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Retaining student work samples – information for schools

The awarding of Stage 5 and Stage 6 (Preliminary) grades places significant value on teachers’ professional judgements about student achievements.

  • Schools award grades based on student achievements in the Stage 5 and Stage 6 Preliminary courses they complete (except Life Skills and VET). These grades are reported on students’ credentials.
  • To strengthen the consistency of teachers’ professional judgements in relation to statewide standards, schools are asked to keep student work samples and corresponding assessment tasks for Years 10 and 11 students.
  • For 2016, schools are required to keep a minimum of three work samples representing the upper, middle and lower range of achievement of their Years 10 and 11 cohorts for the courses identified below. Each of these work samples should demonstrate performance towards the end of the year that is typical of the student(s) awarded a particular grade (A to E) by the school.
  • From 2018 schools will be required to keep work samples for all their Stage 5 and Preliminary courses.
    Stage 5 courses
    Australian Geography
    Food Technology
    Industrial Technology
    Photographic and Digital Media
    Visual Arts
    Preliminary courses
    English (Standard)
    English (Advanced)
    English as a Second Language
    Mathematics General
    Senior Science
    Business Studies
    Ancient History
    Modern History
    Legal Studies
    Society and Culture
    Studies of Religion
    Community and Family Studies
    Industrial Technology
    Information Processes and Technology
    Visual Arts
  • To ensure the integrity of BOSTES credentials, grade patterns will continue to be monitored. In some cases, schools may be asked to submit work samples to ensure their grading decisions are aligned with statewide standards. Schools will receive information each year summarising their patterns of grades awarded to assist them in monitoring their pattern of grades. Grade history analyses are available on Schools Online.
  • Work samples retained by schools must be based on the most current syllabus at any time. They may be used in professional development activities to strengthen teachers’ understanding of standards.
  • A guide has been developed to assist schools with the requirement to retain work samples.
  • Principals are asked to advise staff of these requirements and to access the Board resources mentioned in this guide.

Support for teachers’ professional judgements in awarding grades

The grades awarded reflect a student’s academic achievement in the courses they complete.

  • BOSTES provides support to teachers to help them with school-based assessments, with material targeted at Years 10 and 11 courses.
  • The materials are available on the Assessment Resource Centre and the Grades section of the BOSTES website. They include case studies/exemplars of valid assessment approaches, as well as assessment tasks that teachers may choose to use or modify for their own assessment tasks.
  • Information for teachers showing the historic pattern of grades awarded by their school in each course can be accessed through Schools Online. Teachers are encouraged to view and engage with the grade patterns and other support materials as a guide for their professional judgements.
  • The Grade Allocation Guide contains a number of useful links to further information on the ARC and a PowerPoint presentation for school executive staff (Transcript of PPT) to use when explaining the grade awarding process to teachers.
  • Grades awarded by schools will continue to be monitored, and if significant differences in grading patterns are detected, the school may be asked to supply evidence supporting their grades.
  • By using the resources on this website to support their professional judgement, teachers can ensure consistency of grading that will see students receive the credit they deserve for their work.
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