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Curriculum for Higher School Certificate

The curriculum for the HSC provided by a registered and accredited non-government school must meet the requirements of the Education Act 1990.

The requirements for the HSC are detailed on the Assessment Certification Examination (ACE) website and NESA Official Notices. To qualify for the HSC students must satisfactorily complete a Preliminary pattern of study comprising at least 12 units and a HSC pattern of study comprising at least 10 units. Both patterns must include:

  • six units from NESA Developed Courses
  • two units from a NESA Developed Course in English
  • three courses of two units value or greater (either NESA Developed or NESA Endorsed Courses)
  • four subjects.

To satisfy pattern of study requirements for the HSC a student may count a maximum of six (6) HSC units from courses in Science.

The rules and procedures for the HSC are detailed in the ACE website and NESA Official Notices. Schools must refer to these rules and procedures to ensure the eligibility of students for the HSC credential. Schools must refer to the ACE website and NESA Official Notices for details of their responsibilities in relation to the requirements for the award of the HSC, including satisfactory completion of a course and appeals.

Evidence of compliance

A registered and accredited non-government school must have in place and implement policies and procedures to monitor the compliance of each student with the requirements for eligibility for the award of the HSC.

A registered and accredited non-government school must maintain documentation for each calendar year of the current accreditation period that provides evidence of:

  • timetables showing the allocation of time and teachers for each Year/class
  • the total number of hours allocated to each Preliminary and HSC course
  • courses of study for each student each year that comply with a pattern of study for Year 11 and Year 12 as described on the ACE website for candidates for the Higher School Certificate (ACE 8005)
  • an overview of the educational program indicating
    • the scope and sequence of learning units/units of work mapped against the content and outcomes of the relevant NESA syllabus for each course
  • resources and equipment available for each KLA
  • assessment policies and procedures that comply with the requirements documented on the ACE website and NESA Official Notices. These policies should include statements of school procedures relating to the allocation of grades in each Preliminary course.
  • confirmation that the school has policies for disability provisions in accordance with the (ACE) website and NESA Official Notices
  • an overview of the process for reporting student achievement
  • the standard of teaching, that includes:
    • consistency between the various elements of the school’s curriculum including NESA syllabus outcomes, scope and sequence, teaching programs, assessment records and schedules and samples of student work
    • records of teacher reflection/evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning activities
    • records of the progressive achievement of students over time
    • records of the school’s analysis of student achievement data to inform teaching and learning
    • records of teaching strategies to meet the learning needs of students across a variety of student backgrounds and learning profiles, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • student engagement in learning, that includes records of:
    • students’ learning progress over time
    • teaching strategies and programs designed and implemented to meet the learning needs of students across a variety of student backgrounds and learning profiles, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The assessment policies must include statements of school procedures relating to:

      • organisational details of the school's assessment program for each course, giving the number and types of assessment tasks, components and weightings, and scheduling of the tasks
      • marking, recording and reporting student achievement in assessment tasks
      • administrative arrangements associated with absence from an assessment task, late submission of tasks due to illness or misadventure, malpractice and invalid or unreliable tasks
      • student appeals against assessment rankings
      • 'N' determinations
      • providing students with written advice about the school's requirements for assessment in each course.

For each calendar year, the school must maintain, until the end of that calendar year, documentation that includes:

    • teaching programs for each unit of work for each course for each Year/class. The units of work should correspond to those identified in the scope and sequence for that year
    • samples of student work that relate to the teaching program for that year.
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