COVID-19 HSC and IBD

COVID-19 safe HSC and IBD examinations

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COVID-19 HSC and IBD

COVID-19 safe HSC and IBD examinations

From the Academic Dean

Trinity is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff and visitors to the School, and ensuring that the upcoming HSC and IBD written examinations operate in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health Advice.

In the current context it is essential parents proactively work together with the School to ensure the best possible examination period for their sons. This involves both the School and families making deliberate decisions about students’ movements and locations, as well as interactions with others, in the period leading up to, and during, final examinations. The principle of limiting the locations and contact interactions of Year 12 students between now and the end of the written examination period is central to this. The information on this page outlines the way in which the School will work to support student access to a safe, conducive study environment and examination procedures.  To that end, please read all the information on this webpage carefully.

It includes:

  • COVID safe study practices leading up to and during the examination period
  • Examination venues
  • Individualised examination timetables
  • Examination COVID safe expectations and protocols for all students
  • Required medical documentation for students with existing medical conditions that may present with flu-like symptoms
  • Processes in the unlikely event of disruption to an individual student’s or the cohort’s examinations

Our aim is to support the best possible examination experience for each Year 12 Trinity student. We are immensely proud of these boys, particularly the respect and genuine care they have shown for each other, for their learning, for their teachers and for their School. We have been delighted with their progress and it has been a privilege to work with them.

Please direct any questions you have about procedures for these examinations by calling the Curriculum Office on 9581 6135 or email. You are warmly invited to contact Mrs Williams,  Mr Scott or Mr Barnes via the Curriculum Office. They are there to assist, provide any clarification or offer any support as our students and families navigate these final weeks of independent study and examinations.

COVID safe study practices

Students and parents are reminded that the safest study location is at home and are encouraged to make careful decisions about movement, location and interactions in the weeks leading up to the examinations.

Access to the Arthur Holt Library

To provide a safe alternative to home study, the School will make the Arthur Holt Library available for the exclusive use of Year 12 study during the October holiday period and Week 1 of Term 4, at the following times:

  • Holiday Week 1: Monday to Friday 8 am – 4 pm
  • Holiday Week 2: Tuesday to Thursday 8 am – 4 pm
  • Term 4 Week 1: 8am – 4pm

The Library capacity will be capped at 75 students; those arriving later in the day may choose to call the Library to ensure this capacity has not been exceeded (Arthur Holt Library: 9581 6039).  The purpose of opening the Library is to provide a conducive and safe environment for independent study, and students must note that the wider facilities of the school, such as the ovals and cafeteria will not be available. Students will be required to sign in and out of the Library on the days they attend, confirming they understand the requirement  to remain in the Library while on site,  and will need to bring all their own resources with them. Neat, casual attire is required during the holiday weeks and school uniform must be worn by all students coming onto the School site once the term time begins.

In line with NESA’s decision delaying the start date of the HSC to provide additional teaching and learning time, the School will run HSC workshops during Week 1 of Term 4 in the Arthur Holt Library. These students have been emailed a timetable of the workshops. No change to the start date of the IBDP examinations has been made, and these students will continue the programme of personal study for which they have been prepared.

Working with teachers

In the weeks leading up to examinations teachers may schedule revision sessions or meet with individual students. All face to face interactions before the formal examination period begins must take place in the Library as a site secured for Year 12 students only.

From October 19th, when the HSC / IBDP examination period begins, all contact with teachers will be remote, via MS Teams or email. Students are not able to study on site or contact teachers for face to face meetings from this date. They are warmly invited to work with their teachers through videoconference, via MS Teams, and email.

During the formal examination period students must be at school only to sit an examination, arriving no more than 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the examination and returning directly home when their examination schedule for the day concludes. Students who have two examinations on the same day will be provided with access to the cafeteria and a suitable, supervised location to rest or study, unavailable to other students.

Examination venues

The main examination venues for all HSC and IBDP examinations, including for students accessing Disability Provisions, will be the Assembly Hall, Terrace Room and classrooms on Level 3 of the Founders Building, F3.1 – F3.5. The following provisions regarding all venues will be made:

  • numbers of students sitting examinations in any one room will be limited to 75
  • examination desks will be separated by 1.5 metres in all directions
  • examination venues will not be accessible to students other than Year 12
  • examination venues will be cleaned and secured the night before each examination and between examination sessions on the same day
  • hygiene supplies – sanitizer and wipes – will be available in all venues

The School will secure an alternative venue to be used in the case of the main examination venue or the School being closed for cleaning. The alternative venue will be Centenary Centre (C0.1 and C1.1) and Bishop Chambers House. Should the alternative venue be required, students will be notified via an email from the Head Master.

Examination timetables

NESA issues all students a personalised timetable that can be downloaded from a student’s Schools Online account and the IBO provides general examination schedules to students.

During Week 1 of Term 4, Trinity will issue each TGS student with an individualised timetable. The timetable will contain information about:

  • the exact location of each examination
  • assembly point for each examination
  • arrival times
  • transport options
  • a reminder about both COVID safe expectations and protocols for students sitting examinations
  • information for students who have two examinations on the same day and are remaining onsite between examinations
  • procedures if examinations are disrupted due to COVID reasons

It is essential students and parents cross check the TGS individual timetables with schedules provided by NESA and the IBO. Students must contact the Curriculum Office immediately if anomalies are identified.

Examination COVID safe expectations and protocols for HSC and IDBP

The safety and wellbeing of students and staff in attendance at examinations is of paramount importance to the School. All students must cooperate with the following arrangements and protocols when attending for and sitting each examination. Students must:

  • not attend an examination if they are unwell
  • arrive at school no more than 30 minutes before the start of an examination
  • go directly to the designated venue when they arrive at school for screening and sign-in
  • answer screening questions directly when entering every examination; students will be asked if they have any flu-like symptoms or if they have been required to self-isolate under direction by NSW Health
  • not enter the examination if they are assessed as displaying flu-like symptoms or have been required to self-isolate; these students will be directed to the Health Centre where the Senior Nurse will contact parents with instructions to arrange for departure from the School and to undertake a COVID-19 test
  • wash their hands prior to commencement of the examination and use sanitizer when entering the examination venue
  • maintain social distancing
  • maintain good personal hygiene practices during the examination by covering a cough, sneezing into elbow, disposing of tissues at the end of an examination, refraining from shaking hands or hugging other students
  • leave the examination room if they display flu-like symptoms; these students will be directed to the Health Centre where the Senior Nurse will contact parents with instructions to arrange for departure from School to undertake a COVID-19 test
  • leave the school and return home immediately after an examination; it will not be possible for students to congregate after an examination

Additionally, students should feel comfortable to wear a mask should they wish to do so. Students electing to wear a mask will use those provided by the School.

Students with existing medical conditions

The School acknowledges some students with existing medical conditions may present with flu-like symptoms.

Students with a clinical history or known illness that may present with flu-like symptoms will be able to provide written assurance from their doctor that the symptoms are of a known medical condition. Students in this category should ensure the School holds current medical documentation of this condition, as well as arranging for this written assurance from their doctor.

Documentation should be forwarded to the Curriculum Office; the Curriculum Office will ensure this documentation is available to the Examinations Presiding Officers and the School’s Senior Nurse.

Disruption to examinations due to COVID-19 circumstances

Disruption to the cohort’s scheduled examinations

Should the School be required to close for cleaning following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the School, occasioning a potential disruption to the examination schedule for the whole cohort, parents and students will be notified by email. This communication will be made by the Head Master and will include:

  • examinations scheduled for the following day
  • the decision to either cancel or relocate the examination to the alternative venue – Centenary Centre CO.1, C1.1 and Bishop Chambers House; this decision will be made according to advice and /or direction of NSW Health
  • information about the alternative venue: safety, arrival and access protocols, departure protocols and precise information about the location of each individual student’s examination rooms: C0.1, C1.1 or Bishop Chambers House
  • or, information about how the School will manage the cancellation of one or more examinations

Disruption to an individual student’s examinations

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell. If a student develops flu-like symptoms[1] they must:

  • not attend school for an examination
  • call the School immediately and notify the Curriculum Office immediately that they are unable to attend the examination
  • present for a COVID-19 test at a testing clinic
  • tell the clinic they are a HSC or IBDP student so that the referral is marked urgent
  • self-isolate until a negative result is achieved
  • send the negative result to the Curriculum Office – forward email or screenshot of notification; the Curriculum Office will ensure this documentation is available to the Examinations Presiding Officer and the School’s Senior Nurse
  • call the clinic at which the test was taken if the result has not been provided within 36 hours
  • provide documentation in the form of a medical certificate to the Curriculum Office to support a misadventure application the School will prepare on the student’s behalf

[1] https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics#symptoms-of-covid-19

Procedures for students affected by disruption due to Covid-19

HSC

Individual: HSC students unable to sit an examination because they have flu-like symptoms or have been required by NSW Health to self-isolate, or students who have been turned away due to flu-like symptoms will be eligible for misadventure as per NESA guidelines[1]. The following outlines the process you must follow for misadventure application:

  • Call the School to notify the Curriculum Office immediately that you are unable to attend and will need a misadventure claim prepared
  • The School will prepare an application for you. There will be sections for you to complete and sign and the School will organise for you to be able to complete these sections
  • You will need to provide medical documentation as outlined in the NESA guidelines – see the link below. The School will support you to understand the documentation required
  • The School will lodge the misadventure claim with NESA on your behalf

Course or Cohort: If the decision to cancel an examination for a Course or whole cohort must be made, the School will prepare and lodge a misadventure application for all students in the affected Course.

NESA recognises that the achievement of a final school credential is a journey over time and that schools collect robust learning evidence via their assessment programmes. NESA has well established processes for students whose examinations are disrupted due to misadventure. Students who have suffered documented and proven misadventure, due to COVID or other circumstances, can be confident they will not be disadvantaged. These students will be awarded their moderated school-based assessment mark.

IBDP

Individual students unable to sit an examination because they have flu-like symptoms or have been required by NSW Health to self-isolate, or students who have been turned away due to flu-like symptoms will be supported by the School to lodge an ‘adverse circumstances’ claim with the IBO. Students and families should note, however, that to date the IBO has not made a determination on how these students’ marks will be calculated for affected Courses. Current regulations require any student affected by adverse circumstances to complete fifty percent of assessment in a Course in order to receive a grade. Up to date information for students sitting November 2020 examinations is found on the IBO website[2]. Students must follow the process outlined here if they are unable to present for an examination:

  • Call the School to notify the Curriculum Office immediately that you are unable to attend and will need an adverse circumstance claim prepared
  • The School will prepare an application for you. There will be sections for you to complete and sign and documentation to provide. The School will organise for you to be able to complete these sections and understand the documentation required
  • The School will work with the IBO on your behalf to obtain the best possible outcome

Course or Cohort: If the decision to cancel an examination for a Course or whole cohort must be made, the School will notify the IBO on behalf of all affected students. In this case, the IBO will determine students’ marks for this Course via predicted grades and Internal Assessment information submitted by the School.

[1] https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/hsc/rules-and-processes/illness-misadventure

[2] https://www.ibo.org/news/news-about-the-ib/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/