Parents and College working together for CyberSafety


Cybersafety is an issue that is taken very seriously at Beaconhills College. To that end, we have cybersafety lessons in the Middle School, along with discussions and information delivered in a variety of forums. We also have a committee whose sole focus is ensuring we are an eSmart School.

But cybersafety is an issue that needs to be tackled at home as well as at school. We have a section in our BeLearning Lounge that is dedicated to information and resources for parents. It is Section 3 called Online Safety and Digital Citizenship.

In this section, among other things, we have College and email protocols, advice for parents regarding our iPad program and links to many external resources to help parents deal with their children as they participate in the digital age. The external resources include the government agencies of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, BullyStoppers, School A to Z as well as Common Sense Media.

 One online resource, that is particularly relevant today, shows the appropriate age for various apps and social media platforms. For example did you know that SnapChat is rated 16+, Instagram is rated 15+, YouTube is rated 13+ and the game Fortnite is rated 13+?

These and other games and social media apps can be researched at

I strongly recommend parents discuss their children’s technology use with them and look at this site for rating guidance. Here are some questions parents should ask their children. “All my friends are using it” is not a good enough reason for children to play or use some apps and games.

Michael Torsello
College eLearning Coordinator

TIPS AND TRICKS: Questions Parents Should Ask their Children about Technology


Parents will often approach teachers and ask how to be find out what their child is doing online. Here are some questions that have been developed by two professors who specialise in cyber bullying prevention in the USA.

These will assist parents to engage in regular ongoing conversation with their child about their online activity so that they can be proactive not reactive.

Source: eSmart Schools

iOS 11 is here


Just before the last term holidays, Apple released the latest version of their operating system for iPads and iPhones – iOS11.
iOS11 has some great new features (see  and it is worth updating your child’s iPad.
Simply go to Settings – General – Software Update. An update will be found and you can download and install this by following the prompts.
This will take some time, so allow about an hour and the iPad also requires at least 50% battery power or to be connected to power.

You will immediately notice that many of the apps have released updates to go with iOS11 so these should also be updated from the App Store.

If your child’s iPad is older and not compatible with iOS11, then perhaps consider a new iPad for your child for next year.

We celebrate National eSmart Week


National eSmart Week Monday Sept 4 to Friday Sept 8

To raise awareness of CyberSafety in our community, we will be acknowledging National eSmart Week during the week September 4 – 8 with a range of activities.

All week:

  1. A Poster Competition open to all sections on “How to Make Beaconhills a Cyber-Safe Community” and must include a link to our new online CyberSafety Incident Alert. Posters can be digital or on paper. A canteen voucher prize for the best from each section.
  2. Library CyberSafety Displays will be on show in each of the campus libraries.
  3. Submit a Selfie – take a solo selfie, or with friends, in front of the library display, (it must show some of the display), submit through Showbie (3-8) or ClassNet (9-12) and on Friday, the selfies will be displayed on the College TVs.


  1. The eSmart Quiz will be held in morning Tutor time. Be the group that scores 100% correct in the fastest time to claim the title of eSmartest Tutor Group.

iPad Maintenance for iPad Users


To ensure your child’s iPad functions as well as possible and has the latest version of apps it is a College expectation that all updates are installed as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, I have seen iPads with as many as 50 or more updates waiting to be installed. This often means your child may see a slightly different app than his/her classmates and occasionally may not be able to complete a task.

The Apple iOS updates and the app updates provide security enhancements, bug fixes and improved functions. It is worthwhile installing these updates despite any bad experiences you may have had in the past.

See Settings – General – Software Update for the latest iOS update and the App Store – Updates for the lasts App updates.

If updates cannot be installed, check the available space under Settings – General – Storage and iCloud Usage. Tap Manage Storage to see the apps that are occupying the most space. The iPad is primarily a tool for school so if games, music and videos are filling it up, you will need to insist that space be made available for the school apps and work.

Some parents may have forgotten their Apple ID password. If so, go to!&page=signin and click Forgotten Apple ID or password and   follow the instructions. If you can no longer access the email address used as your Apple ID, then

It would be good to make it a weekly task to install all updates.

Apple Parent Night continues …


The helpful staff at Apple tell me that the Beaconhills Family Funded offer is open all the time.

Just pop into the store, tell them you are part of the Beaconhills Community (you may have to prove this) and they will help you with everything about iPads or MacBooks, including Apple IDs, protective covers and even personalised engraving.

There is also plenty of useful information on our BeLearning Lounge about suitable devices, cybersafety and the specific apps required by each year level at

BYOD now Year 9 to 12 from 2017


We are pleased to announce that from 2017 students in Years 9 through to 12 will be able to choose their own device to bring to School. Information to help students and parents work out what the requirements are for devices at Beaconhills is found on the BYOD link.

App lists Years 3 – 9 for 2016 now available


iPad Apps are now updated on the BeLearning Lounge for students in Years 3 to 9 in 2016. Please select the Learning Resources option and then select the appropriate year level.


New students to Beaconhills College


New students to Beaconhills College will be issued with usernames and passwords at the start of 2016. Out IT Helpdesk will be available for parents and students on 20th January between 9am – 12:00noon in the Pakenham Lois Maghanoy Centre for Performing Arts. This is the same time that parents can collect booklist items from our supplier Campion.

Beaconhills Apple Store – Family Funded Portal


A reminder that parents can still access special prices for Apple devices and accessories via our custom on-line Beaconhills Apple Store. A new service offered from the on-line store is parents can elect to pick up from the Apple store. A reminder that the on-line store also offers engraving services for naming devices.

The link to the Beaconhills Apple store is under the Your Device menu.