Well, I think we can confidently say that 2021 left its mark on all of us throughout the year, and it is a great testament to the dedication of all students, families, and staff that we made it into our COVID-normal space for 2022. As we yearn for a year of greater normality, patience and compassion continue to be key traits to practice.
I wanted to bring you up to speed as to where we find ourselves at the beginning of what will hopefully be a year with greater normality and less complexity.
During the Year 11 and 12 Orientation Week last year, all VCE students began their 2022 studies and were set holiday homework tasks to complete, ready for submission on Day 0, 2022. There was also a VCE Information Email that was distributed during early December in lieu of our planned VCE Information Night which was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. This email covered the breakdown of VCE logistics as well as 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 28 January. On this day we ran a special 6-lesson timetable so that students had one lesson in each of their subjects.
During the first weeks of 2022, 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 most important issues below, and these will be reiterated on Homestead Night or when the opportunity presents itself:
SACS and SATS
As part of their assessment, all studies include SACs (School Assessed Coursework) and/or SATs (School Assessed Tasks – only in studies where models or products are produced). Both SACs and SATs are internally set and marked. In addition, 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. This means that it is very important for students to be in class both to satisfy outcomes and to 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. The Term 2 calendar will be uploaded after Camp Week.
Students and parents should be aware of the following policies (in particular) in relation to 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. This is especially important 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 official parent notification that covers the class(es) missed. Teaching staff will ensure that students have written advice on important assessment dates and so 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 assessment is scheduled to take place and, if necessary, to obtain the necessary 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 the completion of the VCE, please come and speak to me ASAP. It is essential that I be kept up to date on issues – this way, I can ensure that students receive support and are aware of all options regarding Special Provision.
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 on examination performance. Please see me ASAP if you wish to discuss the relevant requirements. These applications are due to VCAA by 1 April. An email was sent to all students who we believed would qualify (at the end of 2021), and I will continue to follow up. Daily reminders are provided to students to assist them with following up these applications.
VCE Subject Changes
All VCE subject changes MUST have been discussed through Mrs Gina Bolch in Careers or myself. Late subject changes are not recommended due to the requirement that students catch up on any missed SACs/SATs as well as all subject material they may have missed etc. If a student is still unsure that they have made a wise subject choice, they should speak with Mrs Bolch or myself 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 2 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.
VCE Results 2021
We celebrate the achievements of every one of our 2021 Year 12 students, obtained through some very trying circumstances. For some of these students, it was the completion of an unscored VCE; for some, a 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 the personalised needs of each individual is our key focus throughout the entire secondary journey, including Year 12, and so being able to celebrate the fact that so many of our students achieved highly (as was their goal) 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 again incumbent upon me to acknowledge that VCE success does not happen overnight and is a result of all the hard work and dedication from all the 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 recognise the guidance and work extended by all the staff who have worked with our unscored students, not only this year but over their full secondary journey, to ensure they successfully completed their VCE.
I look forward to supporting all students, particularly our Senior students, through the final years of their secondary schooling. 2022 will undoubtedly be another year full of challenges and changes, and I wish all of you every success for the time ahead.
Acting VCE Coordinator