From the Principal

Welcome to our school for 2018. Our on campus section of our school has grown significantly this year but the increase in distance education has been incredible. I know that this is a tribute to the quality of our programs but also to the wonderful team that we have serving our students.

Our Distance Education team is led by Mrs Terry Phipson who is a passionate advocate for all our DE students and so we are certainly privileged to have her on board. All the rest of our staff are introduced below and you will notice a number of new staff who have joined us.

One of the key distinctives of our DE program is the requirement for our staff to be in regular contact with all students. For our school, this is more than just a government requirement but it is something our staff love to do. We love to see our student grow in their understanding and to see the work they can produce. We also love to hear from our students and catch the excitement of their learning and so share with them in this important stage of their life’s journey. We also recognise that DE brings with it some special challenges and so that is another reason why we want to connect. Your feedback plays an important role in the ongoing development of our courses and so that is why we value your suggestions.

Last December I enjoyed the end of year DE Presentation Night and meeting the parents and students of our DE school. This year we are looking at having an even larger event and so I would encourage you to start making plans to be there on Monday 3rd December. We might be providing distance education but there is something special about actually receiving our awards in person. I hope that you can make that event.

Reflection:

I came across this comment the other day.

Being rude is easy. It doesn’t take any effort and is a sign of weakness and insecurity.

Kindness shows great self-discipline and strong self-esteem.

Being kind is not always easy when dealing with rude people.

Kindness is a sign of a person who has done a lot of personal work and has come to a great self-understanding and wisdom.

Choose to be kind.

I love this encouragement to be kind but I am also reminded of the passage in the bible which speaks of kindness being also a fruit of the spirit. (See Galatians 5:22-23) As we discover the life God has invited us into we also discover that He is there to help re-mould our characters to be more like Christ. As one commentator noted, “How does kindness grow in us? It depends on how deeply we live in God”.  

R. Malcolm Bromhead

Greetings from Head of Distance Education  

The year is fully underway and for a third of our students it is all uncharted territory as they embark on their new online journey. We hope it is an enjoyable journey! I will take this opportunity to welcome everyone, including those returning and those who are new.

We have new staff I would like to officially welcome and introduce to you.

Mr Daniel Pitman - Teacher - Year 7-10 Technology

Mr Andrew Sephton - Teacher - Year 7-10 Maths, HASS, HPE, Art & Commerce

Mr Russell Hunt - Teacher - Year 7-10 Science

Mrs Loretta Upton - Teacher - Year 1-2 All Subjects

You may have seen the short introductory videos of some of these teachers posted in the Group Takumuna-Southlands at the beginning of the year.

I would also like to welcome Mrs Naomi Macgregor back to our DE Team.

Mrs Naomi MacGregor - Teacher - Year 9-12 Maths

When DE first started Mrs MacGregor created many Maths programs and I am delighted to have her onboard covering Year 9 - 12 Maths this year.

Mr Wing Kuen Wee has moved into a new role this year, coordinating the Year 11 and 12 General courses.

Mr Wing Kuen Wee a.k.a. “The General” - Teacher - Year 11 & 12 General Coordinator

Mr Damon Sokolowski, Ms Bronwyn Jansz, Mrs Marilyn Myhill, Dr Peter Milnes, Mrs Barbara Gill and Mrs Jacqui Croston are also continuing in their roles this year.

Year I & 2

These long awaited courses are a reality, a great answer to prayer! Mrs Upton is managing her little ones so well and I take my hat off to the Year 1 & 2 Supervisors who have undertaken this huge commitment. Of all the year levels these little ones will need the most support and time. Please keep them in your prayers.

Activity Day

We are planning a DE Activity day for the second last week of term (Week 9) at King’s Park in Perth. We have some details to be finalised, and then we will be sending you the dates and times as soon as possible.

Canberra/Sydney Trip - Years 7 & 8

Years 7 & 8s have an opportunity to go to Canberra this year with our school. This will be held during the last week of third term. We will be calling for expressions of interest from our DE cohort and details of expense and the itinerary will be sent to our students shortly.

Teleconferences

We had a good start to our Teleconferences last week and we look forward to seeing and chatting to our students again in Week 4. We will send out the instructions again at the beginning of the Week 4 on how to connect. I was super impressed to have new students joining in who had only just finished their inductions. Well done.

DE Focus: Marking of School Work

Each week teachers are marking the work submitted for the previous week. Where a task or response is missing, the teachers will set a “missing” flag to that task, which gives the student a temporary zero. They will also be sending messages to students and parents as they note that work is missing. Please contact them as soon as you receive their notification to let them know what is happening.

At the end of Week 3, all Week 1 work not completed or submitted will receive a fixed zero in the Gradebook. New students have been excused from submissions in the weeks prior to their enrolment.

We would like you to regularly check the “Grades” section of your courses as this shows you the feedback given and highlights anything that is missing.

This year we are trialling a new way of setting up the Gradebook. It shows the student what percentage they are currently receiving for their Semester Grade. This percentage is automatically re-calculated as new assessments are marked. This should ensure that any Grade notifications from Schoology will be an accurate reflection of the grades students can expect to see in their semester reports.

Please contact your subject teacher if you have any questions about due dates or the submission of work.

Year 11 & 12 General

Mr Wing Kuen Wee is the coordinator for this Senior Secondary year group. Just to help, when addressing him, his name is “Mr Wee” or “Wing Kuen” (although not hyphenated we pronounce his name as if it was).

This is the first year we will be organising Externally Set Tasks for the Year 12 General students. All students enrolled in a General Year 12 course and/or a Foundation Year 12 course, are required to complete the Externally Set Task (EST) developed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) for that course. The EST is compulsory and forms part of the school-based assessment. Information will be sent out with proposed venues and dates for when the

Congratulations

We delight in hearing from any of our students who have achieved in something outside of school. We look forward to hearing of anyone’s progress or success. Please write to your Home Room teacher who will share the news. Some stories may even get into the school Newsletter.

Facebook

Our school Facebook is becoming even more popular this year and so don’t forget to connect. It is a good way for sharing our photos and school events and for getting the message of our school out to an even wider audience.

The link is https://www.facebook.com/ACCSouthlands/

Thank you for all your support and prayers offered on behalf of the DE Team thus far.

God bless

Mrs Phipson

Primary (Years 3-6)

From Ms Jansz

Hi Primary students and supervisors,

We have had a fantastic start to the year! It is so lovely to see the growth in the students who were with us last year, and to meet all our new students this year. Everyone has been working hard to meet all the deadlines, and to communicate with the Year 3-6 teacher, Ms Jansz, to ensure we are all on the same page, and understanding each others’ expectations.

Just a few reminders...

  • Deadlines: The assessment submission (upload) deadline has been set for 5pm each Saturday at the end of the week. This means that an assessment completed in Week 4 should have been uploaded by 5pm Saturday at the end of Week 4. Where no prior notice is given, late assessments will be automatically be given a fixed mark of zero. Having said that, the teacher will still accept and mark work submitted after 5pm as long as it is uploaded on the Saturday.
    • Regular work should also be uploaded by this deadline where possible, though it will be accepted and marked in the following week. General work will not be accepted or regraded more than a week after it is due (e.g. no more Week 1 work is accepted from Week 3 onwards).
    • Families in a different time zone will need to remember to meet the deadlines in Australian Western Standard Time where possible.
    • Students on documented plans have their own negotiated guidelines and expectations for deadlines, and should speak to Mr Sokolowski if they need clarification about deadlines.
  • Extensions: Where it seems unlikely to meet the deadline for uploading work, students or supervisors must contact the teacher where possible by the end of the school week, on Friday by 4pm.
    However, it is understood that sometimes unexpected issues may arise on the weekend. Therefore, as long as notice is sent to the teacher before Monday each week, the teacher will allow the extension for that missing work until the end of the following week. Work that is still not submitted by the negotiated extension deadline will receive a zero.
  • Contact: Please keep in mind the contact hours of the teacher are in line with the College hours. While the teacher will be working and may send messages outside of these hours, they are only available to respond to students and supervisors between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Any messages sent to the teacher outside of these hours may not be responded to until the following work day.
  • Teleconferences: Our next Class Teleconferences are in Week 4. We are currently using Google Hangouts for our meeting program, so you will need to use the web browser Google Chrome if you are on a computer, or the app “Hangouts Meet” if you plan to use an Apple device (app has not been released in Australia for Android yet).
    Links for the teleconference sessions will be posted in Takumuna in the Teleconferences folder the day before the session.
    Please make a note of the session times in your diary, as attendance at the Class Teleconferences is an expected component of ACC Distance Education. Session times/dates are as follows:
    • Year 3: 1:30pm (AWST), 1st March 2018
    • Year 4: 2:30pm (AWST), 2nd March 2018
    • Year 5: 1:30pm (AWST), 2nd March 2018
    • Year 6: 2:30pm (AWST), 1st March 2018
    • Catch-up session: 9am-11am (AWST), 5th March 2018
  • Marking Signpost Maths: Please ensure that any requested Signpost Maths workbook pages are marked using the answer key at the back of the book prior to their upload. The teacher will not be accepting any unmarked Signpost Maths work, but will leave a comment in the Grades section of the course if the page needs to be marked and re-uploaded.

Featured work

The Year 4s and 6s have begun exploring the effects of different angles and distances in photography. One of our Year 6 students, Emma-Leyah Ball, used the study of close, mid and long range shots to create a short story based on her subject, three fish in an aquarium. We have shared it here with her permission. Enjoy!

 

The first assessments have gotten underway, and there is some stunning work coming in! Congratulations to the Year 6 students for their wonderful infograms: we have just chosen a few to share below.

 

Ashton Bliss, Year 6

Molly-Lee Hughes, Year 6

Brooklynn Slemmings, Year 6

Puzzle Corner

Students have been enjoying the jokes and rebus puzzles posted in the friendship group pages this term. Here’s a few for everyone to solve…

Just for a Laugh

Pastoral Note

By Damon Sokolowski

For ACC’s Online School, we are using digital technology all the time. It is amazing to consider how we have utilised this technology to deliver Years 1-12 education and connect with students across the huge state of Western Australia. For many, Distance Education has been a life-saver. Three big cheers for digital technology which has made this possible!

But like a lot of things humans create, there’s some downsides to digital technology. I was listening to a talk recently by Chamath Palihapitiya, a technology developer and entrepreneur, who oversaw the growth of Facebook from 5 million to 845 million users globally between 2005 to 2011. He spoke about how that particular aspect of digital technology - social media - was transforming not just the way people relate to each other but even the way people think, and not always for the better. In talking about how in social media we want to garner followers and ‘likes’ he says: “we conflate hearts, likes, thumbs up… with value and we conflate it with truth….but it’s short term… and leaves you even more vacant and empty than before you did it.” Those short-term dopamine hits of pleasure - the ‘heart, like or thumbs up’ - end up re-wiring our brains and making us more anxious and more brittle as we hover waiting for approval from the digital crowd for our recent post or exploit.

A friend told me recently that he and his wife couldn’t find their phones one afternoon. They searched high and low and then asked their teenage daughter, “Have you seen our phones?” “Yes”, she replied. “Where are they?” asked her dad. She smirked, “I’ve hidden them. Why don’t we make Sunday a day of digital fasting.” Ouch!

Digital technology is a wonderful tool (and a toy!). Yet it can also become what biblically speaking we call an ‘idol’, that is, something which we cling to for assurance, security and meaning. In a way, we come to ‘worship’ our idols by centering our lives, our affections, our meaning around these things. As humans we have this incredible capacity of taking the good things God gives us and make them into god things, ultimate things. But they can never satisfy us.

I encourage you and your children not to conflate “hearts, likes, thumbs up” with truth, value or meaning - you’re worth much more than a like! Instead of searching endlessly for an affirmation which will only leave you “more vacant and empty than before”, try instead looking to him who is “the Truth”, of whom one of the writers of the Bible could say,

“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!”
(Psalm 139:17 ESV)

and who offers us not just long-term, but eternal, pleasures and joy through what Jesus has achieved for us.

So, three cheers for technology. It’s a great tool and toy - use it well! But it’s a dissatisfying centre to live our lives around. Consider what my friend’s daughter tried - a ‘digital fast’ from time-time-time - and look to the One who alone can forgive, fulfil and satisfy, and do those things forever.