Alice Springs School of the Air
The Alice Springs School of the Air (ASSOA) is based in Alice Springs and broadcasts to children in isolated communities through a 1.3 million square km 'classroom', throughout Northern Territory and parts of South Australia and Western Australia. At the time of filming there were 125 students at the school with 36 per cent Indigenous and 23 per cent English as an additional language or dialect learners. ASSOA is a unique school where teachers and students communicate via an online classroom. Students participate in online lessons with their classmates and then complete follow-up activities at home with support from their home tutors (mostly parents). The Australian Curriculum has been the impetus for the school to update its teaching modules and has provided a set of standards that ensure the school’s remote students have the same academic opportunities as all Australian students.
The introduction of the Australian Curriculum gave the Alice Springs School of the Air an opportunity to review their teaching and learning programs. New units of work, including resources and materials, were developed with alignment to the Australian Curriculum. These included the rationale and key inquiry questions from the Australian Curriculum, classroom themes and useful ideas from the teachers. The scope and sequences ensure all learning is covered and the achievement standards provide the benchmarks to elevate and focus learning. The Australian Curriculum work samples have been used for moderation activities across Alice Springs and are evidence-based to improve standards. The work samples have also provided home tutors with a solid understanding of the expected standard for their child.
Each ASSOA student site has a satellite dish and associated computer equipment that allow for a two-way interaction with the distance-learning studios. Students can see and hear their teachers as well as speak to and be heard by other students in their class. The school offers a wide range of educational services to isolated children from pre-school to Year 9. The teachers teach their lessons every day from three studios in Alice Springs via the video conferencing tool. The students visit their class websites to find out what they are learning each day and upload their work to their Google Drive folders. Feedback is delivered via Google documents, emails and/or over the phone.The Australian Curriculum and the Northern Territory Multi-Year Level Units support the students so that they do not miss vital steps or content in their learning. The home tutors (mostly parents) have adopted a common language because of the Australian Curriculum, which has had a steady roll-out.
Alice Springs School of the Air (ASSOA)
Alice Springs NT 0870 Australia
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