The “trinity”: school, parents and students

Dr Adrian Johnson - Deputy Principal, Head of Secondary School

Dr Adrian Johnson - Deputy Principal, Head of Secondary School

School leaders often talk about the importance of what I call the “trinity”: the relationship between the school, parents and students, and how good things can happen when all three stakeholders are “on the same page”.  This concept, when discussed in theoretical terms, can sound a little hollow.  It is only when we witness the trinity in action, do we all appreciate, with a true sense of authenticity, what the school-parent-student alliance is really about.  And, in recent times, we have had some shining examples of these sorts of relationships at Radford. 

During the holidays, sixteen of my colleagues led tours within Australia and beyond.  We had the service learning trips to Gamilaraay Country, Timor-Leste and Cambodia, the SOSE Trip to the USA, and the Science Trip to Europe. 

G23 Gamilaaray Trip Europe Science Tour 2019

These sorts of experiences only happen because our staff are passionate about sharing their interests with the young people in their care.  It is impossible to quantify the life lessons experienced on these tours and, I’m sure, this is the very reason why so many parents support their children in taking part.  I wish to thank, in particular, those staff who took so much care in organising and leading these tours; such undertakings come with an element of complexity and, at times, unpredictability, which they all handled with a great deal of professionalism.

SOSE Tour 2019 Timor-Leste Tour 2019

And there are other elements of our programs which couldn’t operate without the enthusiastic support of our parents.  In the last week of the holidays, the Snowsports Camp was held at Perisher, led by our Technical Director and former parent, Jonathan Mandl.  Jonathan was ably supported by a number of current parents, who acted as officials and cheer squads(!), and two Radford teachers, Brad Greer and Darryle Macdonald.  By all accounts, everyone had a wonderful time on the slopes in preparation for the Interschools Competition held later that week [see the Snowsports report in this Bulletin]. We now await invitations to the Australian Interschools Championships to be held at Mt Buller from 4 - 8 September.

Interschools Team 2019 Mitchell and Darren Riepon

Radford has had several parent support groups which have been invaluable to the running of sport at the College. Friends of Radford Rowing (FORR) do a wonderful job supporting our crews through such things as fundraising events, as well as providing catering and other assistance to Technical Director Vicky Spencer and our team of coaches.  Their support is greatly appreciated and really creates a community atmosphere at the shed throughout the season. 

Radford Rowing community at the boat shed in 2017 Radford rowers on Lake Burley Griffin

We are also looking at revisiting Friends of Radford Football and Basketball, to help with these two very large programs as we strive to continue to improve our offerings for the students.  We are also seeking parental support in the upcoming Futsal and Oztag seasons; so do please contact Brent Larkham if you are interested in helping out.  Huge thanks to all those parents who are helping as coaches and managers throughout winter – your support is truly appreciated.

A number of my senior colleagues are meeting with all Year 10s over the first two weeks of this term to discuss their subject choices for 2020.  It is a real privilege to have these young people share with us their aspirations and dreams for the future, and, in some cases, the realisation the path ahead isn’t very clear at the moment!  No doubt there have been many conversations around dinner tables at home in preparation for these interviews. 

It is at times like this we have a real sense of our purpose as educators: to equip our students to make a worthwhile contribution to society.  And I am confident, with the support of both their families and teachers, these young people will go on to do just that.

To Home