Pre-primary to Year 12 school information briefings
Sven Sorenson (08) 9273 6390
Patricia Dunnett (08) 9273 6794
Briefings for secondary school administrators will run from late March until May. They are an opportunity to be updated on curriculum, assessment and moderation for Years 7 – 12 and to provide feedback to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority Board.
In Term 2, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority will offer a workshop/briefing for primary administrators and curriculum leaders focusing on strategies, developed with practising teachers, on planning for all eight learning areas in recognition of the teaching time available to schools.
For more information including registration for sessions, please go to https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/events/2019-briefings.
2019 – Areas of Emphasis Letter to Schools
Patricia Dunnett (08) 9273 6794
Teachers and School Leaders are encouraged to read the letter from the Chair of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) Board that outlines areas of emphasis for 2019. The purpose of the letter is to signal areas of emphasis that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority will be focusing on in 2019:
- ongoing partnerships with the school systems/sector
- Kindergarten to Year 10 curriculum and standards including the implementation of Year 4 Languages in 2019, Brightpath and Year 6 and Year 7 moderation processes for English, Mathematics, Humanities and Social Sciences and Science
- Year 11 and Year 12 curriculum and standards including moderation processes, the non-approval of grades process for significant non-compliance and the review of the compulsory Certificate II requirement for students not enrolled in an ATAR pathway
- Pre-primary to Year 12 school information briefings
- the upcoming launch of the Parents and Community website.
To read a copy of the letter, please go to https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/publications/communication-to-schools.
General Information, SIRS and Enrolments
Year 11 and Year 12 student enrolments in course units for 2019 – timeline
Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313
Last dates for changes and withdrawals
Schools are reminded that the last date for changes to enrolments is Thursday, 4 April 2019 for:
- ATAR, General, Foundation, Preliminary and VET industry specific courses for Year 12 students
- ATAR, General and Foundation courses (Units 3 and 4) for Year 11 students.
After Thursday, 4 April:
- SIRS will be locked and no further changes (except withdrawals) will be accepted in the above courses
- Year 11 and Year 12 students are able to withdraw from ATAR courses (Units 3 and 4) with practical examination components until Friday, 26 July 2019
- Year 11 and Year 12 students are able to withdraw from ATAR courses (Units 3 and 4) which do not have practical examination components until Thursday, 15 August 2019
- Year 12 students are able to withdraw from ATAR (Units 1 and 2), General, Foundation, Preliminary and VET-industry specific courses until Thursday, 15 August 2019.
If schools do not withdraw students from Year 12 ATAR courses before the above deadlines, then these students are enrolled in the course and are required to sit the ATAR course examinations. Where the Year 12 ATAR course has both written and practical examinations, students are required to sit for both of these examinations. Students who do not sit an ATAR course examination and do not have an approved sickness/misadventure application for that course, will not have the grades for the pair of units completed in that year contribute to the calculation of the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). Further details relating to the consequences of not sitting examinations and WACE requirements can be found in the WACE Manual 2019 (at https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/publications/wace-manual) under Explanatory notes relating to WACE requirements (Number 5).
The final date for upload into SIRS for enrolments in year-long Year 11 courses for Year 11 students is Friday, 9 August 2019. After this date, SIRS will be locked and no further changes (except withdrawals from these courses) will be accepted. From this date, Year 11 students may only be enrolled into single units for Semester 2. Schools are also reminded that the last date for changes to enrolments in VET industry specific courses for Year 11 students is Thursday, 15 August 2019.
In 2019, a new date has been included relating to Year 11 and Year 12 students who are enrolled in semester courses who transfer schools. Schools are requested to provide achievements for Year 11 and Year 12 students enrolled in semester courses who transferred schools between Terms 2 and 3 by Friday, 26 July 2019. The upload of achievements is optional for Year 11 and Year 12 students who are continuing their enrolments at the same schools.
Non-school candidate enrolments
Enrolments as non-school candidates in ATAR course examinations must be received at the Authority by Thursday, 4 April 2019. No further applications will be accepted after this date. This form can be found on the Authority website at https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/forms/forms (under Enrolments).
Other enrolment-related forms
The following enrolment-related forms are due:
- Year 11 equivalent studies for a WACE as soon as possible(under WACE Equivalence)
- Year 10 and Year 11 Overseas full fee-paying student declaration form – 2019 and/or Year 12 Overseas full fee-paying student declaration form – 2018 with payment (for schools in Western Australia only – under Declarations) are due on Tuesday, 14 May 2019.
These forms can be found on the Authority website at: https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/forms/forms.
Application for exemption from enrolment eligibility criteria for Foundation units
Kerry Tarrant (08) 9273 6770
Principals are able to seek enrolment permission from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) for students who fall outside the Eligibility for Foundation courses enrolment criteria as outlined in the WACE Manual 2019 Section 1.8.
Applications for enrolment will be considered where:
- a current Western Australian student has no Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) data and/or relevant Year 9 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data
- a student who has recently arrived from interstate and has no OLNA data or relevant Year 9 NAPLAN data (Section B)
- a student who has recently arrived from overseas and has no OLNA data or relevant Year 9 NAPLAN data (Section B)
- a Year 11 Foundation course student at the end of Semester 1 has met the relevant OLNA literacy and/or numeracy requirements, but changing the student enrolment to a General course in Semester 2 will not be educationally sound or beneficial for the student (Section C).
A signed declaration by the school principal is needed to ensure that enrolment in Foundation course units meets the best educational needs of the student.
The application form should be received by the Authority by the following due dates:
- Thursday, 23 May 2019 (Semester 1) –after March OLNA results are released
- Thursday, 7 November 2019 (Semester 2) – after September OLNA results are released
- Thursday, 20 February 2020 new enrolments only, in new school year
- Case-by-case basis for recently arrived interstate and overseas students.
Applications and supporting documentation should be emailed to: email@example.com
Note: One application per student. No bulk applications accepted.
WACE Checker developed to assist Year 12 students monitor their progress towards achieving the WACE
Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313
Schools are kindly reminded that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) has developed a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) Checker for Year 12 students. The WACE Checker is a tool which Year 12s can use to check their progress towards achieving their WACE and is now available on the Authority website at: https://wacechecker.scsa.wa.edu.au/
The WACE Checker is provided as a guide only. The report it gives students must not be interpreted as a guarantee the student will achieve a WACE. Achievement of the WACE is dependent on the calculation of a student’s final results and completion of courses. Individuals are encouraged to consult the WACE Manual for the relevant year, or their school, should they wish to confirm WACE eligibility for a student based on enrolment and predicted/actual achievement.
To use the WACE Checker, students will need to add information about their achievements in Year 11 and their expected achievements in Year 12. The checker will be of most assistance if the information provided for Year 12 is realistic. When students add their anticipated grades for Year 12, they need to add what they realistically expect to achieve this year.
The WACE Checker will be particularly useful for students considering changes to their education program which may affect their eligibility for the WACE.
The WACE Checker allows students to save the summary of their input as a Portable Document Format (PDF). They can use this PDF to track their progress and to check the impact of any changes to their enrolment or achievement.
Students can also use a save function which will keep the data entered into the checker for a month. An access code is provided to allow students to use the ‘Fetch My Data’ button when they select that option in the checker.
More information is available under the ‘Tell me more’ button on the checker.
Parents and Community website
Patricia Dunnett (08) 9273 6794
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) has developed a website to support parents and members of the community. The Parents and Community website is accessible on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au via a new
tab – Parents and Community.
The website has been developed for parents and community members as a guide to:
- the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline (the Outline), Kindergarten through to Year 10
- the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), Years 11 and 12.
The website is designed to provide information for parents and the community about:
- what children and young people should learn
- how they are assessed
- the standards children and young people are expected to reach at each year level.
The website promotes the role of the Authority to parents and community and provides a supportive pathway into the Authority’s existing website.
The website presents information that parents often ask the Authority and will enhance their communication with schools. It has been developed with input from representatives of key parent groups and the site will continue to be developed in response to user need. Feedback and suggestions from school groups will be welcome via the link on the website.
The Parents and Community website sits alongside the Authority's existing website, which is designed for teachers and school leaders and includes some information for senior secondary students.
The Authority encourages Principals to communicate this information to parents and other stakeholders. A sample newsletter item with a screen shot of the Parents and Community website homepage is available here https://parent.scsa.wa.edu.au.
Supporting communication with students 2019
Jo Merrey (08) 9273 6348
A new website for students, this year’s student portal and the handbook all became available on Friday, 8 March.
Student Information website
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) has launched a Student Information website that can be accessed via a new tab on the Authority website home page and at https://student.scsa.wa.edu.au/.
The student site provides students with easy access to information under the headings of:
- Student Portal
- Getting Organised
- Examinations and Testing
- Certification and Post-School
- Frequently Asked Questions.
The student site currently focuses on Year 12s and links closely to the Year 12 Information Handbook 2019, Part I.
The Student Portal is a space for Year 12 students to check and access personal information that relates to their WACE.
The direct link to the Student Portal is https://student.scsa.wa.edu.au/student-portal. Technical support for the portal is via firstname.lastname@example.org (monitored from Monday to Friday between 8.00 am to 5.00 pm).
Year 12 Information Handbook
The Year 12 Information Handbook 2019, Part I is at https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/publications/year-12-information. Part II of the handbook, which focuses on ATAR course examinations will be published in July.
Social media 2019
Jo Merrey (08) 9273 6348
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) will continue to use its Facebook and Twitter accounts in 2019 to provide information to its stakeholders.
https://facebook.com/SCSAWA is for students in Years 10, 11 and 12, their parents, teachers and community stakeholders. The focus of the page is on providing information to students working towards the WACE.
https://facebook.com/SCSAWAteachers is for teachers and community stakeholders. The focus of the page is on providing information to teachers delivering the Western Australian curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12. Reminders about key dates as listed in the Activities Schedule are published on this page.
https://twitter.com/scsawa provides general information to the Authority’s stakeholders.
The Authority treats its social media spaces as ‘family friendly’ and has a zero tolerance approach to abusive and offensive posts. The Facebook pages operate as moderated forums.
Teachers, students and stakeholders who use social media platforms are encouraged to use the Authority’s Facebook and Twitter pages to access information and stay in touch with Authority. Those who do not wish to use social media platforms are reminded the Authority has a general email address at email@example.com.
Changes to Composition Portfolio in Music ATAR syllabus for Years 11 and 12
Nick Fielding (08) 9273 6756
Teachers are reminded that minor amendments, clarifications and additions (relating only to students completing a composition portfolio) have been made to the Music ATAR Year 11 and Year 12 syllabuses for use from 2019 onwards.
The key changes are as follows:
- the school-based assessment table has been modified to include ‘Other composition activities’
- suggested school-based assessments have been added
- grade descriptions related to composition have been added
- the portfolio submission requirements in the examination design brief have been modified:
- total combined time must be 15-20 minutes
- portfolios to contain a minimum of three pieces (no maximum)
- only one arrangement permitted as part of the portfolio.
Teachers are also reminded that the Draft Music ATAR course Practical (composition portfolio) marking key 2019 is available on the Music course page of the Authority website under Examination Materials: https://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/528770/2019-Draft-MUS-ATAR-course-Practicalcomposition-portfoliomarking-key.pdf
Drama ATAR Year 12 Practical Course Examination – Scripted Monologue
Maxwell Leech (08) 9273 6740
Teachers are advised as per the specifications in the Drama Practical (performance) examination design brief - Year 12 - Part 2 Scripted Monologue, candidates will not be permitted the use of a technical assistant to operate sound in the 2019 ATAR examination.
The 2019 Drama ATAR course practical requirements document and updated Practical marking key will be published on Friday, 22 March on the Drama ATAR course page under Examination Materials. Please refer to these documents for additional clarity on this issue and in particular to the changes to criteria 7 of the Original Solo Performance and criteria 6 of the Scripted Monologue.
Online Seminar for Meeting WACE Requirements 2019
Mandy Hudson (08) 9273 6755
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is providing an online seminar to assist schools in meeting the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirements in 2019 on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 from 8.40am to 11.30am.
This seminar is designed for:
- schools that are offering a course for the first time in 2019
- schools that are reintroducing a course for the first time since 2015
- teachers delivering one or more WACE courses for the first time in 2019 (e.g. graduate teachers, teachers who have not previously taught Year 11 or Year 12, teachers whose past experience has been interstate or overseas)
- new school leaders (e.g. Heads of Learning Area).
Please note this seminar is replacing the previously offered new and/or inexperience teacher seminars.
The link below will take you to the registration page:
Registration details for Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR, General and Foundation courses in Consensus Moderation in 2019
Mandy Hudson (08) 9273 6755
Schools are advised that the details for the registration process for Year 11 and Year 12 courses in Consensus Moderation in 2019 will be emailed to Principals on 15 March 2019.
Registrations open on 25 March 2019. Each school is required to register one teacher for each of the courses the school is delivering that is in consensus moderation in 2019. Teachers are reminded that they need to have procedures in place to ensure that all marked student work is retained for moderation purposes.
Please use the link below to access the Consensus Moderation page on the School Curriculum and Standard Authority website to view the complete list of Year 11 and Year 12 courses in consensus moderation this year, and the dates for the consensus moderation meetings:
Improving Student Performance workshops 2019
John Watson (08) 9273 6374
Carolyn Fleischer (08)92736 735
Teachers of selected Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR and/or General WACE courses are advised that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) will be conducting a series of workshops during Semester one 2019, designed to support improving student performance. Additional workshops will be advertised at a later date through the 11to12 Circulars for Semester two, 2019.
Workshops will be conducted in Semester one for:
- Accounting and Finance Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Ancient History Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Biology, Human Biology and Integrated Science Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR/General
- Chemistry and Physics Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Children, Family and the Community Year11 and Year 12 ATAR/General
- Chinese: First Language Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Economics Year 12 ATAR
- English Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Health Studies Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Interstate Languages Written and Oral Year 11 and Year 12
- Materials Design and Technology Year 11 and Year 12 General
- Mathematics Essential for Year 11 and Year 12
- Media Production and Analysis Year 12 General
- Outdoor Education Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Physical Education Studies Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Politics and Law Year 12 ATAR
- Psychology Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
- Science Year 11 and Year 12 ATAR
These hands on workshops will support participants to develop their understandings of a range of topics including syllabus content, course standards and assessment task design.
Details of all workshops can be accessed when the teacher registers online from the Authority website: https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/events/improving-student-performance-workshops-2019.
The workshops are free to attend, but the school is responsible for teacher relief and any travel and accommodation expenses.
School moderation visit planning and procedures
Graeme Quelch (08) 9273 6758
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) will commence 2019 school moderation visits in Term 1. The Principal of schools that have been identified for a documentation or grading review visit will be notified in writing, with at least three weeks’ notice.
In preparation for a moderation review visit, the school is required to:
- ensure that all requested documentation is provided, as described in the Information Sheet sent to the school when a visit is scheduled
- provide a quiet work area with sufficient work space for the Authority Officer to review the school’s documentation
- organise for the teacher to meet briefly with the Authority Officer at the commencement and conclusion of the review
- organise for the Principal (or representative) to meet with the Authority Officer for discussion of the moderation report at the conclusion of the review.
Please note the following change of process for grading review visits in 2019:
- The school must provide the Principal Consultant with copies of the relevant course outline/s and assessment outline/s via email, a minimum of three (3) working days prior to the scheduled review.
- The School Moderation Report will be emailed to the school following the visit.
Application for writers and checkers of the 2020 ESTs
Jeni Jakovleva (08) 9273 6761
Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is seeking applications from qualified people who wish to be considered for appointment as writers and checkers of the 2020 Externally set task (EST).
Please see the link below to read the terms of reference and to apply online:
Applications must be received no later than 5pm on Friday, 22 March 2019. Successful applicants will be notified after Friday, 12 April 2019.
ATAR examination marking keys for 2016 – 2018
Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787
Teachers are advised that past ATAR examination marking keys for all courses will be available to the public on the Authority website as of Friday, 22 March 2019. Previously ATAR examination marking keys were only available via teacher logon.
ATAR course examinations marked online 2019
Kaylene Power (08)9273 6309
Melanie Jasper (08)9273 6732
In 2019, online marking of ATAR course examinations will continue for the following courses:
- English as an Additional Language/Dialect
- Human Biology
- Mathematics Applications
- Mathematics Methods
- Mathematics Specialist
- Modern History
- Physical Education Studies
- Religion and Life.
Online marking will be introduced for the following ATAR course:
For examination scripts to be scanned for online marking, the format of the paper includes the following features:
- a barcode at the bottom of the front page
- a solid 5 mm square in each corner of the front page
- a unique identifying number printed on every page within the paper.
The margins of each page will be excluded from the area available for writing and will be marked with the wording ‘DO NOT WRITE IN THIS AREA AS IT WILL BE CUT OFF’.
It is highly recommended that you advise your students not to use erasable pens, gel pens or pencil. Pencil is accept for diagrams.
The front covers of each examination will be available on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website in August.
Applications for marking the 2019 Externally Set Tasks (EST)
Melanie Jasper (08) 9273 6732
Tim Chiew (08) 9273 6377
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is seeking qualified people interested in marking the 2019 Externally Set Tasks. For information regarding marker applications for the 2019 Externally Set Tasks please refer to:
Applications will close Wednesday, 1 May 2019.
Literature Year 12 ATAR 2019: Examination penalties
Kevin Sadler (08) 9273 6332
Paula Beck (08) 9273 6782
The examination requires the candidate to answer three different questions in total, each question making primary reference to a different genre so that they must choose one question to be on poetry, one on prose fiction and one on drama.
The texts they choose as primary reference for questions in Section Two must be taken from the prescribed text lists in the Literature syllabus.
If they do not comply with either of these instructions, they will receive a penalty of 15 per cent of the total marks available for the examination.
Prescribed text lists
Teachers and students of Year 12 Literature ATAR are advised to consult the prescribed text lists (provided in the syllabus) as published online in an expanded, more detailed form on the Literature ATAR course page under Syllabus: ATAR expanded list of literature (https://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/__data/assets/excel_doc/0004/520690/Expanded-List-of-Literature-Poems,-Drama,-Short-Stories_and_Novels_updated-2017-format-2018.XLSX).
Teachers are advised to inform their students that the responsibility for the texts they choose for primary reference in the examination is owned by the candidate sitting the Literature ATAR examination.
Ancient History Year 12 ATAR course sample examination 2019
Kevin Sadler (08) 9273 6332
Teachers are advised that the sample examination provided online on the Ancient History ATAR course page under Examination Materials provides sample sources and questions for each of the three electives that reflect the changes to the design brief for Section Two: Source analysis.
The sample examination also provides a new structure for 2019:
- the three sources for each elective and their corresponding questions are provided within the examination paper, not in a separate source booklet
- the three sections of the examination paper are grouped in sequence for each elective, so that, for example, the three sections of the examination for the Egypt elective are provided before the Greece, then the Rome elective, are presented.
Teachers are requested to ensure their students are made familiar with the new layout of the Ancient History Year 12 ATAR course sample examination.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
2019 VET ESQUAL – important information
Rachael Davidson (08) 9273 6750
Arti Dogra (08) 9273 6751
The Vocational Education and Training Qualification estimates (VET ESQUAL) is a mandatory WACE reporting activity required by Thursday, 2 May 2019. Schools who do not meet the deadline will be contacted to provide the information.
Schools are required to report the qualifications being undertaken by students (including students who access training offsite at external providers) and the student details for each qualification.
Details of the units of competency within each qualification are not required to be reported. Schools are only required to update the ESQUAL file after the 2 May deadline if there is a significant change in VET offerings.
Schools will also need to indicate the delivery arrangement (e.g. auspice, profile, fee for service) for each VET qualification.
For more information about the reporting process, the full list of delivery arrangement definitions and the ESQUAL file format, refer to the 2019 Data Procedures Manual, Section 3.3 VET qualification estimates (ESQUAL). The manual can be downloaded from the Authority website at: http://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/internet/Publications/Data_Procedures_Manual.
Uploading an ESQUAL file to Student Information and Record System (SIRS) causes the previous file to be completely erased. To correctly update the information in your ESQUAL upload file, all students should be included in each upload. This ensures that information on your school record in SIRS is maintained correctly.
RTO Registration Cancellation – Importance of Retaining Copies of Student VET Assessments
Rachael Davidson (08) 9273 6750
Arti Dogra (08) 9273 6751
In relation to the notice of cancellation of registration of registered training organisation (RTO) VETiS Consulting Services Pty Ltd by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), schools must ensure they have retained copies, or get access to copies of all student vocational education and training (VET) assessments submitted to the RTO.
Although VETiS Consulting Services have the opportunity to appeal the decision made by ASQA through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), copies of student assessments and records will be needed if the situation arises where:
- an alternate RTO is required to continue delivery of qualifications which may have only been partially completed by students, and/or
- validation of submitted assessments and verification of results is needed by an alternate RTO before a statement of attainment or qualification certificate can be issued.
Your school systems/sector representative will be able to provide further advice on your obligations under your Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in regards to honouring your current agreement, or sourcing an alternate RTO for the auspicing of VET qualifications.
ASQA have advised that they will not be seeking to cancel qualifications or statements of attainment previously issued by VETiS Consulting Services, therefore these achievements will be accepted by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.
Given the timing of VETiS Consulting Service’s deregistration, schools are reminded to work closely with their systems/sector representatives to put in place rectification processes to ensure Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirements can still be met. This may include finding an alternative RTO/s to continue with the auspicing of qualifications, or requiring students to undertake a substitute VET qualification.