This policy is provided to all senior secondary students at Harrisdale Senior High School and is based on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) requirements as outlined in the WACE Manual 2020.
All Year 11 and Year 12 students are enrolled in a combination of ATAR, General, Foundation and VET industry specific courses. Some students are also gaining unit equivalence for the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) by undertaking one of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications and/or one or more of the endorsed programs which are available at school. The VET qualifications are delivered and assessed in partnership with registered training organisations (RTO).
This policy applies to the assessment of all WACE courses.
- Student responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the student to:
- maintain a good record of attendance, conduct and progress (a student who is absent from a class for five lessons or more in a term is deemed to be ‘at risk’ of not achieving the best possible result)
- initiate contact with teachers concerning absence from class, non-attendance at Period Zero (0), missed in-class assessment tasks, requests for extension of the due date for out-of-class assessment tasks and other issues pertaining to assessment, prior to the assessment task due date
- attempt all in-class assessment tasks on the scheduled date
- complete and submit all out-of-class assessment and work tasks by the due date
- maintain a file for each pair of units studied which contains all course material supplied by teachers and school
- attend all Period Zero (0) tests on scheduled dates for ATAR courses. Tests are conducted in exam conditions in Period Zero (0) which occurs before the start of the official school day
- Non-Attendance at a Period Zero (0), requires a completed form downloaded from Connect, signed by a non-family member medical practitioner and submitted to the appropriate HOD
- the Period Zero (0) form must be downloaded from Connect, completed and returned to school within 3 days of the missed Period Zero (0)
- when absent from school, contact the teacher/ Year Coordinator, making special reference to missed assessments, portfolio submission dates and/or performance tasks
- on returning to school after missing a class assessment a student must submit a medical certificate to Student Services
- Teacher responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the teacher to:
- develop a teaching and learning program that appropriately delivers the current Authority syllabus for the particular pair of units
- provide students with access to a paper and electronic copy of the course outline and an assessment outline (see Section 3 for details)
- ensure that all assessment tasks are fair, valid and reliable
- provide students with timely assessment feedback (within two weeks of due date) with guidance about how best to undertake future tasks
- maintain accurate records of student achievement
- keep an individual student portfolio for each student in the class with all assessments
- ensure no assessment leaves the site of Harrisdale Senior High School
- meet Harrisdale Senior High School and external timelines for assessment and reporting
- inform students and parents of academic progress, as appropriate, including two formal reports, meeting with parents at parent‐teacher nights and providing feedback through Concern, Commendation, Missed Assessment and Late Work notifications.
- Information provided to students
Before teaching starts, the teacher will provide access to the following documents:
- SCSA syllabus for the pair of units which includes the grade descriptions
- a course outline for the pair of units that shows:
- all the content from the syllabus in the sequence in which it will be taught
- the approximate time allocated to teach each section of content from the syllabus
- an assessment outline for the pair of units that includes:
- the number of tasks to be assessed
- a general description of each assessment task
- the assessment type, as prescribed in the syllabus
- an indication of the syllabus content on which each task is based
- the approximate timing of each assessment task (i.e. the week the task will be conducted or the start and submission dates for an extended task)
- the weighting for each assessment task
- the weighting for each assessment type, as prescribed in the assessment table of the syllabus.
- A copy of the Period Zero (0) timetable
Note: all students will be provided with a paper and electronic copy of these documents from their teacher.
- Assessing student achievement
At Harrisdale Senior High School, all students are enrolled in a pair of units. In each pair of units, a number of assessment tasks occur during the year, including end of semester examinations in all ATAR courses and an externally set task (EST) for Year 12 General and Foundation courses (see Sections 5 and 6 for details).
Each task provides evidence of student achievement. The teacher generates a ranked list of students in the class (or classes) using the weighted mark out of 100 from all assessment tasks and assigns grades with reference to the grade descriptions.
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). The criteria against which the task will be marked will be provided with the task, except in cases where the marking key is an answer or solutions key which will be shared with students after the assessment task has been marked.
Most tasks are completed in class. Some courses may include tasks that are completed out of class (in which case, student achievement will be validated to ensure authenticity).
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.
Where a student’s disability, specific education needs or cultural beliefs will significantly affect their access to an assessment task, the teacher may adjust the task in consultation with the relevant head of learning area/teacher-in-charge responsible for the course. (See Section 11 for further information on students with a disability).
- Year 11 and 12 ATAR course school examinations
School examinations are included in the assessment outline for the pair of units. The weighting, i.e. proportion of the final mark, for these school-based examinations varies between courses and is included in the assessment outline.
A written examination will be held in all ATAR courses at the end of Semester 1 and the end of Semester 2.
A practical/performance/oral exam will also be held in those courses with a practical, performance or oral ATAR course examination.
In Year 11, written ATAR examinations are typically 2 to 3 hours in duration in Semester 1, and 3 hours in
In Year 12, all written examinations are 3 hours’ duration except for courses with a practical, performance or oral examination which are 2.5 hours plus a separate practical, performance or oral examination.
The examination timetable is issued to students prior to the start of the examination period. The examination rules listed below, are printed in the Harrisdale Senior High School calendar and are available on the Harrisdale Senior High School website. These rules are based on those that are used by SCSA for ATAR course examinations.
- Students will not be admitted to an examination after 30 minutes have passed from the start of the working time of the examination.
- Students will not be allowed to leave the examination during working time of the examination.
- Collusion between candidates will lead to cancellation of the practical and/or written examination marks for each of the students involved.
- Possession or knowledge of examination questions before an examination will lead to cancellation of the student’s practical and/or written examination mark(s).
- Possession of unauthorised materials or technologies during an examination will lead to cancellation of part or all of the student’s practical and/or written examination mark(s).
- Markings on authorised materials in the examination room will lead to cancellation of part or all of the practical and/or written examination mark(s).
- Unauthorised removal of examination materials from the examination room will lead to cancellation of part or all of the student’s practical and/or written mark(s).
- Blatant disregard of examination room regulations and/or instructions will result in the removal of the student from the examination room.
If an examination contains an error, or questions are based on content that is outside the syllabus or there is a breach of security, Harrisdale Senior High School will:
- remove the question containing the error or based on content outside the syllabus, or
- set a new examination if there is a breach of security that affects all students, or
- penalise the students involved if there is a breach of security limited to only them (i.e. a mark of zero).
Where health issues or personal circumstances prevent a student from completing one or more school examinations, the student must submit a Harrisdale Senior High School sickness/misadventure form to the Associate Principal. Harrisdale Senior High School will determine whether the reason is acceptable (see Section 13 for details).
If the reason is acceptable to Harrisdale Senior High School, an alternate date will be set or, where this is not possible, the student will not sit the examination. In this case, a predicted examination score will be allocated based on the student’s performance in other assessments relative to that of the cohort and the performance of the cohort in the examination to ensure fairness and equity for all students.
If the reason is not acceptable to the Harrisdale Senior High School, the student will be given a mark of zero.
- Year 12 General and Foundation course externally set task
All students enrolled in a Year 12 General or Foundation course are required to complete an externally set task (EST) for that course.
The EST is included in the assessment outline for the pair of units. This assessment task has a weighting of 15% of the final mark for the pair of units.
The EST is a 50-minute written assessment task developed by SCSA based on content from Unit 3. It is completed in class under standard test conditions.
Where a student does not complete the EST on the scheduled day, they will be required to complete the task at the first available opportunity (generally within two days of the student’s return to school). If this is not until after the date that SCSA requires Harrisdale Senior High School to submit the EST marks, then Harrisdale Senior High School will determine if the reason for non-completion is acceptable (see Section 13 for details).
If the reason is acceptable to Harrisdale Senior High School, the teacher will:
- decide on an alternate assessment task (if, in the opinion of the teacher, the task is no longer confidential), or
- allocate a predicted EST score based on the student’s performance in other assessments relative to that of the cohort and the performance of the cohort in the EST to ensure fairness and equity for all students.
If the reason is not acceptable to the Harrisdale Senior High School, the student will be allocated a mark of zero
- 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, i.e. as original, any work which:
- is prepared or substantively contributed to by another person (e.g. student, teacher, tutor or expert)
- is copied or downloaded from the internet without acknowledging the source
- paraphrases or summarises the work of others.
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 and the associate principal. As part of this process, the student and the parent/guardian will be informed of the suspected inappropriate behaviour. The student will be provided with the right of reply.
If it is demonstrated 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.
The student and parent/guardian will be informed in writing of the decision made, the penalty and any further disciplinary action.
- Security of assessment tasks
Where there is more than one class studying the same pair of units at Harrisdale Senior High School, all the assessment tasks will be the same to ensure student marks are on the same scale. Some assessments tasks will be conducted during Period Zero. In cases where there is more than one class, 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 and retained by the teacher. In their own interests, students must not discuss the nature of the questions with students from the other classes until after all students have completed the task. Discussion of the questions will be treated as collusion and the students will be penalised.
Where Harrisdale Senior High School works with other schools and uses the same assessment task or examination, the task/examination and the student responses will be retained by the teacher until the task/examination has been completed by all schools.
- Retention of student work
Teachers must retain assessment files containing all the student’s marked written assessment tasks. Harrisdale Senior High School will retain all non-written assessment tasks (typically as audio or video recordings or digital products). All assessment material is required by the teacher when assigning grades at the completion of the pair of units. SCSA may request access to these assessment files for moderation purposes so students must retain their files until Harrisdale Senior High School’s grades are approved by SCSA, at the conclusion of student appeals at the end of Term 4.
Students will have access to the assessment file for revision purposes during class time. Harrisdale Senior High School will not use the materials for any other purposes without the written permission of the student.
- Modification of the assessment outline
If circumstances change during the teaching of a pair of units, requiring the teacher to make adjustments to scheduled assessment tasks, then students will be informed and provided with a copy of the amended assessment outline.
Where a disability, special education needs or cultural beliefs have resulted in the inability of a student to complete one or more assessment tasks, the assessment outline will be modified and provided to the student and parent/guardian.
- Students with a disability
Students with a diagnosed disability will, where their disability, impairment or medical condition will significantly affect their access to a particular assessment task, have written and/or practical assessment tasks (including school examinations) adjusted by the teacher in consultation with the relevant head of learning area/teacher-in-charge responsible for the course and the associate principal. These adjustments will be consistent with those described in SCSA’s Guidelines for disability adjustments for timed assessments, which can be accessed from SCSA’s website (www.scsa.wa.edu.au). Adjustments, depending on the individual student’s education needs, can include special equipment, modified papers, provision of a scribe, or additional time to complete the task.
Note: for Year 12 students with a diagnosed disability which has functional impact on their performance, Harrisdale Senior High School will apply to SCSA for consideration of special examination arrangements. The granting of special examination arrangements by SCSA is not automatic. Where SCSA approves arrangements for the ATAR course examinations, these arrangements may differ from those Harrisdale Senior High School has used for school-based assessment. Students who have been granted special examination arrangements should be aware that their ATAR course examinations will be held at alternative venues.
- Completion of a pair of units
A grade (A, B, C, D or E) is assigned for each pair of units 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 relevant head of learning area/teacher-in-charge who will provide a ‘Submission of assessment task’ slip.
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 with the teacher at the earliest opportunity before the scheduled date. Harrisdale Senior High School will determine whether the reason is acceptable (see Section 13 for details).
Where the reason for not submitting an assessment task or attending a scheduled in-class assessment task is acceptable to Harrisdale Senior High School (see Section 13 for details), the student’s assessment outline will, where possible, be adjusted and a grade assigned.
If a student does not submit an out-of-class assessment task or attend a scheduled in-class assessment task without providing an acceptable reason, the teacher will advise the student and the parent/guardian/carer of the possible impact of the penalty on the student’s grade.
Where an out-of-class assessment task is submitted after the due date, or is not submitted, and the student does not provide a reason which is acceptable to Harrisdale Senior High School (see Section 13 for details), the following penalties apply:
- 10% reduction in the mark (if submitted one school day late), or
- 50% reduction in the mark (if submitted two school days late), or
- a mark of zero (if submitted more than two school days late or not submitted).
Where an in-class assessment task is missed and the student does not provide a reason which is acceptable to Harrisdale Senior High School (see Section 13 for details), the student will receive a mark of zero.
- Acceptable reasons for non-completion or non-submission of an assessment task
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 Harrisdale Senior High School. For example:
- where sickness, injury or significant personal circumstances prevents a student attending on the day that an in-class assessment task (including school examinations and the externally set 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 Harrisdale Senior High School before 8.30 am on the day of the in-class assessment task, Period Zero or due date for submission of an out-of-class assessment
- if in case Non Attendance at a Period Zero (0), a completed form downloaded from Connect, signed by an independent medical practitioner and submitted to the appropriate HOD
- provide either a medical certificate or a letter of explanation immediately following the student’s return to school.
Where the student provides a reason, which is acceptable to Harrisdale Senior High School 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, the assessment is no longer confidential), or
- not require the task to be completed and re-weight the student’s marks for other tasks in that assessment type (provided, in the opinion of the teacher, sufficient evidence exists in the other tasks completed to meet SCSA’s requirements for the course and 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. family holidays, preparation for Harrisdale Senior High School ball).
In exceptional circumstances, the parent/guardian may negotiate the development of an individual education plan with the year co-ordinator. This plan will show how the missed lesson time will be compensated for and any adjustments to the assessment outline.
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 Harrisdale Senior High School examination timetable, students will be advised by Harrisdale Senior High School of adjustments to the task requirements and/or the assessment outline.
- Transfer between courses and/or units
If a student commences a pair of units late, they may be at risk of being disadvantaged compared to others in the class. An application to transfer between types of courses or between courses is made through the associate principal. A meeting will be held with the student and the parent/guardian to discuss the student’s progress and the requirements necessary for the student to be assigned a grade in the pair of units into which they wish to transfer.At Harrisdale Senior High School, the deadline for student transfers in Years 11 and 12 is Friday of Week 5 in Term 1. A student transferring by the due date will be withdrawn from the original pair of units and no grade will be assigned. The student will then be enrolled in the pair of units into which they are transferring, and Harrisdale Senior High School will develop an assessment program to ensure the student meets the syllabus requirements for the course. Where a transferring student has an assessment program that differs from other students, the student will be provided with an individual assessment outline showing how a school mark for the pair of units will be determined.
In Year 11, students can also transfer at the end of Semester 1, where class numbers enable this to occur. In such cases, the student will receive a mark and a grade for the unit completed in Semester 1.
Year 11 students studying a Foundation course will be required to transfer to a General and/or ATAR course for Semester 2, if they meet the literacy and/or numeracy standards in the March round of the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA), as per instructions in SCSA’s WACE Manual.
- Transfer from another school
It is the responsibility of any Year 11 student who transfers into a class from the same course at another school, prior to SCSA’s recommended last date for student transfers between pairs of Year 11 units, to provide Harrisdale Senior High School with evidence of all completed assessment tasks from the previous school.
This information will be used by Harrisdale Senior High School to determine what additional content and assessment tasks the student needs to complete to be assigned a mark and a grade in the pair of units for the course.
If a Year 11 student transfers from another school into the same course, and it is mid-year, the previous school should provide a grade and mark for the unit to SCSA. The student would then be enrolled in a single unit for Semester 2.
Where a transferring student is being enrolled in a course they did not study at their previous school, the student will be enrolled in a single unit for Semester 2.
If a student transfers from another school in Year 12, they may only be enrolled in Year 12 courses if the transfer occurs prior to SCSA’s Year 12 course enrolment deadline (usually the first week of April). After that date, Year 12 students will not be permitted to enrol in Year 12 courses.
Where a transferring student has an assessment program that differs from other students, the student will be provided with an individual assessment outline showing how a school mark for the pair of units will be determined.
A meeting will be held with the student and parent/guardian to discuss the student’s progress and the requirements necessary for the student to be assigned a grade in the pair of units into which they wish to transfer.
Reporting student achievement
Harrisdale Senior High School reports student achievement at the end of Semester 1 and at the end of Semester 2 to SCSA. The report provides for each course:
- a comment by the teacher
- the percentage mark in the school-based examination (for ATAR courses)
- the percentage mark1 (calculated from the weighted total mark).
At the end of the year, students will be provided with a Harrisdale Senior High School statement of achievement, which lists the school mark and grade for each pair of units. These are the results which will be submitted to SCSA. Successful completion of VET qualifications and endorsed programs are also listed on the statement of achievement.
All final grades are subject to approval by SCSA at the end of the year. Students will be notified of any changes from SCSA’s review of the students’ results submitted by Harrisdale Senior High School.
- Reviewing marks and grades
If a student considers that there is an issue about the delivery of a course, the marking of one or more assessment tasks or the grade assigned for a pair of units, then 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 relevant head of learning area/teacher-in-charge responsible for the course then the associate principal.
The student or their parent/guardian can request, in writing, that Harrisdale Senior High School conduct a formal assessment review, if they consider that the student has been disadvantaged by any of the following:
- the assessment outline does not conform to the syllabus requirements
- the assessment procedures used do not conform with Harrisdale Senior High School’s senior secondary assessment policy
- procedural errors have occurred in the determination of the course mark and/or grade
- computational errors have occurred in the determination of the course mark.
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 SCSA using an appeal form which is available from the associate principal or SCSA website (https://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/publications/wace-manual. SCSA representatives will then independently investigate the claim and report to SCSA’s student appeal committee.
If the committee upholds a student appeal, Harrisdale Senior High School will make any required adjustments to the student’s mark and/or grade and, where required, the mark and/or grade of other students and re-issue reports and/or the statement of achievement as necessary.
 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.