The senior secondary English curriculum values the histories, cultures, traditions and languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and their central place in contemporary Australian society and culture. Through the study of texts, students are provided with opportunities to develop their understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their contribution to Australian society. The illustrative text lists for each subject include a selection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature.
There are strong social, cultural and economic reasons for Australian students to engage with Asia and with the contribution of Asian Australians to our society and heritage. It is through the study of texts from Asia that a creative and forward-looking Australia can engage with our place in the region. Through story articulated in a range of mediums, students are provided with opportunities to develop understanding of the diversity of Asia’s peoples, environments and traditional and contemporary cultures. Texts relevant to this priority are included in the illustrative lists for each subject.
Each of the senior English subjects provides the opportunity for the development of informed and reasoned points of view, discussion of issues, research and problem solving. In this context, teachers are encouraged to select texts and issues for discussion connected with sustainability. Through analysis of media articles, documentaries and digital texts, students have the opportunity to research and discuss this global issue and learn the importance of respecting and valuing a wide range of world views.
Moderation is a system designed and implemented to:
form the basis for valid and reliable assessment in senior secondary schools
involve the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies and colleges in cooperation and partnership
maintain the quality of school-based assessment and the credibility, validity and acceptability of Board certificates.
Moderation commences within individual colleges. Teachers develop assessment programs and instruments, apply assessment criteria, and allocate Unit Grades, according to the relevant Course Framework. Teachers within course teaching groups conduct consensus discussions to moderate marking or grading of individual assessment instruments and unit grade decisions.
The Moderation Model
Moderation within the ACT encompasses structured, consensus-based peer review of Unit Grades for all accredited courses, as well as statistical moderation of course scores, including small group procedures, for T courses.
In the review process, Unit Grades awarded by teachers on the basis of school assessment are moderated by peer review against system wide assessment criteria and achievement standards. This is done by matching student performance as demonstrated in portfolios of assessment tasks against the criteria and standards. Advice is then given to colleges to assist teachers with, and/or reassure them on, their judgments.
Each year, teachers taking a Year 11 class are asked to retain originals or copies of student work completed in Semester 2. Similarly, teachers taking a Year 12 class should retain originals or copies of student work completed in Semester 1. Assessment and other documentation required by the Office of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies should also be kept. Year 11 work from Semester 2 of the previous year is presented for review at Moderation Day 1 in March, and Year 12 work from Semester 1 is presented for review at Moderation Day 2 in August.
In the lead up to Moderation Day, a College Course Presentation (comprised of a document folder and a set of student portfolios) is prepared for each A, M and T course/units offered by the school, and is sent in to the Office of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies.
The package of materials (College Course Presentation) presented by a college for review on moderation days in each course area will comprise the following:
a folder containing supporting documentation as requested by the Office of the Board through memoranda to colleges
a set of student portfolios containing marked and/or graded written and non-written assessment responses and completed criteria and standards feedback forms. Evidence of all assessment responses on which the unit grade decision has been made is to be included in the student review portfolios.
Specific requirements for subject areas and types of evidence to be presented for each Moderation Day will be outlined by the Board Secretariat through memoranda and Information Papers.
Visual evidence for judgements made about practical performances
(also refer to BSSS Website Guidelines)
It is a requirement that schools’ judgements of standards to practical performances (A/T/M) be supported by visual evidence (still photos or video).
The photographic evidence submitted must be drawn from practical skills performed as part of the assessment process.
Teachers should consult the BSSS guidelines at http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/grade_moderation/information_for_teachers when preparing photographic evidence.
Refer to specific unit resources.
Proposed Evaluation Procedures
Course evaluation will be a continuous process. Teachers will meet regularly to discuss the content of the course and any requirements for modification of activities, teaching strategies and assessment instruments. The current trends and innovations in the teaching of insert name of course will be considered as teachers attend workshops, seminars and participate in discussion groups with other teachers such as on Moderation Day.
Teachers will monitor student performance and progress and student responses to various teaching, learning and assessment strategies. Students and teachers will complete evaluation questionnaires at the end of each unit. The results of these will be collated and reviewed from year to year. There will also be a continuous monitoring of student numbers between Years 11 and 12.
Informal discussions between teachers and students, past students, parents and other teachers will contribute to the evaluation of the course.