Congratulations to the Year 12 Class of 2020 who are to be commended for their resilience, courage and diligence throughout the unprecedented disruptions and challenges of last year. We are very proud of all our students who achieved extraordinary results including 100% successful completion of their VCE, an increase in both the median study score and the percentage of study scores of 40 and over, with two students achieving a perfect study score of 50 – in Further Mathematics and Food Studies.
I warmly welcome back our students, staﬀ and parents and hope you have had a safe and enjoyable holiday break and are re-energised for the start of the 2021 school year. All students, and in particular the Year 7 students, returned to school with a sense of excitement and anticipation and we are back to a normal school rhythm.
On Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, our Year 8 student Isla Moore was awarded the District Plaque for the 2020 Peace Poster Competition. The theme for the competition was Peace through Service and Isla’s poster won first place at both the Regional and the District judging nights. Isla was presented with the plaque by Lions Club representatives Katherine Parzis (District Coordinator) and Frances Paige-Zeidler (Regional Coordinator).
Congratulations to Alana Saunders (Year 12) who was awarded winner of the Public Speaking Lions Club Youth of the Year Award recently. The judges were inspired by Alana’s speech and commented on the manner in which she represented Blackburn High School with such aplomb.
The COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to use online platforms to communicate and collaborate and it was a steep learning curve for all of us. However, we were up for the challenge and did not miss a beat, ensuring that all the important school events were conducted remotely.
At this week’s School Council meeting, Mr. Paul Hamer, the State Member for Box Hill, announced the fantastic news that the Blackburn High School community will be receiving $9 million for the building phase of the proposed STEM Centre. Intense planning around the design with the architects has continued since May and this will be finalised by the end of the year with construction planned to begin in 2021.
Our newly formed String Trio Trio Pianissimo recently achieved a Bronze Award in the inaugural Music Viva Strike-a-Chord Chamber National competition for school students, in the Lockdown Legends online section. The three students – Sharong Wang violinist, Suriya Sivakumar violinist and Ruhui Fu cellist – all showed incredible resilience, commitment and dedication to see this project through despite many setbacks. These skills will take them far in life, and they learned some beautiful music as well. Congratulations, Trio Pianissimo!
Some of our Year 7s recently participated in the program Let Freedom Swing, run by the Lincoln Centre in New York. Due to Covid restrictions, the program this year was held online with students from around the world learning about the blues and submitting ideas and questions that were then turned into an Election Day concert streamed from New York. One of our students, Akeira Somphananpanya, had part or her work read out towards the end.
The students and ensembles of BHS cannot currently perform live to audiences, so we have taken it online with the release of the first two of our online concert series. Featuring soloists and ensembles from across the program, the concerts give a taste of the great work that our musical community has been undertaking.
Fantastic news for our school community. We have approval for the initial funding of a Blackburn High School STEM Centre of Excellence. This funding was part of the Andrew’s Governments 1.1billion dollar building initiative for schools that was announced recently.