Senior Secondary School Assessment Policy 2017
This policy is provided to all Senior students at Wanneroo Secondary College and is based on School Curriculum and Standards Authority requirements.
Senior students are enrolled in a combination of WACE ATAR, General, Foundation, Preliminary and VET industry specific courses. Some students are also gaining credit for the WACE by undertaking one of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications (eg Business, Sport & Recreation….) and/or one of the endorsed programs (Workplace Learning) which are available at the College. The VET qualifications are delivered and assessed in partnership with a registered training organisation (RTO) eg YMCA.
This policy applies to the assessment of all Senior WACE courses and VET Certificates.
The Learning Centre may vary the requirements for the Preliminary units and required work..
1 Student responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the student to:
- attempt all in-class (invigilated) assessment tasks/units of competency on the scheduled date (nearly all tasks) and submit any out-of-class assessment tasks by the due date.
- maintain an assessment file/portfolio for each unit /pair of / certificate studied and to make it available whenever required
- maintain a good record of attendance (at least 90%), conduct and progress (a student who is absent from a class for five lessons or more per term is deemed to be ‘at risk’ of not achieving WACE (graduation).
- initiate contact with teachers concerning absence from class, missed in-class assessment tasks, requests for extension of the due date for out-of-class assessment tasks and other issues pertaining to assessment.
2 Teacher responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the teacher to:
- develop a teaching and learning program that appropriately delivers the correct syllabus for the particular pair of units (or unit) / VET Certificate, a copy of which is placed in Connect and on Learning Area drive.
- provide students with a course/certificate outline and an assessment outline at the beginning of the unit/s The assessment outline must be entered in Reporting to Parents.
- ensure that all assessment tasks are fair, valid and reliable
- provide students with timely assessment feedback and guidance which should be within a week.
- maintain accurate records of student achievement in Reporting to Parents ( to be entered before assessments are returned to students.
- meet college and external timelines for assessment and reporting
- inform students and parents of academic progress, as appropriate.
3 Information provided to students
The teacher will provide to students, through Connect, the following documents:
- the SCSA syllabus for the pair of units in Year 12, in Year 11 for the single unit, which includes the grade descriptions; for VET Certificates details of requirements for the units of competency
- a course outline for the pair of units (or semester unit in Year 11) or certificate outline that shows:
- the content from the syllabus/ certificate in the sequence in which it will be taught
- the approximate time allocated to teach each section of content from the syllabus/ unit of competency.
- an assessment outline for the pair of units (or unit) or certificate that includes:
- the number of tasks to be assessed/ units of competency to be assessed
- the approximate timing of each assessment task or unit of competency (i.e. the week in which each assessment task is planned or the start week and submissions week for each out-of-class extended task) and the weighting for each course assessment task
- the weighting for each course assessment type, as specified in the assessment table of the syllabus
- a general description of each assessment task/ unit of competency
- an indication of the content covered by each assessment task/ unit of competency
Note: Students without internet access at home can request a hard copy of these documents from their teacher.
4 Assessing student achievement
In each pair of units (or unit), a number of assessment tasks occur during the year/semester (including, end of semester exams in all ATAR courses. Year 12 General and Foundation courses have an Externally Set Task (EST) in Term 2).
All/most tasks are completed in-class (invigilated) a minority may be completed out-of-class but will involve an element of in class invigilated assessment. Units of competency must be completed under the direction of the teacher to provide evidence to meet the national /RTO requirements.
Each task provides evidence of student achievement. The teacher uses the total weighted mark from all assessment tasks when assigning a grade at the completion of the pair of units (or unit).
The requirements for each assessment task will be clearly described in writing (i.e. what the student needs to do, often indicating the steps involved for extended tasks). Wherever appropriate, the criteria against which the task will be marked will also be provided.
Some courses may include assessment tasks to be completed by a group of students. In such cases teachers will use strategies to enable them to assess the performance of each individual in the group. Typically this will be identified in the task (or task brief) provided to the students at the commencement of the task.
5 Modification of the assessment outline
When a student’s specific education needs do not allow them to complete a particular assessment task, the teacher may modify the task in consultation with the head of learning area/teacher-in-charge. An individual education plan will be developed showing any modifications to the assessment outline for the pair of units (or unit).
When a student’s cultural beliefs do not enable them to complete a particular assessment task, the teacher may modify this task in consultation with the head of learning area/teacher-in-charge. An individual education plan will be developed showing any modifications to the assessment outline for the pair of units (or unit).
When a student’s personal circumstances limit his/her capacity to complete a particular assessment task, the teacher, may vary the submission date.
If circumstances change during the teaching of a pair of units (or unit), requiring the teacher to make adjustments to scheduled assessment tasks, then students will be notified and the modified assessment outline will be placed on the college intranet.
VET certificates have very little or no room for modification as all students must demonstrate the national/RTO requirements for the units of competency required for each certificate. Any queries should be directed through the teacher to the HoLA/ VET Co-ordinator or Associate Principal.
6 Students with special education needs
Students with a documented special education need will, where necessary, have assessment tasks (written, practical and school examinations) modified. These modifications will be consistent with those provided by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Modifications, depending on the individual students’ education needs, may include special equipment, provision of a scribe, or additional time.
Students who are unable to complete an assessment task because of their special education needs will be provided with alternative opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understandings.
7 Completion of a pair of units (or unit)
A grade is assigned for each pair of units (or unit) completed. Students are required to:
- attempt all in-class assessment tasks on the scheduled date
- submit all out-of-class assessment tasks on or before the due date.
If an assessment task cannot be submitted directly to the teacher it is to be submitted to the Head of Learning Area/teacher-in-charge. The student should obtain written evidence from the HoLA of this submission.
Where health issues or other personal circumstances may prevent a student completing an in-class assessment task, the student (or the parent/guardian) must discuss the matter of requesting an extension with the teacher/ HoLA at the earliest opportunity before the scheduled date. The college will determine whether the reason is acceptable (see section 8 for details).
Where the reason for not submitting an assessment task or attending a scheduled in-class assessment task is acceptable to the college, the student’s assessment outline will, where possible, be modified with an assessment or an alternative made available to be completed at the time designated by the teacher/HoLA and a mark assigned.
If a student does not submit an out-of-class assessment task by the due date or attend a scheduled in-class assessment, without providing an acceptable reason, the teacher will contact the parent/guardian to discuss the possible impact of the penalty on the student’s grade / WACE graduation and negotiate actions to prevent this re-occurring. In addition to this:
- the student will be required to complete the assessment/ or an alternative assessment at a time designated by the teacher
- if the student again fails to submit an out-of-class assessment by the due date or attend a scheduled in-class assessment, the student will be referred to the HoLA who will discuss the possible impact of this on the student’s result and will require the student to complete the assessment at a time designated by the HoLA
- if the student fails to submit an out-of-class assessment by the due date or attend a scheduled in-class assessment a third time, the HoLA will refer the student to the Associate Principal for subject counselling.
8 Acceptable reasons for non-completion or non-submission
The penalty for non-completion or non-submission of an assessment task will be waived if the student provides a reason which is acceptable to the college. For example:
- where sickness, injury or significant personal circumstances prevents a student attending on the day that an in-class assessment task is scheduled
- where sickness, injury or significant personal circumstances for part or all of the period of an out-of-class assessment task prevents completion or submission by the due date.
In such cases the parent/guardian must:
- contact the college (teacher, HoLA or Associate Principal) before 9.30am on the day of the in-class assessment task or due date for submission of an out-of-class assessment and
- provide either a letter or email of explanation or a medical certificate immediately the student returns to school/ email should be sent before 9.30 on the day of the assessment.
Where the student provides a reason, which is acceptable to the college for the non-completion or non-submission of an assessment task, the teacher will:
- negotiate an adjusted due date for an out-of-class assessment task or an adjusted date for an in-class assessment task (generally, within two days of the student’s return), or
- decide on an alternate assessment task (if, in the opinion of the teacher/HoLA, the assessment is no longer confidential), or
- re-weight the student’s marks for other tasks (if, in the opinion of the teacher/HoLA, sufficient evidence exists in the other tasks completed to enable a grade to be assigned).
Events that can be rescheduled are not a valid reason for non-completion or non-submission of an assessment task (e.g. a drivng lesson, preparation for the college ball, family holidays). In exceptional circumstances, the parent or guardian may negotiate with the HoLA, teacher or Associate Principal the development of an individual education plan. This plan will indicate how the missed lesson time will be compensated for and any modifications to the assessment outline for each pair of units (or unit).
For VET Certificates all units of competency have to be completed for the Certificate to be attained. If students do not complete the certificate unless they are also an ATAR student and achieve an ATAR of at least 55) the student will not complete the requirements for WACE (graduation).
Where a catastrophic event (e.g. a pandemic) affects delivery of the teaching program, the completion or submission of one or more assessment tasks and/or completion of the college examination timetable, students will be advised by the college of adjustments to the task requirements and/or assessment outline.
9 School examinations/Externally Set Tasks/Certificate First Aid Course exams
A written examination will be held in all ATAR courses at the end of Semester 1 and the end of Semester 2. Examinations may be scheduled for General courses where considered appropriate by the HoLA(Head of Learning Area)/Teacher-in-Charge. Exams/weeks are included in the assessment outline.
A practical/performance/oral exam will also be held in ATAR courses with a practical, performance or oral ATAR examination, also for Certificates with a First Aid requirement.
In Year 11 examinations are typically 2 or 2.5 hours duration, in Year 12, 3 hours.
The examination timetable is issued to students approximately three weeks before the start of the exam period. The examination rules are in line with SCSA requirements which are available on the SCSA website. An outline of the examination rules are made available to students with the distribution of the examination timetable.
The weighting (i.e. proportion of the final mark) for these school-based examinations varies between courses and can be determined from the assessment outline for the pair of units (or unit).
Year 12 General Course Externally Set Tasks are sat under SCSA conditions similar to examinations. These are scheduled early in Term 2 and must be sat at the scheduled time. Timing will be distributed to students at the beginning of Term 2.
10 Cheating, collusion and plagiarism
Students must not cheat (i.e. engage in a dishonest act to gain an unfair advantage).
All work in each individual assessment task must be the work of the student. Students are not permitted to submit for marking, as original, any work which contains:
- identical or similar material to the work of another person (e.g. another student, a parent, a tutor)
- identical, or similar material to a published work unless the source is acknowledged in referencing or footnotes.
If a student is believed to have engaged in cheating, collusion or plagiarism, the teacher will refer the matter to the relevant Head of Learning Area/Teacher-in-Charge responsible for the course. As part of this process, the student will be provided with the right of reply.
If it is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that a student has cheated, colluded or plagiarised, one of the following penalties will apply:
- a mark of zero for the whole assessment task, or
- a mark of zero for the part of the assessment task where the teacher can identify that the work is not the student’s own and/or
- the student may be required to resubmit / re-sit the assessment at the time designated by the teacher/HoLA.
The parent/guardian will be informed of the penalty and any further disciplinary action.
11 Transfer between courses and/or units
When a student commences a pair of units (or unit) late they are at risk of being disadvantaged compared to others in the class. An application to transfer between types of courses or courses is made through the Associate Principal. A meeting may be held with the parent/guardian to discuss student progress and the requirements necessary for the student to be assigned a grade in the pair of units (or unit) into which they wish to transfer.
At Wanneroo Secondary College the deadline for transfers during Semester 1 is Friday of Week 6 ( Year 11, for Year 12 Friday of Week 4). After this students would be unlikely to be able to complete the course requirements or complete sufficient assessment tasks to allow a grade to be assigned for the unit to which they are transferring. The exception is for Foundation courses where students can transfer to a General course after the OLNA results are received from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Where class numbers allow at the end of semester, transfers can occur.
When a student transfers to a different course (e.g. from ATAR English to General English) or a similar course, the marks from completed assessment tasks will be used, where they are appropriate, for the unit into which the student is transferring. These marks may be statistically adjusted to ensure that they are on the same scale as the marks for all students in the new class.
Where additional work and/or assessment tasks are necessary to enable a grade to be assigned (particularly in changing to a different course) , the teacher will develop an individual education plan showing the work to be completed and an individual assessment outline. The plan and the assessment outline will be discussed with the parent/guardian and provided to the student.
12 Transfer from another school
It is the responsibility of any student who transfers into a class from the same course at another school, to provide the college with evidence of all completed assessment tasks/units of competency. The Associate Principal will contact the previous school to verify/confirm:
- the part of the syllabus/certificate that has been taught
- the assessment tasks/competencies which have been completed
- the marks awarded for these tasks.
The Head of Learning Area/Teacher-in-Charge responsible for the course will:
- determine how the marks from assessment tasks/competencies at the previous school will be used
[Note: Where necessary these marks may be statistically adjusted to ensure that they are on the same scale as those at Wanneroo Secondary College.]
- determine the additional assessment tasks/work, if any, to be completed for a grade to be assigned.
Where additional work and/or assessment tasks are necessary, the teacher will develop an individual education plan showing the work to be completed and an individual assessment outline. The modified assessment outline will be discussed with the parent/guardian and provided to the student.
13 Reporting student achievement
The college reports student achievement at the end of Semester 1 and at the end of Semester 2. The report provides for each course:
- a comment by the teacher in Semester 1
- a grade1
- the percentage mark in the school-based examination (essential for all ATAR courses)
- the percentage mark1 (calculated from the weighted total mark).
- Units of competency completed or in progress
- For most courses, the Semester 1 mark and grade are interim as they are not finalised until the pair of units is completed at the end of the year. For semester courses the Semester 1 mark and grade are final as they are based on the single unit .
At the end of the year, students will be provided with a Wanneroo Secondary College Statement of Results, which lists the grade for each pair of units and the school mark, exam mark for courses with exams, which are submitted to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Successful completion of VET qualifications and endorsed programs will also be listed on the statement.
All final grades are subject to School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA)approval at the end of the year. The student (and parent/guardian) will be notified of any changes that result from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s review of the student results submitted by Wanneroo Secondary College.
VET qualifications and units of competency are submitted to the relevant Registered Training Organization (RTO) for verification and approval.
14 Security of assessment tasks
Where there is more than one class studying the same pair of units (or unit) at the college, all of the assessment tasks will be the same. In such cases, to ensure that no students are unfairly advantaged, the question papers used for in-class assessment tasks will be collected at the end of the lesson. In their own interests, students must not discuss the nature of the questions with students from the other classes until after all classes have completed the task. Discussion of the questions will be treated as collusion and the students will be penalised.
Where the college uses the same assessment task or exam as other schools involved such as in Small Group Moderation partnerships, the task/exam and the student responses will be retained by the teacher until the task/exam has been completed by all schools.
15 Retention and disposal of student work
Students are responsible for placing into their portfolio and retaining all of their marked written assessment tasks and/folios. The college will retain all non-written assessment tasks (typically as audio or video recordings or digital products). This material is required by the teacher/s when assigning grades at the completion of the pair of units (or unit) and may be required by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority for moderation purposes. The college will not use the materials for any other purposes without the written permission of the student.
For moderation purposes student work/portfolios are required . The portfolio/ file needs all marked written assessment tasks/units of competency. Students will have access to this file for revision purposes. The college retains the portfolios/files until the marks have been accepted by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority/RTO. The written assessment tasks and/or folios are available to students for collection after that time. The college securely disposes of all materials not collected by the students until Term 1 of the following school year. All recorded evidence of performance for non-written assessment tasks is deleted/erased n Term 1 of the following school year.
16 Reviewing marks and grades
If a student considers that there is an issue about the delivery of the course, the marking of one or more assessment tasks or the grade assigned for a pair of units (or unit) they should, in the first instance, discuss the issue with the teacher.
If an assessment issue cannot be resolved through discussion with the teacher then the student (or the parent/guardian) should approach the responsible Head of Learning Area/Teacher-in-Charge
The student or their parent/guardian can request, in writing, that the college conduct a formal assessment review, if they consider that the student has been disadvantaged by any of the following:
- the assessment outline/s does/do not meet the syllabus requirements
- the assessment procedures used do not conform with the college’s assessment policy
- procedural errors have occurred in the determination of the mark/s and/or grade/s
- computational errors have occurred in the determination of the mark/s and/or grade/s.
The Principal, or a nominated representative, will conduct the review. The reviewer will meet with the student and the teacher independently and prepare a written report. This report will be provided to the student and their parent/guardian.
If this review does not resolve the matter, the student (or parent/guardian) may appeal to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) using an appeal form which is available from the Associate Principal or the Authority website. Authority representatives will then independently investigate the claim and report to the Authority’s student appeal committee. If the committee upholds a student appeal the college will make any required adjustments to the student’s marks and/or grades and where required the marks and/or grades of other students and re-issue reports as necessary.