A message from Phoenix’s founders and board members Brian Walsh (Owner and Chairman) and Robynne Walsh (Owner and Principal 1989-2019).
That’s been our motto and guiding philosophy for the past 30 years!
We are writing to you today to assure you that this philosophy remains our overriding priority and is a commitment to you, our valued student. These are difficult times for all, and we recognise they are particularly hard times for international students. You are far from home and your family support however we want you to know we are here to help wherever we can. We all agree a lot has happened in just the last week and we can probably expect more surprises to come. As your circumstances change, we want you to keep talking to us and we will endeavour to help on a case by case basis. We have already had a number of students asking very similar questions. We do very much understand your anxiety and rest assured we are here to help. Hopefully, the Q and A below will guide you in your decision making over the coming weeks.
As of today, the 6th April you are studying in a different mode, ‘blended online delivery’. Most of you will continue with your own teacher and the style and methodology of Phoenix’s pedagogy will continue. We expect the same language outcomes as we would normally expect if you were attending our campus. We expect nothing less and we give you our guarantee we will achieve these outcomes together. We will regularly review your improvement in English language acquisition and subject knowledge growth for Diploma students, and provide you with regular feedback. We will be clear about each of your own individual goals and we will work with you to navigate your way to your destination. If it means you need more time to achieve an acceptable improvement in your levels and grades, then we may offer to extend your studies without any additional costs to you. If you need to extend your visa in these difficult times, we can assist. If you want to plan further ahead in your studies and want to know you have security once this terrible pandemic finishes, then we can work with you now to secure your future. If you wish to return to your home country, we understand, and we will support you and you will be able to continue your course no matter where you go.
We want to take this opportunity to also assure you about your future study experience. Yes, it will be different but we feel confident you will enjoy it just as much as before. Phoenix is not new to online delivery having developed online courseware several years ago. It has been a successful mode of delivery for us particularly in our training of teachers how to teach. We never thought however we would need to adapt our courses so quickly to meet the very different situation that we have been presented with. We believe our integrated Phoenix Live course is as good as you will find anywhere. Similar to studying on campus, you will be challenged. You will need to raise your self-control and commitment levels slightly but remember our Learning Management System allows your teacher to monitor your work and progress daily and weekly. Nothing changes there. We expect you, the student, to put just as much time and effort into you learning as you have in the past, hopefully, more! Your teacher will monitor and track your time learning and we will and must continue to report on your attendance as part of our government compliance requirements and your visa requirements for those on Student Visas. Continuous study in your course is most important as Phoenix teachers a guided by the principles of continuous assessment and feedback.
We are expertly led in these difficult times by our CEO Mr Pankaj Pathak who has assured us he will be involved in every step along your journey. For your information Pankaj first came to Australia as an international student many years ago so he has great empathy with your circumstances. You will be hearing from him on a weekly basis.
So, go forward and be confident learners and let’s together beat this pandemic and together plan and prepare for a new future.
Robynne Walsh (Founder, Retiring Principal, and Board member) & Brian Walsh (Founder and Chairman of Board)
Phoenix Academy | 223 Vincent St, West Perth, Western Australia 6005
w: www.phoenix.wa.edu.au | CRICOS Provider Code 00066D | RTO Provider Number: 50030
QUESTION AND ANSWER
1. I am finding it difficult to have the right technical set up at home because my internet line is not good. Can you help?
Please contact us at email@example.com or phone us on (08) 9235 6000 and we will help you.
2. How will I succeed in my studies now that we have gone online?
Generally, student responsibilities in a blended online delivery course are parallel to those encountered in the traditional classroom with some variations given the nature of the course environment. Here are a few tips:
- It is important that you attend class regularly to be successful in your course. Class participation is essential to course success Your teacher will be monitoring your performance and attendance on a regular basis. This is to ensure that you are on top of your studies. We also have a requirement by the government to report on student attendance which is linked to your visa status. Remember your responsibilities to maintain a valid visa have not changed i.e. be enrolled in a course of study, hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), keep your school up-to-date with your latest residential address, etc.
- Read all your course documents (e.g. course outline, assessment guidelines) to become familiar with course expectations. This will allow you to properly plan for all course activities.
- You need to be well organised and pay careful attention to the course schedule and deadlines just like you would in a traditional class. Create a weekly timetable which balances your study with everything else.
- It may be fun to study in the loungeroom or when everyone is watching TV however it finding a regular space from which to study can enhance your success when it comes to studying online.
- Take notes – jotting something down keeps you engaged, helps with retention, and will be useful when it comes to assignments and testing.
- Stay in touch. Your interaction with your peers and teacher is just as important in a blended online course as it is in the traditional classroom. Take advantage of our discussion boards to facilitate your learning.
3. How will I know if I am improving my English?
We will be providing regular feedback to you on your improvement. Every three weeks we will provide an interim report and our usual six weekly assessment report. You will be allocated to higher level classes as you improve which may happen at the beginning of any week. Diploma students will study as normal on a five weekly study block (one subject) basis.
4. What if I am unhappy with my progress?
As per normal you should in the first instance discuss this with your teacher. If you are not satisfied with his or her answer then you must request an appointment with our Director of Studies who will schedule an appointment with you (probably via zoom in the first instance) and discuss your progress. We may find you need additional language support.
5. How can I give my teacher and the school feedback on what I think about the course and problems I am experiencing?
Please send your comments to us at the end of each week and we will endeavour to include your suggestions in our ongoing classes. We do however request that you please keep your questions to a minimum until you have experienced at least two weeks of study in this new format. At the end of week three, we will review all issues with a view to modifying our course if required. We will be employing our own ‘continuous assessment’ criteria with a view to ‘continuous improvement’.
6. What if I am experiencing problems outside of my studies, such as shortage of food or no where to live?
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org call (08) 9235 6000 and we will help. It may mean some short-term assistance with food or even accommodation. Phoenix has its own on campus accommodation called Beatty Lodge so we may be able to provide short term emergency assistance or accommodation at a reduced/ discounted rate to suit your budget.