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WACE 2015 / 2016. REFORM. 2012/35194v12. Why are the reforms necessary?. Views expressed by stakeholders suggest that there are concerns about a number of features of the WACE The implementation of senior secondary Australian Curriculum requires realignment of the WACE.

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wace 2015 2016

WACE 2015 / 2016



why are the reforms necessary
Why are the reforms necessary?
  • Views expressed by stakeholders suggest that there are concerns about a number of features of the WACE
  • The implementation of senior secondary Australian Curriculum requires realignment of the WACE
  • The WACE has been in place for three years
  • Enrolment patterns are now established
  • Patterns are a concern
  • Compulsory schooling until the end of 17th year is now well in place
the rationale for the reform
The rationale for the reform…
  • Stage 1 enrolments are much higher than envisaged and significant numbers of students are not undertaking courses commensurate with their ability.
  • Low and declining Stage 2 enrolments have resulted in Stage 2 examinations being unviable.
  • The current three stage design of WACE courses is incompatible with the senior secondary Australian Curriculum, which comprises Year 11 and Year 12 courses.
the rationale for the adjustment
The rationale for the adjustment…
  • Significant concerns have been raised by both the universities and the training sector regarding the standards of literacy and numeracy achieved by students who are currently graduating with a WACE.
  • Some students graduating with a WACE are poorly prepared for subsequent educational pathways into university or training.
the principles we are working from
The principles we are working from…
  • Learning is a lifelong process and schooling should prepare students for multiple educational pathways.
  • The WACE should be flexible and accommodate students with diverse backgrounds, interests and abilities and from different learning communities.
  • The WACE should embed both breadth and depth of learning.
the principles we are working from1
The principles we are working from…
  • Students should engage with courses that are personally challenging, that enhance their development and maximise their future study and career options.
  • Marks and grades awarded should be reliable and comparable across the State, and be respected as such by the Western Australian public.
the principles we are working from2
The principles we are working from…
  • After thirteen years of schooling students should demonstrate a minimum level of literacy and numeracy.
  • After thirteen years of schooling students should be prepared for further study in either training or university or entry to the workplace.
in order to achieve a wace students must
In order to achieve a WACE students must
  • Complete at least 20 units (or equivalents) including a minimum of 10 Year 12 units
  • Achieve a minimum of 6 C grades in 6 Year 11 units (or equivalents) AND 8 C grades in 4 pairs of Year 12 units (or equivalents).

If students do not pass the literacy and numeracy assessment by the time they exit secondary school, they can apply to the Authority to re-sit the assessment.All Students (whether they have achieved the WACE or not) will receive a Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement – a record of all courses and or programs completed.

  • Complete literacy and numeracy assessments to demonstrate a minimum standard based on skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy.
  • complete a minimum of four Year 12 ATAR courses including the external examination (i.e. be eligible for an ATAR) orcomplete a Certificate II or higher.
  • Complete two Year 11 English units and a pair of Year 12 English units.
  • Complete at least one pair of units from a Year 12 List A (arts/languages/social sciences) course and one pair of units from a Year 12 List B course (mathematics /sciences/technologies).
literacy and numeracy assessments
Literacy and numeracy assessments
  • To receive a WACE, students will be required to complete literacy and numeracy assessments and demonstrate achievement at or above a minimumstandard.
  • The minimum standards will be mapped to the Australian Core Skills Framework which describes the minimum requirement for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy.
  • The assessments will first be available for students to sit during semester one of Year 10. Students not meeting the standard may repeat the assessment at semester intervals.
  • Support documents will be developed to assist teachers in preparing students for assessments and for supporting those who do not demonstrate achievement at the minimum standard.
support for literacy and numeracy
Support for Literacy and Numeracy
  • Support documents will assist teachers to identify very specific skills and understandings that students may be struggling with and providing advice on strategies teachers may use to address these shortcomings.
  • The Authority will develop new Foundation English and Foundation Mathematics courses for year 11 and 12 students with very low literacy and numeracy skills.
  • The Australian Curriculum P-10 is very explicit in terms of content relating to literacy and numeracy.
  • Literacy and numeracy general capabilities are embedded throughout the P-10 curriculum.
wace 2015 2016 the courses
WACE 2015 / 2016 – the courses

To achieve a WACE students will complete:

  • Year 11 courses (typically five or six with a minimum of five)
  • Year 12 courses (a minimum of five)NOTE: In Year 11, each course is divided into two units each of a semester duration and ARENOT paired. In Year 12 the units ARE paired and in ATAR courses the WACE examination is of the pair of units. Four Year 12 courses are required for the calculation of an ATAR.
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WACE 2015 / 2016

The courses students may select from are divided into two major groups:

  • ATAR courses - for those students aiming to achieve an ATAR and enrol in university directly from school – these courses are assessed by schools, moderated and examined by the Authority and contribute to an ATAR.
  • Generalcourses - primarily for those students aiming to enrol in further training or enter the workforce – assessed by schools and moderated by the Authority and do not contribute to an ATAR.
  • Students will be able to select across the suite of ATAR courses and General courses offered appropriate to their educational pathways, needs and interests.
wace 2015 20162
WACE 2015 / 2016

Students with special education needs, students with an intellectual disability or who have had a severely disrupted learning pathway and students who require modified and independent education plans may select from two subsets of courses within the General suite described as:

  • Foundation Courses– for students with severely limited literacy and numeracy skills. Only students who have not demonstrated the minimum achievement in the literacy and numeracy assessments should enrol in these courses.
  • Preliminary Courses - for education support students.

Foundation and Preliminary courses are designed to meet the needs of approximately 10% of the total cohort.

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WACE 2015 / 2016

Of the 20 units required for a WACE, up to a maximum of four Year 11 units and four Year 12 units may be substituted by VET Programs and Endorsed Programs.

A student may choose to substitute units:

  • only with VET programs (up to a total of 8 units) OR
  • only with Endorsed programs (up to a total of 4 units) OR
  • with a combination of VET and Endorsed programs (up to a total of 8 units but with a maximum of 4 units with Endorsed Programs).
vet equivalence
VET equivalence

NOTE: Two units = one year of one course.

A Certificate can be completed over multiple years.

  • Certificate I = two Year 11 units ONLY
  • Certificate II = two Year 11 units AND two Year 12 units
  • Certificate III =two Year 11 units AND two Year 12 units
  • Certificate IV = two Year 11 units AND four Year 12 units
endorsed programs
Endorsed Programs

The Authority will review and classify all Endorsed Programs.

wace 2015 20164
WACE 2015/2016

Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement – WASSA

Every student who completes studies from the ATAR and General (includingFoundation and Preliminary) lists of courses and VET and Endorsed Programs will receive a Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA).

wace 2015 20165
WACE 2015/2016

ATAR Courses

  • Courses with external examinations in Year 12 set by the Authority.
  • Only ATAR courses will be externally examined from 2016.
  • Courses will be based on the content currently in Stage 2 (Year 11) and Stage 3 (Year 12) courses except for the new senior secondary Australian Curriculum courses.
  • All current Stage 3 courses will continue to be offered as ATAR courses.
  • As senior secondary Australian Curriculum becomes available courses will be adopted as ATAR Courses with adaptation to suit Western Australian requirements.
  • It is expected that a minimum of 50% of the students in years 11 and 12 will continue to be enrolled in ATAR courses.
wace 2015 20166
WACE 2015/2016

General courses

  • Students enrolled in General courses will not be required to sit an external examination.
  • School-based assessments (will include externally set tasks provided by the Authority) will be embedded in each course.
  • It is expected that approximately 40% of the students in Year 11 and 12 will be enrolled in General courses.
wace 2015 20167
WACE 2015/2016

General courses…continued

  • Courses will typically be based on the content currently in Stage 1 (Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12) units. Some modification may be required.
  • VET Industry Specific Courses will remain on offer.
  • Course Advisory Committees will provide advice to the Board regarding the appropriateness of General courses.
wace 2015 20168
WACE 2015/2016

Foundation and Preliminary courses

  • Courses will typically be at a level consistent with Preliminary and Stage 1 units and provide a focus on functional literacy and numeracy skills, practical work-related experience and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work.
  • Foundation English and Foundation Mathematics courses will be introduced within the Foundation suite of courses to prepare students for the various forms of writing and mathematics required in further training and employment.
  • School based assessments will include Externally Set Tasks provided by the Authority.
  • It is expected that approximately 10% of the students in Year 11 and 12 will be enrolled in these courses.

Italics = Australian curriculum

* = course with a practical examination component

review of courses
Review of courses
  • From 2015, courses (excluding Languages) with fewer than 100 students across the State for two consecutive years will be placed on notice and if enrolments remain at or below 100 students for a third year, the course will be removed from the Course List.
  • All syllabuses will be reviewed typically on a five-year cyclical basis, according to learning area. The schedule of review will be published in 2013.
optional stage 2 wace examinations 2014 and 2015
Optional Stage 2 WACE examinations (2014 and 2015)
  • Examinations for Stage 2 courses will be optional in 2014 and 2015.
  • This is an interim measure as we develop the WACE for 2016.
  • Schools will make the decision regarding whether their students will be able to undertake courses as non-examination students
  • The Authority will communicate the process required for students to register as non-examination students for Stage 2 in 2014 and 2015.
senior school curriculum and certification committee
Senior School Curriculum and Certification committee
  • Bruce Matthews – Chair Standards Committee SCSA
  • Margaret Herley– Chair Curriculum and Assessment Committee SCSA
  • Allan Blagaich CEO SCSA
  • Patrick Garnett Chair
  • Valerie Gould – Executive Director AISWA
  • Debra Sayce – Assistant Director Catholic Education Office
  • Sharyn O’Neill -Director General of Education
  • David Axworthy -Deputy Director General of Education
our thanks to the principals forum
Our thanks to the Principals’ forum

Stuart Meade - Hale SchoolRob Nairn - WASSEADenise O’Meara – Bunbury Catholic CollegeAnne Pitos– Iona Presentation CollegePat Rodrigues – Chisholm CollegeDave Stevens – Alta 1

Ivan Banks – Trinity CollegeChris Booth – Willetton SHSRebecca Cody – MLCJennifer Firth – Safety Bay SHSAlan Genoni – Canning CollegeGeoff Harris – Balga SHSMaureen Lorimer – Applecross SHS