March 25, 2022

The program of formal assessment in each of the Senior School years aims to provide students with a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their learning at different points in time. Our assessment policies and priorities must meet NSW Educations Standards Authority (NESA) requirements, but also our own high standards of integrity and fairness. The Illness/Misadventure policy for Years 10 – 12 contributes to this and it is explained in detail in the Assessment booklets for those year levels. Many enquiries have arrived this term regarding ‘Misads’ and COVID. The process has been explained to students in person and via email, and including it here may also be helpful.

COVID is a particular situation where a student may be a close contact and in isolation, or have a positive diagnosis and be quite well. In these cases, the student should continue participating in learning via Google Classroom and complete their assessment schedule for tasks that are not in-person ‘tests’. It is when a student is too unwell to learn or study that an Illness/Misadventure application is appropriate, or when a task must be completed in person at school.

Sample scenarios:

  • Abby’s sister has COVID and the family is in isolation. Abby has a History task due during the isolation period. The task is an assignment largely done at home with a digital submission. She also has a Maths test.
    • Abby must complete and submit the History task by the due date. If Abby feels she was unable to perform at her best on the task because she was isolating, she may submit an Illness/Misadventure application. She must provide the NSW response to the positive test, showing the family member’s name and date of test. The decision will depend on what evidence exists of Abby having been up-to-date with the task before the COVID case, the regularity of her contact with her teacher in relation to the task, and whether the teacher believes that being absent from in-person classes was a disadvantage for Abby.
    • Abby must submit an Illness/Misadventure application for her Maths test and be ready to sit it on her first day back at school.  She will need to provide evidence as above. If Abby believes she wasn’t able to prepare for the test while at home, she may include that in her Misadventure application and the decision will be made as above.
  • Isaac has tested positive for COVID and has a doctor’s certificate stating that he is ‘unfit for school for seven days’. He has the same History assignment and Maths test as Abby.
    • As Isaac’s medical certificate does not describe his state of health and how that would affect his ability to perform in a task, his Illness/Misadventure status is identical to Abby’s. He must submit the History task and be ready to sit the Maths test on his first day back at school. If he believes his ability to perform in the tasks was affected by being absent from classes, he may submit an Illness/Misadventure application with his medical certificate as evidence. The decision will be determined by the same process as Abby’s.
  • Gill is ill with significant symptoms. She has an Economics presentation due. Gill has attended a telehealth appointment and her medical certificate describes her symptoms in detail and their impact on her ability to concentrate. It also describes the impact of prescribed medication on Gill’s ability to stay awake. 
    • Gill must submit an Illness/Misadventure application with her Medical Certificate as evidence. The decision will depend on the length of her illness compared to the length of time that was available to do the task. As Gill cannot know the outcome of her application ahead of time, if she is able, she should submit any parts of the task that she has done by the due date.

The requirement of independent evidence is important to the transparency and fairness of the Illness/Misadventure policy. For this reason, emails and phone calls from parents cannot be a part of the process. Each application is judged on its own merits and many involve discussions with the student, Wellbeing leaders, subject teachers and Learning Leaders. An appeals process exists for students who are dissatisfied with their outcome. The final decision in those cases may not be made until the conclusion of the course, and it is made by the Head of Senior School.