Charleville School of Distance Education
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Parry Street
Charleville QLD 4470

Phone: 07 4656 8999
Fax: 07 4656 8900

6 April 2017

Newsletter Articles

Principal’s Ponderings


We have had a very successful start to the year.

Congratulations on the effort that has gone into and the outcomes that have come out of the Kick Start Conference, Minischools, and the Secondary Multischool this year. Each student, Home Tutor, Parent and Staff member has contributed to these successes and the learning and enjoyment for each person is important in our ongoing pursuit of success in our goals.


Bill Grant has returned as our Technical Officer and Camden Fackrell will continue to assist until Bill is full time again.

Carmel Gallegos is our new school cleaner, having been successful in the process of appointment. A very warm welcome to Carmel.

We are understaffed in our Learning Support/SWD staffing and have advertised for a teacher who I hope will be available from the first day of term 2. (Watch this space)


The playground was completed in record time and is much used when students are in.

Thank you again to the P&C for sourcing this funding. And thank you to Christy Bredhauer for completing the grant application for a Sun Smart contribution towards a shade over the playground.


Thank you to our teachers and parent helpers for another round of very safe and very successful Minischools and Multischool.

A special thank you to Di and Doug Hansen, Jacque Blackett and Sally West for stepping up and running the kitchen in Longreach when the Longreach food convenor had to leave on the Tuesday because of a family emergency. Along with Alison Wilson, Nicole Green, and three Govies, and a couple of Longreach Mums, the students and staff had a wonderful wholesome variety of meals and smokos.

Thank you to our Charleville parents and govies at Thargomindah, Roma and Charleville for the meals, supervision and care of our students as well. Your time given from your busy lives is very much appreciated.

The parent sessions at Minischool were very successful in the number of participants and the discussion and feedback has been positive and helps us to grow further.

Looking back over this term we have achieved so much.

Looking forward to next term?

Next term will be a busy happy time with

  • Successful Cluster Musters
  • ICPA Conference in St George
  • Successful reporting
  • Student success
  • NAPLAN (17th and 18th May)
  • Three short weeks! (Easter Monday, Labour Day, Charleville Show Holiday)

All the very best for Renae Heinemann as she takes the plunge on April 1st! We wish you and Robert a wonderful day and a happy ever after!

And more thankyous:

I wish to reiterate my very warm thank yous to the outgoing P&C executive for their utmost effort and hard yakka that has kept the P&C going from strength to strength over the past year with a reduced executive. I have enjoyed your support and I know that every student and staff member appreciates the extra support given to our students. We welcome the incoming executive.

I would like to also thank those who are taking on new and exciting roles to continue this strength of support.

At any time the staff at the school can help, please let us know…copying, mailing, printing…whatever is possible.

Western Alliance:

Due to Sarah’s expertise and experience in Secondary schools, she will be the contact in our school for Western Alliance questions, issues and big picture questions. Sarah’s primary role is Deputy for Charleville and this new area will replace some of the Deputy’s previous responsibilities. Please remember that you still need to contact subject teachers for subject concerns

Have a wonderful well deserved holiday. Not long now!


From the Deputy’s Desk

A warm thank you to all the parents, students and staff who have made me feel very welcome.

I have learnt very quickly that Term 1 at CSDE is jammed packed full of field events!

Kick Start Conference was a tremendous opportunity for me to quickly get to know students and staff at the school. I was very impressed with the behaviour and good manners of the students, and how staff pitched in to help. Whilst the main focus of the event is on the Home Tutors, the students had a great time doing activities such as mixed martial arts, robotics and putting dinosaurs together. I have a secondary background but during the Conference I spent most of my time with the little Preps which was a real eye opener. Ms Byrne, I so admire you!

I have had the opportunity to visit Roma and Thargomindah Minischools. At Roma I attended the parent sessions. At Thargomindah I watched the Robot parade with some very creative looking Robots. I also took the opportunity whilst at Thargomindah to spend time at the Secondary Centre, with Ms Anderssen and I delivering lessons from the Centre whilst we were there. I have decided that ‘distance ed spread’ isn’t from sitting at one’s desk all day, it is from the fantastic food at field events.

Together with Bill Brand and Beau Campbell our 2017 School Captains (and accompanied by Sally Campbell), I had the good fortune to attend the Halogen Leadership Conference. I enjoyed getting to know our Captains and to be part of so many ‘firsts’ for Bill. The guest speakers included Jade Hameister a 14 year old global adventurer; Hamish Finlayson, a 13 year old with ASD writing Apps and mentored by Silicon Valley giants; Danielle Prince, a gold winning gymnast; Inspector Corey Allen, whose personal mantra I have now adopted; and Robbie Millar a Youth worker for AIM and a professional musician.

Multischool at Longreach SDE was full of fun and learning for the students. I believe it meant a lot for the students to have their subject classes with their teachers in person. Each of the evening events were highly entertaining. I would particularly like to make a special mention of Mr Morris’s catwalk demonstration. He shows promise as a catwalk model.

I am looking forward to the Cluster Musters next term, which will be another opportunity to meet parents and students. Please make sure you introduce yourself to me as I am enjoying matching faces to the names!

Sarah Norquay
Acting Deputy Principal

PLO Prattle

Term 1 is all over except for the shouting or as a teacher said “the eating of chocolate.”

Kick Start Conference was a huge success with 90 students and 69 Home Tutors attending. Some of the most popular sessions that the students were involved in were the Robotics, Young Scientist and the Martial Arts. Home Tutors were very busy with AusIdenties. Some of the Home Tutors were able to work out their traits as well as those of their husbands/partners and children. The heat made it a bit unbearable for some activities but there were lots of positive comments about the week. From the feedback that has been received from Home Tutors, Parents, Students and Staff, we are currently looking excitedly for activities and sessions for 2018.


Science experiments

Minischools and Multischool have once again been lots of fun for the students, Teachers and Home Tutors. At each Minischool I was able to catch up and have some productive conversations with Home Tutors. Some of the topics covered were around numbers at Minischools, behaviour in their class room and some strategies to help with behaviour management. Also whilst attending Thargomindah and Roma Minischools I was able to support the teachers with swimming each Tuesday. Charleville Minischool found me in the pool each day. Watching the students at each Minischool I can see improvement with the students’ swimming abilities. Roma and Charleville Minischoolers would have also noticed that we have purchased some more bowls and plates for use at the events.

It is a wonderful example for the children to see their Mums and govies enjoying the fun at Charleville Minischool.

I hope you all enjoy the break and have me or downtime from the school room.



Curriculum Corner

The Australian Curriculum

Where does what we learn come from? Well… teachers don’t make this up. In fact, teachers are required to teach the Australian Curriculum. This is readily available for you to look at on the website:

The flow chart below outlines where this all fits with what we do.

We have all experienced how full the curriculum has been and how this has not allowed for deep learning. As a result, last year there was a review done of the Australian Curriculum. This has resulted in some changes for 2017. We now have more flexibility!

So, in 2017, all Australian Teachers are required to teach the Achievement Standards for each year level. All of the Content Descriptors that support those Achievement Standards are no longer compulsory as they were last year. Meaning, teachers can choose which ones they touch on or do not cover depending upon student need.

What might this look like for you? You will see teachers who are not completing all activities and lessons within the unit materials – this is ok! You might see teachers utilising different learning sequences or different activities than what is in the materials – this is ok! You might even see teachers working with students on lower level concepts in order to further build brain connections to allow the new learning to ‘stick’ – this is really ok!

We want to teach students. We don’t just want to teach the curriculum.

However, as we have not had the flexibility until recently, teachers will be learning how to reduce the content whilst still ensuring that students are successfully learning as well as meeting the requirements outlined in the Australian Curriculum. This will be a process that will start to become more natural to many of our teachers as time progresses. So, please show your understanding and support during this time. If you do however have any questions or concerns, please bring these up with your classroom teacher or Zoe (HOD) if you still have concerns after that conversation.

Home Tutor Help – “Teaching and Learning Library”

In Term 2, I will once again be offering Home Tutor professional development sessions. Last year, I offered these sessions on a rotational fortnightly basis with Sam O who covered her ICT drop in sessions on the alternate weeks.

These sessions will be based on what you would like to learn. Already I have had requests from parents regarding what to focus on in the sessions. These requests have included growth mindset, reading, active learning and so on. I would also like to offer some of the sessions that were done at KSC and Minischools for those who were not able to make it.

The feedback I received last year was that these sessions were very worthwhile but the time of day (2pm) was not suitable for most parents or HTs to attend. So, I please keep an eye on notices for a survey monkey to help me ascertain a time that would be most suitable for many.

I will also record the sessions so that if you are unable to make it, you are more than welcome to listen to the recording later at night perhaps when the children are in bed.

Remember, research shows that professional development has a high effect on student learning and as you are the ones in the school room most of this day, we need to invest in you and you need to invest in yourself as well.

If there is something you would like to know more about or something that would assist you in the classroom, please feel free to email me and I can add it to the agenda. Em:


You will have noticed by now that Notices have changed. This was done as we were receiving a lot of feedback regarding how the old format wasn’t working. A pros and cons list of the old format was done last year between Sam O and myself.



Easy access – comes directly via email with no password required

Large attachments

Consistent timing when these were sent out – parents knew when to expect them

Impact on download – the same document was downloaded over and over each week it was attached & contributed to unnecessary downloads for those on limited amounts

Disorganised layout – e.g. attachments weren’t named correctly, formatting was different, you couldn’t see what was new or recurring

Messages are being missed from notices – either people aren’t reading them at all or they don’t see the message

Things appeared on notices for longer than they should have – needed a better process

Sam O and I considered the change in on-air lessons that would then be accessed through eLearn and therefore the idea of adding these resources to that evolved. The following flow chart explains where things can be found:

In setting up this process, we reflected on the following:



More control over what is downloaded – e.g. if community event flyers are not wanted, they don’t need to be downloaded

Log-in required to access eLearn
(however password should only change every 90 days)

Consistent timing when the notices are sent out/things can be added by teachers when they think about it

If The Learning Place or website is down access will be limited for a short period of time

Target who notices are relevant to. E.g. if there is a Western Alliance session, this can be shared just with WA.

Clear and easy to read layouts

Link on morning email to ensure people have easy access to where notices appear.

Automatic removal or unnecessary notices

We do recognise however that with any change comes a period of transition and adjustment and the possibility of some better ideas to occur. So, we would like to invite you to provide your feedback re the new notices format. Please complete our Survey Monkey by Thursday 13th April.

Zoe Farrer
Head of Department – Teaching and Learning

Digital Discoveries

New Technicians

This term we have welcomed Camden Fackrell to the SDE team and welcomed back Bill Grant who is returning to the school. Both Camden and Bill are available to assist with technical phone and computer issues Home Tutors and Students may encounter.


Recently the State Library Service of Queensland through the Public Libraries Connect program brought robotics to the Charleville Public Library. Several of our teachers went down to investigate and ended up taking on some virtual reality using a headset and controllers connected to a computer. Teachers also explored various types of robots including Ozobots, Sphero Sparks and JT.

For more information about the Public Libraries Connect program visit:

Microsoft Office 2016 Free

Students of Charleville SDE are able to access a free copy of Microsoft Office 2016 via Education Queensland. This provided students with the latest version of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Outlook. To access your copy contact the school technicians for a copy on CD or visit:

Student Work Celebrations:

The Year 8 Technology students recently completed drawings to show a new phone design of their own invention. Below is just a small sample of their wonderful innovations that were drawn on Web Conferencing.

The Year 10 IDMT students took a break from their Certificate I modules at Multischool and had a chance to use their logic, science and technical knowledge to create their own game consoles out of play dough and Makey Makeys. They even challenged principals, Mr Moes (Mount Isa School of the Air) and our own Mrs Swadling to use their consoles to play Pacman.

Check out the latest blog posts:

Prep – Year 3 Student Link:

Years 4 – 9 Student Link:

Year 10 Student Link:

Girl Guides

Did you know that Charleville School of Distance Education has its own Girl Guide Unit? The 2nd Charleville (Lone) Guides is an official part of Girl Guides Queensland. In 2017 we continue Girl Guide sessions on Tuesday afternoons at 3:00pm.

Our weekly sessions (subject to leader availablility during field events) are run as an on-air session using Web Conferencing. The girls learn about the World of Guides, strive for badges, help out in their community, have fun and fellowship, and meet during Field Events if possible.

Email Mrs Sam O on if you would like to join and application forms and information will be forwarded to you.

World Thinking Day

February 22nd is a special day for Girl Guides all over the world. Known as World Thinking Day it is a day when Guides remember the founders of Scouts (Robert Baden-Powell) and the first World Chief Guide (Olave Baden-Powell). Our Guide unit acknowledged that we are a part of a world movement with the collaborative drawing of a Guiding Garden using Web Conferencing using the following story:

Every garden starts with a little dirt, or a lot. It is here that the garden receives the nutrients it needs to grow. Draw a line representing your soil, and write the name of your unit within the newly created space. They help give you the support you need to grow.

Then, we will create a flower patch. Draw a flower for each member of your group. Write one positive word on the stem to describe the member.

Next, draw a tree with 5 branches. On each branch write the name of one of the regions of WAGGGS.

After that, draw the sun, and label it with “WAGGGS”. WAGGGS provides opportunities for all members to grow to their fullest potential.

Following that, draw a cloud, and write the name of your national Member Organization inside. Every garden needs a little rain to flourish, which is what the Member Organizations help individual units to achieve.

Lastly, draw yourself enjoying your beautiful garden.

As you can see, it takes many different elements to make a garden grow. Likewise, many different elements have helped you to reach where you are right now, and they will continue to support you in the rest of your Girl Guiding experience.

Girl Guides
Girl Guides
Click images to enlarge

The day was also marked with a bit of singing and dancing to the WAGGGS song ‘When We Shine’ to celebrate all the wonderful things we do at Guides. Check out our video below!

Western Alliance – Junior Secondary

Multischool Term 1

The much anticipated 1st Western Alliance Multischool event of the year has just been completed in Longreach. Secondary students were excited to be boarding the bus and heading to Longreach for a week of learning, fun and adventure and to meet their classmates and teachers (old and new!) face-to-face. It was fantastic to put many voices to new faces for the first time, and finally make the connection in person.

Students experienced what it is like to be in a High School setting, changing rooms and teachers for different subjects and catching up with classmates at break times. There were after school activities including Archery, Masquerade masks and a trip to the movies for an exclusive early screening of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Evening activities included a variety of team challenges across different nights, a Garbage Bag fashion prarade and the all-important disco!

This was the largest Western Alliance Multischool EVER! It was fantastic for so many new students attend, and a great turnout by our new Yr 7 students. We continue to grow every year. Thanks to all the parent and home tutor volunteers for your time during the week, staff and students who made the week one to remember!

Teaching and Learning Library

Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset – which do you have?

I would like to extend a very big congratulations and thanks to those parents and Home Tutors who attended not one but TWO sessions during Minischools this term. We focused on Active Learning and Growth Mindset. I’m quite confident that the highlight for me was having a dad present in the room! Oh and of course hearing that both sessions were incredibly worthwhile.

These times are a rare opportunity to do some face-to-face learning. However, if you weren’t able to make them, keep your eyes peeled on notices next term for when I cover these again during drop-in sessions. And if you’re still in doubt, see if you can find someone who attended and ask them how they found it.

Here’s a few of my favourite quotes form Carol Dweck’s book – “Mindset – The New Psychology of Success”.

Bruce, age five, went with his mother to his new kindergarten. When they arrived, Bruce looked up at the paintings on the wall and said, “Who made those ugly pictures?” His mother rushed to correct him: “It’s not nice to call pictures ugly when they are so pretty.” But his teacher knew exactly what he meant. “In here,” she said, “you don’t have to paint pretty pictures. You can paint mean pictures if you feel like it.” Bruce gave her a big smile. She had answered his real question: What happens to a boy who doesn’t paint well?

Next, Bruce spotted a broken fire engine. He picked it up and asked in a self-righteous tone, “Who broke this fire engine?” Again his mother rushed in: “What difference does it make to you who broke it? You don’t know anyone here.” But the teacher understood. “Toys are for playing,” she told him. “Sometimes they get broken. It happens.” Again, his question was answered: What happens to boys who break toys?

It is interesting to think how our most well-meaning of messages might and can be misinterpreted. Our children are not immune from this. So, what sorts of things can you say to promote a growth mindset and show children that learning is more important than innate talent?

  • What did you do today that made you think hard?
  • What mistake did you make that taught you something?
  • Mistakes are welcome here! Our brains grow if we learn from our mistakes.
  • Could you find another way to solve the problem? Solving problems in different ways helps us deepen our understanding and be able to apply it.
  • It is great that you have that down. Now we need to find something a bit more challenging so you can grow. That’s what we come to school to do.

Without a growth mindset, students are less likely to achieve to their ability and will show less resilience. Stay tuned in Term 2 for some more on Growth Mindset!


Zoe Farrer
Head of Department – Teaching and Learning


Congratulations Beau Campbell
An excellent effort, a true gentleman and great sportsman.
Queensland school swimming championships @ Chandler on the 26, 27 & 28th March.
Beau Campbell swam in 3 events including the 4x50m freestyle relay, 4x50m medley relay in the last freestyle leg and the 50m freestyle sprint.

2017 Halogen Leadership Conference

I attended the Leadership Conference with Beau Campbell and Ms Norquay recently in Brisbane. One of the speakers really grabbed my attention. He was a police officer. When he was young he joined the army as he was rejected by his family. The army did not suit him and when he returned home he started living on the streets. He explained how it was cold and a lot of drug use by other people but not himself. People used to help him by giving him goods sometimes but never shook his hand in return. He decided to try and join the police force to get himself off the street and give himself a job where he could help people. They rejected him at the start as he was too short. He persevered and one day he wore an extra pair of socks to try and make himself a little bit taller. This trick only just lifted him enough to pass the height test. Years after being in the police force he brought in changes to better the relationship between the homeless people and the police force. This police officer made me realise that if you want something bad enough in life or want to make a difference to someone else you must keep trying and don’t give up.

Bill Brand
Senior School Captain

When we went away for leadership camp in Brisbane earlier this term Bill and I experienced many exciting things. Apart from the conference, we were able to visit the science museum and ride on the wheel of Brisbane where we took in the sights of the city at night. We tested our tastebuds with Mexican and Greek food and caught our very first City Cat ride. Thank you very much to the school for giving us the opportunity to participate in this event. We certainly did come away bolder and braver!

Beau Campbell
Junior School Captain

Staff celebrating with creative Easter Bonnets and Purple for Epilepsy fundraising morning tea