Looking to the Future

By Mr Nick Moss, Assistant Principal Curriculum

Good luck Year 12s

Yesterday marked a significant milestone for the College, as we said farewell to our Year 12 students. In what was a day of mixed emotions for many, we honoured them for their achievements and contributions to the College over the years. Many of the students started their learning journey at Radford's Junior School or Early Learning Centre. The Avenue of Honour was therefore an appropriate way for the entire school to bid farewell to the Year 12s and to wish them luck for the future.

It is also fitting that we acknowledge and thank all of our teaching, pastoral care and support staff who have known, guided and challenged our Year 12 students during their time at Radford. M Jane Lilley deserves special mention, as she acted as the cohort’s Head of Year, since 2018. We are so proud of you, Year 12, please stay in touch!

2023 wrap-up

2023 was a successful and innovative year for the Secondary School, in terms of our curriculum, assessment and reporting. With a continued focus on academic care and educating the whole child, Secondary School staff embarked on a shared learning journey with our students to assist them in developing the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions they need to be successful learners, now and in the future.

To achieve this, we:

  • Offered a rich and diverse curriculum, comprising the Australian Curriculum, the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies’ Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. To broaden our curriculum, interdisciplinary learning opportunities, outdoor education experiences, co-curricular offerings, service learning, excursions and voluntary academic enrichment competitions were also offered to our students in Years 7-12.
  • Expanded our Approaches to Learning for all students in Year 7-12 courses. Our students self-assessed and were teacher assessed on their capacity to demonstrate self-discipline and set goals, express emotions appropriately, work collaboratively and/or appreciate diverse perspectives and contribute to civil society.
  • Formalised so-called hurdle tasks to allow our students to reflect upon the development of their approaches to learning as they completed assessment tasks. Replacing the submission of formal drafts, the hurdle tasks have proven to enhance our students’ formal self-reflection skills, generate meaningful and authentic engagement with the assessment task, and allow all students to receive timely feedback from teachers prior to submission.
  • Developed policies and processes to support our students' use of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) at the College. While the recent development of GAI has broadened how our students can access information, it is imperative that our students continue to protect their intellectual property and uphold their academic integrity.
  • Streamlined our end-of-semester Learning Summaries to encapsulate the achievements of the whole child. Our Learning Summaries now detail formal leadership roles, three approaches to learning, offer records of co-curricular involvement, promote our House system and include personalised and holistic mentor comments.

Looking ahead to 2024

Building on our achievements and successes in 2023 and noting our strong desire to uphold best practice at Radford, we have selected a number of purposeful and meaningful initiatives in 2024. These include:

  • Continuing to expand our Approaches to Learning to include four strands by the end of Semester 1, 2024.
  • Engaging with Leon Furze. Leon is an educator, author, commentator and PhD candidate who will support our staff and students in considering the ethical and practical implications of GAI in their pedagogy and assessment.
  • Adopting the Association of Independent Schools of NSW Deep Learning Framework to begin our explicit teaching of the six core competencies in the Secondary School. The six core competencies are character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. Our focus for 2024 will be developing our Secondary School students’ critical-thinking skills.

I would like to thank our teaching and support staff for their professionalism and ongoing support of our students this year and wish everyone a safe and rejuvenating Christmas break.