Schools of Isolated and Distance Education
The Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) is the state's centre for K-12 distance learning in Western Australia, Australia.
It is the largest provider of distance education and the schools are located on six campuses. Students are home or school based, and in some cases can be adults.
SIDE teachers use Moodle, where each class has its own area where students can engage in forums, chat rooms, learning activities and assessments. In many cases texts are electronic, and accessible through the Moodle classroom.
Its website is http://www.side.wa.edu.au/index.php
SIDE was initially established in 1918 as the Western Australia Correspondence School. Today SIDE is a fully online school deploying 'cutting-edge' technologies and pedagogies including the web-conferencing platform Centra and Moodle learning environment. SIDE has a physical school-site with classrooms and a residential facility.
In addition to the Primary (Kindergarten - Year 7), Middle (Years 8-10) and Post Compulsory (Years 11-12) Schools on the Leederville site, there are five Schools of the Air located at Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland, Meekatharra, Carnarvon and Derby (Kimberley). SIDE is led by the Director of Isolated and Distance Education who manages the six campuses, including the Indian Ocean Territory schools, with a team of principals and managers. The Schools have a large and diverse student population.
With regard to the SIDE Primary School (Kindergarten - Year 7) Leederville, the distinctive feature of primary education in the distance mode is the involvement of the students' parents in the daily learning program and the close relationship with the SIDE teacher. Each child's learning program is tailored to meet individual needs. Students in the Primary School work across the eight Learning Areas as described in the Curriculum Framework. Languages other than English (LOTE) are offered from Year Three onwards.
SIDE has a focus on languages - the SIDE website says:
- SIDE Secondary School offers a specialist program in Languages. This program includes the selection of four languages: French, Indonesian, Italian and Japanese. The quality of these programs has been enhanced by our Service Level Agreement with both Primary and Secondary Public Schools throughout Western Australia.
- SIDE website, http://www.side.wa.edu.au/index.php
- SIDE web page on eligibility, http://www.side.wa.edu.au/admissions/eligibility.html
- Department of Education web page about SIDE, http://www.det.wa.edu.au/schoolsonline/main_page.do