Assessment has a number of roles:
- monitoring the progress of students and recognising learning difficulties
- adjusting programs to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve the intended outcomes
- developing subsequent learning programs
- reporting student achievement to parents
- whole college and system planning, reporting and accountability procedures.
Assessments must therefore be educative, fair, designed to meet specific purpose/s, lead to informative reporting and college-wide evaluation processes, and provide significant data for improvement of teaching practices.
Assessment programs must ensure that all assessment tasks have the following characteristics:
Assessment requirements for students studying WACE courses are set by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Adherence to these requirements is mandatory.
At the commencement of a course, every student studying a WACE course must be provided with:
- the college’s assessment policy
- the syllabus
- the college’s course outline
- the college’s assessment outline
All of the documentation above will be available on Connect. Any adjustments made to the documentation will be made in consultation with all students and publicised.
Lower school students
Every student enrolled in a Lower College course will be provided with a course outline that adheres to current guidelines (e.g. Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline) at the commencement of the course. Course outlines will include information regarding all assessable tasks with approximate due dates.
It is the student’s responsibility to:
- complete the prescribed work requirements in each subject by the due date;
- complete all assessment tasks described in the Course and Assessment Outlines;
- maintain a good record of attendance, conduct and progress. (A student who is absent for five periods or more in a course, per term, is deemed to be at risk). Students should initiate contact with teachers concerning absence from class, missed assessments, extension requests and other issues pertaining to assessment;
- initiate contact with subject teachers concerning absence from class for missed assessments and/or extension requests and other issues pertaining to assessment.
Senior school students must also:
- keep all marked, returned assessment tasks as these may be reviewed by the college or the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Senior school students need to keep assessment work until the end of March in the following year. This is imperative. Students must be aware that if they do not have all marked, returned assessments kept in one place, their grade cannot be validated/verified/approved by SCSA should an audit occur.
It is the teacher’s responsibility to:
- develop a teaching/learning program that adheres to current guidelines outlined by SCSA/Australian Curriculum etc;
- provide students with an assessment outline and course outline at the commencement of the course;
- ensure that assessments are fair, valid, explicit, reliable and authentic;
- maintain accurate records of student achievement and assessment;
- meet college and external timeframes for assessment, marking and reporting;
- inform students and parents of academic progress as appropriate. Reporting To Parents must be kept up to date with the most current results as this is the information students are accessing when using Connect;
- ensure internal comparability processes when more than one teacher is teaching a subject;
- ensure that out of class assessments are authentic with supporting evidence;
- all assessments should be marked and returned to students within 7 working days. In exceptional circumstances and after discussion with HOLA this may extend to ten days maximum. The exception to this timeframe is that all students should have had assessments marked and feedback to them prior to examination weeks.
- provide detailed marking keys or assessment rubrics, providing feedback to students on their performance and clarity about how marks were awarded for assessment tasks;
All test and exam papers are the property of the college but will be provided to students as part of the review process. There may be a delay in the return of examination papers where copyright timelines (Purchased Exams) must be adhered to.
Percentage weightings are allocated for the syllabus content, learning outcomes and types of assessment. It is important that students understand the Assessment Structure of the particular subject they are studying, to establish how marks are allocated and therefore how the final grades are awarded. Refer to the Assessment Structure for each course www.scsa.wa.edu.au
Absence from Class/Missed Work
Fremantle College has a strong focus on the development of independent learners. Students are encouraged to access Connect to maximise their achievement across their courses and to ensure that they are achieving their personal best. The resources available on Connect can be extremely useful for students who are absent from college for any period of time.
Excursions are kept to a minimum at Fremantle College to ensure students achieve maximum learning time. If an excursion has been approved by the Leadership Group, and is on the calendar, then the student should be allowed to sit a test they miss or negotiate to submit an assessment at a time determined by the teacher in consultation with the student. The teacher will make the final decision regarding timing.
If a student is absent from class, his/her ability to achieve to his/her potential is diminished. Extended periods of absence could result in lower levels of achievement. Absences may result in a student not fulfilling the requirements of a subject. Students who do not follow procedures to explain absences from assessments will be awarded a zero mark. Potential achievement will not be considered.
It is against college policy for students to be removed from the college for the purpose of a family holiday. If parents choose to do this, they do so understanding that their child’s grades may be affected and that allowances will not be made for time or assessments missed. Special circumstances may occur and it is up to parents to discuss this with the relevant Associate Principal before their child misses college. Provisions may be made in extenuating circumstances. If the college does approve the special circumstances surrounding a family holiday (ie bereavement, cultural etc) then the student will be given an opportunity to participate in the assessment at another time, or have a Not Assessed entered, thus avoiding penalty.
Scheduled assessment tasks
Any student who misses an examination must submit a separate Sickness/Misadventure Form available from the exam supervisor or the Associate Principal – Years 10-12. Examinations will not be rescheduled.
Absence from a scheduled assessment task (including tests) will be explained to the subject teacher through the normal explanation process to Student Services absentees.
Satisfactory explanation of the absence may enable the student to complete that assessment task or a similar task on their return to college during the subject period in order to gain credit. If this is not possible due to the type of the assessment, the result will be excluded in Reporting To Parents. The decision to allow as student to sit an assessment at a later date is entirely at the discretion of the teacher and is likely in most cases that the student will not sit an alternative assessment. There will be no penalty applied to the student if this occurs. If there is evidence of a pattern of absence from scheduled assessment tasks then the student will be referred to the appropriate Associate Principal and their parent/caregiver will be informed. All subjects will likely come under scrutiny. Absence for an unacceptable reason will result in a zero mark being awarded.
In cases where a student is unable to attend college to complete a specially scheduled assessment task, and where appropriate supervision can be provided and assured, the student may be given permission by the Head of Learning Area to complete the task at an alternative venue.
In cases where there is no satisfactory explanation of an absence from a scheduled assessment task, the student will complete the assessment task or a similar task on their return at a negotiated, convenient time. No credit will be given for the task until a satisfactory explanation of the absence has been given to Student Services to enter in Academy within three days of return to college. If it is not possible due to the nature of the assessment, for it to be done when they return to college, the assessment will be awarded 0 in Reporting To Parents.
Where a student is unable to attend college for a lengthy period, the college will endeavour to provide support to the student’s learning program. The appropriate Associate Principal must be contacted by the parent/guardian so that appropriate arrangements can be made where possible. For long term absence, exceptional arrangements will be made.
Generally, students cannot be given credit for work not completed in the new course. However, where possible:
- students will be given the opportunity to complete assessments missed and gain credit within a negotiated time frame;
- recognition of comparable achievement will be given and credit applied.
All subject changes depend upon the ability of the college to provide for the change, and must have parental support. Course changes must be organised through the appropriate Associate Principal.
Where a student changes schools during the school year, credit for the completion of work in the same subject will be given upon the student and/or previous school supplying appropriate evidence.
Late/Non-submission of Work
- A Course & Assessment Outline will be provided to each student at the commencement of the course. Due dates will be clearly outlined. Students will be informed if adjustments are made to the assessment schedule.
- The teacher will manage the assessment schedule.
- It is the student’s responsibility to submit assessed work on time.
- Parents/caregivers will be notified through Academy, in cases where concern for a student’s progress emerges.
In exceptional circumstances (illness or significant personal issues) a student may apply to the class teacher and/or Head of Learning Area for special consideration. Applications must be made prior to the due date for an assignment.
Where the class teacher/Head of Learning Area determines that the reasons for late or non-submission are valid, then the teacher may:
- grant an extension of time to complete the task without penalty;
- provide an alternative task;
- require the student to complete the task prior to the due time and date;
- record the student as exempt from that assessment;
- in exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Head of Learning Area, determine an estimate of achievement based on previous performance.
If a student does NOT apply for or receive consideration based on exceptional circumstances then the following will apply:
Late Work Penalty
- A deduction of 5% the allocated mark for each day late, for up to five calendar days after the last day for submission.
- Six days late without an explanation, which meets policy guidelines, will attract a 100% penalty. The assessment will still need to be submitted in order to meet all course requirements.
- Assessment practices may be altered by the College Curriculum and Standards Authority, and students will be informed at the time of any updates to Late Assessment Penalties.
Externally Set Tasks
It is a requirement that all students enrolled in Year 12 General Courses complete the Externally Set Task for that course. The same procedures applied to examinations will be applied to the invigilation and assessment of Externally Set Tasks.
Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism in Assessment other than Examinations
Students must be aware of, and adhere to, the college’s plagiarism policy. Students shown to have cheated in assessed work will receive a zero mark for the task. Collusion is when a student submits work that is not his or her own for assessment. Plagiarism is when a student uses someone else’s words or ideas without acknowledging that they have done so. That is, a work is essentially copied.
If work that is not the original product of that student is submitted for assessment, it will be deemed not to have been completed. Students may be awarded a result for work which can be authenticated. Students who allow their work to be copied may receive a zero for the task or section.
Security of Assessment Tasks
Where there is more than one class studying the same pair of units (or unit)/course at the college, all or most of the assessment tasks will be the same. In such cases, to ensure that no students are unfairly disadvantaged, the question papers used for in-class assessment tasks will be collected at the end of the lesson. In their own interests, students must not discuss the nature of the questions with students from other classes until after all the classes have completed the task. Discussion of the questions will be treated as collusion and students will be penalised.
Where the college uses the same assessment task or exam as other colleges, the task/exam and the student responses will be retained by the teacher until the task/exam has been completed by all other colleges.
Examinations and Externally Set Tasks
- When attending examinations, students must adhere to the regulations that pertain to that examination.
- Students will be issued with the examination timetable and regulations at least one fortnight prior to the examination weeks.
- Infringement of these regulations will result in an appropriate penalty.
- Students must attend scheduled examinations.
- Students who miss an examination shall not be permitted to sit the exam at another time and a mark of zero will be recorded unless a Sickness/Misadventure Form is filled in within three days of the student missing the exam. This form will need to be approved before a mark is calculated. Students who miss an exam for a medical reason must provide a medical certificate from a doctor.
- As outlined in the School Curriculum and Standards Authority WACE Manual participating in family holidays is not considered as an exceptional circumstance. Parents/guardians should contact the appropriate Associate Principal if students miss an examination for any reason. Students must fill out a Sickness/Misadventure Form available from the college when any exam is missed.
- In the case of those who can provide: a medical certificate OR another explanation acceptable to the Associate Principal, an adjusted assessment which does not penalise the student will be made in the determination of the final result for the course concerned.
- Students will not be given any additional consideration where they have failed to read instructions, including misreading examination timetables.
- Where there is an error in an examination or test paper, or a scheduled assessment is impacted by a catastrophic event, and it is determined by the Associate Principal and relevant Head of Learning Area that students may have been disadvantaged by this error, all students will be given the same consideration e.g. it may be determined that all students sitting the examination/test will be given full marks for a question with an error even though this may not have a consistent impact on students’ final marks. The adjustments applied, if any, are at the discretion of the Head of Learning Area and Associate Principal.
Breach of Examination Rules
- Collusion between candidates will result in cancellation of that subject paper for each person involved, together with an inspection of prior papers in any common examination for evidence of collusion.
- Possession of unauthorised materials in the examination room will result in cancellation of all or part of a candidate’s paper where unauthorised materials are relevant to the subject being examined
- Markings on authorised materials in the examination room will result in cancellation of whole or part of a candidate’s paper where markings on authorised materials are relevant to the subject being examined.
Students with Special Needs
The college will ensure that students with special needs are catered for in appropriate ways and in accordance with School Curriculum and Standards Authority WACE Manual procedures. Students in Lower school with special needs are able to apply for special examination/assessment arrangements. Any queries should be directed to the relevant Associate Principal.
Students will be kept informed of their progress throughout their enrolment in a subject.
Teachers will assess completed tasks and relay assessment information to the student in a timely manner. Parents will be informed about a student’s progress regularly and in all cases when a student fails to meet the expected standard (C grade). Students and parents/guardians will be informed when it is identified that the student is at risk in a subject.
Final grades for all subjects are submitted to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority are described below:
|A||Excellent||The student demonstrates achievement that has greatly exceeded the expected standard. Their achievement is well beyond what is expected at this year level.|
|B||High||The student demonstrates achievement that exceeds the expected standard.|
|C||Satisfactory||The student demonstrates achievement at the expected standard. The student is able to progress to the next level of learning.|
|D||Limited||The student demonstrates achievement below the expected standard. The student demonstrates a quality of learning that is adequate for progression but will still need additional support or assistance to progress.|
|E||Very Low||The student demonstrates achievement well below the minimum acceptable for this year level.|
Assessment Review Procedures
If a decision regarding an assessment task is not acceptable to the student, the student should discuss the matter with the classroom teacher in the first instance. If the decision is still not acceptable to the student, the student may then take his/her concerns to the HoLA/TiC for review.
The student or their parent/guardian can request, in writing, that the college conduct a formal assessment review, if they consider that the student has been disadvantaged by any of the following:
- the assessment outline/s does/do not meet the syllabus requirements
- the assessment procedures used do not conform with the college’s assessment policy
- procedural errors have occurred in the determination of the mark/s and/or grade/s
- computational errors have occurred in the determination of the mark/s and/or grade/s.
The Principal, or a nominated representative, will conduct the review. The reviewer will meet with the student and the teacher independently and will prepare a written report. This report will be provided to the student and their parent/guardian. Senior school students are also able to appeal to SCSA following this step.
Senior School Students – Failure to Meet Course Requirements
Students are required to achieve a minimum of eight C grades across their Year 11 units, and be on track to complete their VET certificate courses, in order to qualify for automatic promotion to Year 12. If students are on track to complete their VET certificates the number of C grades is reduced. Where this has not been achieved, students will be required to participate in an interview with their parents and the relevant Associate Principal or the VET Coordinator. Students may be required to:
- repeat Year 11;
- make changes to their course selections for Year 12;
- engage in an alternative pathway, such as enrolling with a State Training Provider or employment.
Each student not meeting the standard above will be reviewed to ensure the best possible outcome for the student.
- An assessment task is any task for which marks are awarded, including tests and exams.
- ‘Attempted’ means that some part of the task must be submitted or observed by the teacher.
- ‘Valid’ means that assessments are based on actual ideas, processes, products and values expected of each student.
- ‘Explicit’ means that assessment criteria are developed so that the basis for judgements is clear and public.
- The college uses the SCSA Sickness and Misadventure guidelines to determine the validity of claims for special provisions for students who have missed an assessment.