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Beaconsfield Campus – 21 February 2019


School Photos

School Photos will be taking place on Monday 25 February. For more information, please click here.


Celebrating Excellence– High Achievers Assembly

On Tuesday 19 February our Beaconsfield Campus community gathered to celebrate academic excellence as we celebrated students who had achieved excellence in their 2018 studies.  We invited 2018 students, along with their parents to join us as we acknowledged and celebrated their achievements.  We were privileged to hear from 2018 College Dux Brooke O’Brien who shared some great advice with students.  You can read her speech below at the bottom of the article.  We wish all our 2018 alumni the best in their future endeavours and invite them to continue to be friends of our College.

We were also privileged to have Nicholas Russo, who graduated in 2001, share his journey post school.  He also shared some great advice to students about stickability and the importance of perseverance. 

Our 2019 Campus Captains, Kailee McAuley and Matthew Lawless also addressed our community and shared the campus student leadership team aspirations. You can also read their speech below. 

The assembly reiterated that as a College we are working to be a community of learners where everyone experiences success. 


2018 High Achievers

We acknowledge the 2018 achievements of the following students:



Reminder: Thursday afternoons – Year 11 and 12 students only

Thursday afternoons will be used for a variety of school-related activities for Year 11 and 12 students.  It is expected that: 

  • VCAL students remain at school for VCAL classes.  
  • Students involved in SIS sports will remain at school to participate in this program.  
  • VCE students will be expected to attend all SACs set for Thursday afternoons.  SACs will begin at 2pm and could possibly run until 5pm depending on the study.  Students will receive information about SAC dates shortly.  


If the Year 11 or 12 student does not have any of the above scheduled, then they will be permitted to leave the College at the beginning of lunch time. Students can also study in LRC until 6.00pm.



General Purpose Flexible Learning Area (GPFLA)
A positive and engaging learning experience


VCE psychology students have been experimenting with the space in the GPFLA. The various glass surfaces have provided fantastic opportunities for collaboration and instant application.

Students have been breaking up into groups to construct everything from Nervous system flow charts, to giant labelled and annotated neurons. They were able to join forces with other groups to draw and display how neurons communicate, drawing and describing the intricate detail with which neurotransmitters transmit neural impulses across a synapse.

These displays were then a talking point for the entirety of the class, and subsequent classes. The students were able to draw on the visual cues to then apply their content and study design knowledge and skill. They took it one step further and referenced these images, and the conversations they had when constructing them, to answer challenging VCAA-style examination questions. Students took a myriad of photos to include in their notes; a fantastic opportunity to make meaningful links between content and experiences had in the class room. The most encouraging part was that students did not hesitate to rise to the challenge; this activity was outside the realm of where they may find comfort. They were not limited to traditional pen to paper or note taking. They embraced the opportunity and enthusiastically added images and annotations of their own to their notes, outside of the classroom. Their engagement levels spoke volumes for the use of the space!

This is one simple example of how the innovative space can be used in the day to day classroom. Students have now been asking for opportunities to draw and collaborate in the space, and are incredibly willing to move around and challenge their comfort levels by experimenting with the space. One student, Jessica Cardamone, commented on how much better she learns in this environment, and how much she enjoys the space.


Year 10 Inquiry Based Learning

Year 10 Inquiry has been introduced at St Francis Xavier College in 2019 to help prepare our young people in facing the demands of an ever-changing world, whereby skills of collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and ethical thinking are the capabilities that business and industry look for in the hiring of a 21st century workforce.

This week our Year 10 students participated in their first Inquiry session. Half of the year level listened to our first of many guest speakers, Cam Greenwood, a young, dynamic entrepreneur that founded his business Monsta Surf. Cam’s message, Say yes to adventure, encouraged students to step outside of their comfort zones and not allow fear to hold them back.  He exemplified how we can use our strengths and creativity to fill our lives with meaning and purpose.  Cam also inspired the students when he spoke of his altruistic work to support African communities.


The second half of the Year 10 level participated in the first creative skills class. This week’s challenge was to work in small groups and design a weighted paper boat that could float. This activity promoted students to collaborate in teams and navigate the challenges that can arise working with others. Perhaps the value of this week’s creative skills challenge is best summed up by Year 10 student Lauren:

We were able to generate many different ideas and create a few different prototypes to use as a basis for our final design.

The activity provided students the opportunity to creatively collaborate to achieve a product that utilises authentic, real-life skills that will be crucial in their futures.


VCAL – Structured Workplace Learning

Please view our Community Article for information about VCAL Structured Workplace Learning.


Brooke O’Brien’s Speech:

It is a great honour to be speaking to you today as the college Dux of 2018. While I like to think that I always aimed high throughout my years at St Francis Xavier College, I am both surprised and very grateful to be standing before you today in this position.

I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate not only those graduates here today, but the entire class of 2018, for their exceptional work ethic and commitment to the college.

There is no denying that Year 12 can be an extremely challenging time for most students, requiring unfaltering determination, perseverance and first-rate time management skills. However, I am not going to stand up here and tell you all how stressful and overwhelming my experience of year 12 was, because in truth, it simply wasn’t those things. While I won’t deny that there were times when I worked extremely hard for my results, I can honestly say that Year 12 was one of the most enjoyable years of my schooling life.

I believe that your experience of Year 12, like any challenge or obstacle in life, is largely determined by your own individual approach. Personally, I went into 2018 excited to undertake new classes that had been chosen based on a genuine interest, eager to enjoy the last year that I would spend in a familiar and comfortable environment with peers that I had essentially grown up alongside, and very much aware that, in the grand scheme of things, an end-of-year exam would not determine the outcome of my life.

I strongly believe that adopting this approach from the outset allowed me to succeed in Year 12 without feeling as though I was sacrificing a year of my life. Thus, I would advise those students going into VCE to learn to appreciate the fact that you are rapidly approaching the culmination of your schooling life, and Year 12 is nothing more than one last opportunity to do well in your studies, spend time with people you care about and learn to find balance between the things that you want to do and the things that you have to do.

I’ve had quite a few people ask me how I achieved a high ATAR, how many hours a night I had to study to get certain scores, and whether I had any sort of life outside of school last year. To be completely honest, I never set myself an exact figure that I wanted to achieve, I never worked with a 98 or 99 ATAR in mind, nor did I spend five hours a night chained to my desk. What I can say is that I always chose subjects that I loved and was truly interested in. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I received throughout VCE was not to elect subjects based on what the people around you are doing. In following this advice and choosing VCE subjects that I knew I could do well in and that no one had pressured me into doing, I found that my attitude towards school, SACs and exams was often quite different to those whose studies had already become a burden two months into the year. So when asked for advice, the best thing that I can say to you is don’t plan your VCE around anyone but yourself, you don’t have to do Biology because your best friend is, you don’t have to do Specialist Maths just to make your parents proud. At the end of the day, this is your education, and you will never achieve high scores in subjects that you have no passion for.

Aside from this, the only other advice I will give you is to appreciate and rely on all of those people willing to support you in these last years of high school. I would never have gotten the score I did if it weren’t for all of the amazing teachers that I have had over the years. Your teachers are a constant source of support, knowledge and experience. I can guarantee that you will struggle to do well in VCE if you cannot build a positive relationship with your teachers and appreciate the work that they put in. The love and assistance offered to you by family and friends should also be an invaluable source of comfort during difficult periods. It is important to find a good balance between your school, social and family life. I can tell from firsthand experience that you do not have to give up anything that you enjoy doing to do well in Year 12. I never let my schoolwork interfere with other aspects of my life, even if that meant sometimes leaving things until the last minute. No one is a perfect student, and it is important to remember that receiving one disappointing SAC score or missing one question on an exam does not stop you from getting a high score.

Overall, I will not pretend that VCE won’t be a challenge for all of you, or that it won’t require a lot of work and dedication, but I will say that Year 12 does not have to be a negative experience, full of stress and anxiety. Like all things in life, it is essentially what you make it, and you all have the potential to make it an amazing end to what, for most of us, has been almost a lifelong chapter.



Good morning, I am Kailee and this is Matthew and we are you College Captains for 2019 and cannot wait to get to know as many of you as we can as we work to support you to have a positive experience of school.  We, along with the other leaders represent student voice and we welcome your input into how we can make St Francis Xavier College an even better school. Last week our leadership team met and shared some positive ideas on how we can lead our school community. One of the topics that we discussed was how we can make a difference is what a positive school looks, feels and sounds like. Some of the things that came up was everyone being involved, inclusivity, everyone having a purpose or a sense of belonging and everyone having a positive energy about school. We also shared our strengths as a team. it was found that some reoccurring strengths among most of us was honesty, perseverance and teamwork. Having discovered these similarities in strengths between the leadership team, it has helped us shape the way we want to lead the college. From that, we wanted to find a way we can further implement these into the school community.



Just think back to last years St Francis Xavier Day where we all got involved and sang Oh Happy Day, the teamwork demonstrated there by everyone was something in which we can celebrate about our campus community. Such activities that bring us all together are examples of the community we have here, the leadership team came up with. This relates back to our theme of this year, we grow together. This was also another topic that we discussed. The thoughts and understanding of what it meant to the team was that we physically grow together through our teenage years and further develop ourselves to be better people. The formation of Last years Year 12 students played a big part in the formation of these leadership strengths as they were the ones who set the example by being role models for all of us at St Francis to embody. Because of the work that they had done, we are now continuing the good work that they started and hope it helps bring all of us closer as we grow together. For 2019, our goal as a leadership team and college is to grow into a more united team where everyone feels invited and involved. Thank you




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