Open High School Student Guide
Welcome to Open High School. We are pleased that you have chosen to learn a language through distance education with us and we hope that you will enjoy your studies.
Although you are possibly the only student from your school doing this course, there are other students in your class. They come from all over the state and even overseas. We currently have about 1800 students studying 13 languages in over 70 courses, and about 85 teachers.
Contact your teacher if you have questions about your studies at Open High School, which are not covered in this Student Guide. We are always happy to help you and it's best to contact your teacher immediately, rather than let a small problem develop into a big one.
Advise your supervisor and/or phone your Open High School teacher immediately if any problem arises. This includes difficulties playing CDs, accessing and using our E-learning site (Moodle), missing course materials or a change in personal details.
Check our school website regularly. It contains a lot of information and news, such as an interactive location map, information about the language you are studying, an online version of this Student Guide, and some very useful downloads, including assessment notices, school forms and policy documents.
When your enrolment has been approved contact your teacher. Your teacher will also send you an email. If you are concerned that you have not yet received the email, please contact the relevant language Head Teacher (see section 5.3). It is important to have contact with your teacher as you can develop a relationship and talk about expectations for the course. You will also need to schedule a regular time for phone lessons with your teacher, and you may even want to talk about your particular learning style or ask your teacher to help you develop a timetable for completing your work.
How you begin work depends on what course you are studying. In some courses you may receive a package of work via your Supervisor which may contain instructions, course materials, CDs or information relating to our E-learning site. In other courses, you may receive your instructions via email, and you may be instructed to download and print your materials via our E-learning site. Either way, you’ll need to carefully follow the supplied instructions in order to understand the requirements of your specific language course.
Complete and submit your work to your teacher according to the supplied instructions. If you are sending your work to your teacher on paper via your Supervisor, it must be attached to the special cover sheet supplied by your teacher. At Open High School we call this sheet a Cover Page. It is a very important sheet as it helps the mail room direct your work to the correct teacher once it arrives at Open High School. The instructions you receive from your teacher will tell you whether or not to post or email your work to your Open High School teacher.
If the course you are studying requires you to access Open High School's E-learning site, your teacher will email you your login details to the email address specified in your enrolment application, so check that email account regularly. If you need to change the email address that you provided with your enrolment application, please contact your teacher as soon as possible.
Use the timetabled periods at your school to complete your Open High School course work. Work not completed during this time must be completed as homework. When your teacher returns your corrected work, note carefully his/her messages and comments. If you are asked a question, answer it. Attend to any corrections required. Label these clearly and return them to your teacher as soon as possible.
Check that you have not overlooked any part of your supplied instructions when submitting your work to your teacher. Organise your course work and your corrected work in special folders to make revision and exam preparation easier.
Your home school has agreed to provide the textbooks and equipment necessary for the course. Discuss this matter with your supervisor.
A bilingual dictionary can be useful. Your teacher will be able to recommend one that is appropriate. Students in the senior years studying Beginners, Continuers, Extension and Background Speakers courses are permitted by the Board of Studies to use a paper dictionary during the HSC written examinations.
To be eligible for the award of the Higher School Certificate you must satisfy Board of Studies requirements for satisfactory course completion.
1.5.1 Satisfactory course progress
Satisfactory course progress is determined by the following:
- Quality of work returned
- Course coverage/how much work you have completed
Each course is divided into a certain number of units of work. These units are sent to you as work packages. Examinations, assessment tasks, special projects, lesson days and phone lessons are included in the total number of units. Regular and frequent return of your work, and participating in regular phone lessons is mandatory.
1.5.2 Unsatisfactory course progress
If your course progress is not satisfactory, your teacher may phone your supervisor and/or contact your Principal and parents or caregiver in writing.
At all times your teacher will monitor your course progress and be available for help should you need it. Phone your teacher as soon as you feel you need extra help. If necessary, a Recovery Program will be devised to help you catch up.
Open High School promotes cybersafety. Cybersafety is about understanding how to stay safe and protected when using the internet and digital technologies. See the Cybersafety section of this website for further information and links.
Open High School promotes digital citizenship. Digital citizenship is about understanding how to use digital technologies responsibly, critically and pro-actively to contribute to our digital society in a positive way. See the Digital Citizenship section of this website for further information and links.
Open High School rejects bullying, including cyberbullying, in all its forms. All incidents of bullying involving Open High School students will be taken seriously and will be dealt with according to the disciplinary procedures set out in Open High School’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
Objectives and goals
What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the course? What will you use your language skills for in the future? Once you define your goals and objectives, you will be better able to stay on track.
Find your most effective motivations
You need to be a successful self-motivated, self-directed learner in order to succeed in a distance education course. What makes you keep working at any task? Do you get excited when you master a skill? Do you need a reward? Whatever works, use it!
Get help from classmates and teachers
You can contact other people in your class via Moodle messaging. As a distance education student at Open High School, it is important that you keep in regular contact with other students in your class. Studying with others increases learning, even through email or messaging. Regular contact with your teacher is also important. Teachers are your partners in learning; let them help!
Understand the assessment process
Make sure you understand the assessment process and how your performance in the course will be evaluated. You will be able to better understand what is expected of you. If the information is not provided in the course, do not hesitate to ask the teacher.
Read the course timelines and overviews and make sure you understand what is required and when assignments are due. Add things to your calendar in Moodle so you can easily recall important dates, times, locations, and tasks.
Check email regularly
Make sure your teacher has an email address that you check regularly so that he or she is able to contact you at the start of the course and throughout the year. Get in the habit of checking your email at least daily, if not more frequently.
Like your other school subjects, you need to participate in class activities and discussions in your e-learning course as well. Communication with your teacher and fellow students can provide great insight into the subject you are studying. You learn by communicating, reading, and applying the content.
Create some personal space
Find a quiet place at school where you can go to study. When you are a student in an e-learning course, your desk serves as the classroom. A private, personal space gives you a place where you can shut the door, study, and work in a peaceful, focused manner. A room in your school library is perfect for this if available. Speak to your supervisor at your home school about finding a quiet private place for your Open High School studies.
Login to your Moodle course regularly. It is often the only way to find out what’s happening in the course and to stay informed of any last-minute changes. If you ignore this step to success, you may fall behind.
Use correct netiquette
Netiquette is a combination of Internet and etiquette. Basically, it describes things you should and shouldn't do while communicating online. Here are some examples:
- Don't capitalise all letters while posting a thought or emailing someone. THIS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING, AND IT IMPLIES THAT YOU ARE ANGRY. Capitalise words only to highlight an important point or to distinguish a title or heading.
- Never use profanity or make hurtful comments toward someone or when referring to someone's work. This is considered flaming.
- Be careful when using humour or sarcasm; you never know how someone else will interpret it.
- Be respectful of diverse opinions.
- Don't post inappropriate pictures, links or comments. Use your good judgment.
Abide by the golden rule and treat others how you would want to be treated. Just because you are shielded by a computer doesn’t give you a licence to be rude and disrespectful.
If you are having difficulties in the course, speak up. The teacher is not able to see your hand raised or the blank expression on your face. The only way he/she will know that you are having problems is if you discuss those problems with him/her. Besides, you never know if other students are also having the same difficulties; speaking up will enable your teacher to clarify the problems not only for you, but for the other students as well.
Be on time
Complete all assigned activities, and hand in all projects and assignments on time. Your teacher cannot evaluate your progress in the course if he/she does not have anything to base that evaluation on.
Place yourself on a study schedule and stick to it. Doing so will help you stay organised and help to ensure that you have read the material and completed the assigned activities and assignments.
Put in the time
Plan on spending around 3 - 7 hours a week working in your Open High School course. In junior courses, you should spend 2 hours working through your course, plus an extra ½ - 1 hour on your homework. In senior courses, you should spend 4 hours working through your course, plus an extra 2 – 3 hours on your homework.
Your teacher will be pleased to see you any time you have your Principal's permission to visit Open High School. An appointment must be made in advance by phoning or emailing your teacher.
During the year your teacher may arrange to visit your home school or a central location near your home school. You will be notified well in advance if this is the case.
Lessons at Open High School provide an opportunity for teachers and students to meet and work together. In some subjects, several lesson days are organised during the year.
Your Open High School teacher may make arrangements for you to attend such a lesson day, usually held between 9.30am and 2.30pm, with further opportunity to consult with individual teachers until 3.30pm.
In such cases, you will be notified of all details by your Open High School teacher and arrangements will also be made with your home school to release you for the time required.
3.3.1 Permission to attend lessons
Permission from your home school Principal and from your parent or caregiver is required prior to attendance at the lesson days. The lesson day permission note will either be sent to you by your teacher or will be available for downloading from your course’s Moodle site. Please ensure this note has been signed by your Principal and parent or caregiver and has been faxed back to Open High School prior to the lesson day.
You need to wear your normal school uniform, unless instructed otherwise by your teacher.
3.3.3 Car parking
You or your parents cannot park in the school car park. This car park is for staff use only. Limited parking is available in surrounding streets on the northern side, in and around Cowper Street and on the southern side, in Frances St, though it is mostly restricted.
You must always behave in a safe and considerate manner.
A recess of 15 minutes is usually taken sometime between 10.30 am and 11.00 am.
Lunch usually begins at 12.30 pm and concludes at 1.00 pm.
You are not permitted to leave the school grounds at lunchtime or recess and should therefore bring your own lunch. In some courses, you may walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch, though this is arranged in advance.
3.3.7 Smoking, drugs and alcohol
Open High School campus is an alcohol-free, drug-free and smoke-free zone. It is of course permissible for you to have in your possession any drugs that are medically prescribed for you.
3.3.8 Dangerous weapons
Open High School is a safe environment. It is unlawful for you to bring to school a weapon of any kind.
Visit this page of our website Information --> Location Info to read about our location and to view an interactive map or download an electronic map.
Please note the following general information and requirements:
Examinations are compulsory if you have been enrolled in your course for a sufficient length of time. Your results will form part of your reported achievement in that course.
Failure to attempt set examinations could adversely affect your reported overall achievement in the course.
Examination(s) are scheduled at specific times during the year.
Some of the examinations may be conducted at Open High School; others will take place at your home school.
You will be advised of the scope and format of, and necessary equipment for, your examinations well before the examination dates, in the form of assessment notices which must be downloaded from Open High School’s website.
You are not usually required to complete any course work, other than the examination, in the week of the examination.
4.1.1 For examinations conducted at Open High School
Arrive approximately 15 to 20 minutes before the exam is scheduled to commence.
Phone your teacher as soon as possible if you know you will be arriving late (due to missed connections, traffic problems).
You will need to park on the street if you plan to drive to Open High School for your examination as there are no guest/student parking spaces on site.
Attend to your personal needs before commencing the examination.
Make sure you do not leave valuables unattended in your bag.
Come prepared with pens, paper and dictionaries (if applicable).
Bring some food and drink.
184.108.40.206 What to do in the examination room before the start of the examination
Switch off your mobile phone: do not leave it in on silent.
Place your bag at the front of the room, after taking out your writing materials.
Listen carefully to all instructions and directions.
Do not place any materials on or near your desk which may compromise you.
Request that you sit at the front of the room, close to the CD player, if you have a hearing problem.
No electronic dictionaries are allowed in the examination room.
220.127.116.11 What to do during the examination period
Start and finish times will be written up on the whiteboard in the examination room.
You are not allowed to make or receive phone calls during the examination.
You will not be allowed to leave the examination room until the examination is finished or unless specifically instructed by the supervising teacher.
Follow the written and oral instructions given to you by the supervising teacher.
If you have a question during the examination, put your hand up and wait for the supervising teacher to attend to you.
Do not ask to borrow equipment from another student. Request help from the supervising teacher.
During oral examinations, you should not have any contact with the person who has completed the examination before you.
18.104.22.168 What to do after the examination has finished
Make sure your name is on every sheet of paper you hand in for marking.
Pick up all your used paper and rubbish and place it in the bin provided.
If requested, see your teacher to pick up extra material and/or work packages.
If you had arrived with a work package for marking, give it to your teacher before leaving.
For security reasons, if you have no further business at Open High School leave the premises as soon as possible.
Do not cross the quadrangle when other students are present. Follow the perimeter when going to or from the toilet.
4.1.2 For examinations conducted at the home school
The examination papers will be dispatched several weeks before the date of the examination.
Supervisors are asked to contact the relevant Open High School Head Teacher if expected papers have not arrived by two school weeks prior to the examination date. (Sometimes there are problems with the postal service and if we know in time we can remedy the situation.)
The examination papers will be sent in a special examination jiffy bag. On receipt of this examination package, Supervisors are asked to check the contents and report any irregularity immediately to the relevant Open High School teacher.
The same jiffy bag is to be used for the return of the examination papers. An adhesive return-address label will be included for this purpose.
For security reasons, examinations should be held on the scheduled dates. This is particularly important for HSC courses. Supervisors are asked to liaise with the Open High School teacher if this presents difficulties.
It is expected that the usual examination supervision will be provided.
The Supervisor's Certificate must be signed on every completed examination paper.
Completed examination papers are due back at Open High School no later than one week after the examination date. This due date is shown on both the examination cover page label and on the reverse of the jiffy bag.
The 2012 Assessment Schedule can be found below. You can download this schedule and others from the Downloads section of this website.
Assessment Session 1
An examination for each course will be held in the period:
18 Mar 2012 to 27 Mar 2013
Assessment Session 2
An examination for each course will be held in the period:
13 May 2012 to 23 May 2013
Assessment Session 3
A Trial HSC examination for each course will be held in the period:
16 Jul 2012 to 31 Jul 2013
|Tasks to be completed by end of Week 4 Term 3*
End of Preliminary Examination
An examination for each course will be held in the period:
26 Aug 2013 to 6 Sep 2013
Continuous Assessment during Terms 1-3
Research Project(s) due end of Term 2 or 3*
23 Oct 2013
Research Project(s) due end of Term 2 or 3*
Continuous Assessment during Terms 1-3
6 Nov 2013
* Dates to be advised by individual faculties
Two progress reports per year will be provided if you have been enrolled in your course for a sufficient length of time (not necessarily the whole of the reporting period) or if you have completed a sufficient amount of work in that course.
Each report will provide information on any examination or assessment task sat in that semester together with course progress for that semester. The report will be issued as soon as practicable after the end of the reporting period. The reporting periods are available below:
|Reporting Period 1||Reporting Period 2|
|HSC Course||9 Oct 12 to 28 May 13||29 May 13 to 17 Aug 13|
|Preliminary Course||28 Jan 13 to 3 May 13||6 May 13 to 20 Sept 13|
|Year 10||28 Jan 13 to 1 Jun 13||3 Jun 13 to 7 Nov 13|
|Year 9||28 Jan 13 to 15 Jun 13||18 Jun 13 to 22 Nov 13|
|Main switch:||(02) 9381 4800|
|Main fax:||(02) 9381 4950|
|Physical address:||78 Avoca St, Randwick, NSW, 2031|
|Postal address:||Locked Bag 88, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012|
|Principal:||Ms Suzan Dickson||(02) 9381 4800|
|Deputy Principal:||Ms Catherine Whitty||(02) 9381 4800|
|Head Teacher Italian:||Ms Gianna Pagni||(02) 9381 4810|
|Head Teacher Arabic, French & Latin:||Ms Maria Lomis||(02) 9381 4843|
|Head Teacher German & Russian:||Ms Christa Ernst-Wilson||(02) 9381 4870|
|Head Teacher Indonesian, Korean & Modern Greek:||Ms Dianne Shoebridge||(02) 9381 4910|
|Head Teacher Chinese & Japanese:||Ms Alison Cave||(02) 9381 4970|
|Head Teacher Portuguese & Spanish:||Ms Carmen Esmarian||(02) 9381 4824|
|Head Teacher Enrolment:||Ms Frances Selby||(02) 9381 4807|
|Head Teacher Curriculum:||Ms Ilian Yang||(02) 9381 4902|
|Head Teacher E-learning & Technology:||Ms Jacqui Baer||(02) 9381 4997|
|Head Teacher Secondary Studies:||Ms Kathy Kerestes||(02) 9381 4842|
|Head Teacher Administration:||Ms Astra Vilkins||(02) 9381 4974|