The Queensland Government has announced a steady and considered transition to revitalised senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems. Designed to meet the needs of current and future students, the features of these systems will be;
- a model that uses school-based assessment and common external assessment
- new processes that strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
- a move away from the Overall Position (OP) rank to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
In response to this curriculum change Southport State Independent High School has launched Project 2019. Warwick Ford and Mark Ritchie lead this initiative and are in the process of evaluating the needs of our students and planning for the future to ensure an all-round successful transition to external assessment.
Our preliminary investigations show that for our students to be successful in an external testing environment our students need to develop contemporary skills. These contemporary skills – summarised as the four ‘Cs’ – collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking – sit alongside problem-solving and innovation and are a vital part of the project 2019 curriculum.
At Southport State High School, our students are encouraged to deepen, share and demonstrate their understanding in innovative and effective ways. To facilitate this, project 2019 has moved away from the more traditional learning, to be technology rich and thus maximise our delivery of these contemporary learning skills. Digital or eLearning has enabled us to provide effective personalised and differentiated learning. To ensure that all of these skills are appropriately developed, we need to emphasise group learning and collaboration. Students must work in small groups, work together on problems, discuss solutions, access data, and present their results using multimedia software. Equally, the collaborative elements have to be managed such that they are authentic and every student has a vital contribution to make.
Our current year 9 Students who will be the first co-hort to experience the curriculum change have commenced evidenced based online training to effectively equip them with the skills required to succeed with this curriculum change.