Faith Christian School of Distance Education Service Agreement 2021 

How can Faith Christian School Serve you?

INTRODUCTION

We wish to outline the services Faith Staff, programs and resources provide to support both our 1500 students and 600 parent educators in their vital role. This list needs to be regularly updated as we continue to implement new and exciting services and increase resources through the hard work and dedication of our 150 staff, parent volunteers, Board and supportive Christian community.

Faith Christian School of Distance Education is committed to providing these services and resources to our school community to support student learning outcomes. We hope that you will gain a knowledge of the core services and relevant opportunities for your student/s as they journey through primary and secondary. Your Local Area Teacher and newsletters will also help to keep you informed of new resources and programs on offer.

PROFILE

Faith Christian School of Distance Education is a non-denominational, co-educational school catering for students in Years Prep to Twelve. The School opened in February 2012 with 175 students and a small core of multitalented teaching staff to provide quality distance education support. Over the last 9 years we have grown to over 1500 students supported by a staff of 150 teachers and Admin staff working under the direction of a distance education parent run board.

Faith CSDE is serious about our mission “to help students to fulfil their God-given potential.” This acknowledges the importance of academic, social and spiritual opportunities to grow and develop. The important keys to this mission are a strong foundation in Christ, family values and love. These provide a base for students to achieve success in their learning.

Our motto supports this ethos: “as parents and educators we believe that we are responsible for raising the next generation of Godly leaders.”

AREAS AND COVERAGE

Our 1350 students are based in a number of Queensland centres, primarily North, South West Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. We also have local based teachers and Local library hubs in Kingaroy, Rockhampton and Mackay with a growing number of more isolated students supported in Clermont, Townsville and out to Charleville. 

LEARNING PHILOSOPHY

A fundamental key to ideal learning, which includes retention, is found in giving students the opportunity to experience learning success. Without the experience of success students tend to shut down, gain anxiety about a field of learning, distrust for a subject or worse - believe they are failures and not able to be successful… Outcomes based education would instead suggest, “if they didn’t get it, you failed to teach them.” Simply put, it isn’t the student that failed but the educator or curriculum that failed…

We believe it is our responsibility as teachers, working with parent educators, to ensure every student has the opportunity to experience learning success.

That Learning success also requires commitment, time, effort, organisation, high interest content, real life learning context, with an emphasis on developmental, whole to part relational understandings (how the equation works and applies, not just blindly filling in the blanks or following a rote learnt algorithm or process).

Learning success is supported by an emphasis on recognition of progress and not just reward for attainment. We all know examples of adults that left school following low attainment at school who went on to achieve highly in later years when they had the opportunity to work at their instructional level. For children, this holds true - while bridging towards developmental chronological guides where appropriate. Many families come to us with stories of students who have been left behind, as schools seem to follow a very busy Australian curriculum and this with computerised reporting systems has given the excuse to ignore “differentiation” by not allowing students to work at their instructional level -simply demand a student who may be working 2 years behind to try to keep up on work that is at their chronological (class) grade level. Or the inverse, where a student working well above their chronological level is made to wade through the classwork and then punished with extra extension work. Should they simply be allowed to work at their level on the learning continuum? Challenge is, teachers often have to use a click in the box reporting system, where comments are mapped to the undifferentiated chronological curriculum.

Thus, Foundation to year Ten have individualised programs and reports using teacher derived comments that focus on the work that the student has completed. Teachers utilise a range of reflective samples rather than one or two predetermined samples. This allows for students to have bridging and be given the opportunity to catchup, which then gives us the opportunity to acknowledging progress and not just attainment.

Our foundation to this approach is the belief that we all have been given a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:17 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

A sound mind, that we know through scientific studies is very powerful. It’s just that some develop a little faster than others and we need to take the emphasis off pushing a student above their instructional level when it is lower than their chronological age.

Through this approach we have seen many students that have been diagnosed with various disabilities or learning difficulties that end up far exceeding prior teachers and sometimes parent expectations.

We have all seen individuals that the system claimed would never amount to anything go on to do great things and understanding our commitment to this approach, will be clear when you speak to our founding Principal, who himself left school at the age of 15 with a reading age of 8!

 

QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED

Faith Christian School of Distance Education is fully registered by the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board to provide Distance Education for Foundation to Year 12 students. Being enrolled in Faith ensures access to various Government supports and assurance that you are meeting Legal and Government requirements.

Faith has clear policies and governance to ensure the school community has a strong and growing future. We have successfully come through a range of school cyclical reviews, growing through each experience.

Our interdenominational parent-run board and Constitution ensures stability and adherence to our vision and heart. We maintain transparent financial practice and procedures with an emphasis on remaining debt free.

Our experienced founding Principal (Jason Caldwell) has served in Head or coordinator roles within education for over 27 years, for the last 19 within Queensland Independent Distance Education. Within three different DE schools Jason has pioneered new levels of service trying to close the gap between day school and DE learning opportunities and resources. When a plateau through working under day schools was realised, Jason and a committed team prayerfully started Faith Christian School of Distance Education (Faith CSDE).

Our Management Team have years of experience and an open-door policy. We want to hear when there is an issue or problem. Many families come to us with hurtful experiences from both day schools and distance education, where they have not been listened to, so we believe this is an area that needs to be strong to turn things around.

As part of our Constitution we have a commitment to not waste any funds on advertising believing that if we do a good job and provide quality service, God will bring the increase. To this day we have not spent any funds on advertising for students and yet we have grown to 1350 students in under 8 years.

We have clear policies and processes to ensure review and strategic planning and this is evidenced in the growth in services achieved over such a short time.

 

QUALITY STAFF

(120 as at October 2020)

Link to our Contact Staff Page showing staff that work in Faith CSDE not an attached Day School.

The services we provide are dependent on our dedicated and talented teachers who have a commitment to Distance Education. We are not a retirement village for tired teachers or school for teachers unable to gain Day School Employment. Instead we believe in the vision of our school and the value of quality Distance Education.

Our Teaching Staff:

  • Are QLD Registered Teachers with relevant subject and teaching experiences.
  • Share the school community’s strong Christian and Family values.
  • Understand the importance of Quality service and that our heart is to be a blessing to our families and students.
  • Work as Area Teachers Locally to provide general teaching support to Primary and Secondary students while fostering and supporting Senior students to connect and gain vital supports.
  • Have an excellent ratio of teacher to students (35 to 40 students per Area Teacher plus specialist subject teachers and Special Needs Staff).
  • Specialist teachers also work hard to build relationship and connection with their students through high levels of conferencing and one-to-one teaching support.
  • If you are having difficulty or things are not working our teachers are there to help and give lessons on demand.
  • Pastoral Christian support and prayer.

PLAs: At Faith we also have nine Parent Learning Assistants who give in home, local library and remote one-to-one learning support under teacher’s direction and working in conjunction with parents.

Our Admin Staff provide:

  • Polite and caring support with strong project management and role clarity to ensure follow up and provision of resources and access to information.
  • Excellent knowledge and experience to help you access the services you require.
  • Prayer and guidance.

 

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Faith CSDE follows a Christian World View philosophy of education. We aim to provide a balance between intellectual, physical, emotional, relational and spiritual growth through our programs and learning activities.

Primary and Junior Secondary Students enrolled in Faith DE each have an Individual Educational Plan and APLPs for Special Needs Students. These programs utilised established academic programs developed by our teaching staff and a range of curriculum products.

Teachers work on location with students individually, sharing a fun learning activity to build relationship and get to know students before working with them, hearing them read and looking through samples of work or doing some Maths games or fun activities to determine a student’s instructional level and where bridging is needed to ensure students are able to experience success (some for the first time). Rarely are diagnostic tests utilised, as where a student is behind, all a diagnostic test will determine is how anxious the student feels when being tested and how quickly this anxiety shuts down their cognitive functions.

Parents are part of this program session and it is the teacher’s role to work with the parent ensuring understanding and valuing of what the student is able to do and how they can experience success. This often involves parent training which is outlined within our Parent Training Booklet and videos to support this. Once the Teacher has put together your family program there is follow up consultation and support.

Where there are learning difficulties or special needs our Special needs support staff are consulted as part of the process from the beginning.

For Senior Secondary students we have a clear SET Plan processes and work hard to individualise programs around an individual student’s needs in attaining or journeying towards a QCE (Queensland Certificate of Achievement) while endeavouring to keep future options open.

While our graduating senior students have been successful in attaining high subject result, OP 1 to 3s ***, this has not been our focus. Instead we have an emphasis on getting students across the line with strong passes in subjects that are valuable for future University or real-world vocational employment options. (*** note -this year will be our first year on the New ATAR system).

To do this we offer a wide range of internal subjects and our own Faith Christian School Vet certificates to enable students to attain or make the journey towards attaining a QCE and ATAR score. We also support school based and external TAFE, University Head Start type courses, School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships and work experience. Further details https://www.faithcsde.com/en/senior-secondary-courses

Faith QCAA Senior School Subjects

QCE Credits

Faith School-Based Vocational Education and Training Courses

QCE Credits

General English OR Essential English

4

Cert III in Ministry and Theology (10741NAT)

8

General Mathematics

4

Cert III in Micro Business Operations (BSB30315)

6

Mathematical Methods

4

Cert III Screen & Media (CUA31015)

6

Physics

4

Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology (ICT30118)

8**

Chemistry

4

 Cert III in Music Industry (CUA30915)

6-8

Biology

4

Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways (FSK20113) incorporating Vocational Mathematics

4

Psychology

4

Cert II In Community Services (CHC22015) 

4

Business 

4

Cert II in Information Technology  (ICT20115)

4

Ancient History

4

Cert IV in ICT (to be confirmed)

8**

Visual Arts in Practice

4

Cert IV in Screen and Media (to be confirmed)

8**

 

QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING SUPPORT

We are pleased to have a caring and hardworking Special Needs department headed up by Leesa Chalmers who is also one of our Deputy Principals. Students with special needs and parents are supported through high levels of conferencing and one to one learning opportunities from both the Special Needs staff and Area Teachers.

During the initial Home Visit the Area Teacher working in conjunction with the Special Needs staff and the parent will put together a personalised learning program that has adjustments to support and student to experience learning success and work at their instructional level.

Your Local Area Teachers in conjuction with Special Needs teachers and Parent Learning Assistants will continue to give regular face-to-face support and additional learning adjustments through:

  • Home visits
  • Face to Face weekly Local Library tutoring sessions
  • Meetings at local hub area hubs
  • Remote one to one learning utilising Teams, AWWAP or BBB
  • Remember, if you are having difficulty or things are not working our teachers are there to help and give lessons on demand.

Camp and School Trips

I am very excited to see the success we have had with special Needs Students growing through attending camps. Often students have never had the opportunity to participate in student camps. However, through taking the time with parents to build relationship and putting together a “Camp Attendance and Safety Plan” we have seen huge changes in confidence of many parents and students. We also take the time to set behaviour boundaries with all students and encourage them in their leadership skills to be “Support Buddies”. This ensures that there is acceptance, accommodation and appreciation of the differences of others.

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Pastoral SupportPastoral Christian support and prayer is always on offer through our Area Teachers and Chaplin.

Special Needs ResourcesFaith CSDE has seen the importance of spending Distance Education funding on the needs of Distance Education students and it follows that funds given for special needs are tagged and used appropriately with clarified spending guidelines that endeavour to spend:

  • 80% of State Special Needs Funding for a specific individual is spent on physical resources and courses for that individual (unless the parent states it is not needed).
  • 20% of State Special Needs Funding goes towards Department physical resources and courses that helps all Special needs students.
  • 100% of Commonwealth funding is spent on Staff that work specifically in the special needs department.

This is the first year where we have received commonwealth funding through the year and we are stepping out in this area, however, we are at least setting goals!

AREA & SPECIALIST TEACHER SUPPORTS TO INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

We provide regular weekly lessons for Senior Years and subjects groups. This service is growing and supported by our dedicated DE Teaching staff and a server/ICT infrastructure to provide a range of online lesson interfaces and secure storage. These lessons are usually recorded and are to be stored for later access through Subject area Hubs. We Utilise Moodle to manage our senior programs and teachers have clear strategies and guidelines for both course work, assessments, online group and individual lessons. For example:

  • Our Teachers include Response Engagement Tasks (RETS) within each section of an online lesson. These RETs may include completing a Mind Map or Flow Chart or listing the main steps, to be completed during each segment of the lesson. This is better than a Pop Quiz that does not ensure engagement throughout the lesson.
  • If a student is unable to complete an activity within the course work that is reported directly through a "Green Light" or "Red Light" traffic system we have built into Moodle. The teacher will then organise individual contact and support and/or additional group lessons immediately.
  • While utilising Moodle we are wanting students to work on paper with pen to ensure they have, in Maths Sciences, clear workings and teachers can see where they have gone wrong and be able to help them.
  • All teachers will provide Lessons on-demand, utilizing Skype, BigBlueButton, Internet shared draw, Microsoft Teams and the telephone. Our teachers are dedicated to ensuring engagement in learning. They are there for you and not squeezing you in around Day School or duties. This is an important aspect to support learning engagement that insures students (with parents) are able to progress consistently without being held up waiting for a callback. Waiting often leads to frustration and anxiety.

Teachers also utilise Face to Face lessons opportunities within:

  • Weekly local Library get-togethers,
  • During the 4 home visits each year (additional visits where the need arises)
  • Workshops in local areas.
  • Field Trips and Local specialist group lessons.
  • PLA’s who may give regular support visits under Teachers direction.
  • These face to face opportunities not only give time for lessons and tutoring activities for students but also training or modelling for parents.

Parents and students are also supported through:

  • During regular, teacher-initiated fortnightly telephone and Skype contacts, teachers follow up with Maths lessons and check progress, Assignment check points, regularly conferencing written drafts and hearing students read and share their work.
  • As we grow, we are also able to provide additional Labs for our Students in Science, Maths General and Maths Methods, Secondary Art and Stem...
  • Videos for most new concepts in the secondary English and Secondary Maths Texts and with the additional staff and studio staff we want to continue developing this resource.
  • We have a weekly online lesson outlining the work for the week for Secondary English.
  • Parents receive 1 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.
  • 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.
  • This year we started to develop our own Video Art Lessons for students and Parents and in several areas, we have live weekly Art lessons. 
  • We are working hard to maintain an informative Website to support learning programs and curriculum. This is undergoing a big change to a new platform; however, the information is being developed and improved.
  • Behaviour management support from an experienced parent /Teacher and where needed, the school Principal. We have a home situation Behaviour management booklet and Job Roster and Rules guide for those interested as many parents come to us for this reason. To educate at home our Parents need to maintain positive relationships, which sometimes requires a bit of tough love and guidance.

 

CAREER COUNSELLING, VOCATIONAL & SET PLANNING

It helps if students realise the important difference their hard work at school will make to their future University, TAFE, and/or employment opportunities. Relevance correlates to engagement!

  • We have evenings with Industry experienced parents who present “what it is really like to work as…” Students are able ask questions and get a more realistic picture of work. This is essential as I believe too many students have “Bondi Vet” perspective or go to career days where people or course providers are simply promoting their career…
  • This is supported by Endorsed Work Experience & School Based Apprenticeships & Traineeships.
  • We have also gained our RTO status and offer a range of 8 Cert II and III courses for Grade 10 to 12 students at a greatly reduced cost.
  • Integration of TAFE and Start Uni Now type programs are also supported.

Additional Services include:

  • Family orientated affordable camps (Bi-annual) – the last involved over 250 camping at the beach, turtle watching and participating in a wide range of other educational and social opportunities.
  • Three camps annually for different grades of students.
  • Annual Cross country, Athletics events.
  • For students on Early Readers we provide 2 sets of PM Readers per student at any one time.
  • Annual, local, family orientated awards nights.
  • Regular online news bulletins (two per term).
  • Pastoral Christian support.
  • Exciting Annual Missions Trips to Vanuatu – this year we have a team of 30 going.

 

SCHOOL RESOURCES

In the last year alone, since receiving Commonwealth Funding, we have at Faith seen more spent on DE School resources than I have seen spent in the 12 years prior to starting Faith CSDE, while working in lead positions at past DE school. We work very hard to spend our funds and believe God gives us great blessing in the form of purchasing power through research and going direct to manufacturer. We are often purchasing at 40 to 50% discount.

  • These resources give students access to a large range of free resources to support learning.   Housed within our 6 localised free libraries these resources include everything from sets of early readers and early chapter books through to novels, Maths manipulatives, 100’s board, laptops, quality colour screen drawing tablets, 3D printers, Manual Arts machinery and tools, Science kits, Microscopes, 100 guitars, Piano Key Boards, Ukuleles, Sporting Equipment and many other learning resources.
  • Many of these resources are out in circulation already, dozens of laptops, hundreds of Art tablets that have been a game changer with online lesson engagement and tutoring sessions. Hundreds of 3D printers are being released in November and very soon we will have our very own Library program that is just awaiting individual IDs for parents through our new Database which will jump start the local Libraries into action.

 

WELFARE AND SAFETY

Our Board and staff are committed to student welfare and safety. We have setup access to a full cohort of mandatory policies including our audited Child Protection Policy and Procedures. These mandatory procedures are supported by clear expectations of behaviour and required commitments and standards for relationship and safety.  These policies are reviewed regularly by staff and our Board and registers are kept up to date of suitability and Blue Cards.

Here you will have access to important policies and documentation that underpins Faith Christian School operations and Board processes.

STRATEGIC PLAN 2019

VALUES AND PHILOSOPHY

Faith Christian School has an up to date Policies Management System and School families are welcome to access other policies by request from our school office. These policies are reviewed and ratified on an annual cycle by the School Board.

Our other policies are available here:

Below is a list of these policies:

  • First Aid Policy
  • Flexible Arrangements Policy
  • Faith Christian School Procedures for Dealing with Conflict, Complaints or Concerns
  • Risk Management Framework
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Faith Christian School Staff Code of Conduct
  • Work Health and Safety Policy
  • Workplace Bullying Policy
  • Student Bullying Policy
  • Privacy Policy

 

LAND AND BUILDINGS

Our school does not have an emphasis on expensive architecture, however, God has provide the opportunity for our school to save funds over 6 years to purchase our first building, which was an empty shell that our community turned into an exciting and inspirational learning space for a small Special Assistance School for at risk students in the Woodridge to Marsden area.  God even gave our Principal inspiration for the class and gym area design and layout and a Christian Architect that was inspired by the vision and came onboard, a plumber who refused payment for two months of work and so on. This building also gives us a space for DE activities outside of the SAS school hours. We have since been able to purchase a second building in the North Brisbane area-that is just full of potential. This hard work is inline without desire to focus on learning needs and maintaining a debt free accounting system to avoid precious recurrent fund being spend on Bank interest.

For workshops and local Library Hubs we are simply sharing spaces with supporting churches, leasing building space or even operating out of Council Libraries.

 

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS

Cyclic Review and Improvements

Our School is committed to ensuring that it continually evaluates and improves its performance to meet all legislated requirements of its accreditation. The School therefore views participation in the cyclical review as a means of confirming that it is meeting its obligations with respect to ensuring that Faith CSDE is operating at the highest level.

This process has involved data collection and review of:

  • student performance and progress data across a range of subjects and levels,
  • student programs and work samples demonstrating ACARA coverage,
  • staff, student and community serveys and focus groups, to examine and explore areas for improvement and development,
  • review of details and evidence of our services to demonstrate a full-service delivery program, including additional support for learning support and special needs.

Faith has been through this process 3 or 4 times in just 8 years and each time we have received very positive feedback from independent assessors who have reviewed all or substantial segments of our operation. 

SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL RESULTS 2018-9:

Contact

If you have any further questions or want to find out more about our programs please contact Mr. Caldwell or our Administration on 07 3059 1881.

Last updated: 19th April 2021

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