Enhancements to assist schools in implementing the OLNA

Andrew Sinfield(08) 9273 6738

Following feedback from schools, the Authority has made the preparation, delivery and reporting of the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) easier for 2016.

The length of the reading and numeracy tests have been decreased to 50 minutes and the number of questions reduced to 45. This will:

  • provide students with extra time per question
  • assist schools in timetabling these components.

Analysis of student performance after four rounds of testing indicates reducing the number of questions will not diminish the effectiveness of the test. It shows there is sufficient scope for the Authority to measure student performance and that students will have ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills.

The writing component will remain as a 60-minute test. The Authority will continue to review the data to determine whether this will change in the future.

Example tests for each component will be available to schools and the public for the start of Semester 1. These tests will mirror the actual tests in every way except for content. This should support schools in helping parents and carers better understand the requirements of the assessment.

The following enhancements were made to the recent September round:

  • Disability adjustments were made consistent with NAPLAN, EST and the WACE exams.
  • Schools could access a new Supervisor’s Handbook.

The following enhancements will be implemented in 2016:

  • Extended assessment windows in March and potentially September, including
    • extending the March assessment window for the writing component from three days to four days (a public holiday on 7 March prevents us from making it five days)
    • extending the March assessment window for reading and numeracy from 10 days to 13 days (public holidays on 7 and 25 March prevents us from making it 15 days).
  • The reading and numeracy assessments will be reduced from 60 questions in 60 minutes to 45 questions in 50 minutes.
  • Individual Category 2 reports across all components.
  • The Authority will work towards delivering an online dashboard so schools can:
    • download student lists and login details
    • identify disability adjustments for students
    • record their incident logs
    • identify students who have and have not sat during a round
  • Example tests in reading and numeracy to mirror the new tests (45 questions in 50 minutes) will be available to the public.
  • A 60-minute writing Example test will be available to the public.
  • The current 20-question Practice test will continue to be made available.
  • Additional disability adjustments:
    • coloured backgrounds
    • alternate images (high quality/vector images).

Introduction to SIRS 2016

Lynn Galbraith(08) 9273 6702

Limited places are available for school staff, using the Student Information Records System (SIRS), to attend a familiarisation seminar at the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. The seminar is aimed at new and existing users who have not previously attended a seminar.

Ideally, two staff members should attend; the clerical staff member who may be responsible for maintaining the changes on the school database and the deputy or associate principal who is responsible for timetable changes for students.

The seminar will cover the basic operations and functions of SIRS. This includes data transfer and the generation of reports which enable the information transferred to SIRS to be checked.

The seminar will be two hours duration. Participants will log into SIRS using their own school login and password.

There will be four sessions available prior to school commencing in 2016, which may be preferable for staff in remote and country Western Australia.

Seminar dates and times (2016)




Tuesday, 19 January



Friday, 22 January



Thursday, 4 February



Monday, 8 February



Wednesday, 10 February



Tuesday, 16 February



More sessions may be provided if these sessions are fully booked.

Registrations can be made online at

The seminars will be held in the Mason Bird Building Training Room 1 at 303 Sevenoaks Street, Cannington.  Further details will be supplied to participants once registered.

In 2015, two sessions were held in Bunbury for South West participants, and if we have enough interest for 2016, it may be possible to conduct sessions there again.  Please contact if you would be interested in attending SIRS familiarisation in Bunbury.

Registration of secondary students and early registration of Year 10, 11 and 12 students in 2016

Lynn Galbraith(08) 9273 6702

Schools and other education providers will be required to register their Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students with the Authority by Thursday, 18 February 2016.  All other students in Years 7, 8, and 9 must be registered by Friday, 18 March 2016.

It is critical that Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students are registered by 18 February to ensure their inclusion in the compulsory Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment in March (unless pre-qualified through Year 9 NAPLAN performance or their achievement of the standard in Year 10 or Year 11). Demonstrating the minimum standard in the three components of the assessment (reading, writing and numeracy) is a requirement for students to achieve the WACE from 2016.

Details of how to register students will be provided in the updated Data Procedures Manual 2016, with links to assist schools using Reporting to Parents, MAZE, and Excel.

School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) student numbers
For information about SCSA student numbers, see the relevant item in this eCircular.

Teacher Relief Payments - 2016

Michelle Hasler(08) 9273 6333

Teacher relief payment forms are currently routinely issued to each teacher upon their attendance at approved SCSA meetings by way of completion of a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI).

To ensure accuracy of teacher relief payments the Authority will no longer being using the RCTI system, and will be implementing the following procedure.

  1. If the Authority has made prior arrangements to reimburse a school for teacher relief in order to release a staff member, a letter addressed to the school principal will be provided to the teacher at the time of attendance at the meeting.
  2. The teacher will present this to the school to determine the cost (if any) associated with releasing the teacher.
  3. The school then invoices the Authority for the relevant cost of the replacement teacher.
  4. The Authority will reconcile the invoice against the meeting record and process payment to the school.

These instructions will also be included in the letter addressed to the principal.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to improve and refine curriculum delivery across Western Australia.

WACE results online 30 December 2015

Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313

Schools are reminded that 2015 Year 12 students will be able to access their results online at on Wednesday, 30 December 2015.

To log on, students will need their SCSA student number and other personal identification information.

Students who experience technical difficulties in accessing their information need to contact the Authority [monitored from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 8:00am to 5:00pm].

Schools are reminded that the Authority may need to speak with the specified contact person early in January should students question the results reported by schools to the Authority.

School WACE statistics 2015 available in January

Jenny Offer(08) 9273 6313

Schools will be able to download 2015 Year 12 statistical reports from the student information records system (SIRS) at from 11 January 2016.

School login details of user-name and password are needed to access these reports. These are available from the SIRS coordinator at your school.

The reports and their pathways are:

  1. STS010 – Year 12 provider statistics (parts 1 and 2)
  2. STS009 – Year 12 State statistics (parts 1 and 2)
  3. STS022 – Year 12 school assessment statistics (for each course at
    Stage 2 or 3)
  4. STS028 – Year 12 course statistics by provider (all courses at Stage 2 or 3)
  5. STS029 – Distribution of examination statistics (for each course at Stage 2 or 3)
  6. STS036 – Statistical moderation and concurrent validity of school assessments.

These six reports will be available through: reports > other reports > report type: statistics.

Another report – CSE077 – will be available for checking individual Year 12 student summary details by provider. This report will be available from: reports > other reports > report type: students.

Explanatory notes containing detailed information about these reports will also be accessible from 11 January 2016 through the Authority website at

If you require assistance with SIRS, contact the Authority helpdesk on
9273 6719 or email

Small group moderation partnerships for 2016

Rita Colliander (08) 9273 6726 (partnership registration)
Chris Stone (08) 9273 6365 (moderation queries)

Schools planning to run classes with fewer than six examination candidates in ATAR courses are reminded of the need to establish small group moderation partnerships for 2016. All schools with one or more small groups must register their partnerships with the Authority on the required form by Friday 12 February 2016.

To ensure the required comparability of marks, a partnership should be made with another school starting delivery at the same time. Establishment of a partnership before teaching commences enables the teachers involved to agree to the sequence and timing of delivery and to plan a common assessment outline

Planning and using a common assessment program requires all partner schools to:

  • use an identical assessment outline (typically developed collaboratively)
  • establish and use identical assessment tasks and marking keys
  • conduct all assessment tasks under the same agreed conditions (or conditions that are as similar as possible)
  • co-develop and document agreed marking strategies to ensure comparability of marking, which can include:

o one teacher marking a task from all students in all partner schools (i.e. rotating the marking of tasks between teachers)

o double-marking a task from all students or for selected students across the range of grades (i.e. both teachers independently mark the whole task or particular sections/questions, then discuss comparability, review marks and make adjustments where required)

o co-marking a task (i.e. each teacher marks particular sections/questions for all students).

Note: From 2016 the full assessment program must be shared between the partner schools – in previous years a minimum of 50% of the marks needed to be from common assessment tasks.

Full details of the small group moderation procedures for 2016 are available in Section 3.8 of the WACE Manual 2015–16, available on the Authority website at

A seminar will be provided early in 2016 for those teachers who have not participated in a small group moderation partnership before or wish to refresh their understanding of the required procedures. Details will be provided in the next 11 to 12 Circular. This seminar will also be available as an online learning module.

Teachers who are registered with the Authority for extranet access will be able to select the Events and Forms tab, select Events, select Online Learning then log in, scroll down and select small group moderation from the list of online courses.

Minor edits to 2015/16 syllabuses

Robyn Smith (08) 9273 6386

Minor edits to the following syllabuses are listed in the table below. The updated version of each syllabus can be found within the relevant Learning Area page of the WACE 2015-2016 section of the Authority website.


Minor edit

Ancient History ATAR Year 12

p. 10 first dot point - a comma has been changed to a semi-colon to correct an error:

  • … Maat ; the role and importance of Amun

p.10 Power and authority – change and development
There is a change in the order of the dot points to provide clarity for teachers:

  • conquest and expansion in Nubia and Syria-Palestine, including…

is now placed after:

  • the development and importance of the military in the expulsion of the Hyksos…

p. 11 ‘the’ has been deleted to correct an error:
the changing nature of Egypt’s relations (including warfare and diplomacy) with other powers, in particular the Mitanni…

Aviation ATAR Year 11

The following content has been moved from Unit 2 to Unit 1 to provide improved clarity in the teaching of the content:

Principles of flight

  • disposition of forces of an aircraft in level flight, a climb with power, descent, glide and turn
  • purpose and use of primary flight controls: elevator, aileron and rudder

In Unit 2, the word 'radio' has been inserted into the sub-heading 'Navigation, meteorology and radio communication' to be consistent with the sub-heading in 'Organisation of the content' on page 4 of the syllabus.

Aviation ATAR Year 12

  • In Unit 3, the wording for content dot point 4 under the sub-heading Navigation, meteorology and radio communication, principles of air navigation has been changed as follows to correct an error:
  • principles of air navigation including:
    • determination of drift angle (track made good to track required) and the adjustment required to correct it and return to the track required by a given point using a map
    • determination of drift angle. Determination of track error and correction angle in order to return to the required track by a given point using the 1 in 60 rule

Children, Family and the Community ATAR Year 12

Addition of a date limit to the Millennium Development Goals to provide clarity. Syllabus adjusted to be ‘impact of the United Nations 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals’.

Chinese: Background Language ATAR Year 11 and Year 12

Error in Practical (oral) examination design brief – Year 12 (p. 15)
In the section Discussion of personal investigation,
Duration: 12–15 minutes has been corrected to read:
Duration: 10 minutes

Computer Science ATAR Year 11

p. 25 Glossary
The reference to the 1:1 cardinality is an error and has been deleted from the glossary statement ‘Resolving’:
The process of converting a M:N cardinality into a 1:1, 1:M and M:1 set of cardinalities.

Computer Science ATAR Year 12

p. 14 Managing Data
The word ‘append’ is an error and has been deleted from the following content dot point.

  • queries across multiple tables using appropriate database tools, including the following: parameter, calculated field, concatenated field, aggregation, append, update, delete and make table

p. 29 Glossary
The reference to the 1:1 cardinality is an error and has been deleted from the glossary statement ‘Resolving’:
The process of converting a M:N cardinality into a 1:1, 1:M and M:1 set of cardinalities.

Drama ATAR Year 12

Correction to Appendix 2 for the Set Text list on Page 21. Eugene Ionesoco Rhinocerosshould be listed in Unit 3 to align with the content of Unit 3.

Food Science and Technology ATAR Year 11 and General Year 11 and 12

Replace ‘Healthy Living Pyramid ‘with’ Healthy Eating Pyramid’ to align with the latest version launched by Nutrition Australia and based on the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Health Studies ATAR Year 12

Replacement of Millennium Development Goals with selected Sustainable Development Goals in unit 4 of the Year 12 ATAR syllabus.

Indonesian: Background Language ATAR Year 11 and Year 12

Contexts and texts (p. 11)
In the table under the column headed ‘Texts (suggested alignment to contexts)’,

  • journal entries letter

has been corrected to read:

  • journal entry
  • letter

Error in Practical (oral) examination design brief – Year 12 (p.15)
In the section Discussion of personal investigation,
Duration: 12–15 minutes has been corrected to read:

  • Duration: 10 minutes

Japanese: Background Language ATAR Year 11 and Year 12

Contexts and texts (p. 11)
In the table under the column headed ‘Texts (suggested alignment to contexts)’,

  • journal entries letter

has been corrected to read:

  • journal entry
  • letter

Error in Practical (oral) examination design brief – Year 12 (p. 15)
In the section Discussion of personal investigation,
Duration: 12–15 minutes has been corrected to read:

  • Duration: 10 minutes

Japanese: Second Language ATAR Year 11

Error in Appendix 2 – Text type list
(p.25 and p.27)
The text type invitation and postcard have been deleted.

Japanese: Second Language ATAR Year 12

Linguistic resources (p. 14 and p.31 of the syllabus)
In Table 1. Te form structures,

  • expressing that someone do something for you

has been corrected to read:

  • expressing that someone wants someone to do something

Error in Appendix 2 – Text type list
(p.25 and p.27
The text type invitation and postcard have been deleted.

Outdoor Education ATAR Year 12

Reference to ‘Caring for Our Country’ has been removed as the program no longer exists. This has been replaced with programs of ‘Natural Resource Management – Perth’.

Repositioning of ‘facilitation skills’ to improve clarity for teachers and students.

Psychology ATAR Year 11

A correction has been made to the unit content in Unit 1.
The change is from 'position' to 'positron' in the following dot point:

  • dynamic pictures – functional magnetic imaging (FMRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scan

Psychology General Year 11

A correction has been made to the table in the 'Organisation of content' on p.3 of the Psychology General syllabus to reflect the content in the units.
The sub-organiser 'Biological influences/bases of behaviour' has been moved into Unit 2. The sub-organiser 'Personality' has been moved into Unit 1. In the table, 'Biological influences/bases of behaviour' and 'Developmental psychology' have been placed in the order in which they appear in Unit 2.
In the table the sub-organiser in red font and marked with the strike through has been moved, and replaced with the correct sub-organiser.

Content organisers


Unit 1

Unit 2


Biological influences/bases of behaviour Personality

Developmental psychology
Biological influences/bases of behaviour


Developmental psychology


Relational influences

Social psychology



Culture and values

Research methods

Planning and conducting psychological research

Processing and evaluating psychological research

Externally Set Task (EST) Year 12 General and Foundation courses

Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787

Chris Stone(08) 9273 6365

Based on feedback from schools the Authority has determined that the Externally Set Task (EST) must be administered in schools during Weeks 4, 5 and 6 of Term 2, 2016. The EST will be of 50 minutes duration and not one hour as per any previous communication.

All students enrolled in a Year 12 General or Foundation course are required to complete the EST for that course. The EST is based on the identified Unit 3 syllabus content available on the course page on the Authority’s website.

Further information regarding the ESTs can be accessed via the Authority’s website at:

Please see the link below to ‘Frequently asked questions’.