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Gungahlin College Student Academic Guide


Contents

Academic Information

Scaling and the ATAR

College Speak

Understanding the College system and certificate requirements

Compulsory Courses

Integrated Courses

BSSS Academic rules and regulations

Moderation and Meshing

Grades vs Unit Scores

Late Submission of Assessment Tasks

Insubstantial assessment (Non-genuine Attempt)

Rules for students during the test period

Notional Zeros

V Grades

Appeals Procedure

Plagiarism and Dishonesty

Breaches of Discipline in Relation to Assessment

Plagiarism

Penalties

Special Consideration

Extended Leave Application Procedure

Attendance Policy and Procedures

Electronic Storage of Student materials and IT at Gungahlin College

Vocational Education



Gungahlin College offers a challenging curriculum in a caring and supportive environment to meet the needs of all students in our community. We hope your time with us will be challenging, productive and successful.

You will be allocated to a House for your two years (or three years if you are in the year 10 SMART program) at Gungahlin College. Your first point of contact for any questions you might have should be your House Coordinator or their Assistant. There are eight houses. Please visit the Houses page on the Gungahlin College Website for further information.

The Gungahlin college website is the main source of information about our college and includes many useful resources and links for you, such as our College timetable and a list of Key contacts at the college.  

Academic Information

Please visit the ACT Education Website for a list of the terminology used at College.

Formal documents issued by the Office of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS)  at the end of Year 12 include:

Scaling and the ATAR


College Speak

Tertiary (T) courses

prepare you for university or further tertiary education. T course scores are used to calculate an ATAR, along with your AST result

Accredited (A) courses

prepare you for further study at CIT, TAFE, employment or alternative pathways to university (such as UC Connect).

Tertiary Package Requirements

You must successfully complete:

  • 3 T Majors and 3 Minors (1 minor must be T) OR
  • 4 Majors and 1 Minor (4 of these must be T) OR
  • 5 Majors (4 of these must be T) AND
  • be studying in at least 4 courses in at least 3 different course areas AND
  • at least one Minor must be in English/ ESL/ Literature AND
  • sit the AST AND
  • obtain at least 20 points (18 points must come from T/A/M/H/E/C units – not R units) AND
  • complete at least 10 points of the 20 from Gungahlin College (and at least half of each Major or Minor used to calculate your ATAR)

Accredited Package Requirements

You must successfully complete all of these requirements:

  • 4 minors in at least 3 different course areas
  • one of the minors must be English/ ESL/ Literature
  • obtain at least 17 points
  • complete at least 8.5 points of the 17 from Gungahlin College

What is a Standard Unit?

A standard unit is the completion of a class over 1 semester (or 55 hours)

A half unit (0.5 unit) is the completion of a class over a quadrimester (or 27.5 hours)

To pass each standard unit, students must meet the 90% attendance and 70% assessment requirements otherwise a V (Void) grade will result

Course Patterns of Study

Minor = 2 standard units

Major = 3.5 standard units

Major/Minor= 5.5 standard units

Double Major = 7 standard units

No more than 8 units can be studied in any course area.

Registered Units (R)

R units provide the opportunity to learn new skills or participate in other activities e.g. Clubs, Study Skills, Sport, WEX, etc.

R units are assessed on participation only, so it is essential to meet the attendance requirements

Vocational (V)

These courses lead to skill development in industry areas that can lead to nationally recognised vocational qualifications

Understanding the College system and certificate requirements

Compulsory Courses

All students must complete a course of study (Major or Minor) from the English Course Area as a requirement for the award of an ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. If you are studying a tertiary package it is expected that you undertake a tertiary English course.

At Gungahlin College we expect students to complete at least a minor from the Mathematics Course Area as part of their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and a major if pursuing a Tertiary Entrance Statement (TES).  If you are studying a tertiary package it is expected that you undertake a tertiary Maths course.

It is the student’s responsibility to select an appropriate course package, your House Coordinator and the team of staff in Careers will be able to offer you advice.

We strongly recommend that students research courses available at Gungahlin College and their fit with their post-College plans as universities and other institutions such as CIT have very specific requirements for entry.

As a general guide, before students make any selections, they need to consider the following:

Integrated Courses

Integrated Courses may be interdisciplinary or within the same discipline. Integrated courses are created from accredited units in existing courses, which are combined to form a new course.

Gungahlin College offers the following Integrated courses:


BSSS Academic rules and regulations

Moderation and Meshing

Teachers will moderate your work in each unit studied . This ensures that assessment is based upon comparable standards. At times your teachers will need to keep your work until the next semester for across-colleges Moderation Days.

All tertiary courses within scaling groups are meshed. What this means is that courses are compared in terms of relative difficulty so that the achievements of students in different courses can be directly and fairly ranked. Please refer to the relevant Faculty Director for the specific meshing procedure for your course.

Grades vs Unit Scores

Grades are awarded based on achievement standards and your performance against them. Scores are a representation of your position in assessment compared to other students. For example, a student who received a raw percentage in the sixties may be average, below average or above average depending on the mean and standard deviation of the assessment (that is, how everyone has performed in the assessment). Standardised scores represent this position.

For this reason as well, there is no fixed relationship between grades and scores or between raw percentages and standardised scores. These could change between subjects or assessment periods. For example, a student could get a score of 75 and a grade of B in one unit, and a score of 60 and a grade of B in another unit.

Unit scores in tertiary courses can be used to roughly compare results across subjects. Although final scaling is not known until the end of Year 12, colleges try to standardise scores as a 'best estimation' of scaling based on historical data. This means that if you achieved a 70 in Physics and an 80 in Global Studies the best estimates suggest that you are performing better in Global Studies in comparison with your peers compared to Physics.

Grades appear on your Senior Secondary Certificate. Scaled scores appear on the Tertiary Entrance Statement. You can view your grades and scores by logging into the BSSS Profiles Online.

Late Submission of Assessment Tasks

You are encouraged to submit work on time as this is a valuable organisational skill. You are also encouraged to complete work even if it is late as there are educational benefits in so doing and very importantly work submitted after seven days can contribute to the 70% required to avoid a V-grade.

The following BSSS policy is to ensure equity for all students:

Insubstantial assessment (Non-genuine Attempt)

Assessment can be deemed insubstantial. This means that not enough work was completed to mark the item including tests. If an assessment item is deemed insubstantial, it does not count as being submitted. Therefore, you could submit all assessment items and still V grade if more than 30% of your items are considered insubstantial. This is particularly important to note when assessment items are worth more than 30%.

Rules for students during the test period

  1. Students MUST sit the test at the scheduled time. Written documentation will be required to explain any absence.
  2. Students are not permitted to have access to (nor play) iPods, iPads, phones, laptops, MP3 players, CDs or similar devices during any test.
  3. Students are NOT permitted to use an electronic dictionary during any test. Students are permitted to use a language dictionary in non-electronic form.
  4. Calculators must be scientific and non-programmable.
  5. The Board of Senior Secondary Studies requires that students are to SUBSTANTIALLY complete all assessment items. This means that students need to make a reasonable attempt at answering many questions on the test (showing appropriate working) – otherwise it is possible they could be considered to have NOT substantially completed the test and receive zero.
  6. All tests will be held within the school. Check the test timetable to see where the test is scheduled.
  7. Students who arrive late for their test will NOT be given an extension of time. Students who arrive later than 15 minutes after the commencement of the test will not be permitted to enter the examination room. Students in this situation should report immediately to the appropriate Director for alternative arrangements.
  8. Students are encouraged to arrive at least 10 minutes before the starting time of the test but may not enter the room until directed by the supervising teacher.
  9. Students will be required to sit in the area assigned to their class.
  10. In general, students must stay in the examination for the entire duration. Refer to individual examination conditions for any alternative arrangements to this.
  11. Students are not permitted to talk to, or communicate with, anyone during the test, except a supervising teacher. Students who are found communicating will have their papers annotated and may have a mark penalty imposed. This could include the loss of ALL marks.
  12. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, a student has cause to be absent from a test:

The student must notify the College on that day

Immediately on return

Notional Zeros

Where students fail to hand in assessment items for which marks are awarded or an assignment is handed in more than 7 days late , they will be awarded a notional zero for that assessment item. The notional zero will be a score, which lies between 0.1 of a standard deviation below the lowest genuine score for that item and zero.

Note: if the lowest genuine score is zero, the notional zero is zero.

V Grades

V stands for ‘void’, it means that you have not met the requirements for the unit and cannot be graded or gain a point for the unit. Void units are not recorded on your Senior Secondary Certificate.V grades are awarded if you have:

Appeals Procedure

If you feel dissatisfied with the assessment result for a task (eg assignment, essay, test, etc) or the procedures used to calculate unit grades or scores, or course scores, you should follow these steps in the review of your result:

  1. Discuss the results with the teacher concerned within 2 working days of receiving the marked assessment task.
  2. If, after speaking to the classroom teacher, you still feel dissatisfied, discuss the results with the relevant Faculty Director (or one of the Directors of Student Well-being if the classroom teacher is also the Faculty Director) within 3 working days of receiving the marked assessment task and ask for a review of the assessment. (A review may include a ‘blind’ marking by another faculty member)
  3. If you still have concerns, you may start a formal appeal to your college made to one of the Associate Principals. BSSS guidelines stipulate that written appeals must be made within 5 working days of the result concerned being received by you. The written appeal should include:
  1. The appeal will be considered by the two Associate Principals in conjunction with the SLC Certification and an experienced member of the teaching profession nominated by the Board from outside the college. A decision will be reached within fourteen days of the lodgment of the appeal.
  2. If you are dissatisfied with the College's decision, you may appeal to the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies within seven days of the date of the written decision of the College.Students should be aware that an appeal might have one of three outcomes: a higher mark, grade or score; no change; or a lower mark, grade or score (Your Rights to Appeal).

Time Limits for Appealing Assessment Items, Unit Scores and Course Scores

Plagiarism and Dishonesty

The BSSS is committed to a system of school-based assessment and views seriously any breach of the rules or instructions governing that assessment. Any cheating, plagiarism, dishonesty, alteration of results or improper practice in relation to any school-based assessment in any subject accredited or registered by the Board shall constitute a breach of discipline. This includes any tampering with the assessment data on computer files by a student.

Breaches of Discipline in Relation to Assessment

Gungahlin College will apply the following procedures for dealing with breaches of discipline in relation to school-based assessments:

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the copying, paraphrasing or summarising of work, in any form, without acknowledgement of sources, and presenting this as your own work.

Examples of plagiarism could include, but are not limited to:

Penalties

First incident

One or more of the following penalties to be imposed subject to the degree of the infringement: (a) to (f)

Subsequent breach(es) of discipline

One of the following penalties to be imposed subject to the breach(es) degree of the infringement and previous of discipline: (b) to (g)

Penalties to be applied

Any one or more of the following actions could be taken for a breach of discipline in relation to assessment:

  1. reprimand, except in cases where benefit would have been derived from such breaches
  2. the making of alternative arrangements for the assessment (e.g. through a reassessment)
  3. the assessment marked without the material subject to the breach being considered
  4. imposition of a mark penalty appropriate to the extent of the breach
  5. cancellation of the result in the particular component of the college assessment concerned
  6. cancellation of the total college assessment result in the unit/course concerned
  7. cancellation of all results for years 11 and 12 in assessments conducted.

These penalties apply irrespective of the unit/subject/course in which the incident(s) occur.

BSSS brochures on Plagiarism and the penalties applied can be found on the ACT BSSS Website.

Special Consideration

If you think you are eligible for Special Consideration please seek advice from your House Coordinator as soon as possible, preferably before the assessment item is due.

The Gungahlin College Special Consideration Policy allows Gungahlin College to apply Special Consideration to students in a way that is compliant with BSSS policy.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that there is consistency and equity in the application of Special Consideration to Gungahlin College students. All students deserve to have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their true abilities in College assessment tasks. This policy is designed to take into account individual student circumstances when completing assessment tasks. In the first instance, this policy will be only administered by the Student Welfare Team (House Coordinators, Director of Inclusion Support and the Directors of Student Well-being). Requests for Special Consideration that do not fall within the mandate of this policy may be referred to the Directors of Student Well-being or an Associate Principal.

Where students experience significant short or long term illness or misadventure, this policy is designed to allow for modified assessment conditions to allow students an equivalent opportunity for success when compared to their peers. This policy does not allow for students to be advantaged over their peers through the application of special consideration. As a priority, this policy should be applied in a way that assists students to receive grades and scores for work they have submitted, with estimates and Status unit grades only used as a last resort.

Options available to students when granted Special Consideration include:

In some cases, an estimate on assessment tasks may be provided based on completed assessment tasks in order to generate a course grade. Students must substantially complete at least 50% of unit assessment to be awarded an estimated unit grade.

The principal has discretion to grant special consideration for reasons other than illness or misadventure. An example might be significant sports representation. These situations should address the need for students to show evidence of performance. The awarding of Status is not appropriate in these cases.

Extended Leave Application Procedure

It is your responsibility to inform the school in advance if you will be absent from school for more than a week.

Your House Coordinator/Assistant will enquire the reason for leave and ask for written documentation (e.g. note from parents).

Where you are absent due to a family holiday, you need to be reminded that you will not be eligible for any special consideration.

If you are absent due to misadventure you need to apply for special consideration.

Once the reason for the leave is determined, your House Coordinator/Assistant will discuss with your teachers whether assessment items are due within this leave period. If an assignment is due during your extended leave you are encouraged to submit the assignment prior to your leave to ensure that you meet all assessment due dates. The college is unable to reschedule tests/exams unless special consideration has been granted. 

You will need to consult with each teacher as to the class material that you will need to complete prior to your return. All class work can be accessed via your Google Classrooms and the expectation is that whilst on leave you will complete class work.

Attendance Policy and Procedures

It is expected that you will attend and participate in all scheduled classes and structured learning activities (including flexible lessons and scheduled Blended Learning Activities) for the units in which you are enrolled, unless there are circumstances such as illness etc, in these cases adequate documentary evidence must be provided. If your attendance falls below 90% of the scheduled classes/contact time or 90% participation in structured learning activities in a unit, without having provided adequate documentary evidence for your absences you will be deemed to have voided the unit. However, the principal has the right to exercise discretion in special circumstances if satisfactory documentation is supplied.

If you are away from class for any personal reason you need to have your parent/carer follow the Attendance process.

All absences from class must be explained within two weeks of a student’s return to college. It is your responsibility to catch up on any work missed during your absence.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are present for all in-school assessment items (oral presentations, tests/exams etc) and submit all other assessment items by the due date. Your teachers are not able to modify assessment criteria including due dates without you being granted special consideration. You will need to provide documentary evidence, see above for special consideration policy.

Electronic Storage of Student materials and IT at Gungahlin College

You are strongly encouraged to draft written work and to plan practical work. Documents and files should be stored in multiple locations and sent to an email address accessible at the college to guard against various kinds of mishap. Technological issues such as computer failure, corrupt files etc are not acceptable grounds for special consideration.

Gungahlin College is a Bring Your Own Device school. If you are needing to connect your device to the college Wifi please read the Gungahlin College Wifi Instructions.

If you have any trouble with any IT issues, feel free to visit the IT Officers, top of Orange hubs (H1.32) who will be happy to help you. The College cannot provide support with personal devices beyond School Network Account and WiFi issues (school issued Chomebooks are supported).

Vocational Education

VET courses follow all the same rules and procedures as other courses at Gungahlin College.  For specific VET information students should refer to the North Training Student Handbook