This year, Queensland Year 11 students will commence their senior studies under the new curriculum structure. Significant research and planning has been undertaken to prepare for this change, and we are confident CHAC is well positioned to transition to the new system.
The new nature of assessment and the timing of units is one of the most significant changes for our College community to come to terms with. Rather than the traditional term or semester unit lengths, units will now last between 15 and 18 weeks. I encourage all students and parents to look at the College Calendar and take note of the Year 11 Block Exam periods, with most subjects completing Unit 1 in Week 15 (mid-Term 2) and Unit 2 finishing in either Week 10 or 12 of Semester 2 (the end of Term 3 or the start of Term 4).
Attendance at school for our Year 11 students has never been so important, particularly during the final week of each Term, where subjects will either be mid-way through the unit and learning new content or completing assessment for a unit. Students who are absent for assessment, for reasons other than illness or an unexpected event, jeopardise their result and the QCE credit point/s attached to that unit. The QCAA has provided guidelines to assist the College to cater for students whose ability to participate in an assessment is adversely affected by illness or an unexpected event. These principles, however, do not apply to situations that are of the ‘student’s own choosing or that of their parents/carers, such as a family holiday’ (QCAA and QCIA policy and procedures handbook 2019).
Another major change to assessment is the introduction of common external assessments for Unit 4 (Year 12) for QCAA General subjects. The QCAA will provide resources to assist the College in staging ‘mock’ assessment in preparation for these events. CHAC also participated in several external assessment trials in 2018, with students performing extremely well under these conditions. This provided a sense of confidence in the College’s ability to prepare students for success, irrespective of the system being used.
In my position as Director of Data and Strategy, one of my responsibilities is the oversight of the new senior schooling program, and I will be your point of contact for information about the new QCE system. Mrs Elizabeth Pratt, Director of Senior Secondary, will continue to be the main point of contact for special provisions and student absence during assessment blocks due to illness and unexpected events.
I look forward to seeing you at our Year 11 Parent Information Evening on 12 February at 7.45pm.