Radford Bulletin Term 2, Week 3 – 16 May 2018

Staff Insights

Louise Wallace-Richards - Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning

From the Director of Teaching and Learning

16 May 2018

At the Radford College Secondary School iTea Showcase, teachers shared innovative ICT learning approaches that benefit student learning.

This week the Secondary School held its 2018 iTea Showcase. This event enabled secondary school teachers from Radford and other schools, to share innovative ICT learning approaches that benefit student learning.

Many conferences and workshops are held in Melbourne and Sydney every year that focus on ICT learning. Our showcase, though, with its focus on the secondary classroom, ensures ACT teachers are guaranteed to be able to learn about relevant and age appropriate ICT-related pedagogy.

Last year our iTea focused on subject-related ICT professional learning. This year, we have provided some subject-related presentations as well as others that can relate to teachers of any discipline. As you can see from the list below, we also had a number of presentations building our teachers' capacity to use OneNote as a teaching tool, a key learning approach being led by our Director of Digital Innovation and Learning, Lisa Plenty, and our Heads of Department.

Our presentations this year included the following:

Subject specific ICT approaches:
  • Music Workshop using Garage Band, Ken Lampl, Head of the School of Music at the Australian National University and a former faculty member of the Juilliard School of Music. As a composer of film music he has scored over 80 films.
  • Animations in GeoGebra-Maths, Jeremy Hawkes, Radford College.
  • GeoGebra for Statistics, Greg Clarke, Narrabundah College.
  • Using the Laser Cutter and CNC Router, Mark Gannon, Radford College.
  • Graphics: Using Adobe Illustrator, Rhino, 3D printing, filming lessons and creating a YouTube account, Ed Doherty, Radford College.
  • Engineering: Using circuits in TinkerCAD to Teach Arduino, Jeremy Hawkes, Radford College.

Non-subject related approaches:

  • E-learning with Daramalan College's Learning Management System, Daranet, Georgia Wemyss, Daramalan.
  • Looking Good: Making well-designed digital products to effectively communicate and engage, Tim Minehan, Radford College.
  • Screen Casting, Eric Jensen, Radford College. 
  • Academic Reporting: Using SEQTA for online in-time assessment reporting, Bill Weigall & Alison Steven, Radford College.
  • Immersive Reader: Immersive Reader tools allowing students to interact with text in a range of ways to support their learning, Lisa Plenty, Radford College.
  • Action Research Using OneNote, Angelina Browning, Radford College.
  • Microsoft Forms, Lisa Plenty & Louise Wallace-Richards, Radford College.
  • OneNote as a Flipped Learning Tool, Rebecca Hunter, Radford College.
  • OneNote as a Teaching Tool, Alyssa Maier, Radford College.

In addition to this year's presentations, our students from Woodwork, ICT and the Robotics co-curricular group demonstrated ICT learning and teachers had the opportunity to experiment with the College's various ICT tools, including our VR (virtual reality) glasses.

I would like to thank Lisa Plenty and Kirsty Mack for the work they did organising our 2018 iTea Showcase.

Showcases are great opportunities for teachers to learn about using ICT to enhance student learning, but it is also worth mentioning here the ongoing conversations amongst our staff about ways to ensure that students are using ICT for learning in our classrooms at Radford. We have a compulsory classroom management policy requiring all Years 8–12 students to place their phones in a receptacle at the start of the lesson, and these are only used with permission during the class. Year 7 students must keep their phones in their lockers throughout the day.

We have also been experimenting with different classroom furniture designs and layouts to ensure all teachers are able to easily see students' screen use in class. Our Director of Student Development, Claire Melloy, has previously communicated to the Radford community how our ICT system innovations are helping us develop students' self regulation and encourage them to be principled digital citizens.

The technology at our students' disposal in the 21st century can provide them with powerful learning tools. Radford College Secondary School teachers are working to help our students to critically and creatively use technology. We do this every time we get students to research beyond Wikipedia, and when we set classroom and assessment tasks that encourage them to understand how ICT can engage and deepen our knowledge and understanding about the world and help them to become global citizens.

Our recent iTea Showcase was an opportunity for our teachers to learn more about ICT as an effective teaching and learning tool. It is, though, just one of the many ways Radford Secondary School staff continue to develop their pedagogy to improve student learning. As Andreas Schleicher, Director of OECD's Directorate for Education and Skills stated in 2015: Technology can amplify great teaching but great technology cannot replace poor teaching.

This week the Secondary School held its 2018 iTea Showcase.

This week the Secondary School held its 2018 iTea Showcase.

This week the Secondary School held its 2018 iTea Showcase.

This week the Secondary School held its 2018 iTea Showcase. This week the Secondary School held its 2018 iTea Showcase.

iTea brochure

Chaplain Erin Tuineau

Chaplain's Reflection: sharing faith

14 May 2018

Rev Erin Tuineau

Coming together in a faith community is powerful, but many 'skirt' around the edges of organised religion.

I am a big fan of the Australian social researcher and commentator Hugh Mackay, and so it is no surprise that I recently bought his book Beyond Belief: How we find meaning with or without religion.

In this book, he points out that in the 2016 Census 52 per cent of Australians identified as being Christian, but only 8 per cent of them attend church weekly. And there is also the interesting situation where enrolments in faith-based schools have risen over recent years, but church attendance has steadily declined over the last 50 years. Mackay also reveals that, while many Australians are hostile towards institutionalised religion, they often have a warm regard for individual believers.

When taking all of the above into consideration, it seems that people are more ambivalent about 'religion' in our society, or Christianity in particular, than is sometimes thought. While Christianity would not be considered popular in Australia, at least in light of church attendance figures alone, there is something about it that still appeals to a number of people.

Obviously, the church as an institution has lost the trust of many people, particularly because of the number of child sexual abuse crimes that have been perpetrated by priests; however it has been possible for many individuals to see beyond this dark past and still hold on to the goodness that Christianity has to offer. I think in reality many of us are probably both attracted to and repelled by the church. I know I certainly have been over my lifetime.

I was raised by Anglican parents and so, as a child, I went to Sunday school but, at the age of 12, my mum gave me the choice to either keep going to church or not. I chose not to go, although I can't now remember why this was the case. Nevertheless, from the age of 12 to 22, I did not attend church services – well, not on any regular basis. I was still confirmed at the age of 14 because my relationship with God remained real and meaningful to me. But I simply did not 'get' church. I figured I could do just fine without being a part of a faith community. In hindsight, I can see that I was probably lucky that I could still talk about my faith with my parents, and two very close friends from school who were both Christian.

The funny thing was that, even though I did not go to church, I still had a close connection with it through my parents. In my early 20s, I was asked to be one of the youth group leaders. It was at this point I realised that I might need to start attending church services again. I found this to be a challenge at first, as I was not quite sure where I fitted in. I had become so used to my faith being a relatively private part of my life, and was, therefore, not used to the experience of sharing it with others, let alone strangers. But as the months went past and then the years, church became a great source of nourishment for my faith journey. For the first time ever, church made sense to me.

At this point it is worth highlighting that the word 'religion' actually derives from the Latin word 'religio' which means 'to bind'. Many have understood this Latin word to refer to the way that individuals are 'bound' together by their common belief in and desire for God. Our being 'bound' together with others in a faith community is a powerful thing. There really is nothing quite like praying, singing hymns, making sense of who God is in the Scriptures, and sharing Holy Communion with others. It allows the deepest part of who we are to be expressed.

While being bound to a community in such a profound way is rather wonderful, it is also a little scary. I say this because it requires us to let go of our other desire to be autonomous and 'set apart' from others, which our individualistic culture encourages us to strive for constantly. I have even heard some people say that when you are part of a church community you no longer have a 'private life'. This is because you find yourself amongst people who want to know how you are 'really' going, and whom you want to share your life with. This can take a bit of getting used to but is also very liberating as well. Being embedded in a community of faith also has this way of bringing out our vulnerable side, and that can be a  daunting, too, as most people have got used to building protective barriers between themselves and others from a young age.

In light of the above, it may seem that we have to give up a number of things that we have thought were good for us when we enter into a 'religious' community, and I do wonder if that is why so many Australians 'skirt' around the edges of Christianity and the church (which I know did for over a decade). Of course, some individuals stop going to church because they have been deeply hurt by individuals in it, and this is a serious problem that must not be ignored. My thoughts, then, are probably more focused on those who have not experienced the latter.

I will end by saying that I know the word 'religion' has lost its original Latin meaning in our modern times, but my hope is that people will rediscover it and not be so resistant to exploring how religion can enrich their lives.

Between them, Boyd Gibson, George Huitker and Richard Wardman have spent 98 years working at Radford.

H for History #13: Boyd Gibson and Richard Wardman

16 May 2018

Time has not jaded these long-serving teachers, who began at Radford in 1985.

I had better address the elephant in the room: I am not the longest-serving teacher at Radford College. That distinction rests with two formidable elephants (in terms of memory, of course), Boyd Gibson and Richard Wardman. When they joined me last week for an interview for the school history, we collectively had 98 years of Radford experience. 

It was a joy to see and hear that time had in no way jaded these two long-serving classroom teachers, who Richard Wardman in 1986started way back in 1985 when, according to Mr Wardman, you could ‘throw a blanket over the whole school’. There would have been ample opportunity to attempt this, as a school assembly was held each and every morning in the main quadrangle, with students lugging chairs out from their tutor room, rain, hail or shine.

‘I remember teachers passing out!’ reveals Mr Gibson. Yet battling the elements never seemed to squash Mr Gibson's infectious enthusiasm; as he recounts, ‘I said to Graeme Wigg (then Deputy Principal) in the early days that if I leave Radford, I’ll leave teaching. I love it here. I want to retire here’. 

While retirement may be closer to Mr Wardman’s mind this year, it is inspiring to hear that his passion for teaching science has similarly not diminished one iota: ‘Occasionally people imply if you haven’t left the school after ten years there’s something wrong with you. But I concur with Boyd; if you are in a place that matches your values exactly and you come to school fresh, full of ideas and you’re making a difference that improves the lives of students, then “serve them all my days” it is!’

Richard Wardman came to Radford after working at Cranbrook in Sydney for seven years. He found Radford had similar values to his old school and admired Jock Mackinnon (Radford’s first principal) who insisted that ‘everyone should greet or acknowledge people you meet on campus’. He was also a great fan of Deputy Principal Graeme Wigg, who he describes as ‘the finest educator that I have worked with. Organised, visionary, humble, inspiring, and encouraging’. Richard points out that ‘The Big 5’, including foundation administrator Geoff Cowap, Director of Studies Molly Brownbill and inaugural Chairman Dr Tom Millar, set the tone for the future school in an indelible, lasting manner. This inspiring quintet worked together with considerable drive ‘to ensure that Radford was a good, generous and thoughtful member of the local Belconnen community and the wider community of Canberra’ in educational, social and co-curricular spheres.

Outside of his beloved science classroom, some of Mr Wardman's school highlights of the past 34 years include ‘the encouragement of activities where both boys and girls can participate together and achieve’. The school’s first musical, Oklahoma, in 1986 (see H For History #6: https://radfordcollegians.com.au/6-oklahoma-1987/) displayed ‘the positive force a musical could be’ and ‘created an expectation about what Radford was about’ in its palpable community-building, as well as being a platform for the school’s talented performers. He champions the Music Program (‘because it mixes kids up by gender and age group’) as well as the lighting and sound operators in the Technical Group, praising its growth over the years as a major force in ‘the creative enterprise’ and noting that ‘quite a few members have gone on subsequently to maintain a connection with theatre, drama and music’.

Richard Wardman on Y9 Camp in 1986In 1986, it was Richard who was instrumental in starting up the now-legendary relationship with Outward Bound and creating (insert the start of Beethoven’s 5th here) Year 9 Camp, convincing Jock Mackinnon that ‘10 days were needed to make it work’ (pictured on camp in 1986, left). Certainly in all of my recent interviews with collegians from the first two decades of the school, Year 9 Camp is nearly always mentioned as a significant and often crucial part of their Radford experience in those formative teenage years.

Boyd Gibson seems more comfortable in praising the characters of others on the Radford staff than himself. His personal highlights revolve around stories about his Radford colleagues – the ‘great and interesting’ teachers, ancillary and ground staff – whom he warmly describes as ‘good quality, down-to-earth, nice, solid people’. Ever the team-player, Mr Gibson has never lost the buzz of working with the SOSE faculty and in fact is even effusive about faculty meetings after more than three decades of sitting in them. He also fondly remembers the ‘high vis’ P&F of the early years ‘when the stakes were a whole lot bigger’ due to the controversies surrounding the establishment of the college. He recalls Principal Jock Mackinnon having to pick up students from country areas who were being dropped off by bus drivers near the Lyneham tennis courts at the end of Ginninderra Drive ‘because the school was being black-banned by the teachers’ union’. With Jock and foundation staff members firmly in mind, he attests, ‘We had staff who really really believed in the place’.

When I asked Mr Gibson why he has stayed so long at the college, he explains, ‘I just love coming to work every day. I’ve Boyd Gibson and students in 1993always dodged and weaved aspects of the politics and going for promotional positions ... because I loved going in and interacting with the kids in the classroom context. The way I see it, values are a little under strain with all the modern social media … but walking in the classroom today I still feel those traditional values are similar to how they were in the ‘80s’. At this point Mr Wardman chimes in: ‘I love transmitting powerful ideas and lighting that fire under students. There is a love of learning here that is celebrated and is contagious’.

Not surprisingly, both men are fans of RF Delderfield's 1972 classic, To Serve Them All My Days. In both of these mighty teachers’ careers, the title of that book perfectly and succinctly describes what it is they have selflessly strived to achieve while at Radford College these past 34 years. And the school, its students and its wider community – perhaps now a little too large to throw a blanket over – are all the richer for their unwavering, unreservedly loyal and resolute service.

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.

Radford teachers in 1989


Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

JS News: 16 May 2018

16 May 2018

Acknowledging some of the many events and achievements in the Junior School over the past two weeks.

Date to Remember

  • Tuesday 5 June – JS Athletics Carnival (Please note change of date)

Busy times like these provide us with a great opportunity to measure how we are building the academic and wellbeing attitudes and mastery we seek. In saying that, I write to acknowledge just a handful of school happenings over the last fortnight.

  • Held for the first time in our new undercroft, the annual Mother's Day breakfast (pictured, below) was well attended by families across our eight year levels. I thank the staff volunteers who arrived a little after 6 am to set up, the senior students who put together some wonderful breakfast treats, and our Songsters choir who performed so well.
  • Our Years 3 and 4 staff and students took a Friday Dance program to a whole new level.
  • Our Year 6 cohort and teachers presented a strong and challenging unit on puberty last Friday. I know I was challenged as a panel member during the Q&A.
  • Members of our leadership team do all their paperwork in the evenings as they seek to be on task during the day, every day.
  • Our teaching teams continue to challenge themselves to present a personalised program incorporating basics and new basics.
  • Members of our counselling team run full parent sessions, stay late to accommodate families' needs, and often spend non-rostered days following up to better assist us all. Julie and Emily provide wonderful support for us all, and for our Student Support team in particular.
  • This week we have been challenged by our first online NAPLAN assessment. Our Year 3 cohort (50 per cent of whom are new to Radford this year) in particular, deserve acknowledgement for their approach to this.
  • Rostrum speeches have resonated across the Junior School.
  • Thirty-four Years 5 and 6 students have nominated to challenge themselves in the Australian Maths Trust competition.
  • We announced our Years 5 and 6 Da Vinci Decathlon academic challenge teams.
  • Winter sports are in full swing.
  • We have held Orientation Evenings for prospective families.
  • A small group of teachers have been observing student engagement throughout our first term, with data out this week.

It certainly is a busy time, and I am proud to make note of all this engaging and challenging work from our students and from the people who want the best for them.

Mothers and children at the JS Mother's Day breakfast

Junior School students are committed to fighting the war on waste.

Junior School students become waste warriors

14 May 2018

Melinda Hamilton and Tiia Wright, Radford Tribal Council teachers

Students work together to introduce initiatives to promote waste consciousness.

By Melinda Hamilton and Tiia Wright, Radford Tribal Council teachers

A large group of interested Junior School students met with Olivia from ACT Smart Schools on Thursday, 10 May, to gather ideas about how we can become more waste conscious in the Junior School.

The Radford Tribal Council (RTC) encourages the correct use of the recycling bins and, while there has been some positive progress over the years, keeping up the momentum has been challenging.

To make wider change, the Year 6 Environment and Community Leaders, Round Square group, Green Team and other interested students are going to work together to introduce some initiatives.

We all need to play our part to become more waste conscious. The hope is that, with a large team, big changes can be made.

The new Radford ‘Aspire’ program will be offered from next year for all senior students, regardless of pathway choice.

Inspiring students in the Senior School

16 May 2018

Lindy Braithwaite, Senior Studies Coordinator

The new Radford ‘Aspire’ program will be offered from next year for all senior students.

By Lindy Braithwaite, Senior Studies Coordinator

The benefits of an education at Radford go well beyond the academics. We articulate this through the Radford Learner Traits which include: Principled, Thinker, Open Minded, Resilient, Self-Regulated and Communicator. Recent reports indicate that these traits are in line with what employers are looking for, including capabilities such as agility and a willingness to learn,[1] on top the traditional soft skills.[2]

Since 1998, though, the ATAR (or earlier versions of it) has been the predominant tool used by tertiary institutions to measure a young person's suitability for higher education. While there is no doubt that the ATAR is an important instrument, and there is a positive correlation between an ATAR and completion rates of bachelor degrees, there is a growing disquiet around its ability to adequately highlight capabilities necessary for success in a changing world.[3] The ATAR was a product of a time of fixed quotas for higher education course offerings, but today's tertiary environment is vastly different, with more institutions and a 46 per cent increase in students commencing higher education in the last 10 years alone.[4]

More recently, tertiary institutions have recognised the ATAR's limitations and the need to attract students with certain attributes, using a plethora of additional selection criteria and alternative or direct entry schemes. In 2016, it was reported that as few as three out of 10 undergraduate offers in Australia used the ATAR.[5] The Australian National University recently announced its new Early National Admission Program[6] and it is likely that many other institutions will follow suit. The ANU program seeks to filter students by attributing 'points' to co-curricular-style activities and success. Essentially, the ANU aims to attract students who, as well as academic ability, have developed the skills akin to our Radford Learner Traits.

At Radford, we are confident we are providing the rich experiences for students to build these skills both inside and outside of the classroom. There is, however, an ongoing need to expand on these opportunities and to provide an accreditation process that will be endorsed by tertiary institutions. And so, the new Radford 'Aspire' program will be offered from next year for all senior students, regardless of pathway choice.

The Radford Aspire Program enables students to have a degree of autonomy but also has elements of teacher-directed foundational skill-building. Importantly, students have the opportunity to plan, draw links and reflect on their learning. For example, the program encourages them to commit to a service or co-curricular activity that is outside their comfort zone, find opportunities to work collaboratively, show perseverance and consider and initiate the skills they would most benefit from focusing on.

The ambitious aim, as the name implies, is for students to grow towards independence armed with the skills for success and the accreditation required for outside organisations to recognise. It also provides a common infrastructure for all our students to work towards their individual aspirations, regardless of which pathway (BSSS Accredited, BSSS Tertiary or IB Diploma) they travel.

As you know, the information evening for Year 11 2019 is on at 6pm Tuesday, 22 May in TB Millar Hall. A letter with more details on this, and where to find further information, will be emailed on Friday. Year 10 students will also receive a pack of relevant information on Friday through their tutor (or on the night for new students in 2019).


[1] forbes.com/sites/carolinebeaton/2017/01/06/top-employers-say-millennials-need-these-4-skills-in-2017/#2a737c297fe4

[2] fya.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/fya-future-of-work-report-final-lr.pdf

[3] L Kristjanson (2018). 'Unis should Develop ATAR Alternatives', The Australian. theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/opinion/unis-should-develop-atar-alternatives/news-story/63fc3b22ef6a887548f5b2d6c0774ef2

[4] S Pilcher & K Torii (2018). Crunching the Number: Exploring the use and usefulness of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), Mitchell Institute paper, no 1. Melbourne. mitchellinstitute.org.au

[5] Commonwealth Department of Education and Training (2018).

[6] J Hare (2017), 'ANU Opening Doors for the Disadvantaged', The Australianwww.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/anu-opening-doors-for-the-disadvantaged/news-story/033cb5c6e35e4108cd3fa55332c8986b

Image for article: Are you food allergy aware?

Are you food allergy aware?

16 May 2018

Communications Department

This week, it's important to pause and examine our approach to food allergies.

This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week, an important week in any school.

The charity Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is marking the week by calling on all Australians to unite and examine their approach to often life-threatening food allergies. 

As part of Food Allergy Awareness Week, individuals are asked to be aware and educate themselves about food allergies. The organisers also request we show we care by donating, holding a fundraiser, downloading a badge or committing to one of the other supportive displays listed on the Food Allergy Awareness Week website

Some easy ways we can all be allergy aware include:

  • knowing what your classmates – and your child’s classmates – are allergic to
  • never sharing food with friends that have a food allergy
  • always washing your hands after you eat.

The website also features helpful tips on preparing food in a way that doesn’t pose risks to those with allergies.

At Radford, we take allergies very seriously. College Nurse Sophie Davis explains:

Radford College has an allergy awareness policy. The number of children with food allergies in Australia is increasing. The most common food allergies are to peanuts, tree nuts, cow’s milk, soy, seafood and eggs. The symptoms of food allergies range from mild to life threatening anaphylaxis. 

Radford College is allergy aware and allergy friendly, but not nut-free. Parents are encouraged to avoid sending their child to school with nuts or foods containing nuts.

There are various precautions in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those students who suffer from allergies. Parents are requested to ensure that any allergies are reported to the school and if a child needs an EpiPen or antihistamines that these are supplied to the school, along with an allergy management plan from your GP or specialist. It is also important to remind children not to share foods at school. 

College staff are trained to recognise and respond to symptoms of anaphylaxis and allergies.

According to (A&AA), Australia has one of the world’s highest incidences of food allergy and, alarmingly, this is only increasing – in fact, 10 per cent of babies born in Australia will develop a food allergy.

‘With no known cure for food allergy, awareness and education is of utmost importance, as a severe allergic reaction and/or anaphylaxis can rapidly become life threatening, and must be treated as a medical emergency,’ the website states. ‘It’s important for all Australians to be aware of food allergies, and know how to respond in an emergency situation.’

Please take a moment to discuss food allergies with your children to help ensure that they, and their classmates, remain safe at school.

For more information on Food Allergy Week or food allergies in general, please visit https://www.foodallergyaware.com.au/ or phone 6162 6283 to contact the College Nurse. 

College Captain Lydia Murray joined two students from different schools to discuss important issues on breakfast radio.

Listen to the ABC Canberra Youth Panel

14 May 2018

Laura Cook, Communications Officer

Click to hear College Captain Lydia Murray discussing important issues on breakfast radio on Friday.

By Laura Cook, Communications Officer

College Captain Lydia Murray joined Matthew Winchester from St Edmunds and Gungahlin College’s Isaac Martin to form the ABC Canberra Youth Panel on Friday, speaking to ABC Radio Canberra's Dan Bourchier and Adam Shirley about challenges for teenagers finishing school in the Canberra region. 

They discussed everything from free time and fake news to local politics and wage equality.

The interview was broadcast on Friday, 11 May at 5.30 am. If the segment aired a little early in the morning for you to catch, listen to the podcast to hear more about what matters in students’ lives today.


Legal studies students were shocked to see large numbers of elected officials using electronic devices during Question Time.

Screen time in Question Time

14 May 2018

Karen Gregory, Legal Studies teacher

Students found politicians somewhat unfocused on a recent excursion to Parliament House.

By Karen Gregory, Legal Studies teacher

The 'House on the Hill’ is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, so it seemed fitting to take both Year 12 Legal Studies classes to Parliament House for Question Time during our Politics and the Law unit. 

The students were looking forward to seeing the doctrine of representative government in action, to explore the political science themes from this term – power, authentic government transparency and legitimacy – and to unpack a little bit of the political philosophy we covered in class. However, it would be true to say that during this excursion, we saw nothing of the kind.

There is a reason why it is called ‘Question Time’ and not ‘Answer Time’. In both the House of Representatives and the Senate, we quickly discovered our elected representatives are heavily schooled in the art of not answering questions, in particular, questions without notice from the opposition. We heard question after question given a disingenuous response or an answer to the question that the representative preferred to answer but always beginning with mock courtesy, thanking the Member or the Senator for their question.

Maybe we are naïve to think that one hour of theatre in the course of a parliamentary sitting day has the potential to hold the government of the day to account, however, Aristotle, the so-called father of democracy, proclaimed that one of the most important democratic institutions of ancient Athens was the assembly (ekklesia), a meeting place where citizens could speak their minds and try to influence one another in the political process. The Greek Assembly, of course, became synonymous with democracy. It seems to us that our modern politician has forgotten the teachings of Aristotle, and the importance of the assembly has given way to grandstanding, obfuscation and personal insult. 

Worse still, the key observation from our excursion to Parliament House was of the sheer numbers of elected representatives who spent the entirety of Question Time on their electronic devices – neither engaged, nor willing to be engaged, in the political discourse around them.  

It is ironic that, prior to entering the visitors’ gallery of each House, we had to hand in our own phones and electronic devices. Across the political spectrum – from backbencher to cabinet minister, opposition or government member, minor party or independent – the majority were on their phones, tablets and notebooks, engrossed in reading and replying to emails and following Twitter feeds. Even in the Press Gallery, with the exception of the cartoonists, most journalists were multi-tasking, glued to digital screens. It is likely that, without the distraction of electronica, we and the other school groups and members of the public were paying more attention to the proceedings of Question Time than the politicians we elect to represent us. It is also ironic that teachers, academics and well-meaning educators tell us that our students should not be multi-tasking when our leaders and aspiring leaders are before us doing exactly that!

In a world where legal and political commentators claim that democracy is under threat from right- and left-wing extremists, it would seem that the real threat to democracy is in our hands!

Year 12 Biology students visited the National Zoo and Aquarium as part of their studies into Heredity and Continuity of Life.

Year 12 biology excursion

14 May 2018

Bronwyn Stanbury, Head of Science

Students considered Heredity and Continuity of Life at the National Zoo and Aquarium

By Bronwyn Stanbury, Head of Science

On Monday, 14 May, our Year 12 Biology class visited the National Zoo and Aquarium as part of their studies into Heredity and Continuity of Life.

Students were given a guided tour of the animal exhibits with focused talks on convergent/divergent evolution and animal adaptations.

Hands-on interactions included snake handling, and emu and deer feeding.

Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to walk around the zoo and spend some quiet time watching their favourite animals go about their daily business in the glorious autumn sunshine.

Year 12 Biology class visited the National Zoo and Aquarium as part of their studies into Heredity and Continuity of Life.


Year 12 Biology class visited the National Zoo and Aquarium as part of their studies into Heredity and Continuity of Life.

Film production writers Lewis, Tom, Jack, Jett and Bradley hard at work

Students to produce own film

14 May 2018

Eadon Brown and Sarah Depta, Media Crew Captains

Actors' auditions take place this week for Radford's first student-driven film production.

By Eadon Brown and Sarah Depta, Media Crew Captains

This year, Radford is producing its first student-driven film.

The production is a chance for students who are interested in the world of filmmaking to learn about the different aspects of film production, from writing to filming and editing.

Open to students from Years 7 to 12, it provides a chance to be a part of a hands-on project.

Throughout Term 1, an impressive team of writers composed a script that is sure to have the audience (and the cast) in stitches.

Production will begin with auditions this week, alongside the first production crew information session.

This term, actors will be part of a number of workshops preparing them for screen acting.

The production crew will learn how to use cameras, audio equipment and editing software.

Those with an interest in makeup, costuming, set design and music are also encouraged to get involved.

We anticipate that shooting will take place during the first week of the mid-year break.

If you have previous experience in any aspect of filmmaking/production and are interested in running a workshop for the students, please contact Mr Mordike at Dylan.Mordike@radford.act.edu.au.

Justine Hobson and David Stocks competed in the ACT Sprint and Middle-Distance Orienteering Championships over the weekend.

Sports Report: 16 May 2018

14 May 2018

Daniela Gray, Sports Administrator

Radford breaks records in the pool, our orienteers set the pace and the rest of the week's sporting news.

By Daniela Gray, Senior Sports Administration Manager


The cold, wet weather did not deter the Radford Orienteering Team from competing in the ACT Sprint and Middle-Distance Championships over the weekend (Saturday 12 May and Sunday 13 May).

These races are part of the selection process for the Australian School Championships later in the year. A number of Radford students competed in the Championships, and notable performances included:

Sprint Distance at Canberra Grammar School (David Stocks was the official course setter for this event)
M 20A Noah Poland (Y12) – 3rd
W 14A Justine Hobson (Y8) – 3rd

Middle Distance at Orroral Valley in Namadgi National Park
M 16A David Stocks (Y9) – 1st
W 16A Elise Northcote (Y11) – 3rd
M 14A Patrick Shelton Agar (Y8) – 2nd
W 14A Justine Hobson – 1st


The weekend saw Round 2 and win number 2 to the talented Radford girls' rugby side. It was a close one, but our team came out on top!

The boys played a close match also, with a loss to Marist 31–28.

Well done to all our rugby players following a big weekend.


A split round meant our netball teams played half games against two different teams. There were mixed results with wins, losses and draws across most of the divisions.

Keep your calendar clear for rescheduled matches on Thursday 24 May from 5 pm, when two of our Cadets teams will take on Merici here at the Radford courts.

Come along after school to watch some undoubtedly great netball and support our teams!

Alex Couldrick, swimmerSwimming, by Mark O'Neil, Swimming Captain

Georgina Hope Foundation Age Nationals Competition

Three Radford swimmers competed in the 2018 Georgina Hope Foundation Age Nationals Competition from 21–28 April.
These swimmers were Sophie Groves (Y11), Chelsea Kenneally (Y10) and Sarah Wilford (Y8).

Sophie competed in both the 100 and 200 m freestyle. Chelsea competed in the 100 and 200 m backstroke; 50, 100 and 200 m freestyle; 200 m individual medley and 100 m butterfly. Sarah competed in the 50 and 100 m freestyle.

Both Chelsea and Sarah made the finals for the 100 m backstroke and the 50 and 100 m freestyle respectively.

From this meet, Chelsea has been selected in the Swimming New South Wales Age Development squad.

Congratulations to all three swimmers on their fantastic achievements.

Junior School ACT Swim Championships

The Junior School ACT swimming championships were held on 7 May, with 16 Radford students competing.

There were a number of wonderful results in the pool and a special mention goes to Alex Couldrick (Y5, pictured) for his effort in the boys' 11 years 50 m butterfly event – he finished with a record-breaking time of 33.06. Congratulations, Alex!

Keep an eye out for the results from the Secondary School carnival soon!

Senior Drama and Music students would love to see you in the audience on Thursday, 24 May.

Comedy and Music Night: a laughing matter

16 May 2018

Come and see Senior Drama and Music students performing their best work.

By Nick Akhurst, Head of Department, Co‑curricular Drama/Dance/Oratory

Come along to the Performing Arts Centre Pit this Thursday, 24 May, at 7pm to see our Senior Drama and Music students performing their best work.

Enjoy original music composed by students and chuckle along with stand-up comedy routines developed specifically for this one night only.

Don't miss this great opportunity to see the creative life of the curriculum in action, with wonderful music and hopefully a few laughs.

Pop the date in your calendars now and stay turned for more information.

Come along to the Performing Arts Centre Pit on Thursday, 24th May (time TBC) to see our Senior Drama and Music students performing at their best.

Some of the artwork for the P&F’s 2018 Art Show, 18–20 May

Art show volunteers needed

8 May 2018

Please consider signing up for this popular community event.

By Sarah Jennett, P&F President

The P&F’s 2018 Art Show on the weekend of 18–20 May promises to once again be one of the most popular events for the year.

We are currently seeking parent volunteers for two-hour shifts to assist with the running of the event from Thursday through to Sunday.

Volunteer roles include:

  • Assistance with hanging of art works
  • Processing of payments
  • Café supervision
  • Art Show pack down. 

Shifts are usually for two hours duration but we’d be happy to hear from those that can give more time. We are looking for a total of 50 volunteers across our community.

There are some spots during the school days on Thursday and Friday, so why not gather together with some of your fellow parents and have some fun.

Signing up is easy, just click HERE to pick your preferred role and shift time

Please email me sarah.jennett@bigpond.com with any queries.

Don’t forget the Gala Opening is on Friday 18 May from 7:30 pm with guest speaker and judge, Justine van Mourik, Director of the Parliament House Art Collection. The entry fee of $20 includes a champagne supper, with under 12s tickets only $10. You can now buy your tickets online.

We are looking forward to catching up with everyone over what promises to be a wonderful weekend.


Year 11 Information Evening

Important event for current Year 10 students

The Year 11 2019 Information Evening will be held on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 6 pm in TB Millar Hall.  

It is important ALL current Year 10 students and at least one of their parents are present to obtain the essential information about the program of studies and the factors involved in choosing courses for Year 11.  

Representatives from all major subject areas will be in attendance to answer questions. 

Information packages will be distributed via tutor groups in the days prior to this event. Parents, please keep an eye out for this. 

For the diary

Comedy and Music Night

Join us for music and laughs as our Senior Drama and Music students perform their best work.

Thursday, 24 May 2018.

PAC Pit.

Time and booking details TBC.