Seek the Best, Kalgoorlie School of the Air

Frequently Asked Questions

How far away is the furthest student?

The most distant student is currently over 1200 km from Kalgoorlie.

Who pays for education at Kalgoorlie School of the Air?

The school is funded by the West Australian Department of Education. Parents pay a voluntary contribution of $60 per year and the P&C contribute annually for the purchase of various resources needed by the school.

What age are the students and how many grades are taught at the school?

There are eight grades from Kindergarten to Year 6. Students are aged from three and a half (Kindergarten) up to 11 years of age (Year 6). We also provide play school for three year olds. After students have completed Year 6, parents have the option to enrol them with SIDE in Perth for distance education, or to send them to boarding school.

How long is a school day?

A school day usually starts at 8am and finishes at 3pm, which includes morning tea and lunch.

Who prepares and teaches the school work?

A teacher is assigned to each grade and the same teacher prepares, assesses and reports on all the student work, conducts the online lessons and communicates regularly by phone, fax and electronic mail with the parent or the home tutor. The written work component is implemented and supervised by an adult in the child’s home, supported by the teacher. Parents, (usually the mother) tend to be the home tutors, although some families employ governesses.

How big are the classes?

Classes tend to be small. They range from 2 to 15 students per class, depending on the enrolments for the current year.

What technology and equipment is required?

Kalgoorlie School of the Air started using satellite technology to conduct online classes in 2004.The online lesson platform, Saba Centra, is used by West Australian Department of Education and provides a webcam facility. At present the Department of Education supplies the satellite dish, NBN connection and a given amount of data necessary for the online learning and other programmes. Email is also a significant tool for distributing and receiving course work and the use of web tools such as Google, YouTube, Connect and Dropbox is also allowing innovation in teaching and learning to take place.

The school provides learning materials and equipment which includes: student laptops, iPads, cameras, equipment needed for STEM, music kits, maths kits, sport kits, text books, reading books and support materials as needed. 

How often do teachers visit students at home?

Teachers go out to visit each student in their home at least twice a year for up to a week.

How many camps and tours are there in a year?

We have four annual camps for students and one Home Tutor Seminar for parents and home tutors (which runs concurrently with a camp for the students). Camps are an important component of the school year where students receive face to face instruction by their teachers, form bonds with their peers and go on educational excursions. Every third year, the Year 4 to Year 6 students go on a tour of Canberra for a week.

How much time do students spend on air lessons per day?

The number and length of lessons depends on the year level and Individual Education Programs of students. Younger students generally have 30-minute lessons once a day while the older students could have lessons up to forty-five minutes. The minimum number of lessons per week is five, but some students can have as many as nine lessons per week including Languages, individual lessons, group reading lessons and the daily Morning Muster with the Principal.

Does the school have a school uniform?

Yes, the students wear a school shirt with jeans or shorts. They also have a school jacket for colder days. All students are expected to wear their uniform at assemblies when on camp and when they are out in public on excursions. Many families tend to have their children wear the school uniform during the school day at home as well.

How does the School Council work at the school?

The School Council is the parent decision making group who look at school priorities, ratify the school plan and provide input in school issues. Members represent the staff and parents. The group meets face to face twice each year and also have two meetings via satellite.

Does the school have a Parents & Citizens Association?

The school has an active and supportive Parents & Citizens Association who meet face to face at least once a year and further meet via satellite. They play an active part in school matters, fund raising and provide a sounding board for ideas.

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