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ONLINE LESSONS


Teachers conduct Air Lessons each day via satellite conferencing (CENTRA).  The lessons have a strong emphasis on Speaking and Listening, developing positive relationships and a sense of belonging.  They focus on English, Maths, Geography, Music & LOTE but themes allow exposure also to Society & Environment, Science, Technology & Enterprise, Health and Art.  Teachers design lessons to strengthen areas of weakness in learning areas.  In addition, Air Lessons are a key element of addressing strategies and outcomes within the School Development Plan. In 2016 the school is providing specialist programmes in Geography, Music and LOTE.

In 2016/2017 the PHSOTA Focus Areas are English (Writing), Mathematics, Students With Learning Difficulties, Digital Technologies and Geography.

Teachers create Air Lesson resources which assist in the delivery of lesson content using PowerPoint.  This is uploaded onto CENTRA for lessons.  Air Lesson books are rarely used now that CENTRA provides a much more visual and interactive lesson format. PHSOTA teachers are trained in, and are using CONNECT.

Students and staff also participate in a Morning Muster (assembly) session every morning that is conducted by the principal. In this session we discuss news, topical events, read books and convey messages and information important to the running of the school. Whilst attendance is not compulsory, regular appearances are encouraged.

STUDENT INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCING

Teachers use CENTRA and telephone conferences to work individually with students in areas in which they think they have the most need.  Mathematics, Spelling and Reading are the most common areas treated. However, Writing being a major school focus in 2015/2016, is also being supported within the conference format. These will be conducted by teachers, the Support Teacher Learning and the principal.

LEARNING MATERIALS

School of Distance Education materials are used as the base resource for most students.  Many teachers are writing their own materials and programmes. Individual programmes are then modified to different degrees from very little to complete replacement.  Some students are on IEPs (Individual Education Plans). All programmes cover the eight Learning Areas (Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Society & Environment, Health & Physical Education, The Arts, Design & Technology and LOTE (Indonesian, Italian, Japanese & French) and with an emphasis on the 2016/2017 Focus Areas.

The school is developing its own materials for use with SAER/Aboriginal students.  The emphasis is on English and Maths. Development of SAER/Aboriginal student materials is a continuous and ongoing project.

The school uses a variety of on line learning programmes including Mathletics, Spellodrome and Reading Eggs.

SUPPORT TEACHER LEARNING (STL)

The STL is an integral part of the teaching and learning team supplied by the Centre of Inclusive Schooling. Throughout each day teachers consult with the STL as to ways of improving programmes and processes and solving problems.  The STL accompanies teachers on home visits as required. The STL may visit families unaccompanied if there is a need. The STL also supports the school and the Principal in data collection and analysis as required. A major aspect of the STL role is to plan for, and work with, the SAER students, their teachers and Home Tutors. A major part of the STL role is to make a difference in closing the ‘gap’ between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal students. The STL also oversees the Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) programme.

 TEACHER HOME VISITS

Teachers visit their own students two to three times per year, more often if needed.  During visits, they aim to develop positive working relationships and familiarise themselves with their student’s learning environment and facilities. They work with students, assess progress and put a particular emphasis on practical activities in the areas of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music, Science, Technology Physical Education and Speaking & Listening.  The teachers also use this opportunity to assist students and Home Tutors in the areas of School Focus and individual need. Teachers consult with Home Tutors, collaborating on programme modifications and giving advice.

The principal will also visit families, with and without the student's teachers, as required.

At the conclusion of a Teacher Visit the teacher will write a Teacher Visit Report and forward it to the Principal and the family visited.

OTHER "FACE TO FACE" OPPORTUNITIES

In addition to Teacher Home Visits other ‘Face to Face’ opportunities for teachers and students include Home Tutor’s Seminar, mini Camps, major Camps and SOTA Muster. On most of these occasions, the emphasis for students is on practical activities in the areas of Science, Technology, Art, Physical Education and Speaking and Listening and aspects of the School Plan.  At Home Tutors’ Seminar, tutors are given training in ‘teaching and learning’ and structured opportunities to share with / learn from each other. Year 6/7 students have enjoyed a study tour to Canberra in 2012 and again in 2014.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

Teachers, Home Tutors and students use many technologies in daily communication. The school provides the students with a laptop computer and Internet connection so they can attend online sessions. Teachers extend students and tutors in their use of technology as opportunities and needs arise.  These technologies include CENTRA conferencing, CONNECT, email, Internet, word processing, power point, digital cameras, telephone, movies and voice recorders. Currently, the school uses the NBN Co satellite initiative and the NEXT G service to get students ‘connected’. The school owns, maintains and pays for those services. Families who opt to use their own Internet services for school are reimbursed by the Department.

SCHOOL ASSESSMENT

The school will use First Steps Literacy and Numeracy continua to assess all students. The Literacy and Numeracy Net will also be employed. This is suitable for Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal students.  The school uses NAPLAN testing in all learning areas except the Arts, LOTE, Technology and Physical Education.  The Curriculum Framework and the Outcomes and Standards Framework are key points of reference for School Assessment purposes. Ongoing assessment and data collection by the teachers and STL also contribute to School Assessment.  PHSOTA will conduct data collection in Science using the MSE instrument. Student SIS Reporting data will  be analysed to determine student achievement, degree of progress and school directions.

The school offers students an opportunity to participate in the ICAS Competition each year. This assessment is used to recognise student achievement and plan for future teaching and learning.

FOCUS AREAS

Our School Focus Areas were chosen after analysis of NAPLAN, teacher judgement against the Outcomes & Standards Framework, examination of data/evidence at the school level, consideration of Local, State and National priorities and school community input. For 2016/2017 the PHSOTA Focus Areas are English (Writing), Mathematics, Students With Learning Difficulties, Digital Technologies and Geography.

TARGETS

The school has set targets for achievement and attendance for non- Aboriginal and Aboriginal students.  These targets are outlined within the “Learning and Attendance Targets 2015/2016" document within the School Plan. PHSOTA is extremely committed to, and focussed on, closing the gap between its Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal students.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND TEACHER JUDGEMENTS

In general, a close correlation between test results and teacher judgements is evident. Comparisons were made throughout the year against NAPLAN, ICAS and school data, as well as teacher judgements in terms of Student Semester Reports.

Written feedback is provided to parents following the assessment of each Learning Program submission. Depending on the individual student, this occurs every two to three weeks and highlights for parents the strengths the child has displayed, areas requiring attention and strategies for developing such areas to achieve the desired targets.

The school has specified targets within its School Plan and teachers work in close partnership with parents/tutors to assist students in attaining or exceeding not only the school targets, but individual agreed targets appropriate to the individual child.

SCHOOL UNIFORMS

The school colours are royal blue bottoms with a gold (royal blue trim) polo shirt. Shirts, skirts, skorts, shorts and school hats are available from the school and orders are taken for tracksuits from time to time. It is worth having the uniform as it encourages identification with the school by the student. Uniforms are worn at many school occasions and generally our students appear to enjoy wearing them at camps. Some families wear the school uniform in their classroom, to differentiate between school and free time. To order school uniform items, please contact the Registrar.

POSTAGE AND RETURN OF MATERIALS

Blue vinyl and red canvas zip-up bags are provided for the return of completed work and associated resources. Please do not hoard these, otherwise we will run short. When you open one of these bags, please turn around the address label to show the school’s Reply Paid address. This can be done via the unsealed slot found on the inside of the blue bags and at the edge of the address cover on the red bags. This will ensure that the bag is ready to be filled with completed work for the return trip to school. Other items (resources, books, video tapes etc.) can be returned in the vinyl bags. However if the class teacher is due to visit, please hold these resources and return them to the school with him/her, as it is a great saving on postage.
The school pays all mailing costs, as long as parents use either the blue or red bags or the Reply Paid stickers. To obtain further supplies of “Reply Paid” stickers for envelopes, please contact the Registrar. If you have heavy items to return, please contact the Registrar to ascertain the preferred delivery method.

SCHOOL MAGAZINE

A magazine is produced each year comprising of samples of work from all students. Teachers collect these samples throughout the year for this purpose. The magazine is posted to families in the last week of school for the year, along with Student Reports.

ACCOMMODATION

The school has two accommodation units that are available for school families to use when they come to town. This can either be for the one night or for several nights. They are both self- contained with their own ensuite, a TV, microwave and fridge, crockery, cutlery and a few microwave cooking utensils. One of the units has a combination of a queen size bed, bunk beds and a trundle bed. The other has two single beds, a bunk bed and a trundle bed. Each unit sleeps five people. Bedding and towels are supplied. The units are cleaned professionally between stays, however we ask that families leave the units as they find them. This also means removing the used sheets and pillowcases and remaking the beds in readiness for the next family.  Additional sheets etc are kept in the cupboards for remaking the beds prior to leaving.

Bookings may be made through the Registrar. A fee of $88.00 for the first night, and then $44.00 for each night after that in the case of multiple nights, is requested. These costs cover cleaning and the provision of utilities.

BOOK CLUB

The School takes orders for the Scholastic Book Club. At various times throughout the year, brochures are sent out listing the books available. If you wish to order you may either phone or fax your order through to the school. Families will be billed when the books arrive, unless payment has already been received. The school receives bonus points on all orders and these enable the school to purchase bonus books and resources for the library.

SCHOOL LIBRARY

The school’s library contains a wide variety of books, which are available for loan. After the initial set of books is sent to students, staff will send out books to their students, as they receive back those previously borrowed. If there is a breakdown in this system, or you have a specific request, eg a particular series of novels or interest area, please contact your child’s teacher, who can organise this for you. Please ensure that library books are cared for appropriately, whilst they are in your home and return them when you have finished with them. It is suggested that library books be kept on a separate shelf to other resources, to ensure that they do not get lost or overlooked

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