Option 2: The Higher School Certificate (HSC)
(A 2 to 5 Year Non UAI Program)
If you wish to do the 2 Year HSC Course the format is the following:
Year 1 Terms 1 to 3 The Individual and the Global Community (a
compulsory BEC worth 2 units)
Preliminary Courses (for a minimum of 10 units)
Term 4 HSC courses start
Year 2 Terms 1 to 3 High School Certificate courses
(for a minimum of 10 units)
Term 4 HSC exams held
Year 11 Preliminary courses will be completed after 3 terms of study at the end of Term 3. Term 4 will mark the commencement of Year 12 HSC courses.
Before the commencement of these HSC Courses a student must have achieved a satisfactory record of achievement in the corresponding Preliminary Courses.
From notification given to the Board of Studies by Shearwater, a Certificate for a Satisfactory Record of Achievement will be issued by the Board and should be received by the student before the completion of the calendar year.
Shearwater has formulated an “Expectation of Achievement Requirements” which determines a satisfactory Record of Achievement. These requirements are based on all aspects of school and community life and not just the content of courses.
To be eligible for the award of the HSC students must have:
– the School Certificate, or other qualifications considered satisfactory by the Board;
– attended a government school, an accredited non-government school, a school outside NSW recognised by the Board or a College of TAFE;
– completed satisfactorily courses that comprise the pattern of study required by the Board for the award of the HSC;
– made a serious attempt at the HSC external examinations.
Patterns of Study
To qualify for the HSC from Year 11, 2006 and Year 12, 2007 students must satisfactorily complete the Preliminary pattern of study comprising at least 12 units and an HSC pattern of study comprising at least 10 units. Both patterns must include:
– At least 6 units from Board Developed courses;
– At least 2 units of a Board Developed course in English;
– At least three courses of 2 units or greater (either Board developed or Board endorsed);
– At least four subjects
Students may only count a maximum of six Preliminary units and six HSC units from courses in Science.
Completing a Course
A student will be considered to have satisfactorily completed a course if, in the principal’s view, there is sufficient evidence that the student has:
– followed the course developed or endorsed by the Board;
– applied him/herself with sustained effort to set tasks and experiences provided in the course by the School;
– achieved all or some of the course outcomes. Absences will be regarded seriously and if a student is in danger of being given a ‘N’ (non-completion of course requirements) the principal will warn the student as soon as possible and advise the parents or guardians in writing.
Assessment and Reporting
– Preliminary Courses
All Preliminary Courses are assessed internally. No marks are recorded on this examination. Assessment of the Preliminary Courses will be ongoing for the duration of the course. Students will receive a record of achievement from the BOS for all preliminary courses satisfactorily completed.
– HSC Courses
Each BDC course has a 50% internal assessment component.
The School-based Assessment Tasks will contribute to 50% of your HSC mark. Your school assessment mark will be based on your performance in Assessment Tasks you have undertaken during the course. The other 50% will come from the HSC examination.
All CEC and BEC courses are internally assessed.
Assessment is based on responses to Assessment Tasks scheduled for completion during these courses. It provides an indication of the student’s application and abilities to meet the course requirements, in a wider range of objectives than can be measured in a single examination. It gives credit for course achievements. Each subject has a set of prescribed components, with prescribed weightings for calculating the school’s raw assessment marks.
Students will receive an information sheet for each course outlining their Preliminary and HSC Assessment program, which outlines components and their weightings.
A minimum of 2 weeks notice will be given before an assessment task is due or is required to be sat for. It is the responsibility of every student – if absent – to find out if any assessment tasks have been announced. Each student will be advised in writing of the exact nature of any tasks, due date and assessment weightings.
Assessment tasks must be received on due date!
Late receipts will result in a 10% per day penalty. Extensions may be applied for, and granted at the discretion of the subject Teacher.
Vacations taken outside the normal school calendar will not be accepted as a reason for absence from an assessment test or the non-receipt of an assignment.
Absence will only be accepted on the receipt of a Medical Certificate or if permission was granted by the High School college.
With the receipt of a Medical Certificate an extension or a substitute task will be given. An estimate mark may be given in unusual circumstances.
Accidents or circumstances beyond the control of the student will be deemed an acceptable reason for lateness or assessment or non-attendance. A written parental note will be required.
Truancy from tests will result in a zero mark.
Malpractice is defined as violation of examination/test rules, and passing in work that is not one’s own.
Malpractice in any Course will result in Shearwater withholding a result in that Course. If malpractice is found to be sustained in a second Course, Shearwater may withhold results in ALL Courses.
As the Board of Studies according to the HSC examination result will moderate the students’ school assessment mark, all raw School Assessment marks are confidential.
Each of the course convenors in consultation with their colleagues will set a calendar of tasks for the duration of the course and will keep a record of marks.
If a student is at risk of not completing the mandatory requirements for a course because of failure to complete internal assessment tasks, or an extended absence from the course, a warning will be given. These warnings will be in writing and detail the course of action required of the student in order for him/her to avoid an ‘N’ determination – that is, Non-Completion of a Course. Parents, or students over 18, are required to acknowledge in writing receipt of the warning. At least one follow-up letter will be issued if the student is at risk of not meeting course requirements.
Any student who is to be given an ‘N’ Determination will be advised of this, and also of their right to a School Review, and their right of appeal to the Board of Studies. All appeals to the BOS should be on the appeals forms provided by the Board. These forms are available from the Senior Studies Co-ordinator.
At the completion of the HSC Courses, including the examinations, students may apply for their Assessment Ranking. Actual overall assessment marks will not be available. If a student believes an error has been made in the calculation of their assessment, the School will:
– check that the weightings of the tasks conformed to the Board’s guidelines;
– check that the procedures used to calculate the final mark conform to those stated in the Assessment Program;
– check that there were no computational or clerical errors in the determination of the assessment mark.
If the School is satisfied that all these conditions have been met then no change will be made to the assessment. No changes to marks for individual assessments will be considered. It is therefore necessary that all students discuss their marks for individual tasks with their Teacher at the time the task is returned.
Upon satisfactory completion of your HSC you will receive a portfolio containing:
– The HSC Testamur (a certificate confirming your achievement of all requirements for the award);
– Course Reports. For every HSC Board Developed Course you will receive a Course Report showing your marks, the Performance Scale and the band descriptions for that course. A graph showing statewide distribution of marks in the course is also shown. This is similar to the School Certificates’ for tests in English-Literacy, Mathematics and Science. There are also detailed descriptions of the knowledge, skills and understanding you have attained in each subject.
– The Record of Achievement, which lists the courses you have studied and reports the marks and bands you have achieved. Your HSC mark for 2 unit courses will be reported on a scale of 0 – 100. A mark of 50 will represent the minimum standard expected. There will be five performance bands above 50 that correspond to different levels of achievement in knowledge, skills and understanding. The band from 90 – 100 will correspond to the highest level of achievement.