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VCE Season of Excellence 2017 - Frequently Asked Questions

Top Designs/Top Screen

Q. I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?
A. Please see information in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (docx - 91.74kb).

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website: http://www.copyright.org.au for specific information.

VCAA staff are not able to give legal advice and the information below should be used as a guide only.

Note: If you do seek copyright clearance please attach either the email or letter you sent to the copyright holder and their response to your application. The panel needs to see both to consider your work.

Q. Where do I find the Authentication Record Form?
A. Students are required to provide a copy of their Authentication Record Form as part of their application. For school-assessed coursework undertaken outside classroom time, teachers need to monitor and record development of work from planning through to completion, any assistance/external support used etc. Authentication Record Forms are required for all studies. Please ask your teacher for a copy of the completed form. The forms are available on the study design pages of each study. The original form is to be retained at the school.

Q. Why am I only allowed to submit a certain number of pages copied from my folio/design plan/record of planning. Some of the information runs over one page.
A. The panel will be able to see the quality of your work from the one page required for each part. Select the page which best represents your skills and knowledge in each area. If the panel feels that they need to see extra pages you will be contacted to supply more information or short-listed and asked to bring in your work in early December.

Q. What if I print double-sided?
A. It does not mean you can increase the pages submitted as we are referring to singles sheets. For example: if we have requested 6 pages and you are submitting 3 double-sided sheets that totals the 6 pages required. We need to save paper. The panel will not look at pages over the required number

Q What do you mean by post-marked by this date (13 October) to be accepted?
A. This applies only if you are applying in hardcopy. No one needs to hand-deliver their application on 13 October – just make sure you get to a post office by 5pm as applications need to be date stamped on or prior to 13 October to be accepted.

This provides some parity for regional students as they are not in a position to bring in their application in person. Thus to be fair applications postmarked 13 October will be accepted. Posted applications may take a few days to arrive and we check all envelopes to make sure they were posted by or on the 13 October.

However, be aware that the selection panel meets a few days after 13 October so best not to leave it until the last minute!!

Q. What if I do want to hand deliver my Top Designs/Top Screen application on 13 October?
A. Security staff at the reception at the VCAA can accept applications between 10 am – 5 pm weekdays but posting applications or submitting online is preferred. If you have to hand deliver your application, please email seasonofexcellence@edumail.vic.gov.au  for details.

Q. Why do I need to include a stamped self-addressed envelope?
A. This is encouraged as it ensures you know your application has been received. If a stamped envelope with the applicant’s name and address is included with the application form we will send an acknowledgement of receipt by November. Unstamped envelopes or envelopes addressed to schools cannot be utilised.

Q. If I apply online, do I have to submit a hard copy application?
A. No. You must submit only one application per study for Top Designs/Top Screen.

Q. How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?
A. Only short-listed students will be contacted by late November. (This is why it is important to list student’s contact details rather than school details.) Students who have not been short-listed will not be invited to bring in their work. All short-listed applicants will be notified of the outcome in late December.

Q. Why can't I use my school email address?
A. If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the major way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into 2017.

Q. Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?
A. Hundreds of applications are received and it takes time to process these and prepare them for the selection panel to view. The panel start meeting a few days after the deadline. In the months between receiving the applications and launching the events we complete a myriad of tasks: convening selection panels, contacting students to bring in short-listed works; processing, storing, and dispersal of works, verifying works after the VCE marks are out; compiling film compiles, checking folios are robust enough for display; catalogue and folio photography, catalogue, program and invitation printing; working on education programs; installing the exhibition, sending invitations, coordinating media launches and openings, etc.

Q. Who selects the work for Top Designs and Top Screen and what are the selection criteria?
A. The six selection panels for Top Designs comprise leading study practitioners including the State Reviewer, a subject association representative and/or a regional representative. The Media panel selects films for both Top Designs and Top Screen.

The final selection will aim to demonstrate a range of works from students across Victoria and from all school sectors.

The selection panels take into account that while some schools have far better technical facilities than others, it is the quality of the conceptual development and the production values within these constraints that are central to the selection process.

Once the panel has made a list of selected works, the panel Chair (usually the State Reviewer) meets with the Project Manager, the Top Designs Curator/s and exhibition designer to discuss all works and their presentation, and the final selection is confirmed.

Folio pages are also marked up at this stage so that they can be photographed for the CD, online resources and education programs.


CRITERIA

Product Design and Technology, Food and Technology and Systems Engineering 
Works are selected that

  • achieve an A+ or A.
  • meet the assessment criteria at a very high standard and in innovative, individual ways
  • are accompanied by an exemplary folio that meets the assessment criteria and demonstrates research and thorough development of ideas
  • present a range of materials and creative uses of those materials
  • demonstrate sound workshop practices
  • provide evidence of copyright clearance for all non-original material used
  • are suitable for public exhibition and will fit exhibition constraints including space and safe weight restrictions.

Media 
Works selected:

  • achieve A+ or A
  • demonstrate individual and distinctive qualities
  • demonstrate exemplary skills in the media processes used
  • are accompanied by an exemplary design plan
  • provide evidence of copyright clearance for all non-original material used

In regards to screen-based works including film, works are selected

  • that demonstrate a range of genres, formats and content for example: documentary, short fictions, animation, music clips, web pages, games
  • are suitable for public projection and reflect community standards

In regards to photography and print layout, works are selected

  • that demonstrate a range of genres, formats and content
  • that demonstrate a range of approaches to the installation/display of works
  • that are suitable for display purposes: stable enough to be shown for duration of the exhibition, suitable for mounting or framing for example.

Visual Communication Design 
Works and folios are selected that:

  • achieve an A+ or A
  • are accompanied by an exemplary folio
  • demonstrate a diverse range of concepts and ideas
  • demonstrate exemplary skills in manual and digital production
  • demonstrate an understanding of design thinking
  • demonstrate significant imagination and flair
  • provide evidence of copyright clearance for all non-original material used

VCE VET Interactive Digital Media
Works are selected that:

  • achieve A+ or A
  • demonstrate high quality technical skills in the process used for the production of the work
  • show that user experience has been well considered
  • demonstrate individual and creative qualities
  • provide evidence of copyright clearance for all non-original material used
  • are suitable for display using the infrastructure available at the Melbourne Museum
  • demonstrate a range of formats and content for example: websites, portfolios, games, animations
  • are appropriate for public exhibition and reflect community standards

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Top Arts

Q. I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?
A. Please see updated information for 2017 in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (docx - 91 (docx - 91.74kb)

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website: http://www.copyright.org.au for specific information.

VCAA and NGV staff are not able to give legal advice and the information below should be used as a guide only.

Note: If you do seek copyright clearance please attach either the email or letter you sent to the copyright holder and their response to your application. The panel needs to see both to consider your work.

Q. Why are we only allowed to submit up to 5 photographs? I cannot show all my work in just 5 images.
A. The panel has five members and they will be able to see the quality of your work from five images. Make a selection that best represents your skills and creativity. If the panel feels that they cannot get a good sense of your work you will be contacted to supply more information or short-listed and asked to bring in your work.
If you have sculpture(s) or textiles you may want to include an image which shows the entire work and one that shows a closer view of the surface of the work. This needs to be included in the five images allowed.
Remember you are able to submit more than one application. Each application can contain up to five images.

Q What do you mean by submitted by this date (13 October) to be accepted?
A. Your online application needs to be completed by the 13 October. We strongly suggest not leaving applications until the last minute, to ensure you can complete all of the requirements of the application. Give yourself lots of time - the system will get very busy.

Q. What if I want to hand deliver my Top Arts application on 13 October?
A. Applications for Top Arts 2017 are online. If there are individual circumstances where online submission is not possible, please contact topartsenquiries@ngv.vic.gov.au well prior to the application deadline to discuss alternatives.

Q. How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?
A. All short-listed students will be contacted by early December. (This is why it is important to list student contact details rather than school details.) Students who have not been short-listed will not be invited to bring in their work.

Q. Why can't I use my school email address?
A. If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the major way of contacting exhibitors during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into 2017.

Q. Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?
A. Hundreds of applications are received and it takes time to process these and prepare them for the selection panel to view. The panel start meeting a few days after the deadline. Top Arts opens in April 2017. In the months between receiving the applications and launching the event we complete a myriad of tasks: selection meetings, contacting students to bring in works; processing, storing, and dispersal of works, verifying works after the VCE marks are out; compiling film compiles, checking folios are robust enough for display; catalogue and folio photography, catalogue and invitation printing; working on education programs; installing the exhibition, coordinating media launch and opening, etc.

Q. Who selects the work for Top Arts and what are the selection criteria?
A. The panel comprises the State Reviewer for Art, the State Reviewer for Studio Arts, a regional representative teacher, two representatives from the National Gallery of Victoria Education department, including the curator.

 Works are selected using the following criteria:

  • achieve an A+ or A
  • fulfil the assessment criteria for VCE Arts or Studio Arts
  • demonstrate strong conceptual development
  • display imaginative and individual qualities
  • demonstrate technical excellence
  • demonstrate an awareness of aesthetic considerations
  • demonstrate an awareness of past and contemporary art practices
  • have copyright clearance on all non-original material used in screen-based or other works
  • provide a range of media, themes and approaches
  • are suitable for public exhibition
  • fit exhibition constraints including space and safe weight restrictions
  • are suitable for display purposes in regard to fragility and power needs, are stable enough to be shown for duration of exhibition, for example - works on paper must be suitable for mounting, framing or pinning.

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Top Class

Q. How are Top Class performers selected?
A. Selection for Top Class - VCE Dance, VET Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies concerts is by audition. These are held in January and February 2017.

For Drama, Theatre Studies, VCE Dance and VCE VET Dance, students who receive a very high grade in the A+ range in the October performance examinations are invited to audition after VCE results are made public in mid-December.

Invitations to audition are mailed out during the week the VCE results are available and there is a very short turn-around for students to return their acceptance to audition. In 2017 the forms will need to be returned by 3 January. Auditions are held soon after this so late applications cannot be accepted.

For the music concerts, selection panel members listen to the examination performance recordings of students who received a high A+ in the October performance exams. The panel select from these recordings, successful students will be notified by mail in mid- to late December.

For Top Class Sound, applications are received by mail for VCE Music Performance, Music Investigation and VET Music. Applications for these subjects for Top Class Sound 2017 are due Thursday 13 October 2016. Students who have composed works for Music Style and Composition are not required to submit an application for Top Class Sound. Works will be selected via the Externally-assessed Task process. The VCAA will then contact students to confirm that a high quality live performance of the work can be organised.

All compositions are selected by a panel who consider all of the works, ensuring that there is a range of instrumentation, styles and genres as well as representation from regional and metropolitan schools from across the sectors within the concert.

Student results are confidential and cannot be disclosed or discussed over the phone. Examination Grade scaling ranges are published on the VCAA website after results are released in December.

Names and the program are published on the Season website two to three weeks prior to each performance. Please check our website for updates from mid-February.

Q. What is the difference between Top Class and Top Acts?
A. Top Class concerts focus on a performing arts study, or multiple studies as with the three Music concerts. They are compered by the Chief Assessors for each study who may highlight assessment criteria demonstrated in each performance.

Top Acts follows in May or June each year and includes a representative sample of every performing arts subject in one evening concert. Up to 20 performances are selected from across the Top Class concert series.

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Tips for taking photographs for applications to Top Designs and Top Arts

A successful application relies on you presenting the best possible image of your work. Initial selection is made from your photograph. A poor quality photograph limits your chance of selection. Please note the following recommendations for taking photographs.

  1. If one work is comprised of multiple pieces it is recommended that you photograph works individually as well as showing the work as a whole. Only one application form is required for this work.
  2. Place the work of art against a clean, one colour background, preferably a light coloured wall.
  3. Use the best camera available to you.
  4. Make sure the image is sharply focused and fills as much of the frame as possible.
  5. Don't take the photograph on an angle that distorts the image. Stand squarely in front of it.
  6. If a flash is used, beware of strong reflections caused by glass and other reflective surfaces. Photograph before framing if you can.

 

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