FAQ'sWhat is Distance Education?
Distance Education is a legislated mode of schooling where teaching and learning takes place in an environment where the teacher and student are not in the same physical location. Typically, the teacher is located at a registered School of Distance Education and the student is learning from their home.
What is the difference between distance education and home schooling?
Distance education is a formal school education where the student is registered with a school. The student participates in a full learning program with teachers for every course of study. In home schooling, the student has to register with the NSW Board of Studies which will send a Home Education Moderator to visit their home to approve the learning program, which is typically developed by the parent or purchased through a curriculum provider.
What is ACC Online?
ACC Online is where our teachers deliver digital lessons and students learn. Students can view podcasts, read documents, complete assessments, watch videos, visit websites and partner with other students. View the Online School Demo.
How do I use ACC Online?
Your training begins with the first guided demonstration of the system prior to enrolment. The school provides an online training walk thru of the system so that you can get used to the different features. As a rule of thumb, if you know how to use email – you will be able to use ACC Online.
How are lessons delivered?
Each lesson is delivered via ACC Online. A typical lesson will begin with a teaching podcast where the teacher discusses a learning outcome. The video is followed by an activity or discussion that could be completed individually or in a class group online.
May I see a demonstration of some lessons in ACC Online?
The school offers a “demo login” to lessons for students and parents to investigate. This login is offered in conjunction with a phone interview when you first make an enquiry to the school.
How is completed student work sent to teachers?
Students upload their work via a ‘dropbox’ in ACC Online. Work samples could include projects created using Microsoft Office or Apple iWork, photos of projects or scanned items.
How much time do students spend on the computer doing lessons?
The school’s distance education learning program is blended. What that means is we allocate significant time away from the computer for learning outcomes. The time away from the computer could involve working on a project or completing work in textbooks.
Does the student have to complete the lessons at a certain time of the day?
The school day runs from 8:30am – 2:30pm. Teacher hours are from 8:15am – 4:00pm. However, students are able to access ACC Online out of hours. They do not have to complete each lesson at a certain time of the day. Timetables are sent to all students as a guide for the work day. Many of our students have professional sport or creative art commitments that they also complete on a daily basis.
What computer software and hardware is needed to access ACC Online?
We recommend an Apple MacBook or any laptop that is under 3 years old. You will need a modern web browser. We strongly recommend Google Chrome that is available via free download.
What internet plan do I need?
You will require a broadband connection with a minimum bandwidth of 512kps. We recommend at least 10GB download per month per student in the learning program. We also recommend wireless internet access so that the students can be mobile. Please don’t hesitate to contact the school should you need some guidance in setting up your technology requirements.
Can you enrol at any time of the year?
Your child can commence distance education at the beginning of any school term. Other times are available by special request to the school. If there are no places available you can request to be put on a waiting list.
How much does it cost?
A high school student will pay approximately $1,500 per year. A primary school student will pay approximately $1,100 per year. This cost includes all courses and associated textbooks. Generous sibling discounts are available. Please see the fee schedule for more details.
What curriculum does the school use?
The learning program follows the Australian Curriculum. As a registered School of Distance Education, the program is completely Australian with resources matched to relevant learning outcomes. Textbook partners include Pearson, Origo and McGraw Hill.
What if a student (or parent) doesn’t understand something?
Every course has a direct email link to the relevant course teacher. You can email the teacher at any time for assistance and the teacher responds during the school day. You can also book an appointment with the teacher via phone by calling the school office. Teachers contact students on a regular basis via phone to make sure that there are no roadblocks in their learning progress.
What involvement is needed by a parent with distance educated children?
At the K-3 level we require significant assistance from the parent (on-site supervisor) to facilitate the relationship between the teacher and the student. This assistance is similar to a teacher’s assistant with parents uploading the work completed by the student to ACC Online to facilitate the lesson structure. At the Year 4 level and above, the student is usually capable of interacting directly with the teacher using the internet and other instructions.
Why doesn't the distance education school offer a ROSA?
Our school offers education to students on campus in north-west Sydney and via distance education to students in New South Wales. The on-campus school is K-12 with HSC accreditation. The distance education school is registered with the NESA but it is not accredited to offer the ROSA or the HSC awards. Students who leave distance education must transfer to the on campus learning program or another school if they wish to continue to Year 12 and work towards an HSC.
The distance education program is currently working towards applying for HSC accreditation.