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How fantastic it has been to be part of a school with a ‘glass half full’ attitude. Despite the nay- Sayers and the cynics we continue to aspire to be the leader in education, to be the School of (and for) the Future. This attitude takes guts and determination and speaks volumes that despite technology or human error, we will not be deterred. I have witnessed soooo many wonderful achievements over my two and a bit years at BSDE!

Students whose work and attitude is inspirational-

Just check out the art work in the foyer as an example of this, or perhaps look at our outstanding academic results from last year with seven OP1s and a quantum lift in QCE completion, the Student Council Newsletter, the Murri Hotline initiative, The Futures Academy Project – the list goes on.  Our students have a skill set not readily acquired in a mainstream school.  They learn to be independent and resilient, essential skills for a productive future.
The hundreds of doers on staff-
They punch above their weight, always put in that little bit extra and are not deterred by the cynics. It is you who will determine the future of both this school and the extent of the ripple in improving the world outside. The world needs more people like you.
At the start of this year, we have some additional faces in the school and changes to responsibilities within the school executive. Our executive team is -
  • Gayle Swan – Deputy Principal, Primary School
  • Cheryl Wilson – Deputy Principal, Junior Secondary School
  • Mark Law – Deputy Principal, Senior Secondary School
  • Jeff Balshaw – Director Teaching and Learning
  • Glen Watt – Director IMPACT Centre
  • Robyn Ferguson – Head of Special Education Services
  • Stephen Warwick – Business Services Manager

The small band of proactive parents -

They continue to take on extra work on behalf of the 4,000 families here and always offer constructive ways to support our school moving forward.  In particular I would like to thank Geoff Murphy and Jane Stavrinoudis for their work in 2015, and welcome the new members Vicki Carr as Vice President, Bronwyn Murphy as Treasurer and Despina Kamitsis as Correspondence Secretary to join them for this 2016 Executive.

School priorities-

Our school priorities will continue to focus on Reading, Quality Teaching (appropriate support, differentiation and feedback for our range of learners), building the Discovery Centre and the Academy, and supporting the wellbeing of staff and students.
I am proud to say that I spent my last chapter as a principal at such a unique and enterprising school and I am sure your next principal will be blown away by the range and quality of work we have achieved thus far.

Passing the Baton

It is with mixed emotions that I bid farewell to this great school in two weeks’ time.
Over the Christmas break I decided it was time for me to enter another chapter in my life and, as I didn’t have another three years to give this great school, I did not reapply for my contract. I am pleased to announce the new Principal will be Judy Menary (currently the Principal of Morayfield East State School).
Judy will bring enthusiasm and commitment to our school. I know she is looking forward to the wonderful world that is The School of the Future.

Judy Menary
Executive Principal 

 
eKindy Activity Days have been held from one corner of the state to the other and everywhere in between. Our teachers have been meeting our new and returning families and starting up their online sessions. A little taste of what has been happening in eKindy world…Kindy Activity Days have been held from one corner of the state to the other and everywhere in between. Our teachers have been meeting our new and returning families and starting up their online sessions. A little taste of what has been happening in eKindy world… The eKindy Charters Towers Cluster teaching team were delighted to welcome 27 children to the recent Activity Days, hosted at the Charters Towers School of Distance Education. During the Activity Days, the children were encouraged to see themselves as independent learners who are capable of making their own choices and solving problems. We provided materials and equipment for the children to explore, in creative and imaginative ways, and long periods of time for children to become immersed in their chosen play and creative experiences.
One of the main focuses for these face-to-face sessions is to enable children to build a sense of their own identity in relation to others. These Activity Days provided valuable opportunities for children to express their individuality and to practise some important social skills for getting along with others. During play and routine moments, we observed the children negotiating and cooperating with each other as they took turns, helped each other with difficult tasks and shared ideas, experiences and resources.
This year brings some changes to eKindy as we will be supporting a pilot to deliver kindergarten in remote schools. The Remote Kindergarten Pilot starts in Term 2 with eleven remote schools. Two of our teachers, one here in Brisbane - Jillian Manly - and one in Longreach - Vanessa Sadler – will be the mentors for this program providing advice and information to guide the teachers.

Cath O'Connor
Deputy Principal - eKindy 
 
2016 has begun and as always, the Primary School is a busy place. I have joined the Primary School team as Deputy Principal this year. Since last year, Eileen Furlonger is no longer at Brisbane School of Distance Education and has secured a deputy principal role at another school. We all wish her well and I am very pleased to be able to be here and work with teachers, students and home tutors. It has been amazing to watch teachers work in classrooms with students that are sometimes hundreds of kilometres away. I have been able to have time to listen to the many scheduled lessons that happen every day and watch teachers work with home tutors and students. Thank you to everyone who has been in scheduled lessons with the teachers since the start of the year. These lessons are an extremely important part of the school day and attendance is an expected part of the education we provide for our students.
Our school day is 8.30 to 2.30 and teachers are online during these times either in scheduled lessons, one to one or small group tutorials or intervention lessons, or supporting home tutors to be able to work with students and complete work offline. The triangle that exists between teacher, student and home tutor is very important to the learning and outcomes of the students.
One of the highlights for me has been the days when students and parents have been able to join us at Coorparoo for Orientation and Enrichment Days. It is very different to our usual days hearing students talking and learning.
 
Gayle Swan
Deputy Principal - Primary 

Welcome to all returning and new students and families for 2016. Let me introduce myself – my name is Cheryl Wilson and I have been a Deputy Principal in secondary schools for 10 years. Recently I have worked with schools across South East Queensland to prepare for the transition of Year 7 into Junior Secondary. I am excited to now be a part of this great school and have been made to feel very welcome by staff, students and parents. Thank you.
All Junior Secondary students should be settled into their learning routines by now and some will have already completed assessment. It is important for students to have an organised routine and study space at home. Attendance and engagement are priorities for our students at BSDE, so please ensure you are attending and participating in all scheduled lessons and set learning activities including assignments, homework and revision.
Our priorities for learners in Junior Secondary in 2016 include knowing our students, engaging our students through innovative, inspiring and inclusive teaching and learning, supporting student literacy needs, providing quality regular feedback to students on their progress and student wellbeing. Our teachers are working together within and across their faculties to ensure the best teaching and learning experiences for all.
On the 4th of March we held our first Junior Secondary Activity Day. Students and parents who attended were involved in an exciting and inspiring day of activities across Key Learning Areas. Activity Days are held each term, so if you missed this term’s be sure to check the school calendar for future dates.
Cheryl Wilson
Deputy Principal - Jumior Secondary 
 
…begins 2016 with the dust and some mud flying from our wheels!
eKindy Activity Days have been held from one corner of the state to the other and everywhere in between. Our teachers have been meeting our new and returning families and starting up their online sessions. A little taste of what has been happening in eKindy world…
The eKindy Charters Towers Cluster teaching team were delighted to welcome 27 children to the recent Activity Days, hosted at the Charters Towers School of Distance Education. During the Activity Days, the children were encouraged to see themselves as independent learners who are capable of making their own choices and solving problems. We provided materials and equipment for the children to explore, in creative and imaginative ways, and long periods of time for children to become immersed in their chosen play and creative experiences.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What the research says…

Current research underlines the importance of language learning for literacy and numeracy. Language learning is a social process and is best developed through daily experiences in ‘real-life’. In other words, have conversations with your child. Ask them to describe events or give reasons as to how they know something. Help develop their vocabulary by varying the words you use for the same thing: leaves, foliage, greenery. Make time for genuine discussion. Encourage their own attempts to read and write letters and numbers. What really matters is that children perceive themselves as capable of learning and this is vital for their success in schooling