Commencement Day - February 1984

By Mrs Annette Carter, College Historian

The first day of school is always filled with a mixture of anticipation, excitement and anxiety. But imagine having your first day at a brand-new school. There would be no website to scout out potential subjects or extra-curricular activities, and you wouldn't have met your peers or teachers to ask for advice on where to go. Everyone would be finding their own way.

This was the prospect facing 235 Radford College students starting in Years 7 and 8 on 1 February 1984 at 8:40 am.

Information about the first day of school from a letter to parents.

There had been meetings for parents in 1982 and 1983. These meetings allowed parents to ask questions and, late in 1983, they could obtain further details of the planned Program of Studies and extra-curricular activities. Letters were also sent out regarding the $50 registration fee and $400 enrolment fee (which was refundable when the child left the school with any outstanding debits withdrawn). It was decided that the basic tuition fee would be $450 per term, with parents asked to contribute a further $250 per term (minimum) to the College’s Building and Maintenance Fund.

In October 1983, parents received a detailed ten-page letter signed by the newly appointed Principal Jock Mackinnon, including details about school uniforms, the program of studies, teaching staff, important dates and daily schedule, as well as arrangements for the commencement, schedule of charges for textbooks and student stationery supplies list. The school year was split into three terms – Lent, Trinity and Michaelmas.

For the winter uniform, all students wore a tartan tie; white, long-sleeved shirt; grey jumper and garnet blazer with 'R' on the pocket; and black lace-up shoes. Girls wore a tartan skirt with grey stockings while boys wore long, grey trousers with grey socks.

For the summer uniform, girls wore a garnet/white or blue/white striped dress and boys wore long, grey trousers or grey tailored shorts. All students were required to wear a garnet tie and black lace-up shoes. However, on very hot days, girls could wear dark brown sandals (as long as they were purchased from Clarks) and boys could wear their blue striped, short-sleeved shirt open-necked, without a tie.

The College also considered introducing an optional summer hat for all.

For the Year 8 of 1984, the subjects offered were:

Program of Studies for Year 8s from the letter to parents.

When form advisor interviews were scheduled in January 1984, an invitation to attend the Dedication Service was included, along with other information that almost acted as a reminder about books, supplies, uniforms and the code of conduct. There were no canteen facilities in 1984, so students were required to bring their own food and drink.

Invitation to the Dedication of Radford College.

Radford College had, as best they could, provided parents and students beginning in 1984 with all the information for them to confidently start the year at the brand-new school.