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Retaining Work Samples

The awarding of Stage 5 and Stage 6 Preliminary course grades places significant value on teachers’ professional judgements about student achievements. To strengthen the consistency of teacher professional judgement in relation to statewide standards, schools are asked to keep student work samples and the corresponding assessment activities for Stage 5 and Preliminary courses (except VET and Life Skills).

NESA monitors the patterns of grades awarded by all schools for Stage 5 and Stage 6 Board developed courses to ensure grading is consistent with state-wide standards. Schools may be asked to submit work samples to assist with this process. The work samples retained by schools may also be used in professional development activities to strengthen teachers’ understanding of standards.

What should be retained?

For 2017, schools should keep a minimum of three work samples representing the upper, middle and lower range of achievement of their Year 10 and Year 11 cohorts for the courses identified. From 2018, schools will be required to retain work samples for all Stage 5 and Preliminary courses (except VET and Life Skills).

Stage 5 courses

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • Australian Geography
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Commerce
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama 
  • Food Technology
  • History Elective
  • Industrial Technology
  • Information and Software Technology
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Photographic and Digital Media
  • Visual Arts

Preliminary courses

  • English (Standard)
  • English (Advanced)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Extension
  • Mathematics General
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Senior Science
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Ancient History
  • Modern History
  • Languages
  • Legal Studies
  • Society and Culture
  • Studies of Religion
  • Community and Family Studies
  • Engineering Studies
  • Industrial Technology
  • Information Processes and Technology
  • Software Design and Development
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts

Work samples can be carried over from previous years as long as they are based on the current syllabus for the course but they should be kept for at least one year from the date grades are submitted for the relevant course.

Each work sample should demonstrate performance towards the end of the year that is typical of the student(s) awarded a particular grade (A to E) by the school. Associated assessment tasks should also be retained.

Work samples for each course may be drawn from the same assessment activity or from different activities, and should be retained in a format that can be uploaded electronically. Marking guidelines, marks and teacher comments do not need to be retained for this purpose.

Any work samples retained by schools to address NESA requirements for Stage 5 and Preliminary grading should be representative of agreed standards within the school, not just the judgement of one teacher. For judgements about student achievement across the state to be consistent, there first needs to be consistency of judgements within schools.

Checklist for retaining work samples.

Do you have?

  • at least 3 work samples for each relevant Stage 5 and Stage 6 Preliminary course
  • work samples representing the upper, middle and lower range of the cohort
  • work samples indicative of achievement towards the end of the course
  • work samples, preferably in electronic format, with student names removed or concealed
  • indication of the A to E grade each work sample represents
  • electronic copies of the assessment activity/ies associated with the work samples.