FAQs

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  1. How large is the School of the Air’s broadcast area?
  2. How far away is the furthest student?
  3. How many students does Alice Springs School of the Air have?
  4. How many Indigenous students are at the School?
  5. How many staff does Alice Springs School of the Air have?
  6. Who pays for School of the Air?
  7. Who supplies the necessary equipment?
  8. What age are the students?
  9. How many grades are taught?
  10. How big are the classes?
  11. How much Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) time do students have?
  12. How much time do students spend on computers?
  13. How much school work is there?
  14. Who supervises the lessons?
  15. Who prepares and teaches the lessons?
  16. How often do teachers visit students at home?
  17. What technology is now used?
  • How large is the School of the Air’s broadcast area?

    Our broadcast area is more than 1.3 million square kilometres, overlapping the borders of Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. We also have the capacity to broadcast overseas through to China and have conducted conferences with students in Sweden and the USA as part of our learning programs.

  • How far away is the furthest student?

    The most distant students are over 1000 kilometres from Alice Springs. The school also occasionally has students enrolled from overseas.

  • How many students does Alice Springs School of the Air have?

    There are currently 119 students enrolled at the School.

  • How many Indigenous students are at the School?

    This varies from year to year just as our enrollment numbers fluctuate. The past years have seen our Indigenous enrollment average between 25% and 30%.

  • How many staff does Alice Springs School of the Air have?

    We currently employ 12 teachers and 10 support / admin staff, 2 of whom are Indigenous.

  • Who pays for School of the Air?

    The school is funded by the Northern Territory Department of Education. Parents may also make a voluntary contribution per child each year for IT Resources and a minimal resource fee per family on enrolment.

  • Who supplies the necessary equipment?

    The Northern Territory Department of Education supplies funding for all learning materials and IDL equipment. In the past this has included transceivers (two way radios), a TV set, video recorder, cassette recorder and computers for students. At present it includes the satellite dish and all IT resources necessary for the online learning program. Postage is also the responsibility of the school.

  • What age are the students?

    Students are aged from three and a half (pre-school) up to 17 years (Year 9).

  • How many grades are taught?

    There are eleven grades from pre-school to Year 9. After students have completed Year 9 parents must decide whether their children will continue with secondary education through the NTSDE in Darwin, or send their children to boarding school in Alice Springs or interstate.

  • How big are the classes?

    Classes tend to be small. They range from 8 to 15 students per class. The school is staffed with a teacher/student ratio of 1:13.

  • How much Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) time do students have?

    The number and length of lessons depends on the year level. Younger students generally have 30-minute lessons while the older students have up to an hour. The minimum number of lessons per week is nine in the primary school but some students can have as many as fifteen lessons per week including music, languages art and PE.

  • How much time do students spend on computers?

    This also varies depending on the age of the student. At the higher year levels teachers are very careful not to have students doing work that requires more than 50% of their day on computers.

  • How much school work is there?

    Students spend five to six hours a day, five days a week, working on their lessons at home. The lessons are prepared by teachers at the school and supervised by an adult in the child's home.

  • Who supervises the lessons?

    Most often the child's parents, usually their mother. Only 20% of families currently employ a home tutor.

  • Who prepares and teaches the lessons?

    Students learn through a variety of mediums, and they are all prepared by teachers at ASSOA in line with the Australian Curriculum. Learning happens in daily Interactive Distance Learning (IDLs) lessons, through Distance Education Units of Learning mailed out to students, through resources on each class website, and through one-to-one or small group Private Lesson Times (PLTs) via REACT. There is a teacher assigned to each year level and the same teacher prepares and assesses the student work, conducts the IDL lessons and communicates when necessary by phone, email, or online communication. We upload recorded lessons and support materials including tutorials for home tutors to provide support for the students and home tutor.

  • How often do teachers visit students at home?

    Teachers go out to visit each student in their home at least once a year.

  • What technology is now used?

    The Alice Springs School of the Air relies heavily on using satellite technology to conduct classes, and has since 2006. REACT (Remote Education and Conferencing Tool) is a powerful learning platform designed specifically for satellite and provides the video-conferencing interface for all students. Email is also a significant tool for distributing and receiving course work and the use of web tools such as Google Sites, Google Apps for Education, Edmodo and Dropbox is allowing innovation in teaching and learning to take place.