Board of Senior Secondary Studies Programs

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The ACT operates a system of school-based curriculum and assessment within the policy and procedures of the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS).

“School-based curriculum” means that college teachers are involved in all curriculum development, and that colleges determine what courses they offer to students. In partnership with the BSSS, colleges commit to offering high-quality educational programs from a wide range of academic and vocational areas.

Assessment in the ACT is continuous, school-based assessment. This means that there are no external subject-based examinations. Courses are taught and assessed unit by unit. A unit of study is organised around a particular theme or skill set, and has a value based on the time the unit took to deliver. For example, one standard unit of study towards the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate (ACTSSC) represents a minimum of 55 hours of timetabled classes, generally over one semester. Moderation is conducted every semester to ensure comparability of grades from different schools.

The BSSS website gives further information about the secondary system within the ACT.

Governing policies
The BSSS governs a number of areas with which the college must comply. These include:

  • minimum hours of attendance and course delivery
  • moderation procedures
  • plagiarism and academic misconduct
  • assessment procedures
  • course content and pre-requisites.

BSSS courses
All courses of study for the ACTSSC are designed to develop student “capabilities” through an integrated and interconnected set of knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions across the curriculum. These capabilities include:

  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • information and communication technology (ICT)
  • critical and creative thinking
  • personal and social capability
  • ethical behaviour
  • intercultural understanding.

Inspired by the Australian Curriculum, and using similar design protocols, courses of study for the ACTSSC are relevant to the lives of students.

Courses address the following three priorities:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability.