Independent Schools Queensland Independent Schools Queensland

Start of Content

Year 12s Set to Mark a Personal and Historic Education Milestone

Queensland Year 12s have just one weekend left before they mark off another 2020 milestone – to be the first seniors in 50 years to sit statewide subject-based external assessments that will contribute to their final results.

An external assessment has been set for more than 40 general senior subjects with the exam timetable commencing with English and Business on Monday (26 October) and ending with a range of language and science-based subjects on 17 November.

The introduction of external assessment – worth 50% in general Maths and Science subjects and 25% for all other subjects – is one of a range of changes to the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system.

About 37,000 Year 12s are expected to sit at least one external assessment, which includes about 9,000 students from 138 independent schools.

The majority of these independent school students will sit external assessments in at least four subjects during the 17-day testing period.

The class of 2020 will be the first to graduate under the new system, with those planning on further study receiving an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) instead of the former Overall Position (OP).

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said years of planning and preparation had gone into the new system, which included a major revamp of the senior curriculum.

“Schools and their teachers have worked hard to upskill and prepare their students, including by holding mock assessments under similar conditions with practice papers,” he said.

The subject-based external assessments have been developed by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) – which has been leading the system changes – and will be marked by the QCAA.

Mr Robertson wished all Year 12s every success for the future and thanked schools and their dedicated teachers for their unwavering commitment to educate, lead and support their students through the changes and this extraordinary year.

“Completing Year 12 is an achievement in its own right but doing it during a global pandemic makes this group of graduating seniors a special cohort,” he said.

“They’ve displayed resilience, adaptability and composure during what has been a tumultuous year of truncated sporting seasons, formals with no dancing and altered graduation ceremonies.

“They’ve taken disappointment and change in their stride demonstrating the 21st Century capabilities their schools have sought to develop in them.”

Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network Executive Officer Justine Cirocco wished seniors and their number one support team – their families – the very best over the next few weeks.

“Families walk the journey of this final year of school with their children, sharing the joys and disappointments,” Ms Cirocco said.

“I’d like to thank the families of the graduating class of 2020 for every lunchbox they filled, uniform they washed, school run they made, piece of homework they helped with or agonised over and school event they attended. Sharing this education milestone with their children is a memory families will never forget.”

Media Contact | Justine Nolan 0428 612 315 |

Latest News & Events

ISQ Briefings, Nov/Dec 2020

In the final issue of Briefings for the year, Executive Director David Robertson looks back at the challenges and achievements in 2020, discussing the impact of home learning, new funding legislation and the introduction of external exams for Year 12 students. Director (Strategic Relations) Shari Armistead presents research on transformational and transactional leadership in times of change.

Read more