If you aren’t a Christian after years of seeing this every day, you never will be
|Pakenham and Berwick, Victoria, Australia|
|Type||‘Independent’, Co-educational (a shame, as GIRLZ SMELL), Day school|
|Motto||Latin: Lux Luceat (Pay Your Fees)|
|Year Established||And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver; for no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller|
|Colour(s)||Preparatory, primary and secondary|
Beaconhills College is a beacon of knowledge that shines from atop a hill of learning. That's right; we learn about metaphor there. The college has two campuses, located in Pakenham and Berwick, Victoria, Australia. The College's founders gave the two campuses phonetically similar alternate names, Valley and Village, to confuse and intimidate outsiders and new students who are yet to be indoctrinated.
Beaconhills was established in 1982 by the Anglican and Uniting Churches to serve the education needs of the Christian community in the greater Pakenham area. To their dismay, Pakenham's population consisted entirely of heathens. Despite the school's appearance as a typical conservative Christian college, the school attempts to instil values in its students that are decidedly left of centre, politically speaking, such as "social reconciliation", "tolerance" and "global warming". Enrolling one's progeny at the school is a sure-fire way of engendering a perception of oneself as “modern”, “progressive” and “hip”.
The College celebrated its silver jubilee in 2007. According to one student, “several people clapped”.
The idea to establish a local, independent, Christian "science fiction/action heist" school written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan was conceived by a group of parishioners at St. John's Anglican Church in Upper Beaconsfield in 1980. By March 1981, shortly after finishing Insomnia and long before Batman Begins, a Steering Committee had been established with Mr John McConchie appointed as Chairperson. The Steering Committee called a public meeting at the Pakenham Hall on 11 March 1981 where an 80-page draft about “dream stealers and infiltration of the subconscious” was ratified in the presence of some 250 people and presented to Warner Bros.
In 1981, as the Steering Committee felt they needed to have more experience with large-scale film production, the project was retired and the Committee worked on Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight. They spent six months polishing the script before Warner Bros. purchased a 13-acre (53,000 m2) site on Toomuc Valley Road and portable classrooms obtained from St. Catherine's School in Toorak. A tall fence was constructed to keep out the local Pakwegians. Its official budget was $160 million, a cost which was split between Warner Bros. and the Department of Education. The Pakenham Campus premiered on 3 February 1982 with 34 students and five staff, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. Beaconhills College has received wide critical acclaim and numerous critics have praised its originality, cast, score, and Christian ethos.
Some time after the success of the original, Pakenham campus, it was decided that a sequel would be produced. The Berwick Campus, situated on a 15 hectare site in Kangan Drive, Berwick, opened in 2003 with 356 students and 38 staff members. However, reviews were poor, with one critic claiming: “After the success of the first campus, a second simply wasn’t necessary, and has only tarnished the reputation of the first. It is a letdown on all fronts- casting, plot, effects, and even its performing arts facilities. Where the first campus proved to be original, well thought out and well paced, this campus has proved to be an ugly concrete jungle”.
The school’s uniform policy is hypocritically presented as rigid to those outside the school community, while in practice, students make changes and bend the rules as they see fit. Incidentally, they also bend the school’s architecture as they see fit (creating structures that the existence of which appears impossible on the physical plane).
For boys, the summer uniform consists of grey shorts, a short white sleeve shirt and a T-shirt with a provocative print on it, worn underneath. Boys must ensure that a sufficient number of buttons are unfastened, so that the T-shirt can be clearly seen from any distance. For girls, a summer school dress that leaves little to the imagination is the standard. In fact, some of the teachers have expressed a desire for the girls to leave nothing to the imagination. Evidently, those particular teachers are somewhat lacking in imagination. Girls must ensure that a sufficient number of buttons are unfastened, so that cleavage can be distinguished from any distance.
The winter uniform consists of a long sleeve white shirt and tie with long grey pants for boys and a long grey kilt with long navy blue stockings for girls. For teachers, the winter uniform consists of a long face, as the weather causes them to mull around and wistfully reminisce about their university days, when they believed they “could have done anything”.
The Beaconhills blazer is navy blue with the College Crest embroidered in gold on the chest pocket. It was devised as an instrument of torture by the school’s founders. The school's staff are adept at "infiltration of the subconscious" for this reason also.
Introduction of iPads
In 2011, the school's Headmaster, in yet another of their overseas junkets funded by the school, undertook studies into the use of iPads in the classroom. They concluded that the introduction of iPads to Beaconhills would be an effective way of generating publicity and manufacturing a public perception of the school as “modern”, “progressive” and “hip”. Thus the bed was made, so to speak, and the school’s students had to lie in it.
iPads were introduced to the College’s classroom at the beginning of 2012. In a thinly-veiled jibe directed towards the devices’ introduction, some of the school’s teachers touted the iPads’ usefulness as both a coaster and a frisbee. This kind of talk is now absent, as well as the teachers who it originated from, who left in early 2012 and have not been heard from since. When asked by the students about their whereabouts, the teachers mumble something about an ‘efficient unit’ before trailing off into incomprehensibility and walking away.
The Berwick Campus’ Senior School Captain wrote in the school’s edited quarterly propaganda rag “Lux Luceat” that the iPads were a major success, popular with students, parents and teachers, and that no one failed anything anymore and never will again.
Year 9 Program
Beaconhills College is noted for its Year 9 program, in which Year 9 students are situated in a separate building, and participate in a program "specifically tailored for Year 9 students..., accommodating the transitional stage of adolescence". For the school's Year 9 students, school life focuses less on academic pursuits and more on "engaging in a variety of learning opportunities"; i.e. taking part in excursions every Friday and slacking off, then "reflecting on" the experiences for the majority of the following week.
The concept for the school's Year 9 program came about when the school's Board arbitrarily decided that Year 9 students should be exempt from doing any work. Purportedly, the Year 9 program has been successful in contributing to a public perception of the school as “modern”, “progressive” and “hip”.
The Pakenham Campus is home to Beaconhills’ first Year 9 Centre. Kept separate from the rest of the school due to the fear of jealous attacks on the Year Nines by Middle and Senior School students, it is the perfect environment for the Valley Campus’ Year Nines to study educationally dubious subjects like Multidisciplinary, Multimedia, Multinational Corporatising and "Infiltration of the Subconscious".
Berwick Campus’ new Year 9 Centre has recently been completed, much to the chagrin of Berwick Campus students, as the density of buildings on the campus had already reached a critical level. Delegates from the Pakenham Campus believe that their Berwick counterparts have somewhat missed the point of the Year 9 Program, when a night raid conducted on the Centre resulted in the discovery of twelve mathematics textbooks, three dictionaries and over one hundred writing implements.
Problems with the transition to Year 10
Detractors of the Year 9 Program have drawn attention to the high number of students dying of shock in the first few weeks of Year 10 as a result of the huge increase in workload. In response to these claims, Chairman Mao is reported to have “grinned, rubbed his hands together and chuckled to himself”.