The Role of Schools
After the session concluded, a number of parents and teachers discussed with me what we can do about these matters. They were feeling disturbed and even anxious about the wellbeing of our children who are growing up in a culture that seems to be (to use Melinda Tankard Reist’s words) “stealing childhood”. The pressure that our young people place on one another regarding appearing to be “cool” or attractive or popular can lead to serious anxiety and distress. Sadly we see this here at Radford. We are not immune to the impact of the culture around us.
When asked this question during the session, our speaker observed that schools are in a powerful position to be protective of children. She referred to the importance of promoting “normal” body image and ensuring that our school culture is mindful of our language and message about the roles of boys and girls and the manner in which they interact. She also encouraged teachers to recognise the positive of role modelling.
Yet is this enough? In the 1960s, Neil Postman first raised the notion that education should be a “subversive” activity. The argument is that schools consciously need to be aware of the social and cultural context in which they operate and to urge students to challenge the validity of that culture. The intellectual purpose of a school is to shed light on the culture, to encourage students to pose questions about the world around them and to search for a hopeful future. For decades, many educators have been wrestling with this role of schools. Is it to socialise students so that they can take their place successfully as citizens, or is it to challenge the mores and preoccupations of our culture? Is it both, or is it neither? Is a school taking on more than it should when it assumes the right to be a subversive force? How much influence is it reasonable or desirable for a school to exercise on the formation of a student’s worldview? How far should a school consider it reasonable to encroach on the domain that is usually the responsibility of the family? Should a school be concerned with the choices a student makes in their own time, when they are in the care of their families? Should the curriculum of a school exceed the boundaries of the school day? What are the expectations of parents and the community in such matters?
There have been volumes written on these questions and this letter is not the setting to provide a response, other than to observe that Melinda’s presentation was a challenge for school communities to work together to respond to the emerging commodification of young people. I believe that our responsibility is to be of support to families and to equip young people to be successful and to shape the culture they will inherit. I also believe that a school like Radford should be realistic about the extent of our influence, and be respectful to the young minds for which we have responsibility. The task of education is more than provision of sufficient academic substance to gain high ATAR scores and NAPLAN results. These things are the bedrock upon which outstanding education is constructed. Yet beyond that, we dream of making an environment in which our young people are free to pose questions and to imagine a world that is better than the one they will inherit – a place where there is justice, compassion, truth and integrity. A place where people are not judged for what they wear (or don’t wear), for how they appear but (to use Martin Luther King’s words) “for the content of their character”.
Having said all this, it would be an act of cowardice to do nothing at all about the matters raised in Melinda’s address tonight. These issues affect both girls and boys and are omnipresent. They are shaping the emerging identity of our young people and recalibrating their sense of morality and virtue. Such things are the proper concern of schools like Radford and we must respond. In the coming year, our Pastoral Care Team will explore constructive ways in which this matter can be considered and I look forward to the community being involved.
(Have a look at the article on Technology and Children, in Parenting Tips, which is provided by the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, and see also this week's item from Rad Net Coordinator Susan Davenport)
Y5 Remembrance Day Ceremony
I want to thank Year 5 for their beautiful work with the Remembrance Day Ceremony conducted on Friday 11th November last week. Conceived, researched, planned and executed entirely by the students, they provided a most moving and powerful event for the entire Junior School and their families. It was truly a beautiful occasion.
The Radford Survey is now closed. Families of students in Years 2, 5, 7 and 10 were invited to complete a survey to offer feedback on the progress of the College. This is part of a strategy to establish regular feedback systems for the College Board and Senior Executive and will be repeated annually. I am advised that we received over 50% response rate, which is in line with expectations for this kind of survey. We are very grateful to the families who took the time to respond. It is very much appreciated. The results of the survey won’t be in my hands until the close of this academic year and so we will release the findings early in the New Year.
Y12s and Examinations
My thoughts are with our dear Year 12s in their final days. The College is proud of their innumerable achievements.
Best wishes to all Secondary School students who are preparing for their examinations at present. I know of no better antidote to stress than good preparation.
END OF YEAR EVENTS
Please note the following arrangements for end-of-year events:
Speech Night - Junior School Years 1-6
Awards Night - Secondary Years 7-11
This year, BOTH events will be held on Tuesday 13 December at the National Convention Centre, 31 Constitution Avenue, CANBERRA (map with parking options)
JUNIOR - 4pm to 5pm
SECONDARY - 7pm to 9pm (or earlier).
Year 12 Graduation
Thursday 15 December
Chapel Service - 4:15pm at Radford College Chapel
Graduation ceremony - 5:30pm TB Milllar Hall at Radford College.
Head of Junior School: Mr Paul Southwell
JS Reception: Mrs Kerrie Shevlin
Catch up with the latest Junior School News
please take the time to read the rest of the Bulletin also, for "whole College" items.
Year 10 Exams, in History/Geography, Mathematics and English will be held on Tuesday 22 November and Wednesday 23 November. On these two days students can remain at home for the first part of each day to do additional exam preparation. Supervised study will be provided in Room 31/32 for those who need to arrive at school before 8:30am (names to Mrs Girvan in advance). All other students are to arrive between 10:30am and 11:00, in time for their exam.
Normal timetabled classes recommence from lunch on Wednesday 23 November.
FROM THE HEAD OF LOTE
Ms Dianne Burgess (Fitzpatrick)
Radford College students have won the prestigious first prize award in the Junior Secondary Division of the Japan Foundation Video Matsuri. Entries come from many schools involved in teaching Japanese all over Australia and New Zealand and Prizes are hotly contested. This year over 100 entries were received. The objective was to make a short film of 3 minutes in length using Japanese. Read more...
FROM THE BUSINESS MANAGER
The Athlete's Foot School Donation Program
Whenever school or staff families purchase school shoes, sporting shoes or football boots from The Athlete's Foot, they generate a $5 donation back to the College. Sales are captured by their ClubFit customer loyalty database. From ClubFit records, 348 families from Radford College are registered, with purchases to June 2011 of 850 pairs of shoes, totalling a donation of $4250 to the College. Our thanks to The Athlete's Foot for conducting this program, and to the Radford community members who have participated to generate this donation.
This is an ongoing program, so please bear this in mind when you come to buy shoes over the Christmas/New Year period.
RadNet: Miss Susan DavenportContent filters for handheld devices
Android Parental Control is a free application that limits access by others to your "Android" device's applications. With Android Parental Control installed you can create an "safe sandbox" of applications that your children can use on your phone without being able to accidentally access or change anything outside of that "sandbox". You can also use Android Parental Control to password protect individual applications.
The reviews of Android Parental Control indicate that people either love it or hate it. The people who gave the application poor reviews tended to indicate problems with installation or execution on a particular phone.
iPhone users may find the following website useful: http://www.ehow.com/how_4527941_iphone-tips-parental-controls-restrictions.html
"The Restrictions feature on the iPhone allows parents to control what applications and features their children have access to. Restrictions can block the ability to make FaceTime calls or download explicit music, movies and podcasts. Parental control settings use a secure four-digit PIN to prevent them from being changed without authorization."
(See also the article on Technology and Children, in Parenting Tips, which is published by the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia).
HOD: Mrs Suzanne Rentsch
Access all the latest information on university courses, scholarships and admission information, further training, Australian School Based Apprenticeships (ASBAs), apprenticeships, Gap Year opportunities, job vacancies and more. . .
It is strongly recommended that ALL students and/or their parents from the High School and Senior School regularly check this section of the bulletin.
College Nurse: Ms Karen Baker
From the Chaplain: Fr Richard Browning
White Ribbon: Not Violent, Not Silent.
This is a movement within our wider community, celebrated here on Friday in the secondary school. For Friday: optional Non-Uniform. If boys wish to participate, they may wear a white shirt. Girls are invited to wear many colours. Parents, this is an opportunity to talk with your child(ren) about the issues. During the day: Zumba, chalk wall, photos of pledge makers, short speech.
In light of the talk last night by Melinda Tankard Reist, this issue reaches right down to the very young. There is an uber-sexualisation of women/girls, reducing their value to their body bits. Pick up a weekly magazine, watch an ad, check out the latest song video (apparently female artists need to sing in underwear). The students are caught up in this very culture. For example, Ms Reist suggests hard pornography is the norm for EVERY adolescent male over 15 (and many younger).
Radford High and Senior Schools participate in White Ribbon because the students want to, because it is a massive issue. Many students acknowledge that we are not talking to a group of males who are violent to women. However, the statistics suggest that over fifty percent of teenage girls’ first sexual encounters include two things: alcohol and force. This is not OK.
Dessert for Life
A final year celebration for RAS, what has been and what to look forward to. Guest Speaker: Paul Porteous. Live acoustic music. Great sweet snacks. Parents are welcome to join the students in the Chapel, 6-8pm Thursday 17 November.
FROM THE HEAD OF MUSIC
A and T Recital Tonight Wednesday 16 November RA Young Hall ‘A’ 5.30pm ‘T’ 7pm
2011 Music Awards and BBQ This years Music Awards and BBQ is to be held on Friday 25 November at 5pm at the Radford Pavilion. The evening provides the opportunity for the Music Department to thank all students for their efforts this year and to acknowledge the significant contributions and performances of many of our outstanding students. A warm invitation is extended to all students and their families involved in Music at Radford College to come along and enjoy a wonderful end of year function. To assist with catering could you please RSVP to email@example.com, by Monday 21st November. Please note that this is a casual dress affair.
2012 Auditions Students currently playing in a Concert Band or Orchestra will be auditioned during normal rehearsal times over the coming weeks. Auditions for students new to our Concert Band and Orchestra program in 2012 will be held on Saturday 26 November from 9am until 12.00pm. Parents will be personally notified of audition times by the Music Administrator.
End of Year Events
Carols Service The annual College Carols service will be held on Sunday 11th December at 7pm, and will feature some of our school choirs and performers. Please feel free to invite friends and family to join in this joyous event.
Awards Night Musicians involved in the Junior and High School Awards evenings on December 13th will receive final details regarding rehearsal times and arrangements this week via email.
For latest Sports News, please visit the Sports Rad Net section and enter your user ID and password.
Please send submissions for this section to the relevant staff member for approval and noting.
SPORT - Peter Haynes; PERFORMING ARTS - Nick Akhurst; ACADEMIC - Head of School; COMMUNITY - Richard Browning; COCURRICULAR - George Huitker
Congratulations to Stuart Mason (6HEB) on winning the ACT U14 Chess Championship.
Y8 PARTICIPANTS IN THE BEN DONOHOE WALK & RUN for FUN
Congratulations to the 85 Year 8 students who participated in this event. This wonderful level of participation enabled Radford to win $500 from event sponsors McDonalds as winner of the High School/College challenge. (Event media release.)
Radford College was awarded Snowsports Schools of the Year ACT, for the highest consistent performance of an ACT school in Interschools competition. Congratulations to the Snowsports team. Read more about this, Snowsports in 2012 and Summer training tips.
MOVEMBER - Let's all get behind the fabulous Radford Mo Bros!
(and Men's Health)
Radford has already fielded a wonderful group of Mo Bros to support the Movember initiative which raises funds and awareness about the significant men's health issues of prostate cancer and depression. 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 8 men will experience depression.
With Captain Matt Heinrich at the helm, and team members Paul Southwell, Nick Martin, Bruce Ferrington, Dan Mackay, Richard Black, Jason Golding, Andrew Sullivan, Paul Revell, David Gocentas, Dean O'Brien, Orhan Memedovski and Richard Browning, it should be a memorable year. Andrew Sullivan is reportedly losing (then regrowing) a vintage moustache he has treasured since 1993!
Link to the team is http://au.movember.com/mospace/1427318/ . Donations can be made to individuals or the team online through this link, or through a donation box which will be at JS Reception.
RADFORD COLLEGE UNIFORMS
Online facility www.macschoolwear.com.au
Please contact MacDonald's directly with any queries about using or purchasing from the site.
Phone :02 6251 2660
Fax : 02 6251 2901
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop location: Jamison Plaza, Bowman Street, Macquarie
WHERE TO BUY UNIFORMS
Radford uniforms Years 5 -12 are available from the College Shop, Macdonald at Jamison, and the new store in Gungahlin (in The G, upstairs).
Sports gear and ELC to Year 4 uniforms are ONLY available from the College Uniform Shop or online.
All Radford uniforms are also available from our Online Store www.macschoolwear.com.au
COLLEGE UNIFORM SHOP HOURS - FOR TERM 4
|Monday||2:30 pm – 5.30 pm|
|2:30 pm – 5.30 pm|
|Wednesday||8:30 am – 5:30pm|
|1:00 pm – 5.30 pm|
|College Street, BRUCE, ACT 2617 - Telephone: (02) 6162 6200, Email: CommunityRelations@radford.act.edu.au|