VCE Season of Excellence 2018 

Frequently asked questions

Top Screen

I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?

Please see information in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (docx - 94.84kb).

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website.

VCAA staff are not able to give legal advice and the information provided 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.

Where do I find the Authentication Record Form?

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, including any assistance/external support used. Authentication Record Forms are required for all studies. Please ask your teacher for a scanned 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.

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.

The panel will be able to see the quality of your work from the one page sample provided 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.

Why can't I use my school email address?

If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the main way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into the following year.

If you do not have a personal email address, we recommend you set one up for this purpose.

How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?

All applicants 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 been short-listed will be invited to bring in their work. All short-listed applicants will be notified of the outcome in late December.

Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?

Thousands 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. The Season team works to a very strict timeline to ensure that your work is ready for exhibition in Top Screen/Top Designs in March.

Who selects the work for Top Designs and Top Screen and what are the selection criteria?

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 VCE Media panel selects films for display in 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 curators 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 use in the catalogue, online resources and education programs.

Top Designs

I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?

Please see information in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (docx - 94.84kb).

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website.

VCAA staff are not able to give legal advice and the information provided 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.

Where do I find the Authentication Record Form?

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, including any assistance/external support used. 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.

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.

The panel will be able to see the quality of your work from the one page sample provided 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.

Why can't I use my school email address?

If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the main way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into the following year.

If you do not have a personal email address, we recommend you set one up for this purpose.

How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?

All applicants 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 been short-listed will be invited to bring in their work. All short-listed applicants will be notified of the outcome in late December.

Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?

Thousands 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. The Season team works to a very strict timeline to ensure that your work is ready for exhibition in Top Screen/Top Designs in March.

Who selects the work for Top Designs and Top Screen and what are the selection criteria?

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 curators 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 use in the catalogue, online resources and education programs.

Top Class

Who selects the Top Class performers and what is the selection process?

Selection panels for Top Class comprise leading study practitioners including the Chief Assessor for each of the relevant studies and a mixture of Assessors, representatives from exam setting panels and expert secondary and tertiary teachers. Where possible, the panel members are chosen from across all school sectors.

VCAA staff oversee the administration of all selection panels across the Season.

Top Class Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies

Selection for VCE VET Dance and VCE Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies concerts is by audition. These are held in January and February for selected students who have completed Unit 4 the previous year.

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.

Top Class Music

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 each year.

Top Class Sound

Applications for Top Class Sound are received by mail or online for VCE Music Performance, Music Investigation and VCE VET Music. Applications for Top Class Sound 2019 will open on Saturday 1 September 2018.  

Students who have composed works for VCE 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 and selection

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

What is the difference between Top Class and Top Acts?

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 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.

How will I know if I have been selected for an audition?

Those selected for Top Class auditions will be informed by mail in December or early January following the release of VCE results.

Why can't I use my school email address?

If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the main way of contacting performers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into the following year.

If you do not have a personal email address, we recommend you set one up for this purpose.

Top Arts

I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?

Please see information in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (docx - 94.84kb).

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website.

VCAA and NGV staff are not able to give legal advice and the information provided 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.

Why are we only allowed to submit up to five photographs? I cannot show all my work in just five images.

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 if you are short-listed, 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.

What if I want to hand deliver my Top Arts application on the due date?

Applications for Top Arts 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.

How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?

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.

Why can't I use my school email address?

If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the main way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into the following year.

If you do not have a personal email address, we recommend you set one up for this purpose.

Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?

Thousands 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. The Season team works to a very strict timeline to ensure that your work is ready for exhibition in Top Arts in early March.

Who selects the work for Top Arts and what are the selection criteria?

The panel comprises the state reviewer for VCE Art, the state  reviewer for VCE Studio Arts, a regional representative teacher, and 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.

Top Acts

How is Top Acts different to Top Class?

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 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.

How are the performers in Top Acts selected?

Top Acts is curated by an artistic director who carefully selects works from across the 11 Top Class concerts. Selection is based on a number of criteria, including curatorial concerns, balance and diversity, and an outstanding Top Class performance standard.

For VCE Drama, Theatre Studies, Dance and VCE VET Dance, students are invited to audition for Top Class based on their performance examination. Invitations to audition are sent out by post in mid-December each year.

VCE Music Performance, Music Investigation, Music Style and Composition and VCE VET Music performers are selected by panels who listen to the examination performance recording of students that received a high A+ in their performance examination. For music subjects, invitations to perform in Top Class are sent out by post in mid-December the year prior to selected students.

Top Class performers who have been selected for Top Acts will be informed over email in March, after all Top Class concerts have concluded.

What kinds of work are included in Top Acts?

Top Acts is an evening concert which presents up to 20 performers from the Top Class concert series in one stunning event. Works of dance, drama, theatre studies, and music are blended together into a dynamic presentation.

In 2018, two Top Screen films were also featured in Top Acts.

How do I know if I have been selected to perform in Top Acts?

Those selected for Top Acts will be informed by email in March each year.

Why can't I use my school email address?

If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the main way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into the following year.

If you do not have a personal email address, we recommend you set one up for this purpose.