DE News 2017 T4 W05

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” – Japanese Proverb

Kim Price

RDE News

Welcome to new staff member

It is a pleasure to introduce Kim Price to you as the newest member of the RDE team. Kim is relieving as Administration Support Officer in the Bathurst State office until December 22, whilst Jaimie Vandenberghe is working in another role within the department.

Kim has settled into her role with ease, humour and the capacity to manage the multi facetted role and diverse personalities. She brings to the position over twenty five years of experience having worked in a range of roles, most recently as a member of the Human Resources team.

DE Symposium 2018 – 4 C-able Futures: Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking

Last week the RDE team met to determine the outcome of the numerous EOI applications from teachers to participate as a member of the planning team. After much deliberation and discussion five people were selected to assist in the planning of the 2018 Symposium. A huge thank you to all who applied from the RDE team!

The DE Symposium planning team members are:

The Symposium planning team will meet for the first time this week to develop a shared understanding of expectations, roles and responsibilities.

Stay tuned for regular updates about the symposium planning, structure and content.

For further information contact  Kym Knight by email or 0263348074.

DE School News

Introducing James Gordon – Riverina Access Program

James Gordon

James Gordon is the Head Teacher of the Riverina Access Partnership, comprising of Ardlethan Central School as the hub school, Ariah Park, Barellan and Hillston Central Schools as core schools, Lockhart and Oaklands Central School as partner schools. In addition to his role as Head Teacher for the Access Partnership, James is the Course Coordinator for Community and Family Studies delivered from Ardlethan Central School.

James taught Agriculture in the early years of the Riverina Access Program in 1990-91. He returned to the Riverina as Head Teacher Access this year. He says, “I love my job. The Access Program is the epitome of modern teaching and learning. It was ahead of its time in 1990 and continues to lead the way in education for remote and rural communities across NSW. Our program continues to excel in supporting our students to access quality education within their own community and provides all students with a range of learning experiences and opportunities.”

DE Network News

DE Computing Studies Collegial Network News

The next meeting for the DE Computing Studies Collegial Network is being held on December 1 at Sydney DEHS.

For further information please contact network coordinator, Eamon Gormley, at Sydney DEHS 02 9383 0384.

DE Geography Collegial Network

The DE Geography Collegial Network held a conference recently in Ballina at Southern Cross. To read about the successful conference please read the DEGTN Newsletter.

For further information please contact the new coordinator Tiff Cox on 66810300.

New Geography DE Collegial network Coordinator

Tiff Cox, relieving head teacher at Southern Cross School, has been appointed as the new coordinator for the Geography DE Collegial network, replacing Nicole Sykes who has been in the role this year.

Tiff has “bucket loads” of experience, having been a member of a number of networks and and a leader of the PBL network. She is an innovative thinker and practitioner, enjoys working collaboratively with people, has deep curriculum knowledge and expertise in creating learning materials.

We welcome Tiff to this role.

Thank you to Nicole Sykes

Nicole Sykes, teacher at Southern Cross School, has stepped down from the position of Geography DE Collegial network Coordinator after having worked in this role for the last year.

We thank Nicole for the work she has undertaken to sustain and grow the network and wish her all the best.

Meet the DE Music Collegial Network Coordinator

Sharon Mwanza

Sharon Mwanza (McKay), is a fully-qualified professional Australian music teacher and a gifted flautist and pianist. Sharon has a passion to encourage young Australians to compose and play high quality music and to do so in innovative ways. She fell in love with music as a small child, learning the recorder, then the piano at the age of nine and flute lessons just two years later. She also enjoys playing the penny whistle and singing. Sharon gained a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Education – Secondary Music from the University of New England, Armidale, in 1998. Sharon Mwanza is a music teacher, and is the author and creator of the `e music folio’ and Hatch Pack Volume One ’Colours’.

Sharon is a Music teacher and is currently the Head Teacher of Creative and Performing Arts at Southern Cross School of Distance Education.  She has worked within NSW Public Education for over 18 years as a Music Teacher at various schools.

Sharon is the current Distance Education Music Network Collegial Coordinator and has worked with the network members on Professional Development opportunities this year and utilising video conferences, google drive and email as ways of keeping connected.

Sharon enjoys being a member and coordinator of this dynamic and creative network and is looking forward to working on the activities for 2018. Planning is underway for a conference in early 2018 for the Music network members.

Meet the DE Mathematics Collegial Network Coordinator

Nina Thomas

Nina Thomas, is a Mathematics teacher at Sydney Distance Ed, where she has worked for the past 7 years. She is currently a stage 6 year advisor and has previously worked as a stage 5 year advisor and supervisor of pregnant girls and young parents at our school.

Nina took over the role of Network Coordinator for Mathematics this year, just as the network began  focussing on the writing of stage six learning materials for the new curriculum. As Nina said, “It’s been a busy year. As a network, we have been working hard on developing resources to support our stage 6 students for the new senior syllabus in the Standard course. We have a network meeting via VC twice a term and we are having a network training day on 1 December in Sydney at Sydney DEHS. We have professionals coming to teach us about the new network topic in the standard course and Stuart Palmer will be running us through the Assignment style assessment tasks.”

Meet the DE Computing Studies Collegial Network Coordinator

Eamon Gormley

Eamon Gormley is a TAS/Computing Studies teacher at Sydney Distance Education High School. He has been at the school since 2008 and has taught IPT, IST and IT Multimedia.

IT Multimedia is currently his main focus. Eamon says, “it is a great course but his experience teaching it is relatively limited, so he is slowly but steadily trying to develop his digital skills. The Computing Studies DE Network has played a big part in creating their elearning IT Multimedia course. They are constantly refining and improving it, even though the feedback from students has largely been very positive.”

Eamon also acknowledges that, “It takes a great deal of time and effort to create online material for students, so having colleagues in the DE Network to share skills, experiences and the work load has been invaluable.”

DoE Curriculum News

Rural and REmote Careers Initiative: Implementing the Career Development Contiuum K-12

As part of a joint initiative between the Rural and Distance Education Unit and Senior Pathways, selected schools from across rural NSW have been successful in receiving a grant to implement the NSW Career Development Continuum K-12. Schools were required to sumbit their career project proposal through an expression of interest before undergoing a rigorous selection process to receive funding to implement their initiative.

In week 5, representatives from schools involved in the program will meet is Sydney on the 8 and 9 November to participate in a professional learning conference that will involve resource sharing and project planning workshops. Stay tuned for future updates.


Twitter iconTwitterspheric professional learning

Twitter is a quick and easy tool for participating in and/ or building a Professional Learning Network. To learn more about using twitter for professional learning, download the The Global Digital Citizen Foundation’s Twitter-Tastic Teacher’s Guide.  Below are some of Twitter feeds we hope you find worthwhile!  Why not tweet us about what other networks you would like us to highlight!

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

International Society for Technology in Education


Universal design for Learning

Common Sense Education


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