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The Standard | December 2021

From the Chief Executive

Dear Colleague

Let me begin with my sincere thanks to every marker, moderator and supervisor who has contributed to the end-of-year results process. I sincerely appreciate the contribution, commitment and expertise of every individual involved in delivering this crucial part of our work, which would not be possible without the support of principals, teachers and school communities.

It feels like everyone in schools is feeling even more tired than usual as we come to the end of the year. Even the subtle impacts on students’ dispositions from the COVID disruption seem to have made learning more difficult. For some students and educators, the impact has been more profound. The successes of 2021 are sweeter because of this whether that be students with high grades, students who have completed the SACE against the odds or those who have completed their VET qualifications.   

I am excited about the New Year and how South Australian education continues to lead educational improvement for the benefit of our students.

Industry Connections is a new subject available in 2022 developed in quick response to demand from schools. It is a new subject through which students who might not be able to undertake or complete a VET qualification can still develop industry-relevant skills that will help set them up for future success. It is an example of our commitment to holding tight to the expected standard of the SACE while providing flexibility in how that standard is met.

Another element of our national and international leadership is the upcoming pilot for the revitalised PLP (Exploring Identities and Futures) and the replacement for the Research Project (Activating Identities and Futures) . The pilots will run throughout Semester 1 with 32 participating schools.

This project heralds a new responsive way of working for the SACE Board.  With this new process we will work closely with teachers from a range of contexts to prototype ideas and pilot curriculum and assessment before implementation.  Through this approach we will develop curriculum and assessment that has been tested to identify opportunities we can create together and the risks that need to be managed. Some of the prototypes we have tried have given us the confidence to move ahead. Others have told us to go back to the drawing board. I consider both outcomes to be a success as they help us to ensure the highest quality curriculum and assessment and an understanding of what would need to be true for schools to be successful in the implementation. 

When we trial new curriculum we want to learn from the experience and what goes to implementation will likely not be exactly the same as what went through the trial. You may feel like you are missing out if your school is not involved in a pilot or testing prototypes but rest assured, there will be many opportunities to provide your input and we will continue to work in partnership with you. There will be professional learning opportunities for staff as we move towards implementation of new subjects in the future.

I’d like to wish you and your school community a safe and enjoyable end-of-year break and I look forward to working with you in 2022.

Yours ever

Martin Westwell

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End-of-year results release – important information

2021 SACE results

The 2021 SACE results will be available in Students Online from 8.30 am on Monday 13 December 2021.

Students can expect to receive hard copy documentation from this date onwards, in line with local, national and international postal schedules.

Emergency numbers for student results

Mobile phone numbers and email addresses of principals and SACE coordinators have been collected via Schools Online to support the SACE Board through results processing, and on the day of results release.

If the principal and SACE coordinator are not the main contacts for this period, schools should update contact details via Schools Online by clicking on ‘School’ and then ‘School Information.’ 

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Exciting two-day format for Merit Ceremony 2022

The 2022 Merit Ceremony will take place over two days to meet the requirements of a COVID-safe event.

  • Thursday 10 February from 9am – Double and single merit recipients, learning area by learning area 
  • Friday 11 February from 9 am – Single merit recipients, learning area by learning area
  • Friday 11 February from 6 pm – Commendation and multiple merit recipients

We will operate one large tent and rotate groups through to comply with social physical distancing requirements, which will provide students and their two guests with an appropriate celebratory moment that honours their achievements, while enjoying the beautiful grounds of Government House.

To ensure the event meets COVID-19 requirements, invitations to principals will be limited to only those who have students receiving commendations or the Tennyson Medal at the Friday evening ceremony.

All principals and their school communities will be able to log into our livestream of the presentations, which will capture every single merit recipient on the main stage. 

Invitations will be sent by email after results release.

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New subjects for 2022

Two new subjects will be available at Stage 2 for teaching in 2022:

  • Community Connections
  • Industry Connections

Community Connections 

Community Connections replaces Community Studies B. The new subject retains the key features of the old subject, and extends the opportunities for students to self-direct their learning from another Stage 2 subject and connect this to their futures.

Teachers can also access the new Community Connections subject site. Additional materials will be uploaded as they become available. A PLATO course showcasing examples of each of the new assessment types can be accessed from Wednesday 8 December.

Industry Connections

Industry Connections is a new subject that values practical skills and knowledge in and about an industry. This subject has been designed to create more flexibility in the SACE alongside Flexible Industry Pathways and stackable VET. The subject provides opportunities for students to develop, practice and refine skills that support their career pathways, particularly where VET options may no longer be accessible, available or appropriate.

The Board-accredited draft subject outline can be found on the Industry Connections subject site. A range of supporting materials, including learning and assessment plans and tasks are under development and will be made available before the start of the school year.

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Access to SACE IT systems in lead up to SACE results release

Schools Online

As part of the SACE Board’s normal preparation for end-of-year results processing, Schools Online will be unavailable from Friday 3 December 2021 until the official release of results from 8.30 am on Monday 13 December 2021.

Students Online

Students Online will have a limited functionality until the official release of results from 8.30 am on Monday 13 December 2021. Students will still be able to reset their password and view their personal details over this period.

SACE website

The SACE website will be unavailable from Friday 10 December 2021 and will be back online on Sunday 12 December 2021.

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Update on revitalised RP and revitalised PLP

Our journey in creating these new subjects has been informed by an innovative educational approach aimed at developing and delivering student’s ability to thrive. 

We began with an aspirational vision to lead educational change and student transformation. Consequently, our Strategic Plan was influenced by the work of the Shergold Review and the Mparntwe Education Declaration, then informed by the recommendations from the SACE Stage 2 Review, finally becoming the foundation of these exciting new subjects. 

In January 2022 we will be running a pilot of the new Revitalised RP and Revitalised PLP in 32 participating schools either in one or both subjects across SA and NT. 

It is a project to redevelop a new and innovative approach to these subjects that would support all students to thrive through their SACE and their post-school pathways. Students will see purpose, value and relevance in their education in which they will explore identity and belonging in order to develop their agency.

We are excited to share with you that the renaming of these subjects and proceeding to pilot has been approved by the SACE Board in November 2021. The Revitalised PLP will now be known as Exploring Identities and Futures. The Revitalised RP is called Activating Identities and Futures. 

These new names signal a change to both subjects focus, structure and assessment requirements including a change is pedagogy. The new subjects are aligned in their purpose, allowing students to self-direct their learning by developing agency, self-regulation, evaluative judgement and reflective practice as outcomes. 

The purpose of the pilot is to explore the subject outline and pedagogy in a live environment ahead of implementation in 2023. Students undertaking these pilot subjects will meet the completion requirement for the SACE Board and both students and teachers will not be disadvantaged or advantaged in participating with the pilot or continuing with the current subjects.

Prior to the commencement of the pilot in the new year, we will be focusing on developing student and teacher resources in collaboration with participating teachers. A professional learning workshop will be held in December, concentrating on co-agency, providing feedback that scaffolds thinking and fuels learning, metacognitive strategies, naturally occurring evidence and supporting students to articulate and reveal their thinking. 

We will continue to keep you informed of our progress throughout the pilot. 

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