On Wednesday the 1st June 1949, the Minister for Brighton, the Hon. R. W. Tovell MLA, received a deputation from the Brighton and Sandringham Councils regarding the commencement of a high school on the Department of Education’s site at Marriage Road, Brighton. So began the chain of events that would lead to the establishment of Brighton High School in 1955, under the leadership of Principal G M Stirling.
In the 56 years since Brighton Secondary College was established, our school has developed a rich heritage. Our 1200 plus students continue to perform well academically in many disciplines and make valuable contributions to community life and work after their school years. A number of non-academic leadership positions, introduced by Principal L.A. Cooke, continue through the many leadership positions to which our VCE students may be appointed today.
In 2011 we celebrated 50 years of the House Choral Festival. Overall, our students encounter a balanced mix of academic, creative, cultural, and sporting opportunities during their time at Brighton Secondary College.
The year 2011 finds us seeking to retain all that continues to be relevant to the needs of students in the technological, global age whilst also embracing many new innovations. We retain an emphasis on co-curricular and sporting activities to support the balanced development of students.
We continue to celebrate student growth, achievement and success in languages, humanities, mathematics, science, technology, physical education, and the arts. We also continue to promote and support high levels of teacher knowledge and expertise, though with a changed emphasis in the 21st Century. Our Brennan Library, named in honour of our first female principal Molly Brennan continues as a vital source of information for our students, but now utilises digital technologies as well as printed matter.
Our school (and the world) has changed a great deal since 1955. In the College classrooms, the old chalkboards have been replaced by interactive whiteboards, data projectors, computers, DVDs and netbooks.. Our external playing and sporting areas have been replaced by state of the art facilities including a double basketball court sized gymnasium, a synthetic turf hockey/tennis facility, used by both the college and local community and indoor and outdoor circuit training centres.
Under the leadership of current Principal Julie Podbury, our 1950s style classrooms are currently being superseded by our innovative Year 9 Discovery Centre, opened in 2006, and new VCE and Pathways Centre opened in 2010. We are moving from a regimented, class focused, industrial age approach to one that acknowledges the individual needs of students and the emerging technologies of the digital age.
We inherit the achievements and heritage of our forebears in ways that we do not always fully appreciate. In many ways, reflecting on the past helps us to imagine future hopes and possibilities as well as the personal contributions we may make in the future.
This is an edited extract of an article written by Dr Andrew Hill, Head of Science, for our Voyager yearbook.