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From the Head of Staffing / VCE Coordinator

VCE 2019

Welcome back! 

My very best wishes to all Woodleigh VCE students (and parents) for a successful and rewarding year ahead. 

During the Year 11 and 12 Orientation Week last year all VCE students began their 2019 studies and were set holiday homework tasks to complete ready for submission Day 0, 2019. The first official day for all VCE Unit 3 and 4 students was Thursday 31 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 2019 I will update all senior students about VCE rules, policies and terminology etc. and direct them to the VCE Manual (published on SEQTA). We will also complete official VCE Enrolment forms and related paperwork.

I have summarised a number of the most important issues below and will address some of the main issues at the upcoming Homestead Night – Tuesday 12 February:

SACs and SATs

All studies include, as part of their assessment, 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, including SACs, SATs and examinations will be published and distributed to all VCE Unit 3 and 4 students during Week 1, Term 1. It will also go up on SEQTA.

Students and parents should be aware of the following policies (in particular) in relation to the VCE.  

Attendance Policy  

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.

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 Disability 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 March. I have sent all students I think will qualify an email already (at the end of 2018) and will continue to follow up. 

VCE Subject Changes

All VCE subject changes MUST be made through Mrs Bolch or me. Subject changes do require students to bring a signed note from home before we process the change. Students must continue to attend their allocated class until this paperwork is completed. 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 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 student manuals. All subject changes for Semester 1 must be completed by the end of Week 4 at the very latest.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or you wish to discuss any VCE matters.

Year 9-10 Subject Changes 

Ms Tracey Glen is handling all subject changes for students at Years 9-10 level. Please contact her if you wish to investigate any possible subject changes at these year levels.

VCE Results 2018

We celebrate the achievements of every one of our 2018 Year 12 students. 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.

I want to acknowledge all of 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. My gratitude, in particular, extends to all of these 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 also must pay tribute to Gina Bolch. Gina spent multiple full days once results were released ringing every student in our Year 12 co-hort to offer her help and advice through the Change of Preference process. There were only a few students who did not already have a sufficient back up plan in place thanks to the one-on-one interviews she has with every student throughout Term 3, however, when this was the case, she helped them plan a new pathway. Gina’s care for our students is simply awesome – and she is the one who has the difficult conversations with students when their ATAR outcome is not what they had hoped for. Her efforts extend well beyond what I believe that any other school does and I thank her profusely.

I look forward to supporting all students, but particularly our Senior students through their secondary journey.

Very best wishes for a great 2019.

Staffing Term 1, 2019

We have a number of staff on leave during Term 1. All parents and students have been advised by email of the arrangements in place to cover the following staff:

Michael Paxino – Long Service Leave – we thank Bill Higgins, Sam Lewis, Danielle McDonald and Debs Kesterson for covering the majority of Michael’s load.

Lucy Wharington – Long Service Leave – covered by Carey Saunders, Head of Drama.

Deb Agar – Long Service Leave – Weeks 1-5 of Term 1. Thank you to Christina Brown, Head of Maths, for covering my class and to Laurent Julicher, Director of Senior Homestead, for covering the SAC rescheduling. I will still be in one day a week over this time to ensure that VCE paperwork and other coordination duties are completed, however, please bear with me if email replies are slow, and contact Reception if your query is urgent.

Deb Agar
Head of Staffing and VCE Co-ordinator