Radford Bulletin Term 3, Week 5 – 16 August 2017

Staff Insights

Bill Weigall, Director of Assessment, Reporting and Curriculum

From the Director of Assessment, Reporting and Curriculum, August 2017

15 August 2017

NAPLAN, Philosophy and subject choices

Like people in similar positions from schools across the country, very soon after 9 am on Monday I opened my NAPLAN portal to see the newly released 2017 results. I have included one view of the data below to illustrate that our students have, as anticipated, performed well above the standard of the wider cohort. I will analyse the data more comprehensively in coming weeks and share my conclusions with colleagues and the wider school community. The table below shows the proportion of students attaining the top two bands for each cohort.

DARC_NAPLAN_School Summary

My initial impression is that the data tells a very similar story to previous years. Of course, we will look at the data behind the report snapshots and consider how we can change our teaching to strengthen student skillsets. Having said that, however, we will not be making any changes to pedagogy or the balance of the curriculum on the basis of NAPLAN alone. It has been said many times, but it really is only one piece of data and has to be considered as part of a much wider picture of performance. Even when considering NAPLAN results in isolation, there is a context to consider: the results from the writing task  while not as strong as they would ideally be – are stronger in the ACT than in other jurisdictions, and Radford is well placed within the ACT. Further analysis of the writing performance nationally can be found here.

As Principal Fiona Godfrey wrote last week, we have been told to expect the printed student reports in the coming days and they will be posted home at the earliest opportunity. Should you find anything in the report that you would like to discuss, please contact tutors, Heads of Year or me (bill.weigall@radford.act.edu.au).

... ... ...

As part of our continuing search to improve both teacher and student performance in a range of areas, Director of Teaching and Learning Louise Wallace-Richards provides an extensive suite of professional learning opportunities to staff. One highly regarded means of increasing student literacy and numeracy is to proportionally increase the philosophical mode of teaching. Radford is at the forefront of this approach, having been actively engaged in this field for some time. On Saturday, I joined a group of about a dozen of our staff, ranging from Kindergarten to Senior Secondary teachers, to complete the second of three training days run by SOPHY (Society of Philosophy for the Young). It was a positive and empowering experience to be with colleagues who were happily spending half of their weekend improving their range of teaching methodologies.

Such training offers valuable opportunities for each of us to gain insights and understanding of disparate parts of the Radford community. Hearing about how Kindergarten students learn, for example, challenges all of us to re-examine our conceptions about our own classrooms and student capabilities. Yesterday I spoke to Paul Southwell about visiting some of the Junior School classrooms to see philosophy in action. As I write, it occurs to me that I should offer my Year 10 Philosophy class the opportunity to join me on some of these visits.

... ... ...

The first few weeks of a semester are always busy as students get used to new classes and teachers and prepare for the first assessment items. For the whole Radford community, Semester 2 involves several additional elements. We have been processing the information in the semester reports; creating, finding and interpreting new unit outlines – in SEQTA for the first time – and, of course, working through a process of selecting subjects for next year. I have been impressed by the diligence displayed by our students in this process and I appreciate the time and effort invested by parents and staff too.

During the week, we received an invitation from ANU for Year 10 students to attend an information session on their Extension Courses (referred to by the BSSS as H Courses), which can form a minor as part of a tertiary entrance (T Course) of study. These courses are particularly beneficial for students who intend to study at ANU because they can provide some advanced standing towards a degree, as well as contributing to the score that affords access to the university.

If a H Course is of interest, please seriously consider attending the event as a family. Like most educational opportunities, this has great potential but needs to be approached in an informed and thoughtful manner. For example, it is important to understand that there will be slightly less support and monitoring of student progress in the H Course because it is held within a tertiary environment and ANU staff have limited opportunity to get to know the strengths and challenges that each student may possess or encounter. By all means, contact Senior Studies Co-ordinator Jennie Hitchen, Head of Student Pathways Suzanne Rentsch or me if you have any questions after the presentation.

While we are beginning the preparations for the 2018 academic year we understand that there will be changes in student preferences well beyond their initial choices and we will do our best to accommodate them within the inevitable constraints of staffing and resources. As ever, I welcome feedback about any aspect of the curriculum, reporting or assessment that you have experienced at Radford (bill.weigall@radford.act.edu.au)

Chaplain Fr Richard Browning

Chaplain's Reflection: in whose image?

16 August 2017

The character of our ‘god’ is the image which we become

A most extraordinary encounter occurred last Wednesday. 

A beautiful kindy student looked at me eyeball to eyeball and simply said: ‘when I grow up I want to be a Godly Play story teller. Just like you’. 

Oh my goodness. 

I could not say how many stories I have told – thousands easily. And a young student wishes to become a teller? I speak out of this Bible week after week after week, and from it, face forward to any who is listening and the young student alike: whatever is your God, there is the image into which you move. 

When speaking of the God of the Christian scriptures, if the image of this God includes violence, then we accept that violence is something that is possible from the outflowing of our faith. If God can be violent, then in the ‘right’ circumstances, so can the followers of this God. 

If the image of God carries the character traits of hard line exclusiveness, then the followers of this same God will practise the same. 

Of course, wrestle with the scriptures, limp away from them, even, but be blessed by them and discover, there is no violence in God, and embrace and universal welcome abounds. The measure of our scriptures is Jesus, the crucified, innocent, risen Victim who returns and brings peace. See here in plain view: there is no violence at all in God; see clearly here there is a love and graciousness freely given to all, without condition. This good news does not mean ‘so therefore be good’, it just means God is good. (The only recorded act of violence of Jesus was the cleansing of the temple – an outburst directed at the ‘religious’ who had devised the means for excluding the commoner and the poor, and turning it into profit. Matthew 21:12-13

So, in receiving ourselves from the God of Jesus Christ, we abhor any and all denial of universal human dignity; we decry all sounds and acts of racism and bigotry; we harbour no inclination for exclusion and expulsion, only welcome and embrace. This is the radical ‘patriotism’ asked of any Christian, an allegiance to the ‘fatherland’ that belongs to the Father who art in heaven. All nationalism and any other ‘ism’ is subservient to this expression of faith, in which all are known to God and belong in the kingdom of heaven. This is the news that transforms everything. It makes many uncomfortable, but it is good.

From the God whose face is Jesus, receive this good news.





Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

JS News 16 August 2017

16 August 2017

Learning Journeys, PYP Exhibition, Book Week, playgrounds, building works

Thursday 17 August KKM Excursion to the University of Canberra
Friday 18 August Y4 Flamenco workshop
Tuesday 22 August Y4 iPad Information Evening
Wednesday 23 August Years 1–4 Piano Recital
Thursday 24 August Y2 & Y5 Learning Journey


August is a great time of the year. The weather hints at possible change ahead and, across the Junior School, we prepare for the end of the month with a strong focus on Learning Journeys and the Y6 Exhibition.

This year's Book Week celebration (a time where our older girls and boys have the opportunity to dress as characters from books) is planned for 25 August. The date has other strong connections for me, as so many of you remember! This year, Mr Southwell's birthday challenge is to request messages from your sons and daughters describing challenges and mistakes that they have faced or made, and how they have grown and learnt from these.

Later this term, on 29 August, we plan to hold a parent 'Conversations' session. This will be a chance to share and grow our combined understandings around Apple Distinguished Schools and playgrounds.

Small changes continue to be made to our playground areas as our building project progresses. We have provided two large Lego tables in our Junior School foyer as a quiet space for Lego builders. We are setting up the RA Young Hall to add some play and running challenges and providing even more sport and play equipment for use on JA Mackinnon Oval.

Kindergarten 2018 planning is progressing quickly as we consider furniture and restructure of the playground and associated developments.

The expansion of our Junior School has allowed us to review our focus on personalisation and to consider how best to use all our learning areas as year-level learning centres. Our teachers are responding to this opportunity with strong and positive ideas, which will result in great things for our students.

Finally, I have been talking about how we may better target the transition times between lessons. Singing and movement can provide strong brain breaks for our students, helping them remain fresh and on task.

Looking forward to the weeks ahead, we know we are entering that 'tired' zone so it will be all hands on deck.


Yrs 1–4 Piano Recital – Wednesday 23 August, Week 6, Term 3. FORM DUE 18 August (end Week 5) FORM ON ROL

Summer trials season is here!

Current Summer Sports 2017/18 Season Trials

16 August 2017

Dianne Wilson

Cricket and Futsal


Futsal Trials for the 2017/18 Season will take place in the G Wigg Sports Centre on the following dates:

U13 & 14 Boys: Friday 18 August, 3.45–5 pm

U10, 11 & 12 Boys and U10–14 Girls: Sunday 20 August, 8.30–9.30 am

U15 & 16 Boys and Girls: Friday 25 August, 3.45–5 pm

Please note players are only required to trial if they wish to play in Division 1. Age groups are determined by the player’s age as at 31 December 2017. For example, if a player is 11 years of age on 31 December, he or she will be in the U11 age group. U8 & 9, Division 2 and U18 mixed teams will be selected based on registrations and year level/friendship groups.


Cricket Trials for the 2017/18 Season will take place on the P&F Oval on the following dates:

U11, 12 & 13: Tuesday 29 & Wednesday 30 August, 4–6 pm

U14, 15, 16 & First XI: Tuesday 5 & Wednesday 6 September, 4–6 pm

Age groups are determined by the player’s age on 1 September. For example, a player turning 12 on 31 August is eligible for the U13 age group. A player turning 12 on 1 September is eligible for the U12 age group.

Note that the Pre-Season Cricket Academy sessions will continue until Sunday 17 September and all interested players are welcome to attend. Click here for dates and information.

Dr Stefanie Pender working with Sea Watch

Collegian Dr Stefanie Pender, saving lives

16 August 2017

Lucas Pender, Class of 2009

Read about Stefanie's humanitarian work

From the Collegians website, post 17 July 2017 by Lucas Pender (Class of 2009)
Stefanie Pender (Class of 2006) has just come back from two missions volunteering as a doctor on a rescue boat in the Central Mediterranean. In the four weeks, over 2000 people were rescued from overcrowded wooden and rubber boats fleeing Libya. Many lives were also lost. Her stories are harrowing and a stark reminder of the inequality in the world. Also a reminder that our Radford community are in a position to do something.

After graduating from Radford in 2006, Stefanie Pender went on to study medicine at Monash University in Melbourne. She worked as a Doctor in Melbourne and more recently in Darwin Hospital and around the Northern Territory where she worked in Indigenous health. Her latest move has seen her working as the on-board Doctor on the Sea-Watch rescue boat in the Mediterranean. Sea-Watch is an not-for-profit NGO based on donations from volunteers. They operate a rescue boat along the Libyan coast. Their mission is “saving lives where states fail to act”. In 2016, Sea-Watch rescued over 20,000 migrants and refugees. In the same year, more than 5000 drowned or remained missing. This year, the numbers are only escalating.    

A Message From Stef:
“I don’t know where to start with the last weeks. I have experienced terrifying moments; overcrowded sinking boats, people drowning, CPR in speed boats, multiple patients strewn across the deck, armed coast guards targeting the ship, traumatised children that no longer cried, faces of the deceased in my hands. Desperation, panic and grief…but also relief and a lot of joy. Far above all, I am deeply touched and inspired by the beautiful people I met—their stories, strength, perseverance and remarkable ability against their horror to manage a smile and keep hope. It would mean so much to me to gather support for these people’s lives, rights and dignity. Also to show that despite our Government’s policy, Australian communities are generous and supportive of refugees.”

Stef’s brother Lucas Pender (Class of 2009) has set up a fundraiser to show support. To learn more and to show your support, visit the website here: https://chuffed.org/project/seawatch 

The Canberra Times also reported on Stef's story on 12 August 2017.


Stefanie is a Collegian. if you are a collegian, visit the website to claim your profile.



Ride2School Day, 8 September 2017

14 August 2017

Jane Lilley, Teacher

Please note the date change for this event


RIDE2SCHOOL DAY has been MOVED to Week 8!

Due to conflicting College events, the date for this term's Ride2School Day has been changed and it will now take place on Friday 8 September.


For more information about this event, please contact Jane Lilley jane.lilley@radford.act.edu.au

Radford Rocks

Radford Rocks Tonight!

15 August 2017

Matthew Heinrich, Coordinator of Rock/Pop Ensembles

Rock/Pop Ensemble students set to electrify the TB Millar stage

By Matthew Heinrich, Coordinator of Rock/Pop Ensembles

On Wednesday 16 August, 12 rock/pop bands from Years 6–12 will perform on the TB Millar stage at the annual Radford Rocks concert. All members of the community are invited to celebrate the achievements of the increasing contemporary elements of our vibrant Co-curricular Music program.

The evening will amplify the musical talents of 55 students performing on vocals, electric guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, brass and drums.

Time                            Date                                        Venue

5.30­–6.30 pm             Wednesday 16 August           TB Millar Hall 

Performing ensembles

Airborne Shadow

Canned Pineapple




Playing Up (Autopilot / LCM combined)

Rubber Band

Swamp Rock

The Following

The Predators

The Pugs


Writing can be exciting!

Y7 English Mystery Tour

16 August 2017

Rosie Waddell-Wood Year 7

Year 7 mystery site visits stimulate the writing process


By Rosie Waddell-Wood Year 7

On 3 August, all Year 7 students had the opportunity to be taken to three different sites around Canberra for our narrative writing unit. We were taken to the “ghost building” on Constitution Avenue, old Weetangera Cemetery and the Stromlo Observatory – all of which gave us a setting, a situation or an emotion that we could incorporate into our short stories. 

The “ghost building” and the ASIO building gave me some great ideas for a story. Since we didn’t know much about these places, our imagination was let loose and we were able to turn these buildings into almost anything. The emotions these buildings made me feel were great starters for a story. 

The old Weetangera Cemetery made us all go very quiet, because reading the headstones on the graves was upsetting. I felt a lot of different emotions, and the setting and the weather really contributed to how I felt. 

The Stromlo Observatory was quite different. Here, we were told a lot about the place and about its background. We were able to see an old telescope room, which burnt down in the 2003 fires, and we also had the opportunity to go inside an old, burnt down – and restored – house which belonged to one of the directors back when it was first built. 

Our writer-in-residence, Archimede (Archie) Fusillo, joined a few of the year 7 classes on this excursion. Back at school, Archie gave us two amazing, inspiring talks about his writing journey. 

Overall, this excursion gave everyone at least one great idea for a short story, and it also gave us an amazing experience.


JS Tennis Hot Shots

JS Hotshots

14 August 2017

Tamara Phelps, PE Teacher

Years 1 and 2 learn the finer points of tennis

By Tamara Phelps, PE Teacher

Students in Years 1 and 2 have started the 'Hot Shots Tennis' program. Over four weeks, the students will learn fundamental tennis skills like forehand, backhand and serving, which will further develop their overall gross motor skills. This week, the students benefited from the expertise of three members of the well-known and highly experienced Larkham tennis family! The students had an absolute ball learning new skills and enjoyed using the 'Secondary School' tennis facilities.

Orienteers taking up the challenge

Sports Report 16 Aug 17

16 August 2017

Sports Department

U13/2 Football, Snowsports and Orienteering

Football – U13 Division 2 Open – Radford 2 def. by Brindabella 5
By Steve McKinney

This week’s game was a non-competitive fixture played at home against Brindabella FC. Brindabella was short a couple of players so Radford lent them Campbell Kruger in the first half and Max Webster in the second half.   Radford started well with Will Gregory scoring the home team’s first goal in the 8th minute from a through ball from Darcy Franks. Brindabella hit back with two goals towards the end of the first half. In the second half, Radford had a number of good opportunities on the back of good runs from Saxon Moore and Will Gregory. James Knight had another strong game in the goals denying Brindabella on several occasions. Max (playing for Brindabella) arguably played too well, stopped a number of good attacking runs from Radford. Unfortunately Brindabella managed to score 3 goals in the second half to secure the win. Campbell Kruger scored a goal late in the second half in what was a relatively even match played in good spirit by both teams.


By Jonathan Mandl

115 skiers and snowboarders competed in the ACT Citizens Race on Sunday. Congratulations to our Fast Femme Div. 1 girls who set the pace in the Women's GS division (auguring well for Mt Buller!), Andrew Kerr as quickest in the boy's GS division, Jackson and Maggie our quickest SB competitors & all that enjoyed this fun annual event for PB's and race-event experience.


By Toni Brown

Radford Squad members navigating on Mt Wanniassa – what a way to spend the morning! Justine Hobson, year 7 continues to dominate the Orange 2 junior girls class. Joseph Wilson, in fine form maintaining speed and consistency this Saturday Metro season. 

  • Orange 1 (Long) - Men Junior Brendan Wilson 6th
  • Orange 2 (Medium) – Men Junior Michael Guthrie 2nd
  • Orange 2 Medium) – Women Junior 1st
  • Orange 3 (Short) – Men Junior Patrick Shelton-Agar

Congratulations to James Dixon and Leo Luo who took the challenge this week on moderate level courses.

OEG Youth Adventure Challenge

Youth Adventure Challenge with OEG

21 July 2017

Lizzy Pugh, Head of Outdoor Education

Four teammates. Three days. One outstanding event

By Lizzy Pugh, Head of Outdoor Education

Youth Adventure Challenge (YAC) is an exhilarating team adventure race that aims to bring out the best in you and your teammates.

Work together to solve problems, climb high, ride hard and run like you're Forrest Gump.

All you need is yourself and three teammates, a willingness to learn, an adventurous spirit and a thirst for victory.

YAC is open to students in Year 9–11. The adventure takes place in Rubicon Valley, Victoria on 6–8 October and Radford will compete against teams from across New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. Teams will need to do some creative fundraising to get there.

The Youth Adventure Challenge offers $$ and prizes for the winning team … and some serious glory for yourself and Radford. Participation also satisfies the sporting component of The Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Contact Lizzy Pugh if you are interested.


Uniform supplier Perm-A-Pleat

Uniform Shop welcomes second-hand items

16 August 2017


Good quality second-hand uniform items are welcome

By Perm-A-Pleat Managing Director Adrian Palm

A reminder to all Radford families that we welcome second-hand items for consideration, in order for us to be able to offer an adequate range of second-hand uniform items for sale, as well as new items.

All second-hand uniform items must be laundered and not altered, no holes, ripped or stained. Uniform items that are worn out unfortunately will not be able to be considered.  Full details on form attached.

Please visit our uniform shop page for opening hours, to make an appointment or order uniform items online, or speak with one of our staff about your requirements.


P&F Announcements

Support the P&F through Entertainment Books purchase

Check out the great offers available in the Entertainment Book. $12 from each purchase goes to the P&F to support College projects. 

Contact: Radford Entertainment Books Convenor Alison Wilson
alison.radfordent@yahoo.com.au or mobile 0401 705 468

Trivia Night 2017

Last chance to book Tickets - Friday 15th September from 6:30pm. NB: venue now TB Millar Hall.


JS Music Recitals

Yrs 1–4 Piano Recital – Term 3, Week 6, 23 August. FORM DUE 18 August (end Week 5). FORM ON ROL


Cricket Pre-Season Academy - places still available!

See flyer for full details. Enquiries: e-mail Brent Larkham (Head of Sport) or phone 02 6181 1090.

Radford Parents Prayer Group

Rappers (Radford Parents who Pray) gathering

Rappers will be hosting a wine and cheese evening on Thursday 17 August, at the Stirzakers' home, st 3 Mulga St O'Connor, from 7.30 pm.  All are welcome. For more information, or to confirm your attendance, please contact Mary Stirzaker on 0419625513.


APFACTS - Newsletter 16 August 2017

A #parentech screening of Screenagers & special Q+A.  If you missed the Radford Institute screening, here is another opportunity to see this film, a ‘must-see’ conversation starter for all parents and their teens.

School Sports ACT

SSACT Bulletin 28 June 2017

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.

View the latest SSACT Bulletin.