Principal's Message - 1 May

Fiona Godfrey, Principal

Fiona Godfrey, Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am writing to announce that the College is resuming face-to-face teaching and learning on campus from Monday 11 May.

The College Board has ratified this decision, and the rationale for it, which includes:

• Face-to-face teaching and learning are preferable to online teaching and learning.

• The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has noted limited evidence of transmission between children in the school environment.

• The question of having Federal Government funding brought forward is irrelevant. Radford College was already planning the resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning in Week 3 of Term 2.

• At the time of writing, there are no active cases of COVID-19 in the ACT, making it arguably one of the safest places in the world.

Regardless of the AHPPC’s view that there is a relatively low risk of a COVID-19 case occurring in a school environment, the College intends to put measures in place to further reduce any risk of transmission. These measures will include social distancing, increased cleaning of facilities and equipment both during and after school hours, provision of additional hygiene products throughout the school, limiting access to adults other than the teachers, limiting large gatherings of students and constant reminders to students of all ages about the need to follow good hygiene practices at all times whilst on campus.

A transition back to normal operations for the College could take many weeks or even months; however, we understand a move back to face-to-face teaching is the priority. To that end, and to maximise social distancing, return to school arrangements will differ based on year groups.

Junior School: Pre K – Year 6
All students will be provided face-to-face teaching every day, as the College can use its very generously sized classrooms and break out spaces to ensure greater distance between students indoors. Additionally, each year level will have a specific area for lunchtime and recess play, as well as staggering the use of common areas within year levels.

Secondary School: Years 7–10
Face-to-face teaching and learning will be provided on alternate days, based on House Groups, within each year level. This means only half the year level will be on campus at any one time.This decision was made because the Secondary School does not have breakout spaces and the original classrooms, which are predominantly used by these year levels, are smaller in area.

This arrangement will operate using the Week A and Week B timetable, meaning every student will receive 10 days of face-to-face teaching and learning across the two cycles (i.e. 10 days per four weeks). Heads of Years 7–10 will follow up with the details of these arrangements next week.

Individual academic departments will determine the best possible way for their subject matter to be delivered to provide continuous learning for all students. For some subjects this might be practical work at school and theory at home, while for other subjects this might be input, explanations and questions at school and research and individual work at home.

Whatever the approach, the lessons being delivered at school will be able to be watched and listened to by the students at home using Microsoft Teams.

These arrangements will be trialed and monitored in the transition back to face-to-face teaching and learning. If changes are required or the rate of COVID-19 transmission continues to decline, we are in a position to quickly resume full-time face-to-face classes for all students in these year levels.

Senior School: Years 11 & 12
All students will be provided with face-to-face learning every day, as predominantly smaller class sizes make social distancing possible. Larger class sizes will be moved into alternative venues to again allow for greater spacing between students.

In the coming days, further information about the examination week, assessments and changes to the end of Semester 1 arrangements will be available to all Senior Students and their parents through the COVID-19 pages on Radford Online and the College website. We will inform you when that information has been uploaded.

To minimise Senior Students’ time on campus, a decision has been made to allow Year 12 students to only be on campus when they have classes. They will not be required to sign in and out during this time. Additionally, Year 11 students can remain at home until their first class of the day and leave the campus after their last class of the day. Year 11 students will be required to sign in and out in the usual manner.

Students Not on Campus
We know there will be students who are unable to attend face-to-face teaching and learning for a variety of reasons. The College will strive to ensure that these students’ learning is not compromised through a variety of age-appropriate approaches. Every lesson in the Secondary School will continue to be broadcast and recorded through Teams and individual teachers or departments will use the normal platforms to distribute and collect work. In the Junior School, year level teams will work collectively to provide work for students who are absent from school. As is always the case when students are absent from school, teachers will work to support their students in the best possible manner.

Learning Hub
This will continue every day for Years 7–10 students whose parents are essential workers or Radford College staff members.

Safety Precautions
As we transition back to face-to-face teaching, there are a number of other arrangements that have been put in place to safeguard our staff, students and parents.

No parents will be allowed on campus, except for drop off and pick up and when attending the Uniform Shop. With the exception of ELC parents, we ask that you do not leave your vehicle when dropping off or picking up your child/ren. If a parent needs to accompany their child to a fitting at the Uniform Shop, we ask that you make a booking first where possible and go only to the shop whilst on campus.

Please be aware the Uniform Shop hours will be extended next week to accommodate our return to face-to-face learning. Please refer to our website for further details.

The College will adhere to a rigorous cleaning program during the school day with desks and equipment regularly wiped down. Hand sanitiser will be in every classroom and students will be reminded to use it and wash their hands regularly during the school day.

Lockers and common kitchens will not be available for Secondary School students to use and the canteen will remain closed.

Social Distancing
AHPPC believes that adults in the school environment should practise room density measures (such as in staff rooms) given the greater risk of transmission between adults. The College will continue to have remote staff meetings and briefings. All other large gatherings, such as assemblies, will continue to be held via video link.

Distancing signage will be installed to ensure all adults on campus continue to exhibit best practice.

Further Details
Obviously there are still many finer details that the College is working through. Please refer to Wednesday’s Bulletin and messages from key personnel as they come through for further updates.

Sincere Thanks
It is far too early to say that we are completely through this crisis, but the signs are encouraging and are a reason for cautious optimism. This has been an unforgettably difficult time and I want to thank each and every one of you for your strong support, encouraging words and kindness to each other. As a community, we have looked to our shared values to guide our words and actions. Let us continue to all work together to ensure we remain safe.

Kind regards,

 

Fiona Godfrey

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