Staff Development in 2019


Minds Wide Open and James Phelps offer 3 Staff day options:

K-8 Critical and Creative Thinking Across the Curriculum NESA Endorsed

Subset of Critical and Creative Thinking course. An adjusted online course designed either for a whole group with a nominated leader or a high school only 3 hour workshop presented by James Phelps ‘Short’ CCT Course Outline

K-10 Design Thinking Across the Curriculum: Deeper Learning through Real World Projects NESA Endorsed

BETA TESTING QCT (Quality Classroom Teaching) Classroom control through student engagement: The future-focused way of getting kids to behave

Which course should I do first?

We recommend CCT first, the two courses are designed to flow into each other from the very basics to the advanced.

What if I want to do Design Thinking only?

That’s ok too. It is not compulsory to do CCT first. If your students/teachers have a basic foundation of collaboration, positive attitudes towards projects and problems, creative thinking and are capable of completing basic ‘out of the ordinary’ activities, this is the perfect course to get really productive with projects and driving question problem solving assignments and programs. If afterwards you do find that maybe you/your students weren’t advanced as you first thought, it’s very easy to go back to CCT and fill in the gaps you might have.


All NESA endorsed courses are two modules

CCT - Critical and Creative Thinking Across the Curriculum

Module 1 (2.5 hours)

Module 2 (2.5 hours)

DT - Design Thinking Across the Curriculum

Module 3 (2.5 hours)

Module 4 (2.5 hours)

We do not offer an option for any less than one module. Two modules of the one course must be complete in order to get your NESA approved hours.

Options of sessions

One full day of two modules (5 hours of PD) taken on an allocated Staff Development Day (Often booked out well in advance)

Two part days of two modules (2.5 and 2.5 hours) Most frequently taken after school

One full day of two modules (5 hours of PD) taken on a Saturday especially in in lieu of a Staff Development Day (so you can start your Christmas break one day earlier)

One part day of one module (2.5 hours) not NESA endorsed

How many days can I spread a course/module over?

We only bill in part or full day increments. You must complete a module (2.5 hours). If you say choose one module over 2 days - first day is 1.5 hours and the second day is 1 hour - you would be billed two part days. So financially it’s in your best interested to do 2.5 hours in one go.

The most common and the most recommended is two part days of 2.5 hours (like a Tuesday and Wednesday after school or two Tuesday’s in a row). If money isn’t an issue, but flexibility is of the highest priority give us a call and we’ll see if we can work something out.


Can I hold a date/dates?

Yes, but not indefinitely. You can ‘hold’ up to 5 dates at once. We will put this up on the calendar as a ‘considering’ tag to discourage others from trying to book it. If no other party asks about that date, it will remain under your consideration as long as you like. However if another party asks about the same date, we will notify you of this, and at such time you will have 7 days to confirm if you would commit to this date or surrender.

What happens if I’m looking at a date someone else has got held? If that date is already being held, we can’t hold it for you also, however if you want to book that date, We will notify the party holding the date. They then have 7 days to officially claim that date or forgo that date to you..



Like a builder or mechanic, it is next to impossible to do a 100% upfront quote without having all the information. The following cost analysis is an estimate guide to help you with your planing. If the original information is accurate, the estimate is likely to get close, or be exact. Upon an official booking or quote, we will confirm the cost.

How the Payment Process Works

The invoice is issued after the event or after the last session and based on the factors above. Some schools invite other schools (like a mini conference) to share the cost) The invoice will be send to the delegate (host) school if this is the case.

What would happen if I cancel?

If it’s well in advanced, there’s no problem and no charges will occur.

What happens if I need to cancel just before the event?

Because we’re all part of a small industry, even though we will lose revenue and it would be too late to find a replacement, we trust you will in good faith re-book us again when you have the ability to. No charges will occur.

The highlights of what is included in the cost/booking

Travel to your school/allocated

Equipment to produce the workshop/presentation

James the presenter assists teachers during the final session as they work in stage teams to modify an existing unit of work to add/include CCT or DT.

5 hours of NESA-registered PD towards maintaining Proficient Teacher accreditation (upon completion. Half sessions cannot be honoured because of NESA’s policy)

All teachers receive a certificate of completion to use as evidence of PL undertaken

Extensive classroom resources provided (hard and soft copies). Teachers can begin teaching Critical and Creative Thinking or Design Thinking to their students the next day!

The classroom interactive teaching portal ‘CCT.Education’ is provided free to all workshop participants.

Why the cost/logistics structure?

We’ve been extremely humbled by the positive response we’ve had over the short time James Phelps and Minds Wide Open have been doing staff development days/sessions. We want as many schools as possible to be able to partner with us, we just love it! Because of this we are often booked out well in advance and many schools are banging down our door to claim a spot. When we say yes to one school, we are also saying no to many others, this system - we’ve found - is the most fair to schools who want us and us to be able to provide for their needs and schedule, This way for us means we can continue to provide this service indefinitely without going out of business.


Outside of metropolitan Sydney, travel cost is calculated at $1.50 per Km (one direction) from MWO headquarters at 316 Malton Road North Epping. This covers presenter transport, physical merchandise delivery, fuel and accommodation. This can occasionally be waived if James Phelps/Minds Wide Open happen to be in your area check the MWO calendar for any region specific dates available. Unfortunately for some outlier schools, we must keep this rate as the expense and time mean we lose work locally because of the traveling distance. If distance and cost is an issue we recommend a whole school staff development day interactive online course. There are significant discounts for whole school enrolment up to 50% off the regular price. Call +61 423 649 104 to find out more or go to

NESA / TQI related questions

What if I only want to do one small session only do I still get accredited hours?

We don’t encourage this option, however we do understand there could be anxiety around going with a new provider like us, you don’t know how good we are, and you’d like to do a taste test first. NESA is pretty strict on not providing hours until an approved course is completed. You may be ok with that, but we’ve found teachers generally aren’t and we have trouble holding their attention if they feel it’s a ‘waste of time’ before we’ve even started. There is a few possibilities but it would be up to you and your staff to make it work. here are some suggestions:

1. Your teachers claim the hours themselves as TIPD – “teacher-identified PD”. Teachers are allowed to make up 50 of their 100 hours with TIPD.

2. We could come back another time and run another session to make up the five hours. In that case we would create a Minds Wide Open “event” on the NESA calendar and then we would validate five hours of NESA-approved PD for each teacher (who had attended both sessions). In this case you wouldn’t need to create a MyPL event or validate their attendance. We would do that. For educational purposes we don’t encourage this, we find the staff have forgotten a lot of the foundational skills needed for the second half to be effective.

3. Our recommendation is that you create your own X number of hours session on MyPL. We’re not sure of the technical processes for setting that up (as we don’t have authority to access it) but we can provide you with any info you might need – eg APSTs covered, rationale, research, course content overview etc.

Booking process

Do the best you can to answer the questions in the online form and by adding any additional information that will help us deliver to your needs.

Dates. We are regularly booked out well in advance so getting your date on short notice is probably not going to be possible. Our policy on holds. We understand logistics are sometimes very hard to sort out, it’s also hard for us unfortunately to hold a date because it’s quite common for someone else to want that exact date. we do what’s called a ‘soft hold’. This means we will hold your preferred date until someone else becomes interested, we then notify you of this and then you have a maximum of 1 week to confirm the date you’re after. Unfortunately we cannot hold multiple dates simultaneously, but you may swap your ‘soft hold date’ at anytime.

Once you are happy with the price and the date an official booking confirmation/quote will be sent.