Service Learning

“Finding self through service”
The motto of the service-learning program

The Radford service-learning program is a powerful means of connecting students with the world, giving them a sense of meaning, and fostering a belief that they can be capable of making changes in their own lives, as well as the lives of others.

Radford's service-learning program has a long history. It is well embedded in the culture of the College and is a signature experience of a student's time at the College. Whilst COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the program recently, the program has local, national and international community elements.

Service activities

Some examples of the many Radford service-learning activities are:

  • assisting in classrooms at Black Mountain School, Cranleigh School and Pegasus.
  • ACT Parkcare in our local area
  • supporting residents of local aged care facilities, with regular visits and recording of life stories
  • making meals for OzHarvest
  • organising the annual Dirrum Festival of inspirational speakers discussing how they have made a difference
  • travelling to Indigenous communities in Northern NSW and to Timor-Leste to work in classrooms to support these communities
  • working with YMCA in their RAID Basketball program, providing recreational activities for people with disabilities
  • assisting with the Lifeline Bookfair events.
Radford students at Black Mountain School
Radford students helping in the classroom at Black Mountain School

Benefits to students and schools

While the service-learning program looks outward, to the benefits for the community partners, research provides evidence that there are also collateral benefits for schools and the students in them. A report by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), titled Project to test and measure the impact of values education on student effects and school ambience (2009, at p.12) concluded that as schools give increasing curriculum and teaching emphasis to values education:

  • students become more academically diligent
  • the school assumes a calmer, more peaceful ambience
  • better student-teacher relationships are forged
  • student and teacher wellbeing improves
  • parents are more engaged with the school.