From the Principal

Fiona Godfrey, Principal

Fiona Godfrey, Principal

The first two of the major House events for 2017 were run last week, with the Secondary School Swimming Carnival conducted on Wednesday and the Junior School following on Thursday. It was very pleasing to note that there were high levels of student participation and strong competition at both an individual and House level on both days. I have no doubt the very warm weather helped boost student involvement as they looked to get some respite from the heat in the water.

While it is great to see the students fiercely competing for their themselves and their House, one of the other Taking part and cooling off at the Secondary School Swimming Carnivalgreat aspects of the House carnivals is the way the students from various year levels interact with each other within their House. At events such as the Swimming Carnival, it is not unusual to see Year 12s cheering on a Year 7 or 8 student, or a Year 10 student assisting a Junior School student in the pool. This common bond of House membership can bring students together in a way that is not often mirrored in daily school interactions.

We are constantly looking for ways to further enhance the House system because we know it gives students a genuine vertical experience and allows them to belong to a group outside of their year level. Although the involvement in competitive sport is an important part of these sporting carnivals, there are many other social benefits attributable to these days.

I would like to thank the Sports Department, led by Mr Brent Larkham and assisted by Ms Bernie Leger, for the work they did to make both days such a resounding success.

Radford?s involvement in Round Square

Radford College has been a Round Square member school for over a decade and during that time the global membership of Round Square has markedly increased. There are now 160 schools engaged with Round Square worldwide either as Member Schools or as Candidate Schools and together they represent a student capacity in excess of 120,000.

So, what is Round Square and what does it offer our school?

Round Square is a UK-registered charity that promotes in young people a commitment, beyond academic merit,Students visiting Malaysia for a 2016 Round Square conference. to personal growth and responsibility through service to others and through practical, experiential learning. It aims to help students prepare for life by having them face it head-on and experience it in ways that demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution.

The organisation and its philosophy have evolved from the teachings and beliefs of the renowned educationalist, Kurt Hahn. He believed that given the appropriate set of circumstances and the correct attitude, young men and women could discover their own inner strength and an understanding of the physical and social world around them.

Round Square schools share a holistic approach to learning built around six IDEALS of learning. The pillars around which the IDEALS are structured are:

Round Square logo

Internationalism

Democracy

Environment

Adventure

Leadership

Service

Membership of the Round Square network offers schools a framework for excellence and continuous improvement, along with structured opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with like-minded peers around the world. At a student level, it provides an opportunity for students from Year 5 upwards to be involved in conferences (local, regional and international), from Year 8 upwards to be involved in (local, regional and international) exchanges and from Year 10 upwards to be involved in service projects, quite often with other local and regional schools. Staff of Round Square member schools also have the opportunity to attend Round Square conferences, be involved in exchanges and take part in service projects.

This year there will be a number of very exciting opportunities for students to be involved in Round Square activities. Please see Ms Kath Notley?s article in this Bulletin, detailing those activities, the relevant age groups and the associated costs. I encourage all students to consider being involved in at least one Round Square activity whilst they are a student at Radford College.

Implementation of NAPLAN Online

At the December 2016 Education Council Meeting, Ministers from around the country reviewed progress with the NAPLAN Onlinetransition to NAPLAN Online, noting developments in refining and testing the Online Assessment platform and test items to ensure a smooth transition from pen and paper to online testing. In 2017, schools will commence their transition to NAPLAN Online in the ACT, SA, Vic, Qld and WA.

It was agreed at that meeting that for the time being schools in all states and territories will continue to conduct Year 3 writing using pen and paper, including those of us transitioning to NAPLAN Online, while further research is undertaken into the effect of conducting Year 3 writing testing online.

The work that we have undertaken during the August 2016 Platform Trial and Readiness Test (PTRT) has provided us with a better understanding of the implications for us as we transition to NAPLAN Online. At this stage, we are confident that all has been done to fully prepare the College to take on NAPLAN Online in May this year.

A public demonstration site has been made available online to all schools and the Australian public at www.nap.edu.au/online-assessment/naplan-online/napan-online-public-demonstration-site. I encourage parents to have a look at this site.

Candidate School for the IB Diploma Program

During the holiday period the College received notification that our application to become a Candidate School for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program had been accepted. This means we will now move in a two-year Candidate Phase, where the College will be required to take a range of actions necessary to fulfil the IB requirements for authorisation.

Over this period:

  • We will have access to the IB online curriculum centre, a website rich with IB publications and teacher support materials, as well as online forums that engage IB teachers from around the world;
  • The teachers who will eventually teach the IB DP must attend specified IB-recognised professional development activities;
  • The College will receive the support of the IB, its relevant IB regional office (which is in Singapore), and an assigned consultant from the IB educator network, who has been fully trained according to global IB policies.

IB logoThroughout the candidate phase, the consultant will customise support and advice based on information provided in the current IB publications and his or her professional knowledge of the program.

At the end of the consultation process, the school will receive a report from the consultant which will summarise the progress we have made towards meeting the requirements for authorisation and provide feedback on our readiness to apply for authorisation. While the College will ultimately choose when it is ready to apply for authorisation, the consultant?s feedback and guidance will be strongly considered in making this important decision. At this stage, it is envisaged that the College should be in a position to offer the IB DP by 2020.

Drop offs and pick ups

As detailed in my announcement last week, the College has made traffic management and flow and parking on the campus one of the highest priorities for the architects and traffic engineers working on the Master Plan. When the Master Plan is eventually released, I am confident our community will see that these challenges have been factored in and will be systematically addressed over time. However, in the meantime I believe it is important to look at ways to alleviate the traffic congestion around the campus, particularly at the peak times of morning (8.10?8.35am) and afternoon (3.15?3.45pm).

In speaking with a number of people who regularly monitor traffic flow at the peak times, the most obvious option to address the congestion is to encourage more drivers to use the pick-up and drop-off area off College Street. It is largely underutilised in both the morning and the afternoon and provides a very short walk to classrooms, particularly for students in Years 5?10.

I would strongly encourage parents to consider this option rather than queuing to gain access to the Haydon Drive or College Street entrances.

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