Radford Bulletin Term 3, Week 9 – 19 September 2018

Staff Insights

Claire Melloy, Director of Student Development

The Power of Giving

18 September 2018

Claire Melloy - Assistant Principal, Student Development

The benefits of giving as a source of wellbeing

By Claire Melloy - Assistant Principal, Student Development

Helping young people find themselves in the context of relating to others is one of the most important things that educators can do. We are constantly reflecting on how we best do this.

It is three years since we introduced the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program into the Secondary School. During that time many things have changed. Streamlining of curriculum and the creation of new courses within the college, our contract with Macquarie University on the Insights program coming to an end, a greater focus on a larger number of aspects of wellbeing in mainstream media and society in general, and new research on the most protective factors for student wellbeing.

In a world where we are constantly being told to do this, eat this, think this, for our wellbeing, it is more important than ever to have the evidence to show what works, what doesn’t, and why we might adjust our SEL program as a result.

There has been much research into the benefits of giving as an important component of general wellbeing. Neuroscience shows the benefits in the brain.

*Reduced stress-related activity
 in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, right anterior insula, and right amygdala.

*Greater reward-related activity
 in left and right ventral striatum

*Greater caregiving-related activity
 in septal area.

[See: The Neurobiology of Giving Versus Receiving Support: The Role of Stress-Related and Social Reward–Related Neural Activity]

 How reassuring to know that from an evolutionary perspective, our brains are wired to feel rewarded more for magnanimity and selflessness than for meanness and selfishness.


Gandhi quoteRecent research (2018) in the form of an analysis of all large scale wellbeing programs including : CASEL, SEL, Positive Psychology, restorative justice has found that giving/doing something for someone else is possibly the most significant protective factor for a young person’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. Thomas Neilson, PhD UC cites research that found giving to others enhanced happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and lowered depression, in a sample of 2681 individuals. He cites several studies confirming that giving has a significant positive impact on mental health, happiness, hopefulness and social effectiveness. So while we have had the evidence for the benefits of giving for a while, we now have evidence as to why we would implement the Giving Curriculum as our wellbeing program over other approaches.

As a result we are proposing to replace the current SEL program (one lesson per cycle) with the Giving Curriculum, aiming to use the science of human goodness to promote compassion, cooperation and collaboration.

The purpose is to provide a program that improves the health and wellbeing of every secondary school student. To provide opportunities for meaningful connection to the community, a sense of belonging through regular, ongoing participation in charitable and giving programs, and in doing so, provide positive wellbeing experiences for adolescents.

Currently we have approximately 90 small scale service activities that students can sign up for. These come under the headings of:

  • upcycling and recycling (e.g. upcycling clothing and Radford recyclables)
  • visual and performing arts (e.g. performances for charity)
  • creating a healthier environment at Radford (e.g. getting rid of plastic straws)
  • charitable giving (e.g. knitting for need, love for the lonely)
  • building practical skills and community building (e.g. online tutorials, making homemade cleaning products).

Student initiated activities will be welcomed and supported wherever possible.

Students will work on projects and activities whose purpose is to give back to the Radford and/or greater community, whilst generating evidence for their personal CV. They will need to plan, set goals for, coordinate and problem-solve in their activity. Students will be required to write up a report for their activity at the end of the year, identifying whether or not they achieved their goals, what worked, what didn’t, and any suggestions for the following year, to ensure longevity in each activity. Senior students will be provided with professional learning in how to guide and nurture younger students. In this way every senior student will have a leadership opportunity.

An additional advantage is the opportunity to provide more multi-age activities to build a greater sense of connectedness and belonging to the college.

Essential social and emotional learning skills and concepts will still be delivered, now more through key curriculum areas where relevant, by counsellors in year assemblies or in small groups where appropriate. Our very popular speaker series for students and parents will continue to run.

Our Health and Wellbeing page, presented by topic/issue is also an excellent resource for students and parents

Please insert link here

Questions/ comments ideas or suggestions about the program are welcome, to:
Claire Melloy Assistant Principal, Student Development Claire.melloy@radford.act.edu.au


Chaplain Erin Tuineau

Domestic violence and the power of prayer

18 September 2018

Rev. Erin Tuineau, Chaplain

A lesson from Tonga about faith and cultural change

By Rev. Erin Tuineau, Chaplain

In recent times my husband, Alipate, and I were talking about, and reflecting on, the amount of violence that we had been watching on the news, particularly in domestic situations. Like many other people, we are deeply concerned about this violence and also shocked by it. As we continued talking about how Australia as a nation should respond to domestic violence, Alipate started to tell me about a time in Tonga when about 5 people were killed in separate domestic situations, but all within the space of a few months. Nothing like this had ever happened in Tonga before, and so the people were, understandably, very worried about what had caused this rise in violence within their communities.

Before I go any further with this story, I need to explain a little about the culture of Tonga. One of the things I will never forget about my first visit there was the prison. I did not even know it was a prison, because the fence around it was one of those low wire fences that you can climb over. In fact, there were prisoners who had climbed over the fence and were standing by the side of the road to sell the fruit and vegetables that they had grown within the prison grounds. In shock, I turned to Alipate and his family and said, ‘Why are the fences so low? Won’t people escape?’ My in-laws just laughed and said, ‘Where would they run to? They are on a very small island, and an island where everybody knows everybody else.’ Clearly, Tonga is a country that is not used to extreme forms of violence if the prison fences are not designed to protect the wider community from ‘violent people’.

And, so, it is in this context that Alipate explained that when these 5 people had been killed, a Minister from the Methodist Church went to the King and Queen (because Tonga is still a kingdom) and said that he was deeply disturbed by these events and believed that all people in the country needed to kneel and pray to God for help. The significant part of this story is that the King and Queen of Tonga never bow down or kneel in front of anyone, but the Prime Minister entreated them to do so as a sign to the people that their country was in deep need of being transformed. The royal couple did as the Prime Minister asked, and all the people of Tonga set aside a time to kneel in prayer and seek God’s guidance in this time of sadness and ask for the violence to stop.

Although Tonga, like any other country, always has individuals who engage in violence, the domestic violence situations, as mentioned above, did not continue. When I hear this story, I am moved to tears because it speaks of a country of people who feel so connected to each other that even when they lose five of their own folk, they all feel the grief of it. 

As John Donne wrote in 1624, in his Meditation XVII, often referred as ‘No man is an island’:

…any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Obviously, Tonga is much smaller than Australia, but I still wonder if we could learn something from the way in which Tongans have taken domestic violence to be a problem that every person of a nation needs to respond to, not just some people. I say this because domestic violence, at its heart, is a cultural problem, not an individual’s problem. I know in Australia many are concerned about this issue, and some people are proactively doing something to try and change it. However, just imagine for a moment if our leaders were to draw all people in Australia together to offer up prayers for the violence happening in our communities. Now, some may say we can’t do that, because we have become a secular society, but I would argue that people might be a lot more open to engaging in prayer for such a serious issue than we might first think. As I tell the students in Chapel, anyone can pray, there is no rule book that I know of that says you have to be religious to do so. And if ‘prayer’ is not a word that people are comfortable with than, perhaps, asking people to ‘send their love’ would be suffice.

In all honesty, I think the people of Australia need to be reminded of how connected we are to each other, and that if we are facing serious issues like domestic violence, then we need to dig deep and respond collectively, and with our whole heart, if we really want to see change. The act of kneeling in prayer is something that reminds us that in life, we will always face problems which require us to admit that we need help from something, or Someone, bigger than ourselves. I believe Australia is facing such a problem with regard to domestic violence, and we need to realize this is not a problem we can transform by ourselves. We need God’s help. We need a bigger Love.


Saturday SunsetSaturday Sunset:

22 September

at 5:30 pm

Radford Chapel, everyone welcome!



Pat Craddock and former Deputy Principal John Leyshon

H for History # 28: Pat "Crash" Craddock

17 September 2018

A popular teacher who effortlessly drew on everything from ABBA to Truman Capote to The Budawangs mountain range for inspiration.

It is rare to talk with collegians of the 90s and the first decade of the new millennium without them asking how Pat “Crash” Craddock might be fairing. A popular, charismatic and unforgettable teacher at the College between 1992 and 2005, Crash continued to work part-time before moving to Sydney in 2013. He currently resides and teaches senior school English at Newington College under former Radford Principal, David Mulford, who succinctly describes him as “a quirky, talented, dedicated, passionate and natural educator.”

“Can’t believe 1992 is so long ago – I’m still wondering what I’ll do when I grow up,” texts Crash as we try to work out which Surry Hills café we will catch up in. Certainly, both of our formative teaching years happened around the same time at Radford College. We were two young educators, somewhat green to the profession, slowly learning the ropes and developing what could dubiously be referred to as our classroom ‘styles’.

“Maybe every new teacher feels like this, but it was well into 1996 – my fifth year – that I stopped waiting to be found out as a fraud. Up until that time I just walked around in awe that I was a part of it. It seemed so slick and so professional,” Crash recounts.

There was definitely nothing fraudulent about Crash’s commitment. In his twenties, he admits to giving 100% of his energy “because it was just so much fun.” During this time at Radford he taught Religious Education, History, English and Media Studies. As former Deputy Principal John Leyshon recalls: “He coached hockey for a year, but when the Outdoor Activities Group was formed in 1993, he became heavily involved in that enterprise and helped to build it to its current profile. He also coordinated Year 9 Camp for a number of years. Pat was appointed Year 8 Coordinator in 1998 and held a Year Coordinator’s position (now called Head of Year) within the High School until resigning from full-time teaching in 2005.”

Crash was also a passionate, headband-wearing MIC of Karri House throughout his time at Radford. He did remove this headband when he served on the College Board as the Staff Nominee for 2003/4. “Pat earned an enviable reputation as a classroom teacher and outdoor adventure leader,” continues John Leyshon, “but it was his pastoral care roles in general, and role as Year Coordinator in particular, that were his main claims to fame. So much so, that many Year Coordinators who were appointed after him modelled a good deal of what they did on Pat Craddock.”

I asked Crash about his Year-Coordination - or being a “YCO” as they were known back then - and his memories of each year-group of nearly two hundred students he shared stories, his original perspectives and impeccable music tastes with. “I remember each one of them quite specifically. Each one had its own character,” he emphasises. “When you’re a year coordinator, the pastoral demand overshadows everything. You don’t spend any time with your colleagues, because there’s always a student who needs something or a parent who needs to be spoken to. So, after being a year coordinator, you become a little more serious and deliberate about the teaching practice. Ironically, as a casual, I felt much more a part of the English Department. That’s quite a nice difference too.”

What subject has he most enjoyed teaching? “In a sense the content is irrelevant. I find myself referring to stuff we used to do in Year 9 with Robert Frost. I’ve got a video we of the entire history of the American Revolution – starring random kids and Quentin Webster (former teacher and inaugural Cocurricular Coordinator) because he happened to be at school on a Saturday. I really enjoyed English at the Year 12 level so I remember in one unit teaching Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and comparing that with two of the film versions. And Hamlet and Macbeth of course – I’m still teaching those 215 years later. You never get sick of teaching Shakespeare.”









Of course, most of us remember Crash’s indefatigable contribution to Outdoor Education through trips to places such as The Budawangs (on multiple occasions), Pigeon-House Mountain, The Warrumbungles, Jervis Bay, Orroral Valley, Wee Jaspar Caves, canoeing down the Clyde, Central Australia and Fraser Island, to name but a few, and bus trips with acts as diverse as ABBA, Nick Cave, Jonathan Richman, Shania Twain to Midnight Oil blaring from the sole tape deck - or the CD stacker after it had been invented. “Often it was just sitting in the bus on the trip and the stupidity that comes from being in a confined space for a few hours that were the best part.”Like many collegians, Crash also speaks warmly about the Radford connection “which seems to be much more of a force than many other schools.” While recognising it as a potentially cheesy word, he speaks of the idea of family: “Everyone was sort of equally part of this thing. There were no barriers between anyone. You could debrief the Geelong Cats game with Helen Swarbrick in the bookroom, then debrief the same game with Graeme Wigg in the staff room in the same free period”.

“I enjoyed doing what I was doing hopefully as much as the students enjoyed being in the class or being in the year group or being on a trip or whatever. I wasn’t feigning anything. That’s part of the reason I opted to semi-retire after really only teaching for fifteen years, because I was not interested in doing anything half-heartedly.” For most of us who had the privilege of being taught, advised, led, encouraged, nudged, inspired or sung to by Pat “Crash” Craddock in that decade and a half, our heads and hearts have been enhanced for being in his often-quirky orbit.

And none of us could ever imagine him approaching anything in this life even remotely half-heartedly.

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 fill out 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. 


Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

JS News, 19 Sept 2018

19 September 2018

Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

A busy end to a busy term

Dates to Remember

Thurs 20 Sept           

Fri 21 Sept               

Mon 24 Sept                               
Tues 25 – Fri 28 Sept   

1MH Visit to IGA Supermarket 

RTC Talent Show
Fete Mufti Day

1AT Visit to IGA Supermarket

Year 5 Camp

The end of Term is on our horizon. We reach the end of Winter Sports, our Learning Journeys and Exhibition, we look to camp, to discos and talent quests. We revisit our strengths and challenges.

My last weekend gave me a wonderful insight into the current and future strengths of our Junior School students. A lovely reminder of the huge role we share with you, a role that leads to “Positive Futures”!

“When researchers have defined a positive classroom culture, they emphasise teacher-student relationships, the promotion of mutual respect, co-operative and active learning and a sense of support.”
Geelong Grammar, Ryan and Kaplan (2007), Ryan and Patrick (2001)

Our focus on Character Strengths and our PYP Attitudes and Profile centre on how we may take this further, how it sits with our culture in building student-student relationships and the impact this has on our learning. How do we build mutual respect? Through honesty, justice and forgiveness, through persistence, teamwork and bravery.

Last weekend
Much of Saturday was spent watching a new team event for Primary students: an athletics team competition for students in Years 4-6. It was a wonderful mix of traditional and strange challenges. I watched as our Year 5 and Year 6 girls took the time and effort to genuinely support and assist our younger competitors. They understood their role as team leaders, building not only respect but also confidence and better outcomes.

I watched an Under 12 Basketball semi-final where our team looked for support from each other throughout the game. They played to their strengths, and acknowledged each other’s efforts, whether large or small, aware that as a team they grew. It was also wonderful to witness a moment when one of our players fell heavily, and his opponent turned and ran back to check he was ok. Both sides playing hard and also building respect.

On Sunday morning I was able to watch one of our youngest girls’ Basketball teams. I had been with them the previous week when they had been well beaten. This week they worked on all the areas that had been challenges the week before. They, too, looked to each other for help, they made mistakes and got up and went again. They celebrated a win, acknowledging their opponents.

We have more mature and respectful students than me!

Thank you all for showing the things we talk of.

Paul Southwell


Kate with Scott Morrison - image credit this and below: National 9 News, https://www.facebook.com/9News/videos/25647279500408

Kate Daly – new hope for a longer, fuller life

19 September 2018

Celia Lindsay, Communications Officer

Kate shares the podium with the new PM

PBS listing will make the drug affordableYear 9 student, Kate Daly, has hit the news recently as the public face of the Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, who are celebrating the listing of Orkambi® on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). From 1 October, the PBS-price per script will be $39.50, with concessional patients paying just $6.40, whereas the non-PBS cost was in the order of $250,000 a year.

Kate Daly with Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Health Minister, Greg Hunt

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. There is no cure.

Kate was diagnosed with the disease at 5 weeks old, and her health management regime includes swimming, physiotherapy and very large amounts of medication daily. The Federal Department of Health website calls Orkambi® a “potentially life-changing medicine”, as it has been shown to slow the rate of decline in lung function, and reduce the number of infections.

On Saturday 2 September, newly installed Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Health Minister, Greg Hunt, were present when Kate gave a speech to media about how the affordable availability of this drug might change her life, potentially adding twenty years to her life span, and improving her quality of life.  

The day after the speech, she headed off on Y9 Camp, more proof of her stated determination that the disease would never define her.

Watch the video of Kate’s speech:  https://www.facebook.com/emdoz/videos/10217581088622800/

Related videos referencing Kate’s speech:

Health Minister, Greg Hunt, in Parliament @ 3min

National 9 news @ -1.50min

Senior Drama presents a reimagined "Antigone"

The Burial at Thebes - Senior Drama

18 September 2018

Nick Akhurst

Be challenged by this timeless story

The Burial at Thebes is Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone. Antigone is one of the most famous and compelling figures in Western drama. 

Burial at Thebes; Senior Drama

This play explores the aftermath of a civil war where family fought family and the question is asked: “Where do our loyalties lie? With our family or the State?”  

Antigone has lost both her brothers to war as they fought for opposing ideals. Creon, her uncle and the new king of Thebes, buries one as a hero and refuses to bury the other, as he is considered a traitor. Creon proclaims that anyone that buries the traitor will be executed. This sets the scene for the clash between what is right and what is the law! Whose view point is right?  

Burial at Thebes; Senior Drama

This is the 10th year in which Jason Golding has directed the Senior Drama Production at Radford College. He has chosen to revisit the story of Antigone in the present, not in the past, to see if the lessons previously learned can help shape our future.  

Burial at Thebes; Senior Drama

We invite you to be challenged by this timeless story, presented by our talented Senior Drama acting and technical students. 

Dates: 18–20 October
Time: 7pm
Venue: TB Millar Hall
Tickets: online https://www.trybooking.com/YGIX





Radford community in action - Collegians facilitating work experience

Collegian network and work experience

18 September 2018

Claire Osborne, Collegians Communications Officer

Collegians prove valuable resource for work experience

By Claire Osborne, Collegians Communications Officer
Annie Liao, the Collegian Captain, recently used the Collegian website to find some relevant work experience during her holidays. Annie, who has always had a strong interest in finance and is currently in the process of applying for different University courses, said: “I wanted to test out whether a career in [the accounting] industry was something I would genuinely enjoy.”

Annie said, “Work experience can often be difficult, awkward and hard to arrange. For me, my only resource involved googling ‘accountant work experience Canberra’, with dubious results.”

Annie was pleased to know that the Collegian community provides access to a network of connections. Annie found Bonsella Business Solutions on the Radford Collegian’s website on the Business Directory. She decided to email Kirstie, the Business Manager at Bonsella (Collegian from class of 1996 and Collegian Mentor), to see if there would be any opportunities to observe their work.

Kirstie was able to arrange a placement at the accounting firm within just a few days. Annie said that “The deadline for work experience paperwork from Mrs Rentsch was looming.”

We spoke to Kirstie to see how it all went. Kirstie said that the fact Annie was from Radford “absolutely” impacted their decision to host Annie. Kirstie said, “[We] don’t usually offer work experience at all, but her personalized email and the fact that she was a Radford student was 100% why we offered her the opportunity here.” 

The Collegians Association website has grown substantially over the last year and now has an amazing network of Collegians offering details of various business, mentoring availability and advice to students. Anyone from the Radford community can access the network. Kirstie said, “The fact that this request was initiated by the student made the request more compelling. We would not need anything more formally organised and were very happy to work directly with Annie to arrange dates."

Annie undertook work experience at Bonsella Business Solutions in July. “Although Kirstie wasn’t there at the time of my placement (on holidays with her children who also attend Radford!), the team made me feel very welcome. Following an induction, I was introduced to basic accounting concepts and software. This real-world experience proved invaluable.”
“Although I doubt Kirstie would have treated me too differently if I was from a different school, having the Radford connection definitely added a sense of comfort and reassurance in the process. My work experience at Bonsella Business Solutions proved to be everything I was hoping for. I would strongly encourage students and Collegians to use the Collegian website; you may just find the best ‘solution’.”

Kirstie would also like to encourage other Collegians or other Collegian businesses to consider taking Radford students for work experience. She said, “I think offering opportunities like this for Radford students continues the wonderful Radford community spirit beyond school. It is also nice for the student to see what other former Radford students have done. Having a shared experience (i.e. the Radford connection) makes it a safer and more engaging process for the student and the Collegian.”

Kirstie and Annie have since caught up and enjoyed a coffee and chat. We are hoping more student- Collegian mentoring relationships will evolve as the website grows.


Netball White - through to the Grand Final!!

Sports Report, 19 Sept 2018

18 September 2018

Sports Department

Netball White in Grand Final plus football news

Congratulations to the Netball White team which won the preliminary final on Saturday by 1 point! The team will now play their Grand Final on Saturday 22 Sept, 1:45pm at Lyneham.

Read about Year 12 student, Josh Rochow’s Australian Representative Netball journey here: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/netball/filling-in-begins-journey-to-representing-australia-20180908-p502kp.html and in the Bulletin article this week.

The U18 Division 3 Open Football team played their Grand Final against Marist on Saturday, unfortunately going down 2-1. Marist scored two early goals with Radford replying late in the first half. The boys were unlucky not to find the back of the net in the second half, and often looked the better team. Striker Daniel Searle created plenty of opportunities with Darcy Brighton and Edward Moore assisting from the midfield. Nathan Luu and Daniel Yue looked threatening with their speed, and Zac Harvey and Lukas Jewell made many blocks in defence. A huge “thank you” to coach Mark Boyd and Manager Anne Faris, as well as the staff and students who came out to watch the boys. 

Kinder & Year 1 Football Academy Wrap Up
The Kinder & Year 1 students from the Saturday morning Football Academy wrapped up their final session on Saturday 8 September with a certificate ceremony to highlight the student’s development over the winter. The students were introduced to the game, working on individual skills such as first touch, running with the ball, striking the ball and 1v1, with Technical Director, Tom Crossley and coaches, Andrea Edmondson, Rebecca Morling and Esperance Anderson. The future of Radford Football looks bright!

School holiday fun
Go to this week's Bulletin article on Radford's school holiday program offerings, including Basketball, Rowing and multi-sports. If time is short, why not spend a morning with the Brumbies at their Fun Day between 9 am and 12 pm on Friday 5 October, University of Canberra Oval 6.


ANU Professor Thomas Faunce with Y11 General Studies students

Artificial Photosynthesis and the Sustainocene

18 September 2018

Nikita Chandekar, Y11

Professor Thomas Faunce speaks to Y11 General Studies

Artificial Photosynthesis and the Sustainocene

By Nikita Chandekar, Y11

“Have faith in humanity and the rest will follow…” This was just one of the many engaging ideas expressed by ANU Professor, Dr Thomas Faunce, during Year 11 General Studies session last week.

Over the years, Professor Faunce has obtained multiple degrees and accolades in areas of Law and Medicine, and an array of knowledge and expertise in areas of Health Law notably. Year 11 was thrilled to hear a speaker who pushed thought-provoking ideas and concepts with regard to ‘Artificial Photosynthesis’, study tips and liquid democracy. In particular, it was interesting to hear Professor Faunce’s challenge to us on plants needing as much ‘voice’ as humans do. With this idea came the principle of social marriage, whereby Professor Faunce discussed ways of placing environmental responsibility on Multinational Corporations (MNCs). He expressed his view in that powerful transnational MNCs must be subject to some reform, so as to be responsible for the harm they inflict on both our human rights and our natural habitats and resources.

Professor Faunce has hosted several domestic and international conferences where he has put forward his idea of moving to the production of artificial photosynthesis, as a means of restoring our environment. It was interesting to try to gauge an understanding of how politics and MNCs power can harm suggested reforms for vital environmental needs.

I was also particularly engaged with Professor Faunce’s idea of ‘liquid democracy’ as a means of alleviating this ‘misuse of power’ by both politicians and the lobby groups who represent MNCs. Overall, from the onset of several out-of-class discussions, it is obvious that Professor Faunce’s talk presented varying views and understanding, which were a reason for a bigger discussion on politics and environment throughout the year group.

It was a pleasure to hear Professor Faunce present his findings and share his wisdom with us, as we endeavour to embark on our own journeys of self-discovery. On behalf of all Year 11, I would like to thank him for initiating discussion and thought!


Lisa Plenty leads Radford's team in the Plans to Pedagogy Melbourne Uni collaboration

Plans to Pedagogy

18 September 2018

Lisa Plenty, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation

Research partnership with University of Melbourne

By Lisa Plenty, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation

Research indicates that the flexible use of learning spaces to suit the lesson design is as important as the consideration of light, temperature and air quality in boosting learning outcomes (Merrill, S. 2018). Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) do not reject tradition, but embrace flexibility to promote student-centred, personalised learning.

In our Week 8 Bulletin, Louise Wallace-Richards (Assistant Principal – Teaching and Learning) outlined our College involvement in the University of Melbourne Plans to Pedagogy (P2P) project. This initiative, to work with schools on researching and developing tangible connections between learning spaces and outcomes, has been facilitated by the University's Learning Environments Applied Research Network. We are one of 12 schools across Australia and New Zealand involved in the project, which is six months underway and will continue for at least the next two years.

I am very fortunate to lead Radford's involvement in the project, through which we connect with experienced researchers and representatives from other schools. This network gives us an opportunity to compare research, experience and findings, as we all work towards the best outcomes for contemporary learning in our schools.

In 2018 we have embarked on Phase One of Plans to Pedagogy. Working with a mentor, Marian Mahat from LEaRN, we have established a 'Spatial Learning Team', involving representatives from both the Secondary and Junior School staff. This team will continue working and planning together over the course of the project. Our action for Phase One involves two Secondary School teachers, Rachael Weeks and Sue Hassall, using the recently refurbished 'prototype rooms', investigating the research questions outlined by Louise last week:

• To what extent can teachers use space differently to affect student learning?
• To what extent do different classroom configurations affect student learning?
• To what extent do teacher pedagogical practices affect student learning?
(Mahat, 2018)

To investigate these research questions, the following processes are currently underway over three Terms 2-4.

• Students and teachers were surveyed, seeking a baseline position on teaching and learning mind frames.
• A series of lesson observations have been undertaken.
• Participating teachers and the Spatial Learning Team engaged with a day of workshops with our mentor.
• Following the final observations in a few weeks’ time, students and teachers will again be surveyed to inform the measurement of growth in intentional use of space over the course of the phase.

Alongside the official components of Phase One, current research and Radford findings to date have been shared and examined with Senior Executive and Academic Executive, giving colleagues an opportunity to refine a common vision and build momentum. We have established an Academic Leadership (Heads of Department) Community of Practice group, which I have opportunity to advise. Together, we will plan a research-based approach to using Radford's flexible learning spaces in 2019.

The truly challenging aspect of determining optimal learning environments is the diversity of variables. There is not one room arrangement, style of furnishing or model of pedagogy that will suit every student, for every subject and in all circumstances. Therefore, we need to consider space and furniture in the design of our learning experiences and take a flexible approach. Rachael Weeks arranges the furniture in her room to suit her lesson design. Her students now know when they enter the room that the furniture arrangement indicates how they will work and learn. Sue Hassall has consulted her students as the expert learners in the room, to help consider the arrangement and what will work best for their learning. She has also made deliberate use of display space on walls to engage her students with the learning process and increase the sense of belonging in a shared space. Rachael and Sue will share more about their learning with colleagues at the end of the year, to help others design their use of learning spaces.

Our findings from Phase One, alongside teacher professional learning, will provide a solid, research-informed base to consolidate teacher and student readiness for the use of new, flexible learning spaces. In 2019, we will commence Phase Two of Plans to Pedagogy with a dual exploration of pedagogy and space in our new Junior and Secondary buildings.


Josh Rochow (second from left). Photo courtesy of Dion Georgopoulos, Canberra Times

Josh Rochow - man of two codes

19 September 2018

Josh Rochow plays netball and basketball with equal passion

According to Radford Year 12 student and basketballer, Josh Rochow, netball is different enough to make the game an interesting change from his normal sporting activities. Being open to a new challenge has paid enormous dividends for Josh following his selection to represent Australia in New Zealand in a recent U23 competition. While his team of U17 netballers performed with courage, in this instance the disadvantage of a five-year age difference resulted in losses for the Australian side in each match.

Making the difficult decision to travel to New Zealand, despite his Radford U19 Division 4 basketball team playing in a semifinal on the same weekend, was made easier by the fact that national representation gives him ‘a chance to go away with a team … That’s the fun part’. His hopes that his basketball team’s season would still be alive on his return from across the ditch were fulfilled and he joined his teammates for a thrilling second final. The result was disappointing, with Radford going down 28–30 against the Burgmann Steelers, but Josh has applied the same advice he gives the boys he coaches in the Radford U14 Division 5 team: enjoy the experience and have fun, no matter what the score shows at the end.

Coaching a junior team has been one of the most satisfying aspects of Josh’s basketball career. Making a contribution by working to improve individual skills and a team’s cohesion is rewarding and inspiring. In combination with his hopes for future representation of Australia as member of the U20 netball team, and dreams of full-time study next year, it looks like Josh will continue to cross the code divide for some time to come.

STEM Sells is an inspiring program for girls

STEM Sells

19 September 2018

Do you want to create your own STEM business idea?

STEM Sells is a program based at CIT Reid that is designed to inspire young women in years 7, 8 & 9 to pursue STEM while developing their leadership and business skills. Starting on 16 October and running for three hours every Tuesday afternoon, this is an opportunity to transform your innovative and world-changing ideas into functional businesses and prototypes. Across the 10-week program girls will gain skills in 3D printing, electronics, robotics, web development and much more. According to Radford’s Head of Science, Bronwyn Stanbury, this is a remarkable and rewarding opportunity for girls to pursue their passion for STEM and cultivate their leadership skills in a challenging and rapidly changing field.

Go to STEM Sells for more information.

Enrol now for spring holiday fun

Spring School Holiday Programs

12 September 2018

Hold onto your hats for some holiday hoop-la

Enrolling in the Outside School Hours Care and Sports Department spring holiday programs is a vote for fun. A bespoke program of action, adventure, arts and crafts, sports and leisure has been refined to squeeze out maximum enjoyment. Bookings are open now and we recommend you move fast, places are limited:

Outside School Hours Care Spring Holiday Programs
Places are available in Early Years (PK–Y1) and Junior School (Y2–6) programs and, as usual, they will fill fast.

Excursions (and incursions) include (hold onto your hat): visiting magician (EY), Zone 3 (JS), Floriade (JS), Reptile Man (EY), rock-climbing (JS), Wee Jasper caves (EY/JS), Funland (EY), tenpin bowling (JS), Bateman’s Bay (EY/JS), Cockington Green (EY/JS), Apple Store (JS), circus workshop (EY), Small Foot (EY/JS).

Book now!

Early Years Booking Form
Junior School Booking Form

Sports Spring Holiday Programs: Basketball, Cricket, Multi-sport and Rowing
Sports school holiday programs will run in the spring school holidays for students in Years 2 to 8. The Basketball, Cricket and Multi-sport program runs across both weeks of the holidays while the Y6–8 Learn to Row program will run during Week 1 only. 

Book in now and feel free to bring siblings or friends from another school! 

Week 1: Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 October: 

  • PE Games & Multi-sport: 9 am – 5 pm.

Cost: $70 per day / $250 per week; charged to student account.

  • Cricket with Darryle Macdonald: 9 am – 5 pm (Tuesday–Thursday only)

Cost: $70 per day; charged to student account. 

Week 1: Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 October: 

  • Y6-8 Learn to Row program: 8 am – 12 pm.

Cost: Cost added to Splash Squad members' term fees / $200 for all other beginners; charged to student account. Additional $20/day to be bussed back to Radford to join the PE Games & Multi-sport or Cricket programs (participants to be collected at 5 pm from the G Wigg Sports Centre).

Week 2: Monday 8 – Friday 12 October: 

  • PE Games & Multi-sport: 9 am – 5 pm (with option to join Basketball in the afternoon)
  • Basketball with Orhan Memedovski: 1–5 pm  

Cost (charged to student account): 
Full day (9 am – 5 pm) $70 per day / $325 per week 
Half day (Basketball afternoon program only, 1–5 pm) $50 per day / $225 per week 

Bookings and enquiries: Dianne.Wilson@radford.act.edu.au 

Collegians (front row, from left) Nick Fallon, Reilly Shaw, Samantha Bradley, Jesse Zhang, Declan Pratt and Angela Liao with

Life Beyond Radford - stories from Collegians

18 September 2018

Mick Bunworth, Communications Manager

Former students share their stories with Year 12

By Mick Bunworth, Communications Manager


Q: What do an animator, a public servant, a crime scene investigator, a lawyer, a middle-distance runner and a medical student all have in common?

A: They all finished Year 12 at Radford and went on to choose the right path for them.

Last week, animator Jesse Zhang, crime scene investigator Nick Fallon, public servant Declan Pratt, lawyer Samantha Bradley, middle-distance runner Reilly Shaw, and medical student Angela Liao returned for the “Life After Radford” event.

The annual event is proudly supported by Radford Collegians, who once again managed to put together a diverse panel with plenty of good advice about making the transition to life beyond the College gates.

The current Year 12s, who have less than 70 days left at Radford, filled the Heath Lecture Theatre to hear Jesse, Nick, Declan, Samantha, Reilly and Angela share their stories.

Year 12 Collegians Captains Annie Liao and Kat-E Yeow did an excellent job of assisting with the planning of the event, creation of slick audio-visual elements and coordinating questions from their cohort.

Staff reported positive feedback from the Year 12s, some of whom said the event had made them rethink their plans for next year.

Other students said they were feeling less pressure because Jesse, Nick, Declan, Samantha, Reilly and Angela had opened their eyes to the many different options or pathways to consider.

From the Collegians' Claire Osborne

The panel was asked if Radford had prepared them for life outside the College.

Declan remembered the transition well. “All of a sudden you are a very small fish in a very big pond. You feel very insignificant.”

Samantha said: “What Radford does best is put out well-rounded individuals, you’re studying, playing sport, involved in service learning, in plays and musicals, so you are learning to multitask and how to interact with a diverse bunch of people.”

Those panellists who did not have a gap year, were asked if that was a decision they regretted.

Jesse, who took six months off to work and save money before heading for Denmark to study animation said: “My life has just felt like one big gap year since I left Radford.”

The panel was also asked what they know now, that they wish they’d known in Year 12.

Angela said: “(I’m sorry) I didn’t get to know people in my cohort better. Look around you, get to know everyone.”

Reilly’s advice was to “wing it, you are going to have to think on your feet, you’re going to make mistakes, but you will learn from them and they will take you to better places.”

Nick joked that everyone should learn how to put the washing machine on and how to cook before leaving home.

After the event, Annie Liao said many of the Year 12s found the session really useful.

“Each panellist provided a unique solution to managing challenges, career choices, time and work load. Coming from very different industries and ages, altogether they provided a well-rounded response that all students could relate to on some level. It was interesting to note that aside from the [academic side of] Radford, the collegians were most fond of, and gained most enjoyment from, participation in various co-curricular (sports) and events (Revue and carnivals). Overall, the take home message for many students was not to worry about our end ATAR but instead, cherish the community in Radford, go with the flow and not to get too stressed out about things.“

Volunteer now for the fabulous Twilight Fete

P&F News, 19 Sept 2018

19 September 2018

P&F Fete Convenor

Latest Fete news, and Trivia Night this Friday

Catch up on the latest fete news from Fete Convenor, Monique.

Want all the latest P&F news and updates? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and stay in the know.


Be sure to book your tickets for the fabulous Trivia Night, ON FRIDAY!


Uniform Shops - holiday opening hours

Uniform Shops - secondhand and new

Full details of Spring holiday opening hours for the P&F secondhand uniform shop and the new uniform shop