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Cairns School of Distance Education > Calendar and news > Principal's blog
October 25
Home Tutor - professional courses

Greetings all
As a follow up to previous P&C meetings here are some resources for you to peruse if you are interested in updating your qualifications.
Below is a link that relates to Certificate and Diploma levels of study for Education Support Staff. Click here for link.
The cost is $25.00.
The course that was referred to in previous minutes is run by Training and Education Institute – Australia (TEIA).
They run a course – Certificate III in Education Support.
Or you can click here for further links.
August 29
Would you like an IPad or Android Device? Our new school motto!

​Greetings all

Would you like to win an IPad or equivalent Android device? Our school motto needs to be updated and we would like your help to create a new one.

A school motto is used to express how we feel about our school or is a moral guide to what we want to be.

Our current school motto is Embracing the future through innovative education. Previous to this we had Cooperation.

We need your help to update our motto for 2017. You can do this by thinking about how we can describe our school and what our school should believe in.

You have six words or less to do this in. The person who is judged to have written the best motto will receive and IPad or equivalent Android device.

Entries close on Tuesday 18 October. You can lodge your entry by emailing me on

Kind regards

Andrew Oliver

May 31
Week 7's Blog

Wow! What an exciting week at Cairns SDE.  We’ve had boating, high ropes, Aikido, Chinese Dancers, pizza, canoeing, boomerang throwing, Indonesian food, German sausages, relays and jumping (long and high) among many other exciting events and activities. It was our annual camp week and what a week people had.  A special thanks to Mr Zhang for organising the Culture and Well Being Day and Ms Sach for leading the Sports Day. Congratulations must go to Super Gilbert for winning the sports day for the very first time. They breed them tough in savannah country.
Of course there was one major disappointment.  The Cairns SDE staff lost the tug-of-war competition against the parents.  We will have to train harder next year.  The staff may have to be given extra homework before next year’s rematch.
One of the great aspects of camp week is seeing and feeling the good will everyone at our school shows towards each other.  This is seen from our e-kindy students all the way through to the Year 12 students.  You all treat each other with respect and dignity.
Our goodwill, commitment, energy and generosity has been called upon by Queensland Government in recent days to help out fellow students in Aurukun.  A dedicated team has been working hard to get materials to Aurukun to help the children with their schooling.
Finally Ms Brook read the last blog.  She is ‘fuming’ over the petrol bowser incident.  I thought she should just go with the ‘flow’ and not get ‘hung up’ on it.  Apparently not.  She has mentioned terms such as revenge, you’ll keep and when you least expect it.  Now I am nervous.
Enjoy your week year four and five.
May 13
Week 5

Dear Year 4/5

My sincere apologies for not posting last week.
Previously I said that I would report back to you about our visit to Brisneyland.  Ms Brook, Ms Johnstone, Mrs Mead and I met with teachers from other QLD schools of Distance Education.  Mrs Wynberg was also in Brisvegas representing our P&C with the Schools of Distance Education Alliance (SODEA) to advocate for you. 
Terrific discussions were held with people in change of ICT and the new senior schooling curriculum.  All of us gained an insight into the new process for senior secondary education.  We also put forward some key points regarding access to our ICT systems.  Clarification has also been sought for the Skymaster satellite broadband program and the services it may offer you.
The only unfortunate event involved one of our Heads of Department getting hung up at the petrol bowser.  I would like to hose down speculation by saying that these new fan-dangled contraptions are something that Ms Brook needs to get a handle on!
On the weekend just passed I back was back in Bristopia for the Global school Conference.  More on that next week.
I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it to our Annual Camp week.
My best regards are extended to Year 3, 5 and year 7, 9 students completing NAPLAN .
April 27

​Last Friday, our new teachers were given Professional Development on using Blackbourd Collaborate by our eLean mentor, Leigh Howser. Teachers were introduced to the online induction course and guided through how to set up new classes and recording of lessons.DSCF5650 (2).jpg

April 26

​This week we have been busier than a meat ant at a BBQ.  Our teachers and teacher aides have gone back to class to investigate more ways to teach reading and writing.  The teacher of the 'class' was Dr Alison Davis.  I was banished to the back of the room, a place that I was all to familiar with during my education.  It is where I spent most of my junior secondary and university education.  Dr Davis lives in Auckland, New Zealand and is currently working with a number of schoools throughout Far North Queensland.  We will continue working with Dr Davis to extend our knowledge of what works best for teaching our students.

On Friday our school had our on-line Anzac Day Ceremony.  Our special guest was Mr Alistair Clarke who was a former British Commando with the Royal Marines.  He gave a personal and moving account of war.  Thanks to Ms Maree Collins for organising this event.

On Monday, I was knocked out of this world when I saw Ms Hopkirk.  She had a 'moonboot' on to help her heal an injured 'pinky'.  Call the Police, I thought to myself, because at least they know what it's like Walking on the Moon.  But they sent me back a Message in a Bottle saying that they would'nt need to help Ms H as Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.  Year 4/5, you may need to ask your parents about the references in italics or you can click here to find out more.)  I hope Ms H has a speedy recovery and that she's able to dance by annual camp week.  Hopefully the dance she does is a salsa and is not break-dancing:) 

Aye Karumba!  At the end of term we have our annual bike ride to Karumba.  It covers 780klm in 7 days and raises funds to support your education.  Young Archie has been busy fundraising and has already raised over $1000.00.  You can support Archie by clicking on this link and donating or by sharing the link with other people in the community.  Click here to support Archie! 

Several staff, our P & C President and I are off to Brisbane this week for a meeting with the other six schools of distance education.  I will let you know what we discuss and decide in next week's blog.  Have a productive and enjoyable week.

April 14
Writing Project Term 2 2016

Welcome to the first of what I hope to be an entertaining and informative stream of blogs for term 2, 2016. This term sees the commencement of an exciting writing project with the year 4/5 classes, Ms Hopkirk, Mrs Brouwer and Ms Hamilton. I will be writing my blogs on a weekly basis and the year 4/5 class will provide me with feedback on how I can become a better writer and blogger. At the end of the term they will give me a rating from A-E based on a criteria sheet that they will write for me. I look forward to their feedback and help to make me a better writer. I hope I can get a “B” or better.
So here goes year 4/5…
This week has seen me bedridden after an operation to repair a hernia (think of flattened toad, guts oozing out and you trying to poke the guts back in with a stick). My adventures in hospital were like dad jokes, irritatingly painful and at the same time re-assuring and comforting. The nurses and surgeon looked after me so well and the anaesthetist Dr Em was fantastic. He said that he knew some of our students from life-saving.
Before my surgery last week, Helen (my wife), Mungo (our border collie) and I went to Chillagoe and camped for three days. It was absolutely ‘marbleous’ there. This was my third visit to Chillagoe (the first being in 1981). That was long enough ago that a sandwich I left behind had fossilised. We visited a number of marvellous sites and enjoyed swimming in Chillagoe Creek.
This week we said goodbye to Mrs Potter who is taking long-service leave before retiring. She is a wonderful teacher who will be dearly missed by all of us at Cairns SDE. If you want to leave a kind message for her please do so by emailing me directly or leaving a comment on this blog. I will ensure that these get passed on to her. We wish Mrs Potter all the very best for the future. Thank you Mrs Potter.
Have a great weekend.
Mr Oliver.
March 16
Cairns SDE wins Sumo Robotics Cup!

​Congratulations to all of our robotics' students who competed in  the recent QSITE Sumo Robotics Cup at St Mary's. We won the primary school section with Louie Morandin as a our representative.

A special thank you to Leigh Howser, Bruce Cordiner, Mark Holland, Jim Buzacott, Dee Firmstone, Andrea Pumpa and Kim Coleman for working so hard with our students over the course of the workshops. Their coaching enabled students to design, engineer, calculate and construct robots in a collaborative and challenging environment.

A very honourable mention goes to Miki Sensei and Graeme Sensei for giving all participating students an insight into Japanese culture and in particular sumo-wrestling. The bandanas that were created were a standout feature.



March 10
Sumo Robotics - our students are full-STEAM ahead!

​The sumo wrestling robotics workshops are currently underway. Our students, in combination with Cairns West SS, Atherton SS and Babina P-10 are currently sharpening their Science, Technology Engineering, Artistic and Mathematical (STEAM) skills in developing programs for the upcoming QSITE Sumo-Wrestling competition. This is being held at St Mary's School Worre on Saturday 12 March.

Check out our Facebook page to see all the action.

March 10
Art Camp is happening!

​The senior secondary students are currently doing workshops in oil painintg and wearable arts. Check out the photos on our Facebook page.


 About this blog

Andrew Oliver

The purpose of this blog is to Inform, Update and Celebrate!