Acceleration in Stage 6 courses
Last Updated: 21 September 2018
Changes to ACE rules and procedures are occurring to reflect the Stronger HSC Standards reforms.
NESA strongly encourages all ACE users to review the Summary of Changes that may impact the below.
Decisions about the acceleration of students will be made by principals.
Students may accelerate in all courses (grade advancement), in one course or in a number of courses.
Acceleration must be based on the principle of compression of work, not omission of work. Students who accelerate in one or more courses must achieve the required outcomes of the courses, but in a shorter time frame (ie one or more years in advance of their cohort).
In Years 7–12, acceleration must occur in the highest level course within the key learning area or subject.
Students cannot be accelerated into Beginners Languages courses.
An accelerating student may be permitted to repeat a course in which they have been accelerated, although this would not be the expectation.
Students may undertake Preliminary and/or HSC courses in advance of their usual cohort or in less than the NSW Education Standard Authority's (NESA's) stated indicative times, with the exception of Beginners Languages courses.
Students who are genuine accelerants, and for whom the school confidently expects a grade ‘A’ to be awarded at the completion of the Stage 5 course, may begin studying a Stage 6 course in the corresponding learning area while still in Stage 5.
Where a student has demonstrated a talent in a particular course and has completed all Stage 5 requirements for that course, the student may begin studying Stage 6 in an appropriate course.
Similarly, where a student demonstrates an authentic interest in, and aptitude for, a Stage 6 course for which there is no corresponding Stage 5 course, the student may begin studying the Stage 6 course when all requirements in that particular KLA have been completed.
Accelerating students may count towards their Higher School Certificate results obtained in advance of their cohort. This means that acceleration, other than grade advancement, can be regarded as a form of accumulation.
At the Higher School Certificate, accelerated students must accelerate into the highest level course in the accelerated subject. For example, a student may not accelerate into a course such as English Standard, General Mathematics or Senior Science. Students may only accelerate into Board Developed Courses.
Accelerating students should complete all assessment tasks (or their equivalent) that are undertaken by students completing the usual HSC program. This does not mean that accelerating students must complete every assessment task at the same time as other students. In some instances this will clearly be impossible, as it depends on when the student is accelerated and the amount of work that has been covered. There may need to be flexibility in the order and timing of assessment tasks. This also means, however, that accelerating students may have to do additional work at certain times and that, to some extent, programs of work may have to be specifically tailored to each student’s needs.
Note 1: students accelerating into a Stage 6 course must complete the HSC: All My Own Work program (or equivalent) prior to commencing the course.
Note 2: for information regarding early commencement of Stage 6 VET courses, refer to Guidelines for access to Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses by students in Years 9 and 10.