Years 11 – 12
Senior School Curriculum
General Overview of Senior Outcomes in Qld
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Student Education Profile
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What is the QCE?
The QCE is Queensland 's senior schooling qualification. The Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) will award young people a QCE when they complete the senior phase of learning – usually the end of Year 12.
To be awarded a QCE young people will need to achieve a significant amount of learning, including literacy and numeracy, at set standards.
When did the QCE start?
Students starting Year 10 in 2006 were the first group to work towards achieving a QCE.
The QCE was awarded by the QSA for the first time in 2008. It replaces the Senior Certificate.
How does the QCE work?
The QCE recognizes broad learning options and offers flexibility in what, where and when students learn.
A wide range of learning, including academic subjects, vocational education, workplace learning and university subjects, can contribute towards the QCE.
Different types of learning attract different numbers of credits. Students must have at least 20 credits to be awarded a QCE.
Planning for a QCE
All students in Year 10 develop a Senior Education and Training (SET) plan. The SET plan helps students structure their learning around their abilities, interests and ambitions.
It maps out what, where and how a student will study during their senior phase of learning – usually Years 10, 11 and 12. The SET plan needs to be agreed by the student, his/her parents or carers, and the school. It can be started at any time, but should be finalized by the end of Year 10.
Schools and students regularly review the SET plan to monitor progress. The plan can be updated at any time.
Registering young people
All schools must register every student in Year 10, and all other students who turn 16 during the year and who have not yet completed Year 10.
When a student is registered, the QSA opens an individual web-based learning account for them. The account is password protected and can be accessed by the student only.
The learning account records what, where and when a student learns and the results he/she achieves.
Schools and other learning providers report students' enrolments and results to the QSA and this information is recorded in the individual learning accounts.
Students use their learning accounts to track their progress towards a QCE, vocational certificate of Certificate of Post-Compulsory School Education.
Awarding a QCE
The QSA was awarded the first QCEs to students at the end of 2008.
If a student completes Year 12 without achieving a QCE, their learning account will remain open for nine years, regardless of the learner's age. After Year 12, any QCE-related learning and activities can still be reported to the QSA and recorded in the learning account. When the student achieves 20 credits, the QSA will award the QCE in the following June or December.
Every student will receive a Senior Statement at the end of Year 12. This statement will be a transcript of their learning account, recording all the learning undertaken and results achieved.
Find out more
Senior Outcomes for Tertiary Admissions
Tertiary Entry is determined by the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).
FPs indicate a student's rank order position based on overall achievements in Authority subjects in up to five fields (areas of study that emphasise particular knowledge and skills). FPs are calculated for OP-eligible students only.
The calculation of FPs involves only one stage of scaling, using subject-group results on appropriate components of the QCS Test. Unlike the calculation of OPs where subjects are equally weighted, subjects are not weighted equally for FPs.
FPs are reported in 10 bands from 1 (highest) to 10.
The five fields are:
- Field A – extended written expression involving complex analysis and synthesis of ideas .
- Field B – short written communication involving reading, comprehension and expression in English or a foreign language
- Field C – basic numeracy involving simple calculations and graphical and tabular interpretation
- Field D – solving complex problems involving mathematical symbols and abstractions
- Field E – substantial practical performance involving physical or creative arts or expressive skills
The calculation of FPs involves the use of field-specific weights for each subject. These weightings reflect the emphasis of the skills within the definition of each field in the particular subject syllabus. The Table of Field Weights produced by the QSA and published each year by QTAC should be consulted to see the weightings of Authority subjects for Fields A to E. This table of field weights for the year in which a student completes Year 12 is available at all schools.
A comparative process across subjects is used to determine the weights for any subject. Because field weights for particular subjects change from time to time as new Authority subjects are approved for study in Years 11 and 12, it is very important to consult the table that is published for a given Year 12 cohort.
An OP indicates a student's rank order position based on overall achievement in Authority subjects. It is one piece of information recorded on the Tertiary Entrance Statement, the other being Field Positions or FPs.
Together with the student's Senior Certificate, the Tertiary Entrance Statement forms the Student Education Profile (SEP).
They are both issued at the end of Year 12, although eligibility requirements for the Tertiary Entrance Statement are more restrictive than those for the Senior Certificate. OPs and FPs are determined by the QSA which also issues the Tertiary Entrance Statement.
The calculation of OPs involves two stages of scaling: between subject-groups within a school, and between schools. Scaling aims to remove bias that may be caused by differences in the competition in different subject-groups and school-groups.
To obtain the best possible OP, students are advised to study those Authority subjects that they enjoy and in which they are able to achieve good results.
An eligible student's OP is reported as one of 25 bands from 1 (highest) to 25. The approximate distribution of students across the bands is:
- Band 1 – about 2% of students
- Bands 2 to 6 – about 15% of students
- Bands 7 to 21 – about 70% of students
- Bands 22 to 24 – about 11% of students
- Band 25 – about 2% of students
The number of students eligible for an OP in a particular year is used as the base population for distributing students to OP bands.
The Queensland Core Skills Test (QCS) complements Queensland's system of school-based assessment. It is:
- a common statewide test designed for Queensland Year 12 students that is also available to private-entry candidates
- an achievement test, not an intelligence test, nor an aptitude test
- grounded in the Queensland senior curriculum
- accessible to all Year 12 students regardless of individual differences in subject patterns
The QCS Test is developed and administered by the Queensland Studies Authority. Candidature for the QCS Test comprises:
- Year 12 students who are eligible, by virtue of their subject choices, for an Overall Position (OP) or equivalent OP—these students must sit for the test
- Year 12 students who are not eligible for an OP or an equivalent OP—these students may elect to sit for the test
- persons who are not in full-time schooling but who have completed Year 12 in full-time secondary schooling or are at least 18 years of age in the year in which the persons nominate to take the test—these persons may apply to sit for the test
Student Education Profile
At the completion of Year 12, students will receive a Student Education Profile.
The Student Education Profile consists of 4 components on 3 documents. Documents are issued by the Queensland Studies Authority.
1) Senior Statement
Queensland Core Skills Test
2) Tertiary Entrance Statement
3) Queensland Certificate of Education
Senior School Coordinator
Ms Diane Markey
- Teaching & Learning
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