A significant challenge for our students is the transition from the previous system of tertiary entrance (the OP System), to the new Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance System (SATE, otherwise known as the ATAR). Where students previously sat assessment that was set internally by schools, based on work programs developed by schools, and within each school’s own timeframe, students are sitting assessment set external to schools. this means the breadth of content and skills required has increased, and places greater pressure an students, teachers and schools to prepare.
At The Lakes College, a number of significant steps have been taken since 2015 to ensure our students are effectively prepared for this new system. Some steps taken include:
A redesign of subject offerings and lines to reflect the increased preparation and new subject offerings in the ATAR System. This includes changing subject lines and offerings in Year 10, to mirror Years 11 and 12. This has enabled teachers to use Year 10 as preparation to Senior, teaching the same skills and content covered in Years 11 and 12.
Backward mapping of the skills, content and modes of assessment used in the new system to Year 7. This includes tracking the teaching and assessing of specific skills taught in the new system, across all subject areas.
The introduction of the ‘ACE Program’ in Years 11 and 12, as means of providing dedicated curriculum time to ATAR preparation and supporting student wellbeing and learning. The program is delivered two lessons per week and is a combination of:
A review of how our students revise, study, complete homework and assessment, receive feedback and are tracked/monitored to ensure they are effectively prepared for the new system.
A review of our current system of pastoral care, focussing on student wellbeing. This new program is underpinned by the principles of Positive Psychology and Social and Emotional Learning. With research indicating a strong link between academic performance and student wellbeing, and the increased degree of anxiety attached to the new system, a strong focus on student wellbeing is critical.