Dear Former Student of Belmont High School,
I have been commissioned by Belmont High School to write a history of the school in time for its 60th birthday in 2015. The school intends that this history, to be titled ‘Strive for the Highest’, will provide a record of the life of the school since 1955, but also that it should make a contribution to the history of secondary education in Victoria more generally.
The purpose of the survey is to gather detail about the actual experience of life in the school, to complement and enliven the official record. It is also hoped to come to an understanding of why BHS is so special to many former students? What were the factors that made it so? For others, BHS may not have been so special. Why was that so? As a former student of BHS your reflections on your student days and the influence they had on your life after school are critical to seeking answers these questions.
I would urge you to complete the attached questionnaire, and also alert any former students among your family and friends who are not yet on BHS’s data base to contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or hand a copy of the questionnaire on to them. The questionnaire is also available via the School’s website: www.bhs.vic.edu.au
Please do not feel constrained by the survey format to limit your responses. Any extra written or photographic material that enriches the school’s archives will be most welcome. Of course, nothing will be attributed to you personally in any publication without written permission.
The history of a school such as Belmont High School also has the potential to provide significant insight into education policy and practice, as well as the role of education over time in transforming the lives of individuals.
Many former students of Belmont High School are quick to credit the school with a special place in their personal and intellectual development, and often are heard to say that ‘Belmont High School changed my life’. I am looking forward to using the results of this survey to document the nature and extent of that change.Jenny Acopian