From the Principal: 13 Oct 2021

Fiona Godfrey, Principal

By Fiona Godfrey, Principal

Given the unusual circumstances surrounding schooling at Radford College at present, I write again this week with information about a number of operational issues which will affect our students over the coming weeks.

AST done and dusted!
After weeks of uncertainty and trepidation, it with great pleasure I can confirm that our Year 12 students have successfully completed their Year 12 ACT

Year 12 students sit the AST

Scaling Test (AST) this afternoon!

The tests, which had to be held in the Wigg Gymnasium due to social distancing and ventilation requirements, were not as comfortable for our Year 12s as they would have been in the Morison Centre, but at least we have managed to get them completed without further delay or complication. Although we were not allowed to enter the venue due to security issues, I am assured that there were plenty of ‘granny rugs’ wrapped around students’ legs and torsos. We are hopeful that all students were able to produce their best results under the circumstances.

Returning to campus
Preparations are now being made for the return of all students to campus over the next three weeks. As outlined by the ACT Education Directorate in the COVID-19 Term School Plans, it is the expectation that all students will return to campus, except those students who have diagnosed medical vulnerabilities, where a medical practitioner determines that reasonable adjustments cannot be made at school. These students, and students who are in close daily contact with family members who have complex and documented vulnerabilities, will have approved and supported leave.

This approved and supported leave will take the form in the Secondary School of lessons being detailed in Seqta through Learning Intentions, lesson instructions, assessment details and assessment feedback. In most classes, resources and class activities will be provided through OneNote. In addition, lessons will be live streamed through Teams, and the teacher will use their lecterns to move around the classroom to enable the student working from home to hear and contribute to class discussions. In the Junior School this approved and supported leave will take the form of work being provided on a weekly basis, delivered via the year-level Sway or class Team.

As students prepare to return to campus, it would be prudent for them to start organising themselves with respect to uniform requirements. For students who may have had a growth spurt over the lockdown period, it would be judicious to try on skirts, trousers, and shorts, making sure they are of an appropriate length. Likewise, students need to make sure other summer uniform requirements, including a hat, are available and of a correct size.

Although Secondary School students were reminded in assembly this week about adhering to uniform expectations, it would be greatly appreciated if all parents could also reinforce hair, make-up and jewellery regulations, all detailed in the Student Diary. We know if students are well presented and organised, it will assist them in getting back into the swing of face-to-face learning.

It has been decided that students in the Secondary School can wear their PE uniform to school on days that they have PE classes. This decision has been made to eliminate the need for large groups of students to congregate in the change rooms before and after PE lessons. It will also reduce the amount of equipment the students will need to carry in their school bags, while lockers are not necessarily being used.

Both the uniform and second-hand uniform shops will re-open from next Monday at the normal times. However, you will need to book an appointment through the Community Portal on the College website to secure a dedicated time.

The canteen will also re-open from next Monday. The menu will progressively get larger as the number of students on campus increases.

New carpark under construction
As detailed in last week’s Bulletin article, work on the six new outside courts (three tennis and three multi-purpose) has now begun on the site that was previously the College’s major carpark. At the same time, work is continuing on the new carpark, which is now due to be completed and ready for use on 18 November. Unfortunately, we lost some time last week due to wet weather.

Until the new carpark is ready for occupation, parking spots on the campus are going to be very limited. This means that from Monday, 18 October, until the new carpark is opened, Year 12 students cannot park on the College campus. We have been in communication with CIT Bruce, and they have kindly allowed our Year 12s to use their government-controlled parking bays (approximately 900 in total) between Vowels Crescent and Purdie Street, which are not time limited, and not currently being used as their students are not back on campus. CIT have specifically asked that students do not park in Eade Street as this would cause problems with impacting access to other vehicles and services. These parking bays are a short walk to the Radford campus.

Refunds from camps and year-level charges
As previously detailed, the Years 10, 9 and 3 camps have been cancelled for 2021. Whilst there was still a great uncertainty about whether we would get back to face-to-face learning this year when we had to decide to cancel or not, it is wise that we took the decision we did, as OEG and Outward Bound would not have been able to adequately staff the camps as most, if not all, of their staff come from either New South Wales or Victoria.

There have also been some year-level excursions and activities that have been cancelled in the Secondary School over the course of Terms 3 and 4.

As a result of these cancellations, parents of students in Years 3, and 7–12 will receive either a credit note (for students continuing in 2022) or a refund (for students who are leaving at the end of 2021). Some year levels have only small refunds, while Year 9 and 10 will receive a more significant refund due to the camp charges.

Resumption of co-curricular activities
Over the coming weeks, many of the College’s co-curricular activities will be resuming, with training, practices and rehearsals being the first to resume (albeit with limited numbers initially), followed by performances and fixtured games.

The Sports Department have been working on a detailed plan for the resumption of sport, titled Return to Sport Information Booklet, including risk assessments and COVID-19 safe guidelines, which will be emailed to all Radford families by the end of this week. It is important that all students and parents are aware of this information and take note of important dates and times. Additionally, the booklet will include information about the new sports uniform and mechanisms for ordering, which is pertinent to Oztag and cricket participants in the first instance.

Nexus rollout and changes to Bulletin
As previously communicated, the College will soon be launching our new intranet and portal, Nexus. I hope you’ve had a chance to read through the articles about the new system.

Term 3, Week 9
Term 4, Week 1
Term 4, Week 2

A feature of the new portal is the News Feed, which will be used to communicate transactional and operational information to parents and students. News will be specific to your child/ren’s year group and activities and will be shared as required, rather than weekly via the Bulletin. You will receive a notification when a new item is added to the News Feed and there will be the option to receive a daily digest or as-it-happens alerts.

The Bulletin will continue to be published weekly on Wednesdays during term time and will focus on celebratory/whole-of-community news, highlights and events. The Bulletin will continue to be available via our public website but will also be accessible through Nexus. As with the News Feed, users will receive a notification when the Bulletin has been published.

Important information regarding NSW residents and travel
The NSW Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kerry Chant has issued an Order regarding NSW residents travelling into the ACT and returning to NSW.

The order states that exemptions will only be issued to:

a) A NSW resident who works in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and was in the ACT for work OR a NSW resident who entered the ACT in order to receive medical or health treatment or to accompany a person receiving medical or health treatment in the ACT; and

b) The person has not been in any other area of concern (within the meaning of the Order) in the previous 14 days.

The Order does not reference education.

AISACT have contacted the ACT exemptions team which has confirmed that unfortunately NSW does not consider education an exempt reason to enter the ACT without requiring a declaration on return.

Students can still travel into the ACT for education, they just need to continue completing the declaration form every 72 hours.

This directive applies to ALL students living in NSW, regardless of their postcode.

Unfortunately, these rules are set by NSW not ACT, but hopefully they won’t be in place for too long.

We will keep you updated of any change to this.