JS News, 24 June 20

Andy Gordon - Deputy Principal, Head of Junior School

Andy Gordon - Deputy Principal, Head of Junior School

There are times when the truth is stranger than fiction. 

"The Goonies" poster by Drew Strutz, sourced from WikipediaIf we were to channel George Orwell or Douglas Adams, I doubt if, even then, we could write the story of Semester I, 2020, especially for us nestled in the ACT, right from 1 January. The truths we have traversed, through experience and through emotion, have been those of a thrilling action movie. Like the classic Steven Spielberg-produced movie, The Goonies, our treasure hunt was realised by finding the strength within, and the empowerment that comes through authentic connection and relationship. Like the Goonies gang, plunging into a maze of caves through adventure traps, underground rivers and pirate ships, our heroes, our learners and teachers, embraced our adventure. We learned that a school without learners and learning is just a building. 

We have organised a special celebration on Thursday for Mr Andrew Sullivan, as he concludes his faithful service as a teacher at Radford College. We wish him well and know that he has made a difference in the lives of many students and colleagues.   

We also thank Colleen Donnelly who finishes her semester contract teaching Godly Play, with Rachelle Martin back in this role next term. Our thanks also to Bruce Willett, who replaced Judy Geeves in the Student Support and Enrichment role, while Judy has been on Long Service Leave this term.

As you are aware, according to the Minister for Education’s advice, there are some changes from previous semesters to the Semester I report card, which take into account the nature of assessment in the Junior School. 

Whilst we are speaking of the Semester I report that your child’s teacher has prepared for you to reflect on the learning engaged in, I need us to hold in tension that a report card measures what it can, though not measuring all of the things that often really matter in life. It is our best work, to share with you progress your child has made in the semester and areas for further learning and improvement. Given learners grow at different rates of development and readiness, comparing between one year and another is often not helpful. The best way I can say this is that the semester report is feedback on the last six months. Simply put, if a nurse and doctor wrote a report card using a five point scale, for a child at six months of age, according to a criteria of eating, sleeping, noises, eye movement, rolling, crawling, just to name a few growth points, we would know that we would expect differences. I once heard a quote, “readiness is when a child does it.”  The feedback is for conversations and actions for growth. It is exciting and powerful to get feedback, regardless of age. We know the learning process needs learners, parents and teachers to all work closely together to ensure that the conditions for learning are fruitful. 

We are looking forward to the holiday program, which at present has been fully booked.

Have a safe holiday
Kind regards





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