Changes Affecting Senior Secondary Students 2020

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[avatar user=”Father Cranshaw” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /]

Dear Parents, Teachers and Students,

In addition to the letter recently sent out to all parents, we also have the following information for the parents of our Secondary students.

Time Management

Based on our experience at the end of Term 1 we have decided to slightly alter daily lesson times and have also included Mentor time in the morning. This will allow teachers to monitor students in terms of their wellbeing and address any issues that may arise during the week. The normal daily subject timetable will continue to be followed.

We are also conscious that Secondary students and teachers will be on screens longer than usual and so have slightly shortened period times and have allowed for a 10-minute break between lessons. This does not mean that the timetable has to be rigidly adhered to. It’s put forward as a guide only. It is also recommended to monitor the time spent on the computer. Secondary students will need to use them, but not all the time, and, unless VCE students, for no more than 2-3 hours daily. If students in Years 7-10 do not have access to a computer at home, parents may consider sending these students to school for a bit of each week so they can get electronic tasks done.

For Secondary students the revised Term 2 lesson times will be as follows:

  • 8.30am – 8.40am House Mentor/Homeroom (a time to get organised and potentially for students to contact House Mentors or Homeroom teachers)
  • 8.40am – 9.20am Period 1
  • 9:30am – 10:10am Period 2
  • 10.10am – 10.30am Recess
  • 10.30am – 11.10pm Period 3
  • 11.20pm – 12.00pm Period 4
  • 12:10pm – 12:50pm Period 5
  • 12.50pm – 1.30pm Lunch
  • 1.30pm – 2.10pm Period 6
  • 2:20pm – 3:00pm Period 7

Finishing off work – to be done at student’s preferred time.

VCE Update

The Victorian Premier and the Minister for Education have announced the following changes to VCE studies:

  • VCE students will still receive an ATAR, but there will be a number of adjustments to the academic timetable for VCE students:
  • the General Achievement Test (GAT) will move from June to October or November
  • end-of-year exams will be postponed until at least December
  • school-based assessment tasks will be reduced where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements
  • Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for the impact of coronavirus on senior secondary students.
  • VCE study scores will continue to be a combination of school-based assessment and external exams.
  • The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is also examining a compressed end-of-year exam schedule – including slightly shortening each exam – in recognition of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • A small number of students undertaking Vocational Educational Training (VET) courses may have the award of their VCE delayed until the beginning of 2021, so that they can complete mandatory practical or workplace learning requirements – ensuring they are not disadvantaged by the lack of hands-on practice.

STAC teachers will continue to strongly support all Year 11 and 12 students to minimise disruption to studies during their most important final year/s. We will inform families of new end of year arrangements once we have greater clarity about the new timing of External Examinations.

VCE SACs and Exams

The College has made the decision that all major Year 11 and 12 assessments will be completed at school. This will enable us to make sure assessments remain valid and appropriate and comply with VCAA authentication requirements.  This will mean the SAC Calendar (which is available to students on the Google Classroom STAC VCE Hub). This Calendar will be updated on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week to reflect the requirements for students. This will mean VCE students will need to come into school around once a week.

VCE Exams scheduled for the first week of June will go ahead under special operating procedures.

Year 7-10 Exams are tentatively scheduled for the last week of Term Two. Note the change in the date.

We will send you more information on both of these issues in the coming days and/or weeks.

Cambridge (Year 10 students)

The College has taken the decision to withdraw our Year 10 cohort from Cambridge for 2020. They will continue to learn as per the Australian Curriculum but we believe cancelling Cambridge subjects for this year will enable us to focus more on the Australian Curriculum elements of their courses and will mean we can focus on preparing them for the VCE next year.

Face to Face Online Learning

Some students and staff have expressed the desire for online interaction to include face to face screen time using the Google Meet platform. Many schools have moved to this approach and we feel this will help students and teachers to provide a more effective and personalized learning environment for all. Not all lessons will be conducted in this mode as some teachers may wish to continue using the Google Classrooms system some, or all, of the time. For this to occur we have put in place the following requirements for the safety of students and teachers.

Online Etiquette – Expectations for Students (Please refer to the attached document)

 One on One Conversations with Students

There will be occasions when teachers will need to speak individually with students either by telephone, email or via video link on Google Meet. Staff will follow strict protocols when this is to occur. These conversations will take place during the hours 8.30am – 4.00pm. Please refer to the attached document.

Requirements for Parents/Guardians/Students:

How Parents and Students can support Home Learning

Parents/guardians are asked to support remote Home Learning by:

  • Providing an environment conducive to learning, that is, access to technology (where possible), and a safe and quiet space during daytime
  • Ensure Secondary students connect to Google Classroom structures during days when classes are scheduled
  • Keep abreast of messages sent to your emails
  • Monitoring time spent engaging in online and offline learning
  • Being aware that students can access various methods of assistance
  • Academic assistance via contact with their teachers on Google Classroom
  • Providing emotional support
  • Communicating with our teachers via email or by phoning the school
  • If there are any questions related to:
    • Academic resources, course and assessment – contact relevant subject teacher via College email
    • Any other issue related to remote learning – contact House Mentor via College email
    • Other matters, eg. School fees etc – contact the relevant personnel


Students are asked to support remote Home Learning by:

  • Following the timetable as per the new times in this letter
  • Ensuring their device is charged
  • Ensuring they are on time for each lesson (where technology allows)
  • Have all necessary materials for learning
  • Follow the online etiquette and expectations for students
  • Interact with the teacher seeking assistance as required
  • Submit work as requested to do so
  • Complete all set homework as normal


Thanks – as always – for your continued support. God bless and keep safe.

Father Andrew Cranshaw (Principal) and Mr  Mark Stanton (Deputy Principal)