Principal's Message

Principal Fiona Godfrey in The Chapel. Credit: Alan Lee.

By Mrs Fiona Godfrey, Principal

Over the course of last weekend, the Parents & Friends Association staged their first major fundraiser of the year, the annual Art Show. Celebrating its 39th year of existence, the 2023 Radford Art Show attracted high-quality works from a large number of artists from the Canberra district and beyond, as well as a large number of exhibits from our very own students.

At the Art Show Gala Opening on Friday night, attendees were spoilt by the opportunity to view the collection for the first time, delicious drinks and canapes, beautiful accompanying music, and a highly interesting speech by our guest of honour and Head Curator of International Works at the National Gallery of Australia, Russell Storer. At the completion of his official duties, Russell announced the recipients of the major prizes were:

  • Jonquil Mackey Award – First Prize – Sukhvinder Saggu, Still Life with Vase
  • Highly Commended – Jodie Munday, Road Less Travelled
  • Emerging Artist – Archer Holt (Year 9), The Great Disgorge
  • Junior Artist Winner P&F – Grayson Szigetvari (Year 4), Lurking
  • Junior Artist Runner Up Eckerley’s – Ivy Jin (Year 4), The Dragon
  • Senior Artist Winner P&F – Ally Roberts, Transform
  • Senior Artist Runner Up Eckerley’s – Eloise Flynn (Year 12), Showing Skin
  • People's Choice Winner - Andrew Smith, Blue Lake
  • People's Choice Runner Up - Archer Holt (Year 9), The Great Disgorge

The organisation and execution of an event such as this takes a huge amount of time, energy and ingenuity from a very large number of people. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Art Show Curator Camelia Smith, P&F President Lisa McPherson, P&F Administrator Monique Glavonjic, the committee, volunteers, and our facilities staff for all of their work. Collectively, they put in countless hours to make the P&F Art Show so successful again this year. I would also like to thank the staff and students who assisted in a variety of capacities leading up to and over the weekend.

First Prize winner Sukhvinder Saggu with P&F President Lisa McPherson and guest of honour Russell Storer.

Parental Readership of Nexus Posts

We launched Nexus as our community communications platform in late 2021. Then in early 2022, we added the College’s Learning Management System to its capabilities. Over that period, we have seen a satisfying level of parents accessing Nexus in relation to continuous assessment information and Learning Summaries.

However, despite most parents using Nexus to obtain feedback on their child’s/children’s academic progress, many are missing important information about co-curricular activities, pastoral care opportunities, and administrative arrangements. This is particularly pertinent to parents of Secondary School students, with recent readership statistics showing that only 30 per cent of intended readers have opened the year-level term letters, which were posted at the beginning of Term 2.

These statistics could partly be attributed to the fact that only one parent in each household tends to read this sort of information (and both parents are on the distribution database). However, these statistics still point to the fact that many families are not privy to important school operational information.

As I have requested previously, I would ask all parents to routinely check Nexus posts and, in particular, review your child’s/children’s year-level pages.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program at Radford

For many years, Radford College has offered the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program to all students from 14 years of age. The award is a leading, structured (non-formal education) youth development program, empowering students to explore their full potential and find their purpose, passion, and place in the world, regardless of their location or circumstance. The award is a fully inclusive program and has no social, political, or religious affiliations.

To achieve an Award (either Bronze, Silver, or Gold), each young person must learn a skill, improve their physical well-being, volunteer in their community and experience a team adventure in a new environment. At Radford, all participants are supported by our Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator, Ms Sue Hassell, who does an amazing job supporting, encouraging, and assisting all of our Duke of Ed participants, whatever their level of attainment.

The key elements of our program are:

Currently, there are 139 students enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Radford (Bronze Award: 100, Silver Award: 36, Gold Award: 3). There has been a resurgence of enrolments in Years 9 and 10 since the reduction of COVID-19 risks, with many students now looking for fun and challenging activities to do with their friends offline.

The activities that constitute the Bronze Award are already being completed by most Year 9 students, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award formalises these achievements. There are four activities in the Bronze Award, and each must be completed for one hour per week, for three months, with one activity (a major) being completed for six months:

  • Sport: Most Year 9 students are involved in a sport or personal training for at least three months.
  • Service: All Year 9 students are doing service learning.
  • Skills: Many students are involved with music or dance. Students could also work towards a meal preparation goal or reading goal.
  • Adventurous Journey: One expedition of four days/two nights. The Year 9 Camp covers this requirement.

Currently, the Silver Award students - generally Year 10 students - can use their school camp to meet the Adventurous Journey requirement. Sport, Service and Skills activities are supplied by Radford.

Gold Award students generally combine with students from other schools to undertake their Adventurous Journey. The Sport, Skills and Service activities are supplied by Radford.

Students use a phone app to record their weekly activities. The cost is $180 for the Bronze Award, $190 for Silver and $200 for Gold, and there is funding available for students.

Increasingly, universities, apprenticeships, and workplaces are requiring evidence of a student’s involvement in informal learning. This means evidence of teamwork, perseverance, independence, problem solving and service to the community. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award supplies this. More importantly, we see an increase in students' confidence and independence, and students enjoy themselves as they persist and complete their activities.

If students want to get involved, there is a meeting each Tuesday lunchtime in Mor1.4. For more information, head to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award page on Nexus.

DoE 2019.

Supervision of Students Involved in Late Co-curricular Activities

Due to the high demand of our facilities, several co-curricular activities involving younger students are scheduled to start at 5.30 or 6.00 pm. Generally speaking, these activities involve dance classes or basketball training.

Our staff are diligent in their efforts to ensure all students are safely transferred to the care of parents and caregivers or transitioned to co-curricular activities.

Students in Kindergarten to Year 4 who remain on campus after 3.45 pm, will be signed into Out of School Hours Care.

The College Library is open after school until 5 pm for students in Years 5-12. Year 5 and 6 students must sign in and out at the front desk. Students are permitted to read, play quiet (non-digital) games, and complete home learning. Playing digital games on devices is not permitted.

In recent weeks, we have received reports of students remaining on campus after the College Library closes at 5.00 pm, waiting for their co-curricular activity to begin. Parents are reminded that there is not any supervision of students after this time.

We are aware that some older students go to 'The Chip Shop' (Bruce Takeaway) across Hayden Drive. Students in Years 5 and 6 have been given a clear message that they are not permitted to visit the shop.

Assistant Principal Curriculum and Dean of Senior Students Roles Announced

As parents would be aware, the Assistant Principal Curriculum role in the Secondary School became vacant at the end of last year following Ms Lindy Braithwaite's resignation. In the interim, Mr Nick Moss has been acting in this position and doing an outstanding job.

Mid-last term, the College advertised this position nationally and received a very large number of experienced applicants with high credentials from across the country.

Following a rigorous interview process, I was delighted last week to announce to the Secondary School that Mr Nick Moss was the strongest candidate and has accepted the role in an ongoing capacity. I have every confidence that Mr Moss will continue to expertly lead the curriculum portfolio in the Secondary School.

In turn, Mrs Ali Steven has been Acting Dean of Senior Students (back filling for Nick Moss) since the beginning of the year. Following Nick’s appointment to the Assistant Principal role, the Dean of Senior Students role was re-advertised in an ongoing capacity, and I am delighted to announce that Mrs Steven has been appointed to this position.

As a result of Mrs Steven's appointment, Mr Jeremy Hawkes will remain as Head of Year 8 for the remainder of this year.