverting money from government schools, rather providing an alternative education option for parents who choose to pay extra for an independent education.
The total cost of running our school is included in all funding we receive; that means all programs, salary costs, maintenance and grounds works. Funding to state government schools does not cover excursions, some subject levies and other costs. We have also seen in, recent media reports, that government schools need to ask parents to help meet these costs.
Salaries of Beaconhills staff supports 500 people in the local workforce, accounting for more than 70 per cent of our school running costs.
Given the size of our program and the breadth of educational opportunities we offer, Beaconhills College is running efficiently and effectively. It would cost the government – and thereby the taxpayer – significantly more to educate our 3000 students.
The messages that schools convey about their educational philosophy can sometimes appear contradictory.
On one hand, schools will talk about a holistic education – developing the ‘whole child’ – yet hold up their students’ academic successes as the sole measure of success.
At Beaconhills, our aim to develop student reports which more broadly match the stated goals of our College. That means not just academic achievement, although that of course is to be celebrated, but also the qualities embedded in our six pillars of Learning That Matters.
Along with their usual reports, next term parents of Years 5-10 students will receive Beacon Explorers reports, which give teacher observations on the local or global experiences students have taken part in during the year. Whether it’s travelling through East Timor or Vietnam, hiking along the Victorian coastline, the art and Indigenous culture experience in the NT’s Jabiru, or canoeing and bike-riding in Jindabyne, parents can expect to see feedback on their child’s development of attributes such as leadership skills, resilience, empathy or teamwork.
I believe these Beacon Explorers reports, which we will continue to develop, will add a meaningful new dimension to our reporting process. They may also give students valuable information to use as part of future job and tertiary applications.
I look forward to seeing you all in term 4.
Most parents choose independent schooling in Australia because of the values taught in those schools.
The decisions we make as parents – such as which school to choose for our child – are guided by our own basic fundamental beliefs and values.
In fact, making decisions in life that don’t align with our underlying values can feel very wrong. For that reason I believe it’s important to define and acknowledge your values, individually and collectively.
At Beaconhills College, we are very clear on our core Christian values of respect, compassion and integrity. While the Christian foundation underpins our value base, it has never been a requirement that our staff or students are Christians. Our College community embraces diversity and we welcome students from all faith traditions and those who have no faith. However, we expect all who join our College to respect and honour our Christian values and traditions.
In recent House Church services, Revd Peggy Kruse reminded us all of why Beaconhills College was originally founded; to offer open-entry, lower fee Christian education and values to young people in our region.
The College has developed its values program over its 37-year history, through the RAVE curriculum starting in early learning, experiential learning in Year 9, its citizenship and service program, assemblies and Chapel and House Church services.
As Revd Kruse said: “Values are taught in many ways – not only in RAVE, but in the modelling of both school and family life. The school can only reinforce what is already being taught at home – so it a partnership, that helps to mould and form our children and young people.
“Our values not only shape our own lives, but also those of our families, school and the larger world around us.”
Get set for the new Community Arts and Recreation Centre
Vale Neville Clark
World Teachers’ Day
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
Year 7 camp
Early Explorers site sod turned
College Facebook page temporarily unavailable.
Top Class Drama award
Headmaster concludes service in 2021
Paige is a Top Class Dancer
Grant to help build ‘nature’s classroom’
Seetali’s solar farm
Staff Day focuses on renewal
Georgia’s Top Art
Celebrating student leadership in 2021
1300 002 225 | Int: +613 5945 3001
Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810