11to12 Circulars

May 2017

General Information, SIRS and Enrolments

Final dates for Year 12 students to withdraw from courses

Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313

Schools are reminded of the final dates to withdraw Year 12 students from courses:

  • Friday, 28 July 2017 – final date for withdrawing students from ATAR courses with practical examination components. No changes will be made to student enrolments in these courses after this date.
  • Friday, 25 August 2017 – final date for withdrawing students from ATAR courses which do not have practical examination components. No changes will be made to student enrolments in these courses after this date.
  • Friday, 25 August 2017 – final date for withdrawing students from General, Foundation, Preliminary and VET industry specific courses. No changes will be made to student enrolments in these courses after this date.

Schools are also reminded that students who are enrolled in a Year 12 ATAR courses must sit the external examination in that course. For ATAR course with practical components, students must complete both the written and practical examinations. Students who do not sit an ATAR course examination and do not have an approved sickness/misadventure application for that course, will not have the grades for the pair of units completed in that year contribute to the calculation of the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).

This means, the grades for the ATAR Year 12 course will not contribute to the:

  • completion of a minimum of 20 units, including 10 Year 12 units
  • completion of at least one pair of Year 12 units from an English course (if the ATAR Year 12 course was either English, Literature or English as an Additional Language or Dialect)
  • completion of one pair of Year 12 units from List A (arts/languages/social sciences) or List B (mathematics/science/technology) {depending on the list of the ATAR Year 12 course}
  • achievement of at least 14 C grades or higher, including at least six C grades in Year 12 units
  • completion of at least four Year 12 ATAR courses.

Students who do not sit the ATAR course examination will not have a course mark or grade recorded on their Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA), nor will they receive an ATAR course report.

As a consequence, a student may not meet the requirements to receive a WACE.

Online Student Declaration and Permission

Kerry Tarrant (08) 9273 6770

Schools are reminded that the due date for completion of the online Student Declaration and Permission is Thursday, 22 June 2017.

The following students are required to complete the online Student Declaration and Permission:

  • all Year 12 students
  • Year 11 students who are studying ATAR Units 3 and 4 and sitting the 2017 ATAR course examinations
  • Year 10 students who have been given approval to study ATAR Units 3 and 4 and sit the 2017 ATAR course examinations.

Schools are requested to ensure students are given the necessary information in order to complete the form correctly, such as:

  • the purpose
  • login instructions to the student portal: https://www.wace.wa.edu.au
  • completion of the online form must be discussed with parents/guardians.

Further information about the online Student Declaration and Permission can be found on the Authority website at:  http://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/the-wace/student-declaration.

Schools can monitor which students have completed the online Student Declaration and Permission via the report CSE058 – Student Release Choices by Provider.

The pathway to the report CSE058 is: Reports > Other reports > Report type: Students, Report: CSE058.

The Authority appreciates your assistance in obtaining this important information.


Minor amendment to Chemistry ATAR Year 12 syllabus

Allan Knight 
(08) 9273 6792

Please note a correction on page 17 of the Chemistry ATAR Year 12 syllabus. The fifth and sixth dot points under Science Understanding of Chemical Synthesis with ‘...hydrolysis of ethene’ has been amended to ‘...hydration of ethene’. This amendment is so that the correct name for this reaction type (addition of water to an alkene) is used.

The updated syllabus is available on the Authority website:


Visual Arts frequently asked questions related to practical (production) examination submissions

Lisa Bowden (08) 9273 6349

Teachers of the Visual Arts ATAR Year 12 course are advised that the Visual Arts frequently asked questions related to practical (production) examination submissions document is now available on the Visual Arts course page (http://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/syllabus-and-support-materials/arts/visual-arts). The document addresses commonly asked questions related to meeting practical (production) examination requirements. It is located under Examination Materials for the Visual Arts ATAR course.


Externally Set Tasks (EST) – Identified EST scripts for independent marking

Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313

Schools are reminded that the due date for electronically uploading the identified students’ EST scripts is Friday, 16 June 2017 (by the end of Week 8). The EST scripts are required by this date for independent marking during the Term 2 holidays (3 July to 14 July).

The facility for schools to upload EST scripts will not be available after Friday, 16 June 2017. Schools that may have concerns regarding this deadline should contact the Authority.

To identify which students’ scripts need to be scanned and uploaded into SIRS2, schools are required to run:

  • EST004 – EST Selected Scripts Status – this report lists for each General and/or Foundation course, the students whose scripts have been selected for scanning and uploading into SIRS2. The report also indicates whether or not the EST script has been uploaded.
  • EST005 – EST Missing Selected Scripts – this report lists for each General and/or Foundation course, the students whose EST scripts have not yet been uploaded. This report is particularly useful where a school decides to carry out the uploading of scripts over several sessions.

These reports are available from the following pathway:

Reports > Other reports > Report type: Externally Set Task > Report.

Schools will receive EST feedback for each course via a report available for download in SIRS from 
Friday, 11 August 2017 (end of Week 4, Term 3).


Marker applications for 2017 ATAR course examinations

Melanie Jasper (08) 9273 6732

Cristina Caruso (08) 9273 6317

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is seeking applications from qualified people interested in marking the practical and/or written 2017 ATAR course examinations. Marking provides excellent professional development, offering an ideal opportunity to work with colleagues and to develop a comprehensive understanding of the ATAR course examination standards.

Qualified people who are interested in marking must complete the application form on the Authority’s website at: http://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/about-us/employment.

Applicants will receive a receipt of their submission via email once the application has been processed. All application forms are forwarded to the Chief Marker of the relevant course. The Chief Marker selects the markers based on:

  • the number of markers required
  • recent teaching experience in the course (or similar)
  • previous ATAR/WACE marking experience
  • familiarity with the specific course syllabus.

In 2017, the following written courses will be marked online using the MarkManager marking system: Biology, Chemistry, Drama, Economics, English as a an Additional Language or Dialect, Human Biology, Literature, Mathematics Applications, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Specialist, Modern History, Physical Education Studies, Physics and Religion and Life.

Practical markers (performance and languages only) are required to have a current Working with Children Card (WWC Card).

You are not eligible to be a marker if you have taken a voluntary redundancy in the past 12 months.

Preference will be given to applicants who are available to take on a full marking load.

Applications close on Wednesday, 28 June 2017.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by:

Practical examinations                               Monday, 31 July 2017
Written examinations                                 Friday, 15 September 2017.

Penalties for Literature ATAR Year 12 examination breaches

Kevin Sadler (08) 9273 6332

Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787

Teachers are reminded of the three penalties that can be incurred in the Literature ATAR Year 12 examination. The penalties relate to:

  1. Prescribed texts listsTexts chosen as primary reference for questions in Section Two must be taken from the prescribed text lists in the Literature ATAR Year 12 syllabus (Appendix 2). A candidate who makes primary reference to a text not taken from these lists, will receive a penalty of 10 per cent of the total marks available for the examination.
  2. Three genresThe candidate is required to answer three questions in total, each making primary reference to a different genre, so that one question refers to poetry, one to prose fiction and one to drama. A candidate who chooses the same genre more than once as a primary reference will receive a penalty of 15 per cent of the total marks available for the examination.
  3. Genre specified in the question
    A candidate who chooses one of the three questions in Section Two that make reference to a specific genre, must write on that genre or receive a penalty of 15 per cent of the total marks available for the examination.

Teachers are requested to ensure all students are made aware of the penalties.

English ATAR Year 12 examination does not require a Statement of Intent for Section Three

Kevin Sadler (08) 9273 6332

Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787

Teachers and students are reminded that ‘Statements of Intent’ are not required as part of the answer to a question in the English ATAR course examination Section Three: Composing. Any statement of intent will not be read by markers or considered in the awarding of marks.

Introduction of a separate Text booklet for the Literature ATAR Year 12, Section One

Kevin Sadler (08) 9273 6332

Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787

Teachers are advised that the three texts for Section One of the 2017 Literature ATAR course examination will be provided in a separate Text booklet in order to facilitate the required close-reading of the chosen text.

Candidates will answer Question One in the Question/Answer booklet without the need for page-turning to refer to the text.

Teachers are requested to advise students of this change in the examination format.

ATAR course Year 12 Practical examinations 2017 requirements and marking keys

Kerry Cribb (08) 9273 6787

Jenny Morup (08) 9273 6309jenny.morup@scsa.wa.edu.au

A letter has been sent to all schools with students enrolled in a Year 12 ATAR course with a practical examination. The letter is to inform schools that the practical examination requirements documents and practical marking keys for 2017 are available on the specific ATAR course page of the Authority’s website. Please see the links below. The materials are located under ATAR > Examination Materials.

Teachers and students must be familiar with the course specific practical examination requirements document and practical marking keys. They contain important information about the reporting of achievement, how the examination is structured and conducted and key dates.


Chinese: Second Language




English as an Additional Language/Dialect

French: Background Language

French: Second Language

German: Background Language 

German: Second Language

Indonesian: Second Language

Italian: Background Language    

Italian: Second Language

Japanese: Second Language

Materials Design and Technology

Media Production and Analysis


Physical Education Studies

Visual Arts

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Consequences of not providing a VET Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Jenny Offer (08) 9273 6313

Kerry Tarrant (08) 9273 6770

Student enrolments and achievements in VET

For Year 12 students in 2017, schools are reminded to include the VET USI in their VET enrolment (ENVET), VET achievement (RSVET and RSQUAL) and student registration and demographic (SRGDG) files which are uploaded into Student Information Records System (SIRS). The USI field is optional in these four files, however, it is required in the RSVET and RSQUAL files for units of competency and qualifications to contribute towards meeting the WACE requirements.

Students are required to have a USI before they can be issued with a statement of attainment or certificate from their RTO.

If assistance is required regarding the USI, it is suggested that schools contact the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development at usi@dtwd.wa.gov.au or refer to the USI help centre at https://www.usi.gov.au/, by telephone on 13 38 73 or via email at usi@industry.gov.au.

Certification consequences of not providing a VET USI

Students who achieve VET units of competency or VET qualifications without a VET USI will not:

  • have the results reported on the Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA)
  • have the achievements allocated unit equivalent/s and may not meet the requirements to receive a WACE
  • have the achievements recognised in the completion requirement for VET Industry Specific courses.

VET – USI report
To assist schools to identify which students have a VET USI uploaded onto SIRS, the 
Authority has developed a report in SIRS. The pathway to this report is as follows:

Reports > other reports > Report type: enrolments, Report: CSE195 – VET USI report.

This report will list (either ‘yes’ or ‘no’) to indicate if a VET USI has been uploaded for 
each student at the school who has VET enrolments in 2017.

Where students already have VET USIs, there is no need to obtain another USI for 2017.

Schools are reminded that the Authority requires Year 12 student enrolments in VET to be uploaded into SIRS as soon as possible, but not later than Thursday, 22 June 2017.

Management of Certificate IV or higher qualifications used for recognition towards the WACE

Angela Kiely (08) 9273 6751
angela. kiely@scsa.wa.edu.au

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority)has a responsibility for the quality assurance of courses and assessments that contribute towards the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). In relation to the quality assurance for VET, the Authority recognises and accepts the processes managed by RTOs under the regulatory mechanisms of the VET system.

The Authority considers it important to strengthen the opportunities for students to gain credit for higher levels of VET qualifications where:

  • the VET is delivered and assessed under appropriate conditions
  • the qualification meets the needs, capabilities and aspirations of the student
  • the student has the necessary characteristics identified in the qualification packaging rules
  • the student already possesses the prerequisite knowledge and skills and/or has industry related work history
  • the training supports student articulation into post school opportunities.

This stance is strategically important in strengthening the status and profile of VET and positioning it as an equally valid option to other tertiary pathways.

For students who have an identified career path, the opportunity to access qualifications that directly articulate into further higher education and training must be an option. Students who choose to stay in secondary education should be given the opportunity to engage in a senior secondary education program which adequately prepares them for their future and supports them to make successful and meaningful transitions into further training, education and/or employment.  

To determine an appropriate, sustainable and effective strategy for promoting quality outcomes in higher level qualifications used as credit towards the WACE, the Authority consulted with representatives from the school systems and sector, the VET regulators, the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD), schools and RTOs.

As an outcome of the consultation the Authority has decided to establish an evidence base of details relating to the context and conditions of delivery of higher level VET qualifications undertaken by WA secondary students that will assist in providing informed responses to stakeholders that may query these enrolments.

The process for the management of Certificate IV or higher recognition in the WACE includes the following features:

  • The school will be required to retain a record of the details of any Certificate IV or higher program undertaken by students at their school to assist them to respond to integrity checks conducted by the Authority or requests for information by the VET regulators.
  • An annual integrity check of higher level qualifications will be conducted based on perceived level of risk. Through this process, the Authority will collect information about relevant students and the context of delivery and assessment of these qualifications.
  • VET regulators, namely the TAC and the ASQA will be provided with summaries of qualification estimates, VET enrolments and VET achievement data for Certificate IV or higher reported by schools to the Authority.  The regulators will use the information to determine if further investigation is required under the VET regulatory framework.