Assessment Information and Procedures

Why have a School HSC Course Assessment Policy?

The School HSC Assessment Policy has been designed so that no student can be unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged by the College’s system of assessment for the Higher School Certificate.  Assessment at St John Bosco College encourages progressive development of skills and knowledge while ensuring:

  • consistency across subjects and courses;
  • fairness in marking and reporting;
  • coordination of the assessment program to ease the load on students.

The College Assessment Policy reflects the concern of the community with justice and the dignity of each person.

What is Assessment?

It is a process of gathering information about your achievement at various stages in the HSC course.  The final assessment mark in a subject is intended to reflect your achievement relative to that of your peers at the end of the course.

The variety of tasks set assesses a wide range of syllabus objectives and outcomes.  Many tasks are in assignment form; others are in examination form.

Details of each Assessment Task, relating to the nature of the task, will be given to you at least two calendar weeks before the task is due.

Preparing yourself for all aspects of an Assessment Task is your responsibility and part of the learning process.  When you return to school after an absence, be sure to check with your teachers to see whether an Assessment Task was handed out.

What is Standards-Referenced Assessment?

A standards-references approach to assessment and reporting means that the achievements of a student are assessed and reported against specific standards that are established for each course.

In the New Higher School Certificate these standards are:

  • the knowledge, skills and understanding expected to be learned by students as a result of studying the course – the syllabus standards.
  • the levels of achievement of the knowledge, skills and understanding (reporting in six bands) – the performance standards.

Together, they specify what is to be learned and how well it is to be achieved.

How do I submit an Assessment Task?

Assignment-type tasks must be handed personally to your class teacher at the beginning of the appropriate subject period on the specified day.  (In the case of Design and Technology and Visual Art, the major projects must be submitted by 9.00am.)  If no period for the subject is timetabled for that day, the assignment must be given to your teacher by 3.20pm.  If your teacher is absent, hand the assignment to the relevant Subject Coordinator by 3.20pm.  It is essential to keep a copy of the assignment.

Some assessment tasks are done in class or during examinations.

It is your responsibility to submit an assessment task on time.

What happens if I am absent because of sickness or another emergency on the day an Assessment Task is due?

In all such cases a telephone call to your class teacher or the relevant Subject Coordinator is appreciated.  If the Assessment Task can still be delivered to the class teacher on time by a parent or other person acting on your behalf, that too is appropriate and helpful.

If it is not possible to submit an assignment-type Assessment Task on the set date because of absence due to brief illness or emergency, bring it with you on the day of your return and submit it to the appropriate Subject Coordinator, together with a completed illness/misadventure form (in the case of illness) and a letter from your parents.  If this is considered an acceptable reason for late submission, there will be no penalty.  If, for any reason, you are absent on a Task submission day and do not produce the appropriate documents (as above) on your return to school, you will receive a mark of zero.

Other reasons justifying absence or inadvertent late submission may include the following:

  • Misadventure – such as public transport delays or car breakdowns (in this case, the student may be asked to provide proof of the circumstances leading to the delay);
  • Accident – meaning some injury which physically or emotionally prevents the student from completing the task, exam or test.
  • Representing the school – meaning you are involved in Work Placement for a VET subject or are involved in a school organised event.

In each case, the onus of proof is on the student.

If you are absent on the day of an in-class Assessment Task or an examination, see the appropriate Subject Coordinator as soon as you return and provide him/her with a completed illness/misadventure form. If the reason is considered acceptable, there will be no penalty.  You may be given the exam/task missed if no advantage occurs or an alternative task at the same level, or an estimate after an extended absence where an alternative task is impractical and only under the discretion of the Principal.

If you are suffering from an illness of longer than one or two days’ duration, or have another serious problem, you need to submit a College Appeal Form. This form is available from the College website, the Curriculum Coordinator, your Year Coordinator or the KLA Coordinator. This form needs to be submitted, where possible, before the task is due.  (A copy is also included at the end of this booklet.)

If you have a prolonged absence through no fault of your own, there are set procedures for the school to follow.  It is your responsibility to keep your Year Coordinator informed of the reason and anticipated period of absence.

 

Applications will only be considered if the application is submitted at least one (1) day before the due date.

 

In the case of a student becoming ill during an examination or in-class Assessment Task, the student should inform the teacher who is supervising, even if they are able to complete the task.  At the earliest possible opportunity they should consult the Subject Coordinator and request consideration.  This is done by completing a College Appeal Form. The mark may be varied at the end of the Assessment period and a record will be kept.

If an absence is anticipated on the day of an Assessment Task (for example, representing the school), you must provide notice of this absence and seek approval to complete your task at an alternate time.  You will need to provide appropriate documentation and a letter from your parents in advance in order to receive special consideration of this kind. A College illness/misadventure/representation form must be submitted.

What happens if I do not have an acceptable reason for late submission or if my behaviour before or during an Assessment Task is unacceptable?

For any late submission of an Assessment Task without an acceptable reason (in the form of the documents already mentioned) you will receive a mark of zero.

You are reminded that you are expected to submit all Assessment Tasks, even in cases where the mark recorded will be zero.  Consistent failure to submit Assessment Tasks could result in failure to satisfy board requirements and a subsequent ‘N’ determination for the subject/s.

Students must undertake tasks worth greater than 50% of the available marks.  Failure to do so in any course will result in neither assessment nor examination marks being awarded for that course and an ‘N’ Determination from the Board of Studies.

If you are scheduled to do a Task or submit a Task after first Period on a particular day and do not arrive at school until that period, you will receive a zero mark unless a completed College Appeal Form is submitted to the Subject Coordinator on your arrival.

Any form of dishonesty in completing an Assessment Task, such as cheating, assisting someone to cheat or plagiarising (using other people’s work without acknowledgement) will result in a zero mark.  Seeking to gain an unfair advantage in any way is dishonesty. (See Academic Integrity Policy)

What happens if I am on Leave when an assessment task is scheduled?

Students and parents should note that attendance during exam periods and assessments, as noted on the College calendar and website, is compulsory. Any absence other than illness, misadventure, or school representation must be applied for in writing to the College Principal at least ONE month prior to the task or exam. It is then the responsibility of the student to make alternative arrangements with the Learning and Curriculum Coordinator. Leave which is not approved by the College will result in a ZERO.

What happens if I experience Technological failure?

  • Students must protect themselves against technological failure. Technological failure may result in a mark of zero.
  • Students should be aware that computer equipment failure would not normally be accepted as an excuse for failure to submit assessment tasks on time.
  • An extension due to misadventure pertaining to failure of electronic forms of assessment will only be entertained if a student can provide adequate physical evidence of a task -  that is, a draft, hard copy or materials of a similar level, and will require the approval of the Subject Coordinator.

 

Students are encouraged to:

  • Always complete work before the deadline. This enables appropriate measures to be taken in the event of equipment failure.
  • Backup their files at home regularly (especially files of assessment tasks)
  • Print out copies of your drafts and keep them while the assignment is in progress – not only to continue work on, but to provide evidence in the event of a catastrophe. (printed copies can then be easily scanned, retyped, or submitted as evidence of your progress)
  • Bring your files to school via one of the following methods:
  • Files less than 4 Mb in size can be easily emailed to yourself using your College email address
  • Files can be brought to school on CD/DVD
  • Files can be brought to school using a memory stick or flash drive

Take the following precautions when bringing files to school:

  • Make a second copy of assessment tasks or other important files
  • Take appropriate care of your laptop, CD/DVD or flash drive, as many students find them to be unreadable due to lack of care (storage in your bag whilst it is thrown around can easily cause disk or CD or flash drive failure)
  • Ensure that Windows Updates and Virus Protection is up-to-date, and use virus protection software on your home computer
  • Keep your data safe by ensuring that you password is kept secure
  • Notify your teacher or coordinator immediately if problems occur

What am I told about my assessment marks?

  • For each Assessment Task, you are given a mark.
  • Your mark for any task is confidential.  It is not given to other students.
  • You are provided with your rank for each Task.  Your overall (cumulative) rank in a subject is available at any time on request.  You cumulative rank is included in your school reports.

Can I have my final rank in a subject reviewed?

These are the grounds on which you may request a school review of rank in a subject:

  • The weighting specified by the school in its assessment program did not conform to the Board requirements as specified in the Subject Manual(s).
  • The procedures used by the school in determining the final assessment mark did not conform to the stated assessment program.
  • There was a clerical error or error of computation made in calculating the total assessment mark.

How do I have my final rank reviewed?

Requests for a review are directed, in writing, to a Review Committee.  This consists of:

  • The Assistant Principal
  • Learning and Curriculum Coordinator
  • A Subject Coordinator from a different subject; not the teacher responsible for the original assessment.

What Disability Provisions are available?

  • Disability Provisions are concessions made by the Board of Studies in the conditions under which certain students who suffer from a disability sit for exams and Assessment Tasks.  Those students whose condition is covered by the Disabilities Discrimination Act (Commonwealth) and the Anti-Discrimination Act (NSW) may apply.  The purpose of the provision is to assist students who may otherwise be unfairly disadvantaged by the conditions of the exam.
  • In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Board of Studies, students who have documentation to support their eligibility are assisted to apply for Disabilities Provisions for external examination and internal Assessment Tasks.  These applications are submitted to the Board where a determination is made as to whether to grant Disability Provisions to the particular student or not.  A right of appeal to the Board of Studies is available to those students whose applications are unsuccessful.
  • Disability Provisions can apply to internal assessment, so an early determination of the needs and status of the students is advantageous. Therefore, it is essential that parents provide adequate documentation as early as possible.

How are Competency-Based Assessment and Standards-Referenced Assessment applied to the Industry Curriculum Frameworks?

All students undertaking an industry curriculum framework will undergo competency-based assessment.  This process of assessment will be for the purposes of awarding a VET qualification and credit towards a qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework and for the award of the Higher School Certificate.

Students who wish to include their industry curriculum framework courses in the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) must:

  • complete a 240 hour course; and
  • undertake a two hour external written examination.

Only one 240 hour VET course may contribute to the student’s ATAR.  Student achievement in the external examination will be reported against a performance scale.

 

Board of Studies’ Requirements

 

The Board of Studies’ requirements for the HSC general courses and HSC VET courses are outlined below:

HSC General Courses

For each course there are two assessment components:

  • Internal Assessment;
  • External Assessment.

In the Higher School Certificate a standards-referenced approach for internal assessment will be gradually implemented over the next four years.

HSC VET – Industry Curriculum Framework Courses

For all courses in the industry curriculum frameworks there is internal assessment.  This assessment is competency-based.  An assessment mark is not required to be submitted to the Board of Studies.  The Board of Studies requires a list of units of competency achieved to be submitted.

  • For 240 hour courses there are two assessment components:
  • Internal assessment competency-based assessment
  • External written examination (optional)

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