Welcome back! Well, I think we can confidently say that 2020 left its mark on all of us throughout the year, and it is an excellent testament to the dedication of all students, families, and staff that we made it into our COVID-normal space for 2021.
I wanted to bring you up to speed where we find ourselves at the beginning of what will hopefully be a year with more extraordinary normality and less complexity.
During the Year 11 and 12 Orientation Week last year, all VCE students began their 2021 studies and were set holiday homework tasks to complete ready for submission Day 0, 2021. Senior Campus also distributed a VCE Information Email during early December instead of our planned VCE Information Night, which was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. This email covered VCE logistics' breakdown and links to our Senior Years Handbook and helpful tips from the VCAA.
The first official day for all VCE Unit 3 and 4 students was Friday, 29 January. On this day, we ran a particular 6-lesson timetable, so students had one lesson in each of their subjects.
During the first weeks of 2021, I will update all senior students about VCE rules, policies, terminology, etc., and direct them to the Senior Years Handbook (published on SEQTA under Documents). We will also complete official VCE Enrolment forms and related paperwork.
I have summarised a number of the essential issues below :
SACS AND SATS
As part of their assessment, all studies include SACs (School Assessed Coursework) and SATs (School Assessed Tasks – only in studies where models or products are produced). Both SACs and SATs are internally set and marked. Also, all studies have externally set and marked examination(s). SACs are moderated against examination performance to ensure equality across schools. The 'achievement of outcomes' is used to determine satisfactory completion in all studies; all studies have 4–6 outcomes that must be 'achieved' to a 'minimum standard.' SACs are completed mainly during class time. Students need to be in class to satisfy outcomes and complete scheduled SACs.
A calendar of dates for Term 1, including SACs, SATs, and examinations, will be published and distributed to all VCE Unit 3 and 4 students during Week 2, Term 1. It will also go up on SEQTA under Documents. Term 2 will be uploaded after Camp Week.
Students and parents should be aware of the following policies (mainly) concerning the VCE.
VCE students are expected to attend at least 80% of scheduled classes (the only exception to this will be for legitimate, documented reasons, for example, ongoing illness). Students who do not attend enough classes may not be eligible for an 'S' rating in the subject involved. The usual method for notifying the school of an absence that is ringing Reception on the morning of the absence is necessary at all year levels. It is essential if a student will be absent on the day of a scheduled SAC/SAT (see following).
SPECIAL PROVISION POLICY
At Units 3 and 4, school-based Special Provision for missed SACs/SATs will be granted only for those students who have a Medical Certificate (or similar official documentation) that covers the class(es) missed. Students should see me as soon as they return to school to make arrangements to complete the SAC/SAT missed. At Units 1 and 2, students may apply for an extension of time for an assessment task so long as we have an official parent notification that covers the class(es) missed. Teaching staff will ensure that students have written advice on important assessment dates and will be able to satisfy these conditions for Special Provision.
Students should refer to the SAC/SAT Calendar as this calendar will allow all students (and parents) to see exactly when an assessment is scheduled to occur and, if necessary, to obtain the required medical documents to apply for Special Provision (see above). The calendar will be updated periodically (as needed) and placed on SEQTA under Documents.
ONGOING SPECIAL PROVISION
*If you believe that any medical, physical, emotional, or environmental situation has, or will, disadvantage you/your student in completing the VCE, please come and speak to me ASAP. I must be kept up to date on issues – this way, I can ensure that students receive support and are aware of Special Provision options.
VCAA SPECIAL PROVISION: SEA (SPECIAL EXAMINATION ARRANGEMENTS)
*SEA (Special Examination Arrangements) may be granted for students who have Severe Health Impairments, Physical Disabilities, or Language/Learning Disorders that may impact examination performance. Please see me ASAP if you wish to discuss the relevant requirements. These applications are due to VCAA by 15 March. An email was sent to all students we believed would qualify (at the end of 2020), and I will continue to follow up.
VCE SUBJECT CHANGES
All VCE subject changes MUST have been discussed with Mrs. Gina Bolch in Careers or me. Late subject changes are not recommended due to the requirement that students catch up on any missed SACs/SATs and all subject material they may have missed. If a student is still unsure that they have made a wise subject choice, they should speak with Mrs. Bolch or me ASAP. Note that the VCAA has strict cut-off dates for subject changes – these are listed in the Senior Years Handbook. All subject changes for Semester 1 were to have been completed by the end of Week 3 at the very latest. No further subject changes for Semester 1 will be considered beyond this time.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or you wish to discuss any VCE matters.
Faculty Awards for Year 11 2020
At the conclusion of each year we award prizes from each Faculty across the school to our top achieving VCE students at both Year 11 and Year 12. Our Year 12 students were able to have theirs presented during their Valedictory. Normally we would have been in a position to present these to our Year 11 students before the year concluded but COVID had other ideas.
Similarly, we had intended to make public these recipients at our first assembly for this year, but again, plans had to change!
On behalf of all the Senior Homestead and VCE staff, I’d like to acknowledge the winners of the Faculty Awards for Year 11 2020:
Year 11 2020 Recipient
It is important we celebrate their achievement, commitment, and success in each of these areas and hopefully we will be able to make a more public recognition as soon as possible.
VCE Results 2020
We celebrate every one of our 2020 Year 12 students' achievements, obtained through some very trying circumstances. For some of these students, it was the completion of an unscored VCE, for some transition to an Apprenticeship, a TAFE course and for many, a scored VCE (and resulting ATAR) were what they required to undertake the next part of their learning journey.
Student wellbeing and meeting each individual's personalised needs is our key focus throughout the entire secondary journey, including Year 12. Being able to celebrate the fact that so many of our students achieved highly (as was theirgoal) is part of the VCE success picture. All students had the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage instituted by the VCAA applied to their scores.
It is incumbent upon me to acknowledge that VCE success does not happen overnight and results from all of the hard work and dedication from all Year 7-10 and VCE teachers who have worked with our students. There were some truly outstanding achievements, and not all of these are represented by the top scores. I also wish to recognize the guidance and work extended by all of the staff who have worked with our unscored students, not only this year but over their full secondary journey, to ensure they completed their VCE.
I look forward to supporting all students, but particularly our Senior students, through the final years of their secondary schooling. 2021 will undoubtedly be a year full of challenges and changes, and I wish all of you every success for the time ahead.
Acting VCE Coordinator