THE Higher School Certificate assessments will go ahead for year 12 students who have transitioned their final year of study to online mode.
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Board confirmed the Higher School Certificate (HSC) is proceeding for 2020.
St Columba Anglican School year 12 student Chelsea Halliwell-Herbert said many students are creating home timetables to mirror their normal school day.
"I think that now the situation has got to where it is, students have realised this is the way things are now and it's serious so we need to be focused," she said.
"Written assessments aren't a concern because obviously we can write them on computers but assessments that are in performing arts, music and drama are different. These are in groups and that's going to be a challenging thing to execute and we are worried about how that will happen.
I am actually worried that our averages (HSC exams and ATAR results) will be lower. Even though there are resources in place to use at home, it's still not going to be as engaging as being at school everyday.Chelsea Halliwell-Herbert
"For normal subjects like history, English and mathematics it's pretty straight forward but unfortunately drama, art and music is going to be more tough to execute what we need to get done.
"I am actually worried that our averages (HSC exams and ATAR results) will be lower. Even though there are resources in place to use at home, it's still not going to be as engaging as being at school everyday.
"The main consensus from the year group is that we need to put as much effort in as we can and not take for granted that we are at home."
NESA Board chair, Professor Peter Shergold, said the decision comes with more responsibility for principals and teachers.
"While we recognise we are facing an unprecedented situation, we want to assure you that you will be able to get a HSC this year," he said.
"That the certificate will facilitate access to university, further education and employment, as it has for students over the past 50 years.
Do your assessments as advised by your school, make progress on your major projects where you can and, most importantly, look after yourself, whether you are at school or at home.Peter Shergold, NESA
"Do your assessments as advised by your school, make progress on your major projects where you can and, most importantly, look after yourself, whether you are at school or at home."
NESA has given principals or system authorities the power to make decisions about the number and weighting of HSC formal assessment tasks for their school in 2020.
SCAS year 12 patron Ella Lakin said parents and students need to find a balance at home to make the most of the year.
"My best advice for year 12 students is just to have balance. A lot of the time they are spending studying is in the digital world and we don't want them missing out on that physical contact," she said.
"As they begin more isolated work at home we need to make sure there are strong connections with family members and pets. We need to be making time to balance their study so that it doesn't become monotonous and become isolated.
"Because home study is very structured I think they will miss out on the light conversation in the classroom where they are free to think and bounce ideas off each other. It's harder for them to explore other concepts.
"Parents should be checking in to make sure it's not all work. If parents can take an interest even if they feel it's not something that is familiar to their education or try to plan some things such as family dinners and connect."
A COVID-19 Response Committee has also been established to address developing issues as a matter of urgency. The committee has representation from the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Schools NSW and Association of Independent Schools
It will meet at least weekly to address issues and provide clear communication to schools and principals.