DE News: 2012-T2-Week 8

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Bates 

School News/Network News

DE Pre-schools

Dubbo SODEphoto of a recent home visit

The Director of Te Aho o Te Jura Pounamu: (Te Kura) in Wellington New Zealand and the Assistant Principal at  Dubbo School of Distance Education preschool have been corresponding with each other over the past six months to identify the similarities and differences in the educational programs that both centres provide for their isolated preschool students.

Te Kura has been in existence for the past 35 years in New Zealand and has an enrollment of 600 students, whereas DSODE Preschool has been operating for the past 21 years and caters for the educational needs of up to 54 isolated Preschool students.  Te Kura provides a preschool education for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years, whereas DSODE preschool provides programs for the 4 and 5 year olds.

Eighty percent of the Te Kura students live more than 6 Km from the nearest government funded early childhood service.  Most of these students will attend a face to face primary school in their local area rather than continue their education through Te Kura. This Preschool service is free. The website for The Te Kura school in New Zealand is:

Dubbo School of Distance Education provides a preschool education for isolated students over most of the state of New South Wales.  Students attending DSODE Preschool must meet isolation requirements to be eligible for this provision.

Both systems employ Early Childhood trained staff and operate in a similar mode by posting out units of work which are developed to suit the individual child’s educational needs.

It is hoped that teachers from both schools can gain a better understanding of the different ways of delivering a quality early childhood education in each countries and gain valuable information as a result of this relationship.

Broken Hill SOTA

Broken Hill SOTA has a preschool attached to it with a current enrollment of 17 preschool students from 15 families. The preschool children live as far and wide as Tibooburra in the north to Banoon Station via Mildura in the south. All of the Preschool children are more than 180 kilometres from a community of 10,000 people.

Bronwyn Sarles, the preschool teacher, provides support to the students in a number of ways, including sending out units of work, resources and games designed around the individual interests and developmental needs of each child, offering Preschool Classroom experiences in Broken Hill, conducting Home Visits to each family, participating in Mini Schools, providing regular telephone support and organising allied health services to assess all Preschool children.

In the last few weeks Bronwyn has been conducting Home Visits and catching up with the Preschool children and their families. They have been engaging in lots of play and fun learning experiences, including having fun with the Preschool iPad which was purchased with CAP funding at the end of 2011. As you can see from the photos the Preschool children have fun and get very excited about their teacher coming to visit.

  Ella Homfray from Fairmount Station playing games on the iPad.   Angus Hodges from Banoon Station cooking muffins with me for smoko



DE Related News

DE Digital Resource Purchases

Good news for all DE teachers

Fifteen resources as listed below will be purchased to be placed on Equella or to provide source material for the development of learning and teaching material for all distance education schools to share and use. These will be made available in the near future.

  • Jolly Phonics
  • Clickview Primary and Secondary
  • Keep it Simple Science
  • Keep it Simple Options
  • Claro Read System Wide
  • Food Choices
  • Mathletics
  • Reading Egg
  • Spelldrome
  • Maths Online
  • Musical Concepts ebook
  • Write Online
  • Teach History
  • Zip Tales
  • Learning A-Z

Submissions for the purchasing of digital resources were received from teachers, collegial network coordinators and schools. The submissions were scored using a rubric and then ranked by the reference group comprising of two DE Principals, a collegial network coordinator, one NODE and two representatives from RDE.

Congratulations to all who submitted their ideas for the purchasing of digital resources. The collegiality and professionalism of DE teachers is alive and thriving.

Equella News 

As we move closer to having a working repository available to all staff in distance education it is worth looking at the resources you have and considering those that are precious to you that you will be able to upload immediately. Equella will provide sophisticated back up, management and version control of these materials and store these resources to benefit all distance education users. I was recently involved in a series of emails between members of different schools who were seeking to find resources that could be used with a particular group of students and then, once they had identified them, be shared with each other. Equella will make this process so much easier and be a valuable tool for distance education.

Newest Members of the RDE Technology Unit experience the bush

The RDE Technology Unit’s Leanne Saffy and David Lee recently visited Hay DEC and Alma Station to be familiarised with the Satellite Education Program ahead of the satellite service renewal project.

David Foley said, “Leanne and David are part of the Technology Unit and it is important that they fully understand what is about to change and their roles in this project.”



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Call Kym, Greg or Suzie on 0263348070 or by emailing rde [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au