IF STUDENTS DON'T NEED AN ATAR, HOW DO THEY GET INTO UNI?

Put simply, students get into university through their 'Graduation Portfolio'. This can be done with or without an ATAR. 

The Graduation Portfolio is a new parallel pathway to tertiary education for students of Big Picture schools around Australia. Portfolio entrance to university utilises a national, standards-based process (The Australian Core Skills Framework, or ACSF). This has been negotiated individually with universities around Australia. Students have the opportunity to develop their portfolio and Senior Thesis in consultation with an academic mentor, who is typically a representative from the university and faculty they wish to pursue.

Essentially, the Graduation Portfolio is a compilation of the student's research, insights and work over the course of their Big Picture journey to date. The development of this portfolio is supported by their mentors and teachers, and is presented each term at an exhibition. The portfolio may include any of the following: 

  • A Senior Thesis Project
    In-depth, original research into a topic of personal interest

  • An Autobiography
    A literary reflection on one’s evolution as a learner 

  • A Post-School Project
    An exploration of future study and employment pathways

  • A Collaborative Service Learning Project 
    Development of community engagement and social reasoning skills

  • Learning Through Internship Projects 
    Experiences and products produced while on internship with an expert mentor

  • A series of Learning Plans and Exhibitions 
    Evidence of planned learning goals and their achievement

  • A collection of additional qualifications gained while at school 
    Including State-accredited and TAFE courses, apprenticeships and others


    For a more detailed look at what a Graduation Portfolio looks like, check out this PDF Document:

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