1. Choose your course
James Phelps offers 3 Staff Development options:
Critical and Creative Thinking Across the Curriculum
Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) teaches students how to think for themselves and be more resilient. CCT equips students with the necessary skills, strategies and dispositions.
Creativity & Critical Thinking: Key Competencies for the 21st Century
Covers the central elements of the Critical and Creative Thinking course while offering flexibility to meet the different needs of teachers and their schools. Face-to-face or online learning options available.
Design Thinking Across the Curriculum: Deeper Learning through Real World Projects
Design Thinking (DT) helps students to complete tasks and solve problems in structured ways. DT teaches how children can learn to self-manage tasks and projects while applying skills, strategies and dispositions to achieve reliable processes which facilitate meaningful outcomes.
Quality Classroom Teaching
Classroom control through student engagement: The future-focused way to teach students to follow instructions for a less stressful classroom environment.
2. Choose your delivery
Each course has 2 modules. Each module is 2.5 hours.
Full Day: Complete your full course in one session on a staff day or a Saturday
Part Days: Complete over two or more after school sessions
CCT Flex: Offers flexible delivery and hours according to your requirements. Contact us for more information.
See What Are My Sessions Options? below for more details.
Which course should I do first?
We recommend doing CCT before DT as the two courses are designed to flow into each other from the the basic to the advanced components.
All NESA-endorsed courses are two modules.
We do not offer an option for completing one module only. Two modules of the one course must be completed in order to get your NESA approved hours.
What if I want to do Design Thinking only?
That’s OK. It is not compulsory to do CCT first. If your students/teachers have a basic foundation of collaboration, positive attitudes towards projects and problems, preliminary principles of creative thinking and are capable of completing basic ‘out of the ordinary’ activities, this course will build on those skills. 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.
What are my session options?
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 hours.
One full day of two modules (5 hours of PD) taken on a Saturday especially in lieu of a Staff Development Day
One full day of two modules (5 hours of PD) taken on an allocated staff day during a school day.
One part day of one module (2.5 hours) - not NESA endorsed
What if I only want to do one small session - do I still get accredited hours?
We don’t encourage this option, however we do understand that you may want to take a ‘sample’ session first to see if our courses are right for you and your school. In our experience, NESA is fairly strict on not providing hours until an approved course is completed in full. You will gain more from doing our courses knowing that it’s time well spent contributing to your PD hours . There are a few alternatives, but it would be up to you and your staff to make it work. Here are some suggestions:
Your teachers claim the hours themselves as TIPD – “teacher-identified PD”. Teachers are allowed to make up 50 of their 100 hours with TIPD.
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.
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.
3. Select your date
Here's a link to our Calendar, you'll see all the current available dates
We can officially hold any days for you if you need time to make a decision. Read below for more details.
How many days can I spread a course/module over?
We only bill in part or full day increments. If you choose one module over 2 days you would be billed two part days.
The most common and the most recommended is two part days of 2.5 hours (like a Tuesday and Wednesday after school or two Tuesdays in a row). Please contact us to discuss flexible session options.
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 want to commit to this date or release it.
What happens if I’m looking at a date someone else has 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 book that date or forgo that date to you.
4. Rates & Payment
Get rate card here
How does the payment process work?
The invoice is issued after the event or after the last session. 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 happens if I cancel?
If it’s well in advance, there’s no problem and no charges will occur.
What 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.
Booking on short notice
First place to check availability for your desired date/s is HERE. We are regularly booked out well in advance so getting your date on short notice is may not be possible, but it’s always worth asking anyway.
What’s included in the cost/booking?
Travel to your school/allocated venue
Equipment to produce the workshop/presentation
James Phelps 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.
How you’re supporting us
We’ve been extremely humbled by the positive response we’ve had over the short time James Phelps and Minds Wide Open have been running staff development sessions. We are a family-owned business that puts our heart and soul into delivering our courses to every possible school and their wonderful community of teachers, staff and students. Even though there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make it happen every day, we love what we do. By choosing Minds Wide Open, you’re helping us to secure our livelihood as a business and to grow in to the future.
5. Tell us your location
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 transport, physical merchandise delivery, fuel and accommodation. This can occasionally be waived if James Phelps/Minds Wide Open happens 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 is significantly greater. 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 enrollments - up to 50% off the regular price.
Do the best you can to answer the questions in the online form and add any additional information that will help us deliver to your needs.
Once you are happy with the price and the date an official booking confirmation/quote will be sent.