Radford Bulletin Term 2, Week 1 – 27 April 2017
News & Articles
27 April 2017
Welcome back, 'Song Contest' - the College musical, great teachers
I would like to extend a warm welcome back for the start of Term 2 to all members of the Radford community. I trust you had an opportunity to spend some relaxing time with family and friends in the magnificent autumnal weather of the Easter period and are now ready to be fully involved in another very busy term.
Song Contest - The Almost Eurovision Experience
While the majority of Radford students have been taking advantage of the holidays over the past two weeks, a hard-working group of students and staff have been putting the finishing touches to the 2017 Radford College musical, Song Contest - The Almost Eurovision Experience.
Each day this week and last, students from Years 7-12 have been working tirelessly as members of the tech and media crews, costuming, the band or the cast, preparing for what promises to be a highly entertaining, upbeat, fun and quirky show that even requires audience participation.
When I asked those involved in the musical what the storyline was, I was told, 'There is no story; it's just like being at the finals of Eurovision, which this year happens to be in Belarus' capital city, Minsk'. They told me that Song Contest is a cross between a musical comedy, a concert and a sporting event.
I strongly encourage everyone in the College to get behind these talented and assiduous students and come along to one of the three performances that will take place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. From what I have seen over the past 10 days, this year's musical is going to be memorable indeed!!
Great teachers make a great school
Over the recent vacation period, my family and I had the opportunity to holiday with a couple of other families who have children of a similar age to ours. Over long lunches and dinners, the conversations were mixed and varied, often involving a fair degree of frivolity and humour. There was one conversation, however, that caused me to put on my 'professional hat', when asked what were the fundamental differences between schools of the 21st century compared with schools of the 1970s (the era in which the more senior adults who were there were educated).
After some contemplation, I said I thought that the four main differences between schools of today compared with schools of the 1970s are as follows:
1. technology has dramatically changed schools both pedagogically and administratively
2. class sizes are smaller, in particular when compared to the early 1970s
3. retention rates have dramatically improved since the 1970s; for example, nearly 90 per cent of students who begin Year 7 complete Year 12
4. pedagogical styles have moved from teacher-directed didactic learning that sees students learn through memorising and recitation to a constructivist approach, involving a more interactive and student-based model that develops critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
While my assertions may well be contested by other educationalists, the one element of schooling that I believe has not changed over this period of time is that great teachers make great schools. Study after study, across all parts of the world, indicate that the most significant element in a student's learning outcomes and their experience of school is the quality of their teacher(s).
Almost everyone can recall a special or favourite teacher. Perhaps it was a teacher who made you laugh or someone who shared a similar interest or passion. Perhaps it was someone you admired or whose lessons you found inspiring. It may even have been someone you were in awe of or initially feared but, with the benefit of hindsight and maturity, someone you grew to appreciate.
Teaching is a complex, complicated and highly scrutinised job. Such scrutiny is appropriate because of the exceptional importance education plays in developing and sustaining a healthy, intelligent and flourishing community.
A recent summary of the extensive research into what makes a great teacher, reported by the Australian Council of Educational Research, concluded that there are generally agreed ways in which to describe an 'expert teacher'. Highlights from this rather exhaustive list include that expert teachers are:
- able to enhance learning, opportunistic in pursuing learning needs of individual students and are flexible
- able to positively influence student achievement
- able to provide appropriate challenging tasks and goals for students, passionate about teaching and learning and respectful of students
- able to provide relevant, useful feedback; adept at assessing students' understanding; and, proficient at creating an optimal classroom climate for learning
- able to anticipate, plan, and improvise
- able to accurately analyse the effectiveness of their own teaching and in possession of deep content knowledge and understanding about how learning occurs.
In addition to these qualities, great teachers have a passion for learning and their profession, strong interpersonal skills, a true love of learning and the ability to inspire such a love in their students, creativity, highly developed organisational skills, patience, high expectations of their students and a sincere desire to help them, a sense of humour, excellent communication skills, a love of their subject matter, a comprehensive understanding of the role of school in a child's life, a commitment to continuing their own professional learning, a willingness to accept and participate in change, the ability to work collaboratively and a strong work ethic.
Teaching is a very personal profession and teachers have individual teaching styles, just as students have individual learning styles. People from varied backgrounds, faiths, personal situations and experiences are drawn to teaching and this is part of what makes the teaching profession so dynamic and vibrant. Yet it is this diversity that invariably means not every student will connect with every teacher. Similarly, teachers find that there are occasional students who are more difficult or more challenging to teach than others.
Part of learning at school and in wider society is acquiring the ability to relate to a variety of individuals and groups. As technology facilitates the emergence of a truly global community, it is more important than ever for students to learn to communicate with, relate to and exchange ideas with an increasingly wide range of people. Experiencing a diversity of teachers helps prepare students for this. Each teacher is different and, while most students can connect with and learn successfully from most teachers, there are instances where this is not the case. Instead of seeing this as a negative, it may be seen as an opportunity for students to hone their adaptability and work at developing a positive relationship with someone to whom they are not instinctively drawn. Certainly, teachers work very hard to cater for each unique student in their classroom and it is a mark of their professionalism and commitment that they are almost always able to successfully do this.
At Radford, we strive to develop a team of teaching staff, each of whom displays the qualities of a 'great teacher'. Our teachers, in conjunction with their Heads of Departments, Assistant Heads of School, Director of Teaching and Learning and Director of Assessment Curriculum and Reporting, develop individual learning goals based around continual improvement of classroom teaching.
Effective teaching is enhanced by an honest, open and successful partnership between school and home. I encourage you to discuss teaching and learning styles with your child/ren and take advantage of the various opportunities throughout the year to meet personally with your child/ren's teachers. Taking the time to get to know someone usually results in greater understanding and enhanced outcomes.
26 April 2017
Religion as the structure that supports spirituality
For those of you haven't met me yet, I'm delighted to have this opportunity to introduce myself and provide a bit of my background. I was born and bred in Lismore, New South Wales, where all the floods have been happening in the last few weeks. I originally trained as an art teacher and went out teaching for a short while and then returned to university to study pastoral counselling. I worked as a high school counsellor for a couple of years and then, after much inner wrestling, I decided to answer God's call and began training as an Anglican priest in Canberra. I have been a priest now for five years and have worked in ministry in Queensland, Victoria and now back in Canberra. It is good to have returned to the place where my journey to priesthood formally began.
Much like Fr Richard mentioned in his last reflection, I too had a strong resistance to becoming a priest. I remember at least two occasions when it was suggested to me to think about studying theology or to consider doing ministry, and my automatic reply was, 'that's a silly idea', or 'I am never going to be a priest'. In hindsight, I can see that God had the grace to let me say 'no' to his calling until, in the end, I got tired of the inner wrestling and decided I would give this 'ministry thing' a go. As it turns out, I love it!
Much of my passion as a priest these days is about where religion fits into our Western world, particularly now that countries like Australia have become what many would call secular. In our secular society, people are less interested in religion but, at the same time, there is a growing interest in 'spirituality'. I recall listening to an ABC radio interview with David Tacey, the author of many books about religion and spirituality and one of our nation's leading thinkers in this area. He responded to the question 'what is the relationship between religion and spirituality?', with the proposition that 'religion gives our spiritual lives a form in which to express itself'. This seems so true to me. I know my spirit's hunger for something bigger than itself has the chance to be expressed in singing hymns, receiving Holy Communion and saying prayers when I go to church. And, at Easter time, my spirit finds great courage and strength in knowing that, with the risen Christ, we can overcome the worst moments in our lives.
I look forward to sharing with you some of my thoughts on spirituality and religion during Term 2. The most important thing for all of us is to 'keep the conversation going'. We need to keep talking about and discussing that deepest part of who we are, whether we identify as being religious or not, because it shapes our lives in ways of which we are often unaware. I invite all of you to ponder, in your spare moments, how does your spirit express itself in your everyday life?
27 April 2017
Celia Lindsay, Communications Officer
From Monday 1 May, the website home page will have a new look with improved navigation.
By Celia Lindsay, Communications Officer
The current College website was introduced in 2014, and the Communications team has been monitoring the analytics and comments about it. Based on this information, we have worked with the website developers to streamline the navigation and structure, so it is easier for people to find the most-used pages. The new look is scheduled to be launched on Monday 1 May. The Bulletin format will remain unchanged.
Top menu bar changes
All navigation will be through the top menu bar or the new Quick Links box on the home page. (There will no longer be any side or footer navigation tools.)
If you 'hover' your cursor on the top menu bar tabs, you can see and access the sub-pages under each section. The sample below shows the sub-pages under the first tab 'About'.
The Quick Links box on the home page reflects the most-used areas of the website. This box only appears on the home page.
Remember that from any page on the website, you can go directly to the home page by clicking on the College crest in the left-hand top corner.
The current calendar highlights panel on the website home page has been removed, and the Calendar Quick Link, at the top of the Quick Links section, will take you directly to the Radford Online calendars. This will avoid problems of aligning two different sets of calendar data. As at present, the Bulletin will still include a calendar highlights section, for selected events only - not all events.
As in the current website version, every page has a search function immediately below the top menu bar. If you have any queries about where pages are located, there is also a website map accessible through the Quick Links box.
The Bulletin format will remain unchanged. From next week, the Bulletin can be accessed from the Latest Bulletin Quick Link on the home page.
Please take a few moments from next week to become familiar with the changes to the layout, so you can find the information you need on the website. If you have any queries, please contact the Communications team.
26 April 2017
A warming and busy start to a new term
As we start Term 2, I send a warm ?welcome back? to all our Junior School families.
Some of the things that keep me going as we head toward winter include:
- Our upcoming carnivals. Term 2 gives us two opportunities to celebrate as Houses, firstly at our P?12 Cross Country Carnival on Friday 12 May, a wonderful highlight of which is our Pre Kindergarten ?Hot Cross Country? opening lap. Secondly, we also celebrate our Junior School Athletics Carnival on our main oval on Wednesday 17 May.
- The winter co-curricular opportunities begin in Term 2. We also stage co-curricular culminating events, such as our much-anticipated drama production. These activities are real opportunities for our boys and girls to experience success and failure and growth together.
- Our seasonal change of uniform. This is an exciting time for our Year 5 students as they don our formal uniforms for the first time, blazers and all! A reminder that, given our lovely city can provide 6 seasons in one day, the term starts with a two-week changeover period from summer to winter uniforms.
- The whole College Anzac Day. This event marks our College?s formal acknowledgement of the sacrifices in war that have been made in our country?s name.
- Most importantly, welcoming back a rested P?6 student body!
On a sadder note, we start this term without our two much-loved Assistant Heads of School. Ms Marina Malcolm has returned to Northern Ireland to continue her family journey and, regrettably, Ms Emily Begbie will miss this term as she continues to recuperate from illness. This is only the second time in our Junior School history that we have had to replace Emily with a classroom teacher. I thank Karen Mahar for taking on Emily?s duties and Ms Nadia Sullivan, who will take over Kinder KM. It speaks volumes about the College?s reputation that we are able to appoint a replacement teacher with such experience, warmth and understanding of our ?whole child? approach.
Additionally, I congratulate and farewell Mr Bernie Passeggi, who has been appointed as executive assistant at another Canberra school. Again, we are fortunate to be able to have Ms Megan Sharp available to take over our 1?4 site reception. Megan brings significant experience to our ?first face? reception position.
Finally some reminders!
- all absence emails for the Junior School should be sent to email@example.com
- The College requires that I approve, in writing, any Junior School-student leave of three days or more.
27 April 2017
Celia Lindsay, Communications Officer
Celebrating the contributions of Vic Gibbons, Phillip Heath and the Mackinnons.
By Celia Lindsay, Communications Officer
On 7 April, Foundation Day 2017, a very special ceremony was held to recognise the contributions made to Radford College by Vic Gibbons, (Facilities Manager 1993-1995 and Bursar 1995-2006), Phillip Heath (Principal 2009-2013) and Jock Mackinnon AM (Foundation Principal 1984-1988) and his wife, Elizabeth Mackinnon.
The ceremony culminated in the naming of three significant spaces, to be known now as the Gibbons Pavilion, the Heath Lecture Theatre and the Mackinnon Senior School.
Principal Fiona Godfrey welcomed the guests, and introduced Chief Operating Officer Simon Wallace who gave the reflection on the contribution of Vic Gibbons, Mr Gibbons worked closely with the College Board, Executive and architects in the design and management of the second wave of infrastructure projects. These included the G Wigg Sports Centre, the LJ Willett Performing Arts Centre, Radford Chapel, the Browning Early Learning Centre and the Pavilion.
Deputy Principal, Head of Junior School, Paul Southwell gave the reflection on the contribution of Phillip Heath, whose legacy includes the establishment of the Radford College Institute, a hub for debate and information about educational issues and practice, and the Dirrum Dirrum Centre for Values, Ethics and Compassion. Phillip worked closely with Paul Southwell on the consolidation of the new Junior School, and then its expansion under the Australian Government program Building the Education Revolution. The new Senior School precinct, including the state-of-the-art lecture theatre, was opened in 2013, Phillip?s last year at Radford.
The final reflection was given by Valerie Smith, appointed as Secretary to the Interim Board for the proposed new school that became Radford College. Mrs Smith chose as her theme ?A matter of choice?, the title of the College history, written in 2004 by Jenny Murphy. She reflected on the courage shown by Jock and Elizabeth Mackinnon in choosing to leave the security of well-established personal and professional lives in Adelaide, to come to Canberra for a school that was little more than an idea at the time. The formal leadership of Jock Mackinnon was underpinned by what Mrs Smith referred to as the school?s ?secret weapon?, its ?ambassador-at-large?: Mrs Elizabeth Mackinnon. Elizabeth worked on the establishment of the Art Show, Fete, parent and staff networking and much, much more. Having made their choice in favour of Radford, the Mackinnons were truly inspiring in the energy, enthusiasm, vision and leadership they showed.
Radford Chaplain Erin Tuineau performed a blessing as part of the dedication.
Vic Gibbons, Phillip Heath, and Elizabeth Mackinnon and her four children attended the ceremony, joined by family, friends, senior staff and other well-wishers who joined in the celebrations.
25 April 2017
Community comes together for Concert and Service
Foundation Day is always a celebration for mind, spirit and body, a time to think about who and what the Radford community is, and 2017 was no exception.
Appreciative lovers of fine music were treated to a mellifluous performance at the Foundation Day Concert.
This year's concert was held in the Radford College Chapel and featured Camerata & Chorale Choirs, with Chamber Strings, performing Requiem by French composer Gabriel FauA?e.
The evening was the culmination of a full term's rehearsal, guided by Leanne McKean, Director of Choirs, and Nicola Bartasek, Head of Co-curricular Music and Instrumental Studies.
The performance of FauA?e's refined and gentle piece was a fitting way to usher in the next day's Foundation Day Service ? The Telling.
Based on Biblical narratives, The Telling uses mythical, metaphorical language of the indigenous Ngunnawal people and rich imagery drawn from the earth to encourage reflection on the Radford story.
Students from across the College led and participated in The Telling, culminating in the raising and lowering of the Vessel to signify that Radford's story had been told once more.
Principal Fiona Godfrey sent students out with the words:
Go now and live it. In the spirit of celebration and community, you are sent to go and run and play, work together, laugh and enjoy, and commit yourselves to something good, something big, something that brings life to more than yourself. Life is on offer, and you are invited to choose it.
26 April 2017
Nick Akhurst, Head of Department, Co‑curricular Drama/Dance/Oratory
The 2017 Musical will be a musical experience like no other.
By Nick Akhurst, Head of Department, Co?curricular Drama/Dance/Oratory
The 2017 Musical is a musical experience like no other. It is Song Contest ? The Almost Eurovision Experience.
It is a glamorous and colourful tribute to the Eurovision Song Contest, with 11 countries competing in the final with authentic potential for you to decide on the winner with voting on the night.
We invite you to get as close as you can to the Eurovision experience and come see Song Contest and support the country of your choice.
There will be three performances:
- Thursday, 27 April
- Friday, 28 April
- Saturday, 29 April.
Tickets are on sale in the quad as well as online.
27 April 2017
Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston addresses College.
The entire College gathered in solemnity for yesterday's Anzac Commemorative Service.
Rainy conditions prompted a move from the turning circle to the G Wigg Sports Centre, where students, staff and guests paused to remember not only the Gallipoli campaign of 1915, but the sacrifice and military service of millions of Australians since.
In his speech, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AC (Mil), AFC spoke about the Anzac tradition of mateship and teamwork in the face of adversity, which he said provides motivation and inspiration for Australians and New Zealanders in all walks of life.
Sir Angus went on to say: "The tradition is also evident when disaster strikes at home in Australia. Police, emergency services, the Australian defence force, volunteers and the wider community never hesitate to assist those in need. We put the needs of others before our own, and pitch in to assist those doing it tough. The Anzac tradition is an inheritance bequeathed to all Australians by the Anzacs. It defines our national character and our commitment to Australia in all endeavours. It is not myth; it is a reality that unifies and strengthens our nation and its increasing diversity".
19 April 2017
By Oli Golding, Visual Arts Subject Captain
A successful Senior Visual Art students? overnight excursion to Arthur and Yvonne?s Boyd?s property, Bundanon
By Oli Golding, Visual Arts Subject Captain
Radford College Senior Visual Arts class set out early on the morning of 30 March an overnight trip to Bundanon, the former property of artists Arthur and Yvonne Boyd.
The following collection of thoughts from some of the students and staff sums up the experience:
I enjoyed the trip because I learned new techniques and how scenery and upbringing can affect an artist's style. The creative workshops helped in gaining a greater understanding of new techniques. Going to Arthur Boyd's house was a good experience as we learned about his family, their art and how experiences can directly affect an artwork. Overall it was a very useful and enjoyable trip.
? Nick Williams, Year 11
It was good to find out just how many of Arthur Boyd's extended family were artists, and how it influenced him. I wished we had more time to draw the surroundings at Bundanon and Riversdale.
? Gwen Courtney, Year 12
Unexpectedly, the two-hour life-drawing work shop was a relaxing experience. The added atmosphere of the Bundanon/Riversdale landscape in the quiet space of the life-drawing workshop made it an enjoyable process.
? Campbell Miller, Year 11
My favourite part of the Visual Art excursion was the life-drawing session as it was an enriching art experience. It was great to be away and isolated from school so I could further develop my art skills. It was a fantastic experience that I would happily do again.
? Teresa Pelle, Year 11
I really enjoyed visiting Arthur Boyd's house and seeing his artworks and the studio space in which he made them. I felt inspired and excited to then go off and create my own work.
? Lahni Amosa, Year 12
This overnight excursion packed in as much art as is possible. We had a well-informed tour of the Boyd's home at Bundanon, and Arthur Boyd's studio, drew in the landscape, viewed selected works from Bundanon Trust's Art Collection, observed a demonstration of 'blue printing' and participated in a two-hour life-drawing workshop, all before bedtime. We stayed in the Glenn Murcutt-designed Education Centre, which is spectacularly sited on the Shoalhaven River. The next morning, we woke to the sound of kookaburras and participated in a drawing and artists' bookmaking workshop.
Stopping off at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery to view the contemporary landscape exhibition Three Ways: GW Bot, Meg Buchanan & Anita McIntyre broke our return trip. We all arrived home buoyed by having shared this intensive, productive and creative experience.
Thank you to Dimity Kidston, Visual Arts teacher, for supporting the trip and to all the students who impressed me with their focus and deep engagement. They made the very most of this special extension opportunity.
? Amanda Andlee Poland, Senior Visual Arts teacher
26 April 2017
Ms Kathleen Notley
A busy period of Round Square activities
By Kathleen Notley, Round Square Representative
This term will be another busy period of Round Square activities. A number of international exchanges have been undertaken so far and students will soon be heading overseas to Peru and Canada. Kali Yates recently returned from Roedean School in South Africa and, from all accounts, had a wonderful experience. Closer to home, 22 Year 8 students will this term undertake a two-week exchange with other Round Square schools in Australia. It is fantastic to witness the growth and development of the students who participate in these opportunities.
Radford will be sending a full delegation to the September 2017 Regional Conference for 13?15 year olds to be held in Mongolia. The College will also be represented at the Round Square International Conference in South Africa in late September where over 1000 delegates will attend from Round Square schools across the world.
Students in years 5 and 6 can nominate for the upcoming Regional Conference for 10?12 year olds to be hosted by Epsom College in Malaysia. This conference is being hosted a second time in Malaysia as it was so successful last year. Year 6 students also have the opportunity to participate in week-long exchanges with Australian Round Square schools and the selection process begins shortly. Round Square is certainly gaining interest in the Junior School with over 30 students attending the Tuesday lunchtime meetings each week under the guidance of Mrs Jessica Ford.
For further information about any of the Round Square opportunities on offer, including the ?Big Build? projects occurring overseas, please contact Radford?s Round Square Representative, Ms Kathleen Notley
27 April 2017
Basketball, Swimming, Athletics, Rugby and holiday program report.
Basketball and Football Holiday Program
Over the April holidays Radford ran holiday programs for Basketball and Football. From all accounts, both programs ran very successfully, and the number of students in attendance was great. A huge "thank you" to Brent Larkham, Brad Luhrs, Tom Crossley and Dianne Wilson for all their efforts over the three days. Another holiday program will be on offer for the June/July holidays. Watch this space.
Basketball - winter 2017 Season
The winter Basketball season commences this weekend for all teams. The draw is available on the Basketball ACT website. Good luck to all coaches and teams for this weekend.
ACT Swimming Carnival 12 Years & U - Bernadette Leger
Congratulations to the following 12 swimmers who have progressed from the Belconnen swimming carnival to represent Radford College & the Belconnen region at the ACT 12 years and under swimming carnival. The students are: Jeffrey Bush, Alex Couldrick, Angelina Fei, Oliver Fox, Bonnie Hardy, Ellie & Steven Maglasis, Catherine Mai, Nathan Price, Alys Robertson, Amber & Jake Smith Gibson. The ACT swimming carnival will be held on Monday 1 May at the AIS. More information will come out this week. Final results from the Belconnen Swimming carnival are available for viewing on Radford Online.
ACT Swimming Carnival Secondary School - Brent Larkham
Congratulations to the following 25 swimmers who have progressed through from ASC to the ACT Swimming carnival to be held on Wednesday 3 May at the AIS. They are: Jarrah Anderson, Christopher Bush, Isabella Domazet, Erica Dwight, Elisabeth Gregory, Sophie Groves, Jackson Hippit, Zara Imhoff, Olivia Lloyd, Holly Mapley, Sophie McGready, Luke, Mark and Melanie O?Neill, Sebastian Phommaseisy, Stone Sima, Charlotte Ward, Connor Watt, Anna and Sarah Wilford, Jont?e Wright & Barclay Zhang.
High School Rugby 7s Final - Bernadette Leger
Congratulations on the High School 7s team which has progressed through to the finals to be played on Wednesday 3 May at Southwell Park. The team members are: Miguel Fernandez, Matthew Browning, Patrick Leerdam, Patrick Morrison, Dominic Stirzaker, Guinness Downey, Sam Alexander, Trent Vivian, Angus Christoffelsz, Lachlan baker, Ryan Sanderson and Ruben Amosa, coached by Father Richard Browning. Well done team.
Radford players show the opposition a clean pair of heels
ACS Athletics Secondary School ? Brent Larkham
The ASC Athletics carnival will be held on Thursday 4 May at the AIS. Information is available on the sports noticeboard and Radford Online.
Belconnen Bus Station temporary closure
Belconnen Bus Station closure 4-11 May
Due to construction works, the Westfield Belconnen Bus Station will be closed from Thursday 4 May 2017 to Thursday 11 May 2017, inclusive.?? Students should use the Belconnen Community Station. A map of the station, including platform and service departure information can be found on the Transport Canberra website.
Farewell, Philip Winkworth
Farewell, Philip Winkworth
Former Radford rowers, their parents and other rowing friends are invited to attend a farewell for Director of Rowing, Philip Winkworth. Invitation.
Rowing Presentation - Tuesday 9 May
Rowing presentation - Tuesday 9 May
Full details in the attached letter.
School Sport ACT
School Sports ACT Bulletin
School Sport ACT (SSACT) is the peak body for School Sport delivery in the ACT.
SSACT actively promotes school sport for all ACT students through the support of regional, state and national representative opportunities and pathways.