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Assessing Visual Arts Bodies of Work

About this resource

Welcome to the NSW Department of Education Assessing visual arts bodies of work resource. This resource is designed to assist stage 6 visual arts teachers to make informed and valid judgements when marking HSC bodies of work. It is not intended to replace the NSW Standards Authority (NESA) Visual Arts – 2020 HSC Marking Support Pack which is available to all 2020 year 12 visual arts teachers via registration through NESA (see contact details at side). All Year 12 teachers should access the NESA Marking Support pack and complete the professional learning modules before referring to materials on this site.

This resource will assist teachers to:

  • unpack and familiarize themselves with the characteristics of the benchmarks and language of the marking guidelines (available in the 2020 HSC Marking Support Pack)
  • understand the importance of undertaking critical dialogue with a colleague in the lead up to independently marking bodies of work
  • develop confidence when making judgements about bodies of works through guided practice using the available work samples
  • ensure that marks awarded to bodies of work reflect the standard demonstrated.

Currently this resource has three parts:

  1. An introduction and overview with expert Head Teacher of Visual Arts Ron Pratt 
  2. Seven videos demonstrating critical dialogue that foster familiarization with the language of the marking criteria and benchmarks
  3. An opportunity to practice mark seven works and learn from the teacher’s individual reflection when allocating a mark to the body of work.

What has changed in 2020?

Visual Arts teachers of year 12 students are required to complete the formal assessment of the body of work at the end of the course. Works are due on the 14 September 2020 and no work is to be completed after this date. This HSC mark is not an opportunity for student feedback and all marks must remain confidential. Teachers use the marking guidelines and benchmarks available in the NESA Marking Support Pack to determine marks. Marks are due to NESA via Schools Online by 23 September 2020.

This process is different to school-based formal assessment tasks (you will have had a maximum of four), as school-based tasks should reflect specific course components, requirements and weightings and provide feedback. Appropriate school-based marking guidelines should be developed for school-based assessment tasks.

In the future we will update this resource to include advice on providing feedback to lift student results in the body of work.


To access the 2020 NESA Marking Support pack:
Contact the COVID-19 support team
Call: 1300 138 323

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Share this resource


This introduction with highly experienced Head Teacher of Visual Arts Ron Pratt provides an overview to the resource and provides advice, context and guidelines for teachers engaging in practice marking, critical dialogue and HSC Visual Arts marking in 2020.

Meet the presenters

Our two experienced art teachers Rebecca Donoghue and Jennifer Tislovich briefly introduce themselves and their context.

Cathryn Ricketts-Horvat
Creative Arts Advisor 7-12

Kathrine Kyriacou
Visual Arts Advisor 7-12

Carolyn Hammer
Digital Engagement Advisor

© State of New South Wales, Department of Education, 2020

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