Radford Bulletin Term 1, Week 7 – 21 March 2018

Staff Insights

Steve Baker, Chairman of Radford College Board

From the Chairman, Mr Steve Baker

19 March 2018

Board news, including Fiona Godfrey's appointment for a second term

From the Chairman

I am humbled to write to you for the first time as Chair of the Radford College Board with an exciting update to our community. Those at Awards Night last year may recall that one of my observations of having been a Radford parent of five children over the past decade was that I have experienced and witnessed this wonderful community walking alongside mine and many other families in truth, compassion and wisdom.

I also recognise that your investment in Radford goes far beyond the financial and is not limited to just the day-to-day operations, so I’ll be writing an update from the Board once a term, and I openly welcome your ongoing feedback on the strategic direction of the College.

It is in this context that I am delighted to announce that the Board recently reappointed Mrs Fiona Godfrey as Radford College Principal, for a further five-year term until 2023. The Board believes Fiona has done a fantastic job as our sixth College principal, since taking over the leadership of the College in 2014. Radford can be very proud of our academic results and median ATARs, which can be one metric of success for a Principal. Fiona and her team’s achievements, however, are far broader and more comprehensive than that, contributing to shaping and delivering the strategic direction of the College for the future.

These achievements include:

  • renewal of the College registration - reviewing and updating all policies and procedures, completing a School Improvement Plan
  • introducing an enhanced pastoral care program and age-appropriate pastoral care curriculum
  • consulting the community and helping prepare the College’s Strategic Plan: A Vision for the Future 2016–2020, and then delivering on the Plan’s goals and commitments
  • expanding student enrolments and navigating the College to an optimal size
  • consulting the community and working with architects, builders and other key stakeholders in preparing the College’s Master Plan, as well as commencing delivery of the first of several significant construction projects to a tight timeframe and budget      
  • reviewing program offerings and introducing new programs such as dance and outdoor education, while also expanding existing programs such as international exchanges and experiences
  • establishing the Radford College Development Foundation.

I’m also very happy to update you on our program of capital works under the Master Plan, which is well on track.

As you might be aware, the new Junior School specialist building and its huge undercroft gathering space is now in full use. It is hard to believe that the site was just a large hole in the ground one year ago. I am sure anyone who has seen this building at the Junior School was as impressed as I was with the size, quality and functionality it has given Mr Paul Southwell and his terrific team to educate our younger students.

Two more major construction projects have now also commenced, and on behalf of the Board I am equally excited to see the vision of the architect’s drawings be realised and be ready for operations for the beginning of school next year. The fantastic new Years 3 and 4 classrooms are being built at the back corner of the Junior School and work on the futuristic Secondary School commons building and outdoor gathering space has also commenced next to the Senior School.  These are both significant additions to our campus  which will assist the delivery of outstanding education to all our students and allow Radford to expand student enrolments to a more optimum level as noted above.

There are always so many things happening here at Radford within our community and I look forward to updating you further in Term 2.



H visits Year 1 with photos from his early teaching days

H for History #7 - time travel for Year 1

19 March 2018

Year 1 students journey back in space and time with H

By George Huitker, Director of Service Learning and College Historian

I do not remember very much about being in Year 1, but I do remember sitting down somewhere very, very close to where the current Year 1s have a classroom, close to thirty years ago in my early 20s. That evening, I spent hours pulling bindi-eyes from my socks. 

Y1 student reflection on the visitIt was a privilege to be invited by Melinda Hamilton, on behalf of the current Year 1 staff and students, to pop over with an old, dusty, leather-bound photo album and spend time telling yarns about the area directly underneath where the Junior School buildings currently sit. As Melinda explains, “I asked George to come and speak to us because our inquiry into ‘Where We Are in Place & Time’ had us looking at how custodianship over time affects places. So we were interested to see how Radford has changed as different students have attended it… Before George's visit we initially looked at photos from the archives to see what this area looked like before Radford was built and compared it to a picture from 2007 when the Junior School was being built. And then we drew what it looks like now. This helped us to understand how the school has changed! We even looked at the location of the new Year 3/4 building and considered how that area will also continue to change.” 

It was a trip down memory lane for me - well, up memory hill, to be exact. In those early years, I used to take my English classes “out bush” to write poetry. What was a few hundred metres’ walk from the Year 9 Block felt like a day’s hike amidst complaints about the distance we had to travel "to find our muse in nature”. I had to also negotiate a myriad of complaints about those pesky bindies, sneaky and scratchy branches, and the oppressive heat. But looking through the photos taken of those artistic jaunts, and flicking through the eventual finished products - in an annual collection containing one poem from each student (refined when back in civilisation) - I think the lesson plan’s objective had been satisfactorily achieved. 

I told my wide-eyed Year 1 new buddies some stories about the area where their classroom now exists: about how I met a humungous kangaroo on a reconnaissance of the area. We became a little side-tracked here for a minute or fifteen as my little friends were evidently all brimming with the delight of sharing a plethora of roo-facts, figures and anecdotes. Learning beyond the classroomThey also seemed curiously fascinated about how one of my students composed poetry more effectively while sitting in a tree (Doug B, if you are reading, this a shout out to you). As young Elsie stated, "I got to see a picture of dad reading in the grass and his really smart friend up a tree... maybe you can write better up a tree!” Indeed. Spurred on by this, I did ask the Year 1s if any of their parents had been students at the school “way back then”. Despite the statistical unlikelihood, I was bowled over to learn that not only did they all have parents who went to Radford, but they were all also in my Year 9 Creative Writing class. Simply miraculous. (Upon researching, at least a dozen parents of kids in this class are collegians from various time zones.) 

As I walked back across the zebra-crossing between the junior and senior campuses, across that road which - from my photographs - could barely be seen back then for the long grass and trees, I couldn’t help but smile at the wonder and imagination of those terrific Year 1s. And all the while recalling, despite the blurriness of those now-treasured photographs and pictures inside my own fading memory, a similarly wondrous series of lessons about “where we are in place and time” which now seem to live on emphatically in those modest poems written by equally fertile imaginations some three decades earlier. 

If you were in Mr H’s poetry class in the late 80s and early 90s, drop him a line. Could any former staff or collegians wishing to input to the new school history and/or claim their profile on the Collegians page, please contact him at: George.Huitker@Radford.act.edu.au or complete the form at https://radfordcollegians.com.au/help-h/. All past “H for History” articles are housed at: https://radfordcollegians.com.au/h-for-history.


Y4 student self-portrait using Keynote on iPad

Digital Learning and Innovation

19 March 2018

Lisa Plenty, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation

Innovation for students, teachers and learning spaces

By Lisa Plenty, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation

It has been a busy few months for the Digital Learning and Innovation team here at Radford. I started in the role of Director of Digital Learning and Innovation following Matt Heinrich's resignation last year. I had previously worked with Matt as a Technology Coach, so I had the advantage of being immersed in the Radford context for some time before commencing the role. 

Y7 students Lego EV3 robot challengeWe have been very fortunate to find a new Technology Coach in Eric Jensen. Originally from Canberra, Eric has worked in Melbourne, teaching a range of curriculum areas and leading his previous school's IT. He has made an enthusiastic start in his role here and his wealth of knowledge, perseverance and gentle manner are perfect for supporting others in using technology. Eric is also teaching Year 7 Digital Technology. 

There have been a number of exciting events and projects over recent months, with more in the wings for development over the course of the year. At the end of 2017, we finalised our first iBook publication for the Junior School. Radford College Data Inquiry 2017 is a reflective account of our Junior School teachers' inquiry into their own practice. We also produced an updated version of the College ICT Handbook, available from ICT page on Radford Online. This document details the purpose and practice of ICT at Radford College and provides an insight into the day-to-day picture of technology-enriched learning at our College.

Over the summer break, classrooms across the Junior School and most Secondary School rooms had an upgrade with the introduction of new touch panel and wireless screens. A total of 29 screens were installed in Junior School classrooms, and an additional 11 screens were installed in the Secondary School, adding to the 25 installed on the secondary campus for the start of 2017. The features enable teachers and students to do more than simply project content.  Teachers can be more mobile in the room when using the screens, and can use the touch screen capacity in combination with a tool such as OneNote to develop annotated resources and digital 'whiteboards' accessible for students anywhere, anytime. 

We also commenced the year with Year 3 accessing College-provided 1-to-1 iPads. This, as a lead-in to the BYOD program, will give Year 3 students and teachers an excellent opportunity this year to explore the features of new iPads, including augmented reality, as well as new video and coding applications. Year 4 students have made a great start to their own BYOD program, with an introduction to digital media, a stunning sample of which is included with this article. 

Staff are learners as well as being teachersOur teachers are also learners, and we started the year with some great professional learning events. The Secondary School teachers explored a range of digital learning tools to support students' achievement and Junior School teachers worked with members from the Apple Education team to explore creative and enriching iPad tools. We also have two teams of teachers engaging in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Project Zero course, Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centred Classroom. Through this training, our teacher teams will investigate the purpose of learning through inquiry, tinkering, and the creative process of making, seeking ways in which we might authentically build more creative, authentic, needs-focused learning experiences into our practice. Our Junior School teachers are also currently investigating their integration of the Digital Technologies Australian Curriculum, exploring the use of robots and software that will extend and enrich our junior students' view of technology in their lives. 

We look forward to lots more learning with technology and will celebrate our achievements through the Bulletin over the course of the year.

Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

JS News, 21 March 2018

19 March 2018

Adapting to change, in all areas

Dates to Remember

Friday 23 March

JS Bushwalking Cocurricular Camp

Tuesday 27 March

Kinder Reading Evening

Friday 30 March

Good Friday - Public Holiday

Monday 2 April

Easter Monday - Public Holiday


Another busy week for students and staff.

Our Year 1 and 2 students were able to experience our first “Stage-Specific” Swimming Carnival this week with a series of races, challenges and swim safety events held at CISAC last Monday. Previously we have had Years 1 and 2 join the Junior School Swimming Carnival but only for a short period and only in novelty events. This move is directed at increasing student engagement in carnivals, competing and being challenged rather than novelty style events. We will revisit our program following this as we continue to “keep the child at the centre” of all we seek.

As I mentioned several times last year, for some time now we have been moving away from the traditional Professional Development model where staff attend a day of professional development and are then expected to return and deliver change. While this can help to ignite staff curiosity, it rarely elicits change. Instead we have moved to an ongoing professional learning approach where we seek to work as teams, learning and sharing together. We use “critical friends” to work with talented teachers, to continue to challenge ourselves. This week we have been fortunate indeed as we have had renowned Mathematics presenter Catherine Attard working with several Year 6 classes and many of our teachers. A great initiative from Ms Jess Ford.

Week 7 Term 1. We still have warm days, mixed with the longer school days and the pace of Radford. I spent some time last weekend revisiting how we, as a collective, may continue to work smart. One of the reasons for us building our team approach was to better support the “whole learner” (whether student or adult). In this thinking, we are looking at how we support learner wellbeing, the ability to make mistakes, to use and build character strengths, whilst simultaneously holding to the development of learning skills, the basics. I mention this only because in today’s world, we face many new basics. I know most people would say this is just IT. The new basics of today, however, include communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration as well as digital literacy.

Another reason to look at the IB Primary Years Programme’s “Approaches to Learning” where we continue to build 21st century basics. One of the reasons I admire our teaching teams is that our profession has changed so much in such a short time. The skills I mention here are already prized by you in your workplaces, but for the teaching profession they are the new and additional basics we teach.

This was no better displayed than by our Year 5 cohort who spent a day exploring and investigating their Unit of Inquiry “Passion and Perseverance have the power to motivate”, at our Rowing Shed facility last week - mixing Maths and Spelling with collaboration and communication.


Image for article: Round Square International Conference 2018

Round Square International Conference 2018

19 March 2018

Kath Notley, Round Square Co-ordinator

Last chance for students to register interest

By Kath Notley, Round Square Co-ordinator

This is the last chance for students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to register their interest in attending the Round Square International Conference for 2018.

The Radford delegation of five students will depart in late September and attend a pre-conference in the United States, before heading to Appleby College in Canada for the International Conference.

The theme for the Conference is ‘Bring Your Difference’ and students will be invited to engage in a range of activities and events that will deepen their understanding of what makes each of us unique.

Further information can be found at rsic2018.org.

Please contact Ms Notley via email if interested.    

Further information and details will be provided to students who have expressed interest.


Japanese exchange student Oka Takizawa with her hosts, Tara Lyons (L) and Kat-E Yeow

Vegemite, kangaroos and Aussie beef

16 March 2018

International exchanges are an opportunity to share and learn

Hosting a student from Japan was a great experience. My host sister, Oka, stayed with me for a week. While this was a short time, Oka was a lively addition to my family. During her stay, she came with me to school and attended my classes and, on the weekend, I took her sightseeing around Canberra. We visited Parliament House and Questacon, went shopping for Australian souvenirs and went to the Enlighten Festival. At the festival, we tried many different and interesting foods. Oka loved trying Australian food, although she despised vegemite, and found the fact that you can eat kangaroo quite shocking.  

The hosting experience gave me a greater understanding of Japanese culture and allowed me to practice speaking Japanese, which will definitely help my Japanese studies.
by Tara Lyons, Year 12 Japanese student

Japanese exchange programJapanese exchange program

I had the privilege of hosting Oka for three weeks. I spent seven weeks at her school in Yonezawa, Japan, during our summer holidays. Oka was my buddy during that time, so I got to know her well. We share similar hobbies and got along well. She came to Australia about a week before the 2018 school year started, so we were able to take her to Telstra Tower, National Zoo and Aquarium, National Museum of Australia, Tidbinbilla and the NASA space station. Oka was surprised at how multicultural Australia is. We also took her to the multicultural festival where she tried a variety of foods from around the world. She made my family nikujaga—simmered meat (usually beef), potatoes and onions. It was a nice fusion of Japanese food with Aussie beef. Hosting a foreign exchange student is a great experience.

Kat-E Yeow, Year 12 Japanese student

Sports forum 23 March

Sporting forum - train hard, live well

19 March 2018

Tara Mitchell, PE Teacher

Maintain your life balance AND reach your athletic goals

Are you aspiring to join the National team or want to compete at the highest levels? Having a tough time juggling training and making it to a friends' party? You're not the first!

Join Andrew Leigh at a panel forum with top sporting experts to discuss the process, tips and tricks for reaching your athletic aspirations while maintaining your life balance.

Confirm your spot now, as numbers will be limited. 


Friday 23 March 2018, 4pm - 5pm


Ann Harding Centre, 24 University Drive S, University of Canberra 


Eleanor Robson · eleanor.robson@aph.gov.au


Rob de Castella: One of Australia's greatest marathon runners, 'Deeks' dominated marathons worldwide through the 1980s, was voted Australian of the Year in 1983, directed the Australian Institute of Sport for five years in the 1990s and currently directs the Indigenous Marathon Project.

Heather Garriock: Heather is a Matilda veteran and is the respected head coach of the Canberra United side. Heather played 130 matches for the Matildas, appearing at two Olympic football tournaments and three FIFA Women's World Cups.

Sue Read: As a former elite weightlifter, athlete and Matilda, Sue has a deep understanding of the pressures involved with elite sport. Sue has been practising as a clinical psychologist for 14 years at her business, Life Unlimited. Sue’s experiences in elite level sport have given her key insights into how to continually perform under peak pressure, and an understanding and appreciation of how to maintain peak physical and mental health whilst balancing an elite sporting career with family and work commitments. 

P&F Entertainment Books

P&F Entertainment Books fundraiser

15 March 2018

P&F Entertainment Books ‘Early Bird’ offers available now

The Radford Parents and Friends Association (P&F) is delighted to announce a major fundraising initiative for 2018 in partnership with Entertainment Books.

P&F Entertainment Books fundraiser

The Entertainment Book has thousands of 50-per-cent-off and 2-for-1 offers for many Canberra restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotels, travel and shopping.

The P&F receives $12 for each book sold. All funds raised will be donated to projects that benefit students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12.

Radford Parents and Caregivers who purchase books (paper or digital format) in the next three weeks can access special ‘Early Bird’ offers additional to the great discounts available in the book.

For further details, please email Entbook@radford.act.edu.au

P&F Entertainment Books fundraiser

Dr Prue Salter provides the tools for success with effective study skills

Study skills are the tools for success

14 March 2018

Dr Prue Salter provides valuable advice on the effective studying

Dr Prue Salter's parent and student study skills workshop is a not-to-be-missed interactive evening designed to give students and those who support them the best chance of working and studying effectively in high school. 

The session will cover:

  • managing homework and assignments effectively through efficient time management
  • learning to be more organised for school and at home
  • effective work and study

When: Tuesday 1 May 2018, 6–7.30 pm
Where: TB Millar Hall
Who: Parent/Guardian(s) and students should attend together to gain the most value from the session

View the event flyer for more details.

Phil O'Regan, Head of Secondary School

Year 7-12 Parent-Teacher Evenings

14 March 2018

Bookings open Thursday 22 March 7 am

 By Phil O'Regan, Head of Secondary School

Interview dates and times

  • Tuesday 3 April 3.00–8.00 pm
  • Monday 9 April 3.00–8.00 pm

Bookings – new system this year

Bookings open on Thursday 22 March at 7 am and close at 10 pm the night before each interview day. We encourage you to make bookings early to avoid inconvenience or disappointment. The interview time with each teacher will be 5 minutes. 

Bookings for Secondary School Parent Teacher Interviews can be made through Radford Online. Your Radford Online user name and password are printed on the top of your child’s 2018 Commencement Letter.  

Please click on the tile on the Dashboard titled Secondary School Parent Teacher Interviews. This year the College is using a new system for booking Parent-Teacher interviews. Instructions are linked here and will also be emailed directly to parents of Secondary School students.

If you have any problems booking your interview, please contact Main Reception on 6162 6200 or reception@radford.act.edu.au.


All students in Years 7–12 will be dismissed from class at 2.35 pm on both Tuesday 3 April and Monday 9 April as interviews commence at 3.00 pm. 

  • students in Years 7–10 who are not travelling directly home at 2.35 pm will need to go to the Secondary School Library where supervision will be available
  • students in Years 11 and 12 are free to leave the college after they are dismissed at 2.35 pm
  • unless advised otherwise, co-curricular activities will operate as usual
  • school buses will run as per the normal schedule from 3.30 pm. 


Parking for parents is available behind the Performing Arts Centre, along the road towards the back (south) of the College and in the carparks by the G Wigg Sports Centre and Mackinnon Senior School. Please do not park in the ELC and Junior School parking areas until after 3.45 pm. 


Radford College teachers are looking forward to discussing the progress of your child this term. In preparing for the interviews, each of the teachers has been asked to consider your child’s engagement with learning, application in class, achievements to date, individual needs and ways for improvement.  

If you would like to discuss your child’s overall progress further after the interview, I would encourage you to speak to their Tutor or Head of Year. 

In addition to booked parent interviews with your child’s teachers, the Principal, Mrs Fiona Godfrey, and the Head of Secondary School, Mr Phillip O’Regan will be available for informal discussions with parents. No bookings are required to speak to Mrs Godfrey or Mr O’Regan at the Parent Teacher Evenings.

Image for article: Join the Art Show Committee!

Join the Art Show Committee!

14 March 2018

Be part of the Art Show team, or other P&F sub-committees

Following the election of the P&F Management Committee at the AGM last week, the formation of an Art Show Committee is at the top of the agenda.

The Radford Art Show will be held on 25-27 May, and a meeting will be held at 7pm on Thursday 22 March in the Board Room to establish the Art Show Committee. 

The Art Show project involves a range of different tasks leading up to the event, and over the course of the Art Show weekend.  P&F Administrator Angie Walters will work closely with the team on liaison with artists, registration of works, and preparation of the catalogue.  Other important tasks include publicity, catering for the gala opening and co-ordinating the Art Show cafe over the weekend.  It is not necessary to be a member of the P&F Management Committee to be on the Art Show Committee, and you can choose what tasks you want to undertake. 

Just over two months till the Art Show, so now's the time to lend a hand.  If you can't make the meeting on Thursday 22 March, contact P&F Administrator Angie Walters if you are able to help.

Radford Institute Seminar on the new work order

Get Ready for the New Work Order

7 March 2018

Social entrepreneur Jan Owen to speak at Radford Institute, Wed 21 March

Date: Wednesday 21 March
Time: 6.30 pm
Venue: Heath Lecture Theatre
RSVP:   institute@radford.act.edu.au

The pace of change has never been so great nor as disruptive as it is today. Young people will need to innovate in business, communities, government and the global realm to solve emerging challenges and create a fairer society. To do all this they will need to be able to navigate the new work order - where whole career progressions are being altered, new professions are coming into existence and traditional jobs are being swallowed by automation. So how do we prepare our young people for this future?

Currently the CEO of Foundation for Young Australians, Jan Owen is a highly-regarded social entrepreneur, innovator, influencer and author who has spent the past 25 years growing Australia's youth, social enterprise and innovation sectors.


Languages Hosting

Host families needed for May

Six extra host families are needed for 16-27 May, for students visiting from our Beijing sister school. Please email the Head of Languages Michele.sharp@radford.act.edu.au if you are able to help.

P&F meetings

P&F Meetings 2018

Venue: College Boardroom, time: 7pm. 22 March - Art Show meeting; other meetings April 12, June 14, July 26, August 30, October 18, November 15. All community members are welcome to attend.