The first ten days...

Louise Wallace-Richards
Louise Wallace-Richards

From Louise Wallace-Richards, Acting Head of Secondary School

Dr Adrian Johnson has begun his first term as Principal at Trinity Anglican College in Albury, and I have begun my Semester 2 role as Acting Head of Secondary School of Radford College. It has been a busy first two weeks, watching weekend sport, leading staff briefings, meeting the families of new students, conducting new student interviews, and working with Mrs Nerida Dyne, Executive Assistant to the Head of the Secondary School, on planning assemblies and key events, from new student orientation days to Year 12 Graduation and the end-of-year Celebration.

I am particularly enjoying the increased opportunities the role brings to meet and work with students, given my usual role as Assistant Principal works towards improving teaching and learning opportunities while working with teaching staff in the Secondary School.

We have only just begun the term and already have news that two of our students have received recognition of their achievements in the academic and service realms.

(L) Lara Parsons, (R) Anna Charlton
(L) Lara Parsons, (R) Anna Charlton

Lara Parsons, Year 10
Lara has received a “Highly Commended” for her entry in the Simpson Prize competition. The Simpson Prize is a national competition for Years 9 and 10 students focusing on the service of Australians in World War I.

Anna Charlton, Year 9
Anna has been awarded a medallion by the branch of the ACT Order of Australia. This award recognises outstanding student community service. For almost two years, Anna has been a volunteer two afternoons each week at Flossie's Kitten Rescue in Flynn, caring for homeless cats and kittens. Anna will be awarded her prize on 25 August at the Royal Canberra Golf Club.

In the past two weeks, the College has held several significant events, including the Year 12 Revue, at the end of Week 1, and the Winter Concert, at the end of Week 2. I have seen many Revues over the past 17 years and have always enjoyed a student-led show that captures their reminiscences about their time at Radford. This year’s performance entertained us through clever caricatures of staff, effective staging and lighting, and a toe-tapping musical score that made you want to sing along, particularly This '80s Child.

Year 12 Revue, 2022
Year 12 Revue, 2022

The Winter Concert, a regular Radford event, showcased student music performances from the Junior School Warblers choir to the Bernstein Secondary School Big Band.

One of the highlights for me was the energetic performance by the Warblers, led by Bronwyn Potter. The audience looked on with delight while the students sang and danced to their music pieces. Similarly, the Secondary Chorale choir’s singing of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody had the audience singing, if only to themselves, so as not to interrupt the performance!

Dylan Mordike, Head of Co-curricular, eloquently ended the evening on behalf of Kirsten Knight, Head of Co-curricular Music. In particular, he paid homage to Kirsten; Nick Akhurst, Head of Co-curricular Drama and Dance; Tim Minehan, Co-curricular Media Crew Coordinator; and all the Music Managers who are teachers across the College.

Junior choristers performing at the Winter Concert
Junior choristers performing at the Winter Concert

Our House group sessions started successfully this term, with a presentation prepared by Jake Bailey, Kurrajong House Leader, focusing on building student and staff understanding of disability issues.

There are a couple of House challenges this term that will earn points towards the House Cup competition. One is the debating competition, with the Senior grand final between Boronia and Acacia to be held this week, on the topic That private schools should be banned. The other is the “Spelling Bee”, with all Houses last week conducting a “Bee” to begin the process of determining who will be the spelling champions to go through to the inter-House rounds. Words like fluorescent and even jewellery stumped some students – the American influence on our culture leading many students to spell the latter word minus one <l> and one <e>!

Finally from me this week, is a comment on the Year 10 interviews conducted last week by all Secondary Executive members, Heads of Year and some Heads of Department. I always find these interviews to be such a valuable opportunity to speak with Year 10s about their progress over the past three and a half years at Radford, and for those who started in the Junior School, even longer.

In the interviews we all seek to help students to see how far they have travelled academically, celebrate their co-curricular and service learning involvement, and help them to make some decisions about what they may like to study in Years 11 and 12, and even, for some, their plans for when they leave school in 2024. Some students are already committed to a career path mid-way through Year 10. Most are unsure but have some areas of passion that they hope to do further study in at university. It is certainly a lot to ask of children at 15 years of age to think about their career path. Schools have always had to ask this of their students, but I believe that at Radford, these one-on-one interviews go some way to help them to make informed decisions. Thanks to James Rodgers, leader of the Academic Executive Admin staff, and his team, as well as Lindy Braithwaite, Assistant Principal Curriculum, and Nick Moss, Assistant Principal Staff and Senior Studies, for all their work in organising these interviews.

IMPORTANT: Secondary School Parent/Teacher/Student Conversations in Weeks 9 & 10 will all be ONLINE through Teams meetings.
More information to come soon.