Year 12 is challenging and delightful in various ways. People talk about it as being the hardest and best year of your school lives. Not too many others will have a final year of school like yours. This year is one that you will long remember, for lots of reasons.

What We Know

The HSC is going ahead. “The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Board confirmed that the Higher School Certificate (HSC) is going ahead in 2020”.

The Chair of the NESA Board had three important messages for HSC students:

  1. We know you are worried…we want to assure you that you will be able to get a HSC certificate this year, and that the certificate will facilitate access to university, further education and employment, as it has for students over the past 50 years.
  2. Keep learning, do your assessments as advised by your school, make progress on your major projects where you can and, most importantly, look after yourself, whether you are at school or at home. Reach out to family, friends and your teachers if you need to.
  3. If you get sick, your school and NESA have provisions to ensure you are not disadvantaged.

Assessment Tasks & University Entrance

“Effective immediately the Board is giving principals or system authorities the power to make decisions about the number and weighting of HSC formal assessment tasks for their school in 2020. The Board affirms its complete trust in principals and teachers”. They have also given principals the power to make decisions about the type of tasks too, meaning that if the nature of tasks need to change, I can now approve this change.

As per our previous instructions, all hand-in tasks will continue as per schedule. All in-class tasks due this term have been re-arranged and students have been notified about this. You will receive more information about future tasks as we head into next term.

NESA has said that Schools should continue to implement their assessment policy where possible, including administrative arrangements for illness/misadventure and substitute tasks. Given that most schools will make some changes to their assessment program, they should continue to ensure that students have adequate written notice of any changes to the school’s assessment program or policy, and are aware of the details of the school’s arrangements for illness/misadventure and substitute tasks. This is already happening/ already the case.

Like NESA, the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) released advice for Year 12 students earlier in the week. It is advice that should allay any of your fears. “Year 12 students will be emailed their UAC PIN on 1 April. Further advice regarding special arrangements for Year 12 students will be made available in the coming weeks and months as we work with universities, NESA and other stakeholders to ensure that no student is disadvantaged in relation to university entry in 2021”. We do know that you will not be disadvantaged when it comes to university entry.

We do know that by the end of this term, most of you will have completed two of four assessment tasks for each subject. We know that there will be another one during Term 2 for most subjects, in some shape or form, and then the Trial HSC in Term 3. There are also major works and projects to complete. We will be able to help you to complete your assessments in a fair and reasonable manner.

We know that you are doing really well in the remote learning environment: very impressive.

What We Don’t Know

  • NESA have said they will provide advice to students and teachers about HSC major projects, submitted works and performances shortly. We don’t know what this will mean for these things, but keep working away as best as you are able.
  • We don’t know how long remote learning will be in place.
  • We don’t know whether NESA will adjust when the HSC examinations take place.
  • We don’t know what further advice UAC will give, but we can be confident that they and the universities are committed to getting as many people off to university in 2021 as possible.
  • We don’t know what sort of impact COVID-19 will have in the long term.
  • We don’t know if or when students and family members might get COVID-19, but we do know the best ways to avoid the risk of getting it.

What We Will Do

  • We will support you.
  • We will let you know what we know.
  • We will work hard to make sure you are a priority (your teachers are already doing this).
  • We will work hard to make sure you don’t miss out on some of the big milestones of Year 12.
  • We will give you plenty of feedback.
  • We will pray for you (we already do).

What We Won’t Do

  • We won’t worry you unnecessarily.
  • We won’t add additional stress where we can help it.
  • We won’t stop supporting you.
  • We won’t let this stop you making the most of this year.
  • We won’t let this stop you heading towards your goals.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91: 1-4

Stay connected to each other, keep in touch with your teachers, and please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything that you need.

Kind regards,

Tim Watson