Year 11 and 12 COVID-19 Advice and Support

Face-to-face senior secondary course delivery continues in Term 2, 2022 applying the COVID-safe measures outlined in the COVID-safe schools plan (for Term 2) and Years 11 and 12 students will have access to a wide range of courses through Virtual Learning Tasmania and online tutorials in English and Maths. Schools and teachers will continue to work with students to build upon existing knowledge and master skills required. However, Term 1 showed us that despite the best efforts by all involved, accessing some of the TASC course requirements may be challenging in the current environment.

We know that teachers are already using innovative practices to support student access to TASC course content and work requirements in authentic ways. In recognition of this work, and in aligning with Tasmanian Public Health requirements and the COVID-safe schools plan, TASC has responded to support student and teacher wellbeing and to provide student-centred options that assist young adults to achieve their goals in 2022. The TASC Guiding Principles for Responding to COVID-19, school and teacher feedback, and insight from the TASC Liaison Officer Forums and TASC Principals’ Reference Group has informed our response.

The approach we have taken in 2022 is sustainable and replicable across years, as required. Continuity and consistency safeguards the course content and work requirement expectations, providing clear guidance for students and teachers regardless of the year teaching, learning and assessment is undertaken.

Key responses (detailed below):

  1. Continuity of learning and internal assessment
  2. Course specific considerations
  3. External Assessment, Resulting and Certification
  4. Reintroduction of the Preliminary Achievement (PA) Guarantee for 2022

We will continue to monitor the situation and respond as necessary.

TASC recognises that course delivery may need to be slightly different to apply the COVID-safe measures and be as flexible as needed in responding to the current circumstances.

  • Schools may need to adjust their usual course scope and sequence to best suit engagement in learning in COVID-safe ways, with safe and equitable access to tools, equipment, instruments, materials and supervision as outlined in the course document.

 

  • To minimise the potential for disruption to project and folio work, students may be encouraged to frame inquiry questions to ensure that whatever the circumstances, inquiries can be undertaken in COVID-safe ways.

 

  • Alternative approaches to meet TASC work requirements may be required to support students to demonstrate their developing knowledge, skills and understanding. TASC is confident that teachers will apply their informed professional judgement and innovative practices to ensure fair and equitable access to learning opportunities that are authentic and provide rich learning opportunities. We recognise that, based on individual student need and current circumstances, alternative approaches may be needed to assessment regimes articulated in course work requirements.  Where alternative approaches have been taken, teachers will adjust (via notation) their Scope and Sequence and/or their Assessment Matrices and records, noting that both the Scope and Sequence and Assessment Records are living documents that are routinely maintained by teachers throughout the year. These documents should be accessible for TASC Quality Assurance processes if required.

 

  • The criteria and standards articulated in course documents are unchanged. Teachers will continue to interpret and apply course standards to the evidence of student work in a professional manner.

 

  • Ensuring fair and equitable access to learning opportunities and assessment following periods of absence will support students to build upon existing knowledge and master skills.

TASC recognises that all teachers aspire to provide rich learning opportunities and environments for students where possible. To the greatest extent possible, teacher initiatives to meet the course work requirements will honour the nature and intention of TASC-accredited courses and support students to continue to access the learning and assessment opportunities outlined in each course document.

TASC has provided course specific consideration where meeting TASC course work requirements:

  • relies on access to external groups, organisations, or activities
  • is impacted by COVID-19 Safe Behaviours and/or Public Health Advice.

Specific course delivery advice:

How we are responding to the feedback from key stakeholders is outlined in the course specific documents below. Please note, TASC has contacted individual teachers of these courses via email to advise them of these considerations.

Humanities and Social Sciences

The Arts

We will continue to monitor the situation and respond as necessary.

In 2022 senior secondary students can be confident they will be awarded results and certificates that reflect their academic achievement at the end of the year, and that these will be comparable with the results of students around Australia. TASC’s Guiding Principles for Responding to COVID-19 underscore any action or supports implemented.


TASC Level 1 and Level 2 courses

Students are assessed against a set of common criteria and standards in each TASC course. TASC is confident that teachers will continue to apply their informed professional judgement when assessing students against course standards, ensuring fair and equitable access to learning opportunities and assessment. Participation in essential quality assurance mechanisms, such as the Quality Assurance Meetings and Desktop Audits supports teachers in maintaining consistent and comparable delivery and assessment of TASC courses, ensuring reliability of the final results students receive.


TASC Level 3 and Level 4 courses

There is currently one (1) course specific adjustment to the external assessment specifications. TASC will continue to monitor the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on external assessment of its courses, seek feedback from schools and stakeholder groups and respond as necessary.

Course specific advice:

The Arts

  • SDD315120 Drama – External Assessment Specifications 
    TASC has provided course specific consideration where meeting TASC course work requirements relies on access to external groups, organisations, or activities.
    See the External Assessment Specifications for specific details.

Please note, TASC has contacted individual teachers of this course via email to advise them of the change.

General advice: external assessment mechanisms for all Level 3 and Level 4 courses

The final award achieved by a student in TASC Level 3 and Level 4 courses is a combination of both internal and external assessments. Each student completes an external assessment, is assessed by expert markers and then the cohort is reviewed by an external assessment panel, which comprises the Marking Coordinator/s and a small representative number of markers.

Once marking is complete, the external assessment panel reviews the overall achievement of the course cohort, makes recommendations in response to the specific circumstances of the external assessment (i.e., the exam paper), and reviews and resolves any anomalies or discrepancies identified; this may be at any individual student level or for an entire cohort.

Course score ranges are determined for the course and then specific course scores [which are aggregated to calculate the Tertiary Entrance (TE) Score] are assigned to each student according to their individual results. Specific course scores are arrived at through the process of scaling. Scaling only looks at student results in each year, not across years. Using this information, scaling works out how difficult it was for students to achieve a particular result in a course when compared to the results achieved in other courses in that given year. For detailed information about scaling or the ATAR, see Understanding the ATAR.

These mechanisms mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individual Level 3 and Level 4 results, as a student’s individual course score will continue to be indicative of the difficulty to achieve any outcome in a particular course for a specific year.

TASC has contingencies in place for the 2022 external assessment period, including providing further course specific advice if required. TASC remains flexible, responding as the need arises to best support students to achieve quality educational goals in 2022.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 related circumstances and feedback, TASC has reintroduced the Preliminary Achievement (PA) Guarantee, for Level 3 and Level 4 courses, in 2022.

The PA Guarantee is a supportive mechanism that encourages students to continue to strive for success, recognising that the external assessment process is a routine aspect of TASC Level 3 and Level 4 study in Tasmania, even when challenged by the disruptive year.

For more information, including a student-friendly information sheet, see the Preliminary Achievement (PA) Guarantee webpage on the TASC website.

  • Specific details on the key responses for 2022 are detailed above.
  • TASC will continue to apply an adaptive approach to senior secondary course delivery and assessment with a central focus on prioritising the needs of students and schools.
  • Our response will be informed by five principles and all that we have learnt since the start of the pandemic. We will work with representatives from the Department of Education, the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office and Independent Schools Tasmania on consistent, fair and equitable responses.
  • By working together with school sectors, school leaders and teachers, we are confident that we can continue to support Tasmanian students to participate in a wide range of course activities and learning experiences and being able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
  • Ensuring that students will continue to have the opportunity to complete the certificates and qualifications they choose to pursue, which will be equivalent to any other year.
  • We will be working directly and collaboratively with school leaders, TASC Liaison Officers and the DoE Years 9 to12 Learning team to develop the best solutions to the challenges we will face.
  • We will engage in ongoing consultation with the teaching community through the TASC Principals Reference Group and our frequent TLO forums.
  • We appreciate everyone’s thinking, suggestions and experience in delivering courses and assessments and what works best for students and schools. Provide these to TLOs and Principals for feedback and discussions with TASC.

Answers to frequently asked questions for schools and senior secondary teachers are available at 2022 COVID Response – Provider FAQs.

Senior secondary course delivery will commence as usual in 2022 applying the COVID-safe measures outlined in the  COVID Safety in Schools Plan. This aligns with the National framework and Return to school plan to support students and staff to safely return to schools.

For senior secondary schools and colleges:

  • Face-to-face learning will continue with COVID-safe measures in place, including senior secondary students wearing face masks indoors.
  • Vocational / work placements and school-based apprenticeships will continue with the support of all parties and COVID-safe measures in place.
  • See the Years 11 & 12 website and relevant Communities of Practices for advice about sequencing, delivery and teaching and learning of senior secondary courses.
  • See the TASC website for the latest information about assessment and quality assurance of senior secondary courses (with updated content to be provided if needed).

TASC recognises that course delivery may need to be slightly different to apply the COVID-safe measures and be as flexible as needed in responding to absences. Schools may need to adjust their usual course scope and sequence to best suit engagement in learning in COVID safe ways, with safe and equitable access to tools, equipment, instruments, materials and supervision as outlined in the course document. To minimise the potential for disruption to project and folio work, students may be encouraged to frame inquiry questions to ensure that whatever the circumstances, inquiries can be undertaken in COVID-safe ways.

As always, TLOs should contact TASC to clarify any aspect of senior secondary courses and let us know if you are experiencing any particular challenges so we can help you. It is likely that some minor modifications may continue be needed to deliver some aspects of Year 11 and 12 courses and assessments throughout 2022 and will work with schools to develop solutions. Over the past two years, schools and TASC have worked together flexibly to meet the challenges caused by COVID and have proven approaches as the basis for responding this year.