The principles we are working from… Learning is a lifelong process and schooling should prepare students for multiple educational pathways. The WACE should be flexible and accommodate students with diverse backgrounds, interests and abilities and from different learning communities. The WACE should embed both breadth and depth of learning. Students should engage with courses that are personally challenging, that enhance their development and maximise their future study and career options.
The principles we are working from… Marks and grades awarded should be reliable and comparable across the State, and be respected as such by the Western Australian public. After thirteen years of schooling students should demonstrate a minimum level of literacy and numeracy. After thirteen years of schooling students should be prepared for further study in either training or university or entry to the workplace.
Further refinements The WACE reforms announced in January 2013 were based on a report to the Minister for Education. The Authority have conducted presentations, teleconferences, webinars, briefings and provided opportunities for engagement and feedback. A number of issues have required further consideration to ensure the overall objectives of the reforms are met. The draft WACE Manual 2015-16 will be available for feedback from 31 March 2014 on the Authority’s website.
Where to find this information The document titled Supplementary information to the report: the Western Australian Certificate of Education 2015 Responding and adapting (November 2013) is published on the Authority’s website. WACE 2015-16 information for principals and teachers. It details the basis and rationale for these refinements.
Complete a Literacy and Numeracy Assessment to demonstrate a minimum standard based on skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy. Complete a minimum of four Year 12 ATAR courses including the external examination (i.e. be eligible for an ATAR) or complete a Certificate II or higher. Complete two Year 11 English units and a pair of Year 12 English units. Complete at least one pair of units from a Year 12 List A (arts/languages/social sciences) course and one pair of units from a Year 12 List B course (mathematics/sciences/technologies). Complete at least 20 units (or equivalents) including a minimum of 10 Year 12 units. Achieve a minimum of 14 C grades in Year 11 and Year 12 units (or equivalents) including at least 6 C grades in Year 12 units (or equivalents). If students do not meet the literacy and numeracy standard by the time they exit secondary school, they can apply to the Authority to re-sit the assessment. All students (whether they have achieved the WACE or not) will receive a Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement – a record of all courses and or programs completed. To achieve a WACE students must:
Literacy and Numeracy Assessment To achieve a WACE, students will be required to complete the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) and demonstrate achievement at or above a minimum standard. The OLNA has three components – reading, writing and numeracy. Students who achieve Band 8 or higher in the associated component of their Year 9 NAPLAN tests will be recognised as having met the standard required for that component of the OLNA.
Meeting the standard
When do students sit the OLNA? Students will be required to undertake the OLNA in Semester 1, Year 10 unless they have prequalified for one or more components through achievement of Band 8 or higher in the Year 9 NAPLAN tests. If the student does not meet the standard in Semester 1, then they must sit in Semester 2, Year 10, and, if required, Semester 1, Year 11. From then on, and if required, students may choose when next to sit the assessment.
OLNA - consideration of special needs Students with a language background other than English, who arrived from overseas and have been attending school in Australia for less than a year, should be given the opportunity to attempt the OLNA, but may be exempted from sitting the assessments in Semester 1, Year 10. Students with significant intellectual disability and/or those with significant co-existing conditions which severely limit their capacity to participate in the OLNA may be exempted from sitting the assessments in Semester 1, Year 10.
2014 OLNA dates Support documents have been developed to assist teachers in preparing students for assessments. Further support materials to assist teachers with those students who do not demonstrate achievement at the minimum standard will be available in May 2014. RoundNumeracy and ReadingWriting 110-21 March 201410-12 March 2014 21-12 September 20141-3 September 2014
OLNA information pack for schools The following information was emailed to all schools with expected Year 10 enrolments in 2014 on 28 January 2014.
Sample reading question
Sample numeracy question
OLNA report to schools Schools will receive a report detailing the categories of achievement for each student for each component of the OLNA. In addition, schools will receive information identifying general concepts that they may focus on in order to support improved student achievement. Reporting will cover three categories of achievement. Category 3 - Those students who demonstrated the standard either by sitting the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment or through NAPLAN prequalification. Category 2 - Those students who through normal development of literacy and numeracy skills over Year 10, 11 and 12 should demonstrate the minimum standard prior to the end of Year 12. It is strongly recommended that these students should enrol in General or ATAR courses. Category 1 - Those students whose results are considerably below the minimum standard and may require specific learning interventions. It is recommended that consideration be given to enrolling these students in Foundation courses.
Sequential development All ATAR and General courses demonstrate an increasing level of complexity from Year 11 to Year 12. Course units must be completed sequentially, with Year 11 units (1 & 2) being undertaken before Year 12 units (3 & 4) unless students enrol directly in Year 12 units without completing Year 11 units. Year 12 units (3 & 4) are paired. The course change date will be reintroduced and it will not be possible to switch after this date. Students who switch courses in Year 12 need to complete the assessment requirements of both units 3 & 4 of the new course.
Eligibility for Foundation and Preliminary Students who achieve the literacy standard in the OLNA are not eligible to enrol in Foundation English and other List A Foundation courses. Students who achieve the numeracy standard in the OLNA are not eligible to enrol in Foundation Mathematics and other List B Foundation courses. Students who achieve the minimum standard of literacy and/or numeracy in Semester 1 of Year 11 are not eligible to continue in the associated Foundation courses in Semester 2 of that year.
Year 11 English Foundation content When producing texts, students learn how to brainstorm ideas, for example, mindmaps how to shape or structure a text to make it work, for example, creating a framework why a particular form is appropriate, for example, a weekly column instead of a feature article how to use the conventions of a particular form, for example, the sports article how to use language including appropriate spelling, punctuation and grammar
Year 11 Maths Foundation content Content area 1.2: Addition and subtraction with whole numbers and money Content descriptionsExamples 1.2.1 determine whether an estimation or an accurate answer is needed in everyday situations determine whether an exact amount or an estimation is required when shopping 1.2.2 choose when it is appropriate to use addition or subtraction to solve a range of everyday problems, for example, combining quantities, comparing the difference choose the operation for calculations involved in shopping
Maximum credit in a subject Students can achieve credit towards the WACE for a maximum of four units within any one subject. (e.g. four ATAR course units, four General course units or a combination of four ATAR and General course units). While Year 10 students who are enrolled in Stage 1 or Stage 2 units in 2014 may use these results as credit towards their WACE against the related Year 11 ATAR or General course, students can only achieve credit towards the WACE for a maximum of four units within any one course.
VET equivalences Completed qualification Equivalence (total) Credit allocation (units) 1112 Certificate I2 units2- Certificate II4 units22 Certificate III and higher6 units24 For a completed Certificate I, units of competency must have a minimum of 110 nominal hours. For a completed Certificate II, the achievement of units of competency must be a minimum of 220 hours. More substantial elective units may be required to ensure the minimum is met.
VET partial Certificate III or higher A student may be awarded unit equivalence for the partial achievement of a Certificate III or higher and deemed to have satisfied the Certificate II minimum qualification requirement where it has been demonstrated that: they have insufficient time to complete the qualification by the end of Year 12; or there are age or other appropriate restrictions associated with the qualification (such as in a school based traineeship or apprenticeship); and they are enrolled to complete, in the current year, the equivalent of at least four WACE course units (220 nominal hours of VET) from Year 12 VET enrolments only.
VET industry specific courses VET industry specific courses will no longer be identified as List A or List B. The current VET industry specific courses are being reviewed as part of the WACE course revisions. VET industry specific course structure and unit credit VET industry specific course qualification General course units Meets minimum qualification requirement for WACE Yr 11Yr 12 Certificate IUnit 1/2 Certificate IIUnit 1/2Unit 3/4 Certificate IIIUnit 1/2Unit 3/4
VET recognition The Authority reserves the right to identify some qualifications from nationally recognised accredited courses which it does not recognise for unit equivalence within the WACE. The Certificates of General Education for Adults (CGEA) will not be allocated credit, nor recognised as meeting the requirement of achieving a Certificate II or higher for WACE completion.
Workplace Learning Current Workplace Learning offerings will be discontinued and will be replaced by one endorsed program. This allows students to accrue a maximum of two Year 11 units and two Year 12 units) that are generic in nature and meet the needs of all students who wish to use Workplace Learning within their WACE.
Endorsed programs The Endorsed Programs Committee is preparing advice for the consideration by the Authority’s Board on a range of issues including: strengthening policies and processes regarding the approval of endorsed programs for credit within the WACE the number and nature of endorsed programs on offer discontinuing the use of endorsed programs for credit within the WACE where the proposed courses have significant overlap with WACE courses. A student can only use endorsed programs for 2 units of equivalence in Year 11 and two units in Year 12 - but this must be considered in relation to the total number of equivalences being claimed for through VET.
Private Candidates From 2016, private candidature in ATAR examinations will be discontinued except for students: seeking mature age university entrance undertaking language courses through interstate or Collaborative Curriculum Assessment Framework for Languages (CACAFL) offerings.
Consideration of special needs Students with special education needs, students with an intellectual disability or who have had a severely disrupted learning pathway and students who require modified and independent education plans may select from two subsets of courses within the General suite described as: Foundation courses – for students with severely limited literacy and numeracy skills. Only students who have not demonstrated the minimum achievement in the relevant components of the OLNA may enrol in these courses. Preliminary courses – for students with identified special needs.
Moderation and Externally Set Tasks An Externally Set Task (EST) process will be introduced for General courses (including Foundation courses but excluding Preliminary courses) at Year 12. This process will enhance public confidence in school- based grades for these non-examination courses and maintain the credibility of certification. The Authority will inform all schools during Term 3 in Year 11 of the specific content dot points from Unit 3 of the syllabus on which the task will be based. Student will complete the EST in Term 2 Year 12.
Externally Set Tasks The task will be approximately 60 minutes in duration. Students will complete it individually under test conditions. The assessment weighting for this task is 15% of their final Year 12 school mark. The Authority will provide a marking key for the task. Teachers will assess the task against the key and the task will be used for consensus moderation. On a rotation basis, schools will be required to submit marks and a sample of scripts to the Authority for validation of marks. These processes will inform moderation visits the following year.
Review of courses From 2015, courses (excluding Languages) with fewer than 100 students across the State for two consecutive years will be placed on notice and if enrolments remain at or below 100 students for a third year, the course will be removed from the Course List. All syllabuses will be reviewed typically on a five-year cyclical basis, according to learning area. The schedule of review will be published in 2014.
Certificates of Merit and Distinction Two new awards, Certificates of Distinction and Certificates of Merit, will be established that are based on students’ achievement (measured by the grades awarded by schools) and the levels of the courses and programs undertaken. Certificates will be determined through the allocation of points. These certificates will replace the current Certificates of Commendation.
Australian Curriculum and WACE syllabuses The Western Australian syllabuses for English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography have adopted and adapted the approved Phase 1 senior secondary Australian Curriculum content into the relevant WACE ATAR and General courses. The syllabuses include, within the organisation section, the General Capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities, which are embedded in all learning areas. The general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities are not assessed unless they are identified within the specified unit content.
The WACE syllabus review process To adopt and adapt the Australian Curriculum to reflect the content and understanding of our existing courses. Review and repackage the Stage 1, 2 and 3 courses into ATAR and General courses. ATAR courses typically reflect Stage 2 content in Year 11 and Stage 3 content in Year 12. General courses typically reflect Stage 1 content in Year 11 and Stage 2 content in Year 12. The syllabus review tables will be published on the Authority’s website.
WACE syllabus review – English General CONTENT DELETED CONTENT ADDED YEAR 11 CHANGESYEAR 12 CHANGES deletions minor : o exemplification in some content dot points considered potentially misleading or superfluous o in keeping with WA feedback, content considered overly difficult or demanding additions to expand, clarify or consolidate areas of course content appropriate to the Western Australian cohort of Stage 1 and Stage 2 students. Additions consisted of : minor changes: o Rephrasing General English aims into the active voice o Re-wording or re- organising some phrases for consistency within and across both syllabus documents (eg analytical, imaginative, interpretive and persuasive texts) o structure of “Texts” dot- pointed for clarity (previously in paragraph form) minor changes: o Rephrasing General English aims into the active voice o Re-wording or re- organising some phrases for consistency within and across both syllabus documents (eg analytical, imaginative, interpretive and persuasive texts) o Structure of “Texts” dot- pointed for clarity (previously in paragraph form)
WACE syllabus review – Maths General CONTENT DELETED CONTENT ADDED YEAR 11 CHANGESYEAR 12 CHANGES Adapted from AC Essential Mathematics minor changes have been made to the content dot points of the ACARA course. o the order and emphasis of some content has been modified to clarify the intent from the WA perspective o further elaboration and/or specificity of some content descriptions without changing the intent of the original content to be treated specific references for use of calculators and/or other technology have been made where necessary for purposes of clarity or intent o Examples in context have been moved to follow the content descriptions for each sub topic
Optional Stage 2 WACE examinations Examinations for Stage 2 courses will be optional in 2014 and 2015. An interim measure as the Authority develops the WACE for 2016. Schools make the decision regarding whether their students will be able to undertake courses as non-examination students. The Authority communicated the process required for students to register as non-examination students for Stage 2 in 2014 through the February eCircular. In 2014, the final date for notifying the Authority is 16 May.
What’s happening in 2014 for schools? Available on the Authority’s website on 31 March: syllabuses – 230 courses sample externally set tasks and marking keys for all General courses (except Preliminary courses) sample examinations and marking keys for 13 new Australian Curriculum based ATAR courses draft WACE Manual 2015-16 for consultation videos – CEO Overview, 8 learning areas, VET HOLAs will be able to register for learning area webinars to be scheduled during Term 2, 2014. Online discussions will be scheduled during 2014. www.scsa.wa.edu.auwww.scsa.wa.edu.au.