Distance Learning

What is Distance Learning?

Distance learning provides an avenue for parents and students who want a home-based education that is lead and managed by the school.

Unlike home-schooling, the teaching responsibilities sit with the school’s distance learning teachers and support staff. Parental involvement is still an essential aspect; however, the day-to-day monitoring, management and teaching is carried out by the school, just as it would if you sent your children to a regular class.

Just as in regular school, students are in a class, have a teacher and classmates. Local/regional hubs and activities are encouraged and incorporated into school life as are the enriched educational activities such as music, sport, art, etc.

Amana’s approach to Distance Learning provides a structured school day, week, and term in which the student, teacher and support staff work through the curriculum. Work is carried out using workbooks and online using one-on-one, small groups and whole of class meetings and activities.

Having a dedicated teacher and support staff means your child gets direct individualised and objective feedback. Amana’s Distance Learning model supports parents who wish to or need to educate in the home.

Advantages of Amana’s Distance Learning

Amana’s distance learning is unique and advantageous in several ways:

  • Classrooms, Teachers and support staff
    • Some Distance Learning and home-schooling options do not have a dedicated teacher, meaning parents must carry the full load of educating their child. The Amana Distance Learning approach is similar to a regular class. The teacher is responsible for the class and the education, support staff assist with marking and the enrichment aspects of the distance learning (parents will still need to ensure appropriate supervision is available).
  • It is structured. This means:
    • Students and parents can rely on the daily schedule. The school day will be the same in lockdown or under open conditions. A dependable and consistent schedule is an important aspect of children’s feeling of security and safety.
    • Parents can make plans around their own unique work situation. Your child can attend class while in the care of a grandparent or guardian. In some cases the local Hub families may share the responsibility of supervision from day to day allowing parents to work, or fufil other family requirements.
  • It is not all online all of the time
    • This is an important aspect of the Amana Distance Learning approach. Online and screen time is kept in the context of the overall education.
    • A large portion of the curriculum is workbook, paper and activity based. Additional outdoor and other learning opportunities are provided and encouraged.
    • A dedicated work area is important, again to support routine and consistency.
  • It considers and works with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health boundaries relating to education and provides parents and teachers with a choice in respect to their personal medical decisions.

This means:

  • Education is in the home and therefore no registers are kept of distance learning student’s or teacher’s medical status.
    • Teacher / student contact is online and therefore qualified teachers have the opportunity to continue to do what they are trained for and love doing which is teaching children.
    • The local community hubs are led by the local parents and not part of school management. These are voluntary, typically small, and therefore usually comply with health directives in respect to numbers and contact.
  • It uses an Enriched ACE Curriculum
    • Just as a regular school includes art, music and other activities, Amana enriches the ACE curriculum with these essential elements of your child’s education.
  • Community
    • You are not alone!
    • Amana’s Distance Learning model has been developed as a direct response to requests from parents who want to be more involved in the direction of their child’s education.
    • The development of family led local community HUBs is encouraged and supported.
    • Parents choosing Distance Learning generally share similar concerns:
      • Seeking an education which offers traditional Judeo-Christian values and an unashamed Biblical world view,
      • Seeking an education which allows parents to emphasis their own views regarding social and political ideologies,
      • Respects the rights and responsibility of parents to educate their children regarding sexuality, sexual health and other personal and religious matters,
      • Respects and defends an individual’s right to choose!
      • Respects a parent’s right to be informed.

How Does it Work?

It works a lot like a regular school and classroom:

The classroom:

  • The teacher is responsible for the students and the class,
  • The class is not a room or a virtual room, it is the teacher and the students,
  • Assigned work is either completed individually or with classmates,
  • Students are encouraged to participate and support each other just as in a regular class.

School Work

  • Students have a daily plan and work at their own pace through the assigned work,
  • Work is primarily carried out using workbooks,
  • New works books are sent out at regular intervals, in time to coincide with completion of the current workbook.
  • Both the teacher and their support person review work and provide feedback to the student. This includes individual, small group and class.
  • The schoolwork covers a range of teaching methods, including; directed learning, lectures/presentations, self-managed learning, assignments, projects, activities.
  • The programme is structured around regular marking, follow-up teaching, revision and testing.
  • Increasingly Students take ownership of their own learning by setting daily, weekly and term and yearly goals.

School Life

  • Each day and week are structured. This typically means:
    • Morning get together – devotion, prayer, activities for the day
    • Work time
    • Recess, Lunch, morning tea, etc
    • Fun time
    • Enrichment activities: art, music, drama, etc
  • School year includes the same things regular school includes:
    • Prize givings, recognition, encouragement
    • Localised community events are encouraged
    • Loaclised participation in sport is encouraged
    • Seasonal themes and activities

Parental Involvement

  • Parental involvement is essential and includes:
    • Establishing a work area,
    • Age appropriate supervision – helping the child get set for the day, managing the work schedule, etc.
    • Supporting the teaching routine,
    • Providing feedback to the school and teachers,
    • Engaging with your local community is strongly encouraged,
  • Be a participant
    • Parents have skills; cooking, art, music, etc. Parental involvement is a great way to support the education of your own and other children.
    • Making a short ‘how to’ video or being willing to read a story, explain or support a child’s ‘show and tell’. Is a great way to be involved.
  • Support the Amana community
    • We are all part of the community and we all need help from time to time, particularly in these challenging times.
    • Feedback, encouragement and other forms of support are always welcome.
    • Being active in a local community hub or connecting with other parents is all encouraged.
    • Partner with, support the school or sponsor a teacher.
    • Support each other; encourage, pray, perhaps even arrange local meet-up and joint activities such as sport or outings.

Sample Timetable

The following is an indicative timetable for the 2022 school year.

Detailed weekly timetables are prepared before each term. High degree of consultation between teachers, teacher support and families.

Time of DayActivityTeacher/School Support
8:30 – 9:00Session 1
Logon
Roll Call
General Greetings
Morning Devotion
  Teacher Led, All of class
9:00-10:30Session 2
As per student’s day plan.
Tests
Maths
Word Building (spelling)English
Teacher may introduce the session online or by video/posting. Teacher/support available via chat, call, live stream open, depending on activity.
10:30Morning Break
10:45-12:45Session 3
As per student’s day plan.
Science
Social Studies
Literature
Student Electives
Biblical Studies
 
Teacher may introduce the session online or by video/posting. Teacher / support available via chat, call, live stream open, depending on activity.
12:45Lunch Break
1:30-3:00Session 4
As per student’s day plan.
Curriculum Enrichment e.g. Sport, Music, Library, Technology, etc.
Other extension activities
Outings,
Assembly (once per week)
 
  Varies – Students may be assigned tasks or projects, teacher or external people may present.   May include local meet-ups, outings, sport, etc.

Note: Students under 7 will typically need more adult input and support / supervision with directed reading, writing and educational play.

Bible-based Curricula

Amana Christian School provides an excellent education standard, using Biblically based curricula infused with Godly character that go beyond simply helping students to achieve a high standard of education. The base of the curriculum is the attributes of God which is taught in a nondenominational way integrating Biblical studies within a child’s life while still learning the basic education courses such as maths, English and the sciences.

What if I’m not a Christian?

You do not have to be a Christian for your child to attend Amana. Education is, however, presented through a Christian world view (see statement of faith and christian education), so your child will learn the Christian message, traditional Judaeo-Christian values, moral framework, presented as being reliably true. This is a key aspect of Amana’s mission.

We recognise that faith in Christ is something personal that each individual is on their own faith journey. The individual’s choice is respected.

Prayer is considered an essential part of school life. Your child will be given the opportunity to participate in prayer, but participation is voluntary.

If you want to understand what being a Christian really means or learn more about Christianity generally please make feel free to contact the School.

Enriched A.C.E. Curriculum

Amana Distance Learning uses the Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) curriculum. ACE is an internationally accredited curriculum for university entrance in over 147 countries including New Zealand! It ensures consistent learning. A.C.E. is a Biblically based, educational programme geared to meet the learning needs of individual children. Students are taught to see life from God’s point of view, to take responsibility for their own learning and to walk in Godly wisdom and character. Students are prepared for tomorrow’s world through an ‘extraordinary educational approach, Biblical in its core… while giving them traditional moral values that will last a lifetime.

The strength of the A.C.E. programme is that it provides students with the opportunity to progress at the level of individual ability. Realistic goals are set, achievement is tested and addressed straight away and progress is tangible. Students become self-motivated as they take on ownership of their own learning.

This provides flexibility to progress beyond a specific year level or to gain further grounding in weaker areas of learning. Curriculum approach (from Wikipedia) According to the curriculum section on its website, the A.C.E. “program is individualized and nongraded.” A.C.E states that its “core curriculum is an individualized, Biblically-based, character-building curriculum package”. The material for the classes has an emphasis on reflecting the Christian ideas and principles of the company, including memorising Bible passages and learning creationism.

The programme allows students to advance through high school. The A.C.E curriculum is based on a series of workbooks called PACEs (Packets of Accelerated Christian Education). At the beginning of each PACE is an overview of what the child will be learning, a Scripture to memorize, a character trait to strive toward, and a “heads up” on what supplies the student will need. Each subject has 12 PACEs per grade level. The basic subjects of A.C.E. are mathematics, English, science, social studies, Bible, literature & creative writing, and word building (spelling and word usage). Test keys are published for corresponding PACEs. Additional PACEs apply. Students have the ability to achieve beyond their age/class level.

Curriculum principles

The curriculum at Amana is based on the following principles – pointing children to God and glorifying Him

  • Agrees with and upholds Scripture
  • Promotes a true view of God, creation, sin, life, work and marriage
  • Develops good thinking skills
  • Teaches goal setting
  • Finishing tasks
  • Self-reliance
  • Social concern

Key attributes

We believe that the following key attributes are important and are taught to the children – speak, listen, read, numerate, sing, and paint with all the ability God has given them:

  • To love and enjoy God
  • To read the Bible
  • To pray
  • To worship and serve God
  • To love their neighbours
  • To obey and respect lawful authority.

Getting Started

Get in touch with the school. This is probably the best initial step. We are available to discuss any questions you may have and work with you through what is involved to take the next steps.

How do I transfer?

Changing school is easy. Amana uses the ENROL system. All you need to do is simply enrol with Amana and complete the relevant documentation. Your old school is notified directly, and all relevant documentation is transferred.

International student enrolment is slightly different. In the first instance please contact us.

What do I need?

            A full information and enrolment pack is available upon commencement but initially you will require:

  1. An appropriate workplace for your child/children. generally free from distraction,
  2. A postal address to which works can be reliably sent,
  3. A relatively new PC / Computer / iPad – capable of virtual meetings such as (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams),
  4. A good reliable internet connection,
  5. Alternate form of contact and communication such as a phone.