How can Faith Christian School Serve you?
From Our Principal
If there is one thing I have learnt over the last 15 years of working in Distance Education, it is the importance of good advice, resources and support. Good advice from someone who has a broad range of experience and has seen the outcomes of various approaches or curriculum products over time. Such advice rarely comes from someone trying to sell you their curriculum products or from someone who is pushing for enrolment growth. Advice from friends can be helpful but may be narrow, out of date or be based off learning experiences different to your own children's learning needs. I have often met parents who have brought numerous different programs, only to find they did not suit their learners level or needs.
Thus, it is important to pray when seeking advice and looking into Distance Education, as not “all roads lead to Rome”.
Different roads may not affect your children's faith and God is merciful with a plan A, B and C… However, there is definitely the hard road and/or long road or a more empowering path success building road. Courses of action do affect attitudes of learners –especially where a program has not worked and created learning anxiety. Some courses even create a misunderstanding about what something is all about…
I remember talking to a family a decade ago who had been doing "their own thing" and they were convinced that their children were not capable in English and thus English was a waste of time. However, I found that the programs they had been using were teaching and testing their ability to memorize American grammar terms not English. English is instead about our ability to send, receive, understand and interpret communication in a variety of waysor modes... And our ability in English does, to a large extent determine our future educational and vocational opportunities.
Our children need access to quality curriculum, learning suport and resources to build knowledge, understanding, thinking skils, a solid Christian foundation and a love of learning for life.
This is why Faith Christian School of Distance Education exists.
When God directed me to work as a leader in Christian Distance Education 15 years ago, I realised I had found the learner centred educators that I had always longed to work with, they're called Mums and Dads!
Principal Faith CSDE
Faith Christian School of Distance Education Service Agreement.
Quality Christian Distance Education for Families who want to work in partnership with caring and experienced teachers to help their students reach their God given potential.
Faith Christian School of Distance Education is registered in QLD to provide Distance Education and resources for Foundation to Year 12 students. Being enrolled in Distance Education ensures access to various Government supports and allowances. It is also good to know that the school you are with is legal and meeting Government requirements, has substance and a future.
Our Principal, or one of our experienced teachers, work hard to put together a quality personal programs for each of our students. This process involves consultation and discussion with parents and working with students during an initial visit. Our Teaching staff will usually look at a students recent work samples, hear them read and/or work with them as required to ensure there is a good understanding of the students learning needs. This helps to insure the set work is at the correct instructional level of the students to ensure they can experience success and make progress.
Personalised programs utilise a range of Quality Christian world view curriculum to meet ACARA & the needs of Australian students. We provide quality Christian World View curriculum units that we have written and developed for several areas. For example we are able to provide English creative writing & Social Studies units for Foundation through to Year 7 and full Secondary and Senior English programs that we have developed for use in the home environment. This curriculum has been very popular.
To support the curriculum and student learning we provide high levels of teacher support in the form of:
- Regular lessons for year and subject groups. - this service is growing as we now have our own server and electronic lesson interface. These lessons are recorded and can be stored for later access.
- Regular weekly or fortnightly lessons to support Senior Subjects and Secondary English.
- Lessons on demand, utilizing the Skype, Big Blue Button, Internet shared draw and the telephone. –This is one of the most important aspects of our support that insures students (with parents) are able to progress consistently without being held up for long periods of time which often leads to frustration and anxiety. This is important as it is no good working on Maths for example and finding out two to three weeks later after it has been posted back to the school and marked that you have been on the wrong track for a fortnight.
- Face to Face lessons are also provided during the 4 home visits per year or as required and where we have resources available. These home visits give time for lessons and activities for students around where they need support or extension and training for parents on how to help.
- During regular fortnightly telephone and Skype contacts initiated by the teacher there is also the opportunity for teachers to follow up with Maths lessons and progress follow up, Assignment check points, regular conferencing of written drafts and hearing students read and share their work.
- A minimum of 4 local workshops per year provide organized group lessons that support aspects of the program relevant to various age groups and subjects.
- Labs for our Senior Students in Science, Maths A and B.
- Videos for most new concepts in the secondary Maths Texts (Y7 & 8 on it's way with years 9 & 10 completed). We want specific tutoring videos available for any new concept and also for introducing a new area. This ensures students understand the purpose of the particular Maths operation in real terms. This will also be happening for English and Primary Maths also over the coming years.
- We also provide 2 summative and one formative report per year. These reports focus on progress and not just attainment. Reports are based off work samples collected and marked by our teaching staff, usually on location to give an opportunity for direct feedback to support ongoing learning.
- The curriculum is also supported by our 6 localised free libraries with thousands of dollars in quality early readers and early chapter books through to novels.
- Within our main library we also house Science kits, Microscopes and other learning resources.
- We also provide quality free workshop activities and training for parents in; creative writing, Pause, Prompt, Praise Reading Approach, Maths relational understandings, computer use and computers as learning tools, Art activities and music experience.
- Assistance for students with specific learning challenges or disabilities through our Learning support department.
- Informative Website support materials.
- Career counselling, Vocational Education and SET Planning to give clear paths to University, TAFE, or employment.
- A total of 11 Senior Subjects allowing students to attain a QCE internally.
- Integration of TAFE and Start Uni Now type programs and course into senior years of schooling.
- Endorsed Work Experience (& School –based Apprenticeships & Traineeships)
- Naplan Testing and support.
Additional Services include:
- Family orientated affordable camps – the last involved over 240 camping at the beach, turtle watching and participating in a wide range of other educational and social opportunities.
- Three camps annually for different grades.
- Annual Cross country, Athletics events.
- For students on Early Readers we provide the 2 sets of PM Readers per student at any one time.
- Annual, local, family orientated awards nights.
- Behaviour management support from an experienced parent and Teacher.
- Assistance for specific learning challenges and Special Needs Programs.
- Regular online news bulletins (two per term).
- Pastoral Christian support.
- Exciting Annual Missions Trips to Vanuatu –this year we have a team of 32 going.
We now have limited place available and pre-enrolments for 2015 starting to fill already. Interested families to find out the immediate availability or think about pre-enrollment. They will then need to have an enrolment interview with our Principal, before sending in completed enrolment forms. This is usually a telephone interview and is informal but informative -to help us understand your students’ needs and to ensure you have a clear picture of what is involved.
We have experienced strong growth in enrollments over our first years of operation. We believe this is due to the quality of the service we offer and as our team has grown so has the resourses and programs that we are able to offer.
We have worked hard to maintain our service levels and to slow down the level of growth. We have not spent funds on advertising and even asked families at different times to keep information about the school to themselves. The in 2014 we needed to cap enrollments for most of Term 1 and part of Term 2.
Family fees for fulltime enrolment and services are very reasonable, as we believe everyone should have access to quality Christian Education. Contact our Registrar or Principal for details.
Building a large central building to hold a large number of staff is very expensive and of little benefit or relevance to students who live hundreds of kilometres away. Our families are looking for more local resources, home visits, workshops and a support system that works for them, not the other way around.
The most cost effective way to provide this is to have teachers who are based locally, working from local small Church offices. The funds saved in travel costs and building costs can be put back into lowering the Student -Teacher ratio, and provision of learning resources. This decentralized model also keeps the focus on the needs of the students, instead of the operation itself.
It will also allow for an unprecedented percentage (per student) of Government funding to be spent on tangible library resources to support our students’ programs. These resources will be managed with a new cost effective system to streamline traditional processes and turnaround times.
Families also make suggestions for helpful resources to be purchased. From early readers, and instructional videos to chemistry or robotics kits, our staff have the experience to realize the importance of budgeting for learning resources.
As our student enrolments grow additional teachers are employed. Our goal is to provide local area Resource Centres, staffed by suitably experienced Christian teachers who embrace the notion of Distance Education. The benefits of this model in service delivery to clientele have become obvious over our first two years of opperation. While maintaining a core Teacher to Student ratio of 1 to 45 or better, this decentralised model will ensure teachers are more accessible for “face to face” support.
Jason Caldwell has extensive experience working with Distance Education families and utilising a range of Christian curriculums and suitable secular curriculum. Mr. Caldwell is based in Brisbane but spends significant time travelling Queensland giving support to our Teacher and families, providing home visits and developing new services for families wanting to be more involved in the children’s education.
If you have any further questions or want to find out more about our programs please contact Mr. Caldwell on: 07 3299 5357 or 0427466333.