by Kylie Hitz, NAPLAN Coordinator at Faith
As we begin the new year, staff are planning for NAPLAN. Testing takes place earlier this year and will be held in March, Week 8 of Term 1 for Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Students will participate in tests for reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation), and numeracy.
Unfortunately, much of what you hear are unfair headlines. The media can sometimes equate NAPLAN results as the be-all and end-all of educational excellence.
NAPLAN is a point-in-time assessment that allows you to see how your child is progressing in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia. Faith’s teachers frequently use NAPLAN data to provide additional information about student progress, as well as to support the school in making informed decisions regarding differentiation and targeted teaching in the classroom, to improve future student outcomes.
When used as intended, NAPLAN can be a really useful tool. For example, teachers will sit down with our NAPLAN data and it can reveal interesting trends. Our NAPLAN results can show there is room for improvement in students’ paragraphing skills, for example. This helps us evaluate our teaching and examine how we can help students improve in this area. Examination of the data revealed some interesting things, areas that we as a School need to work on, and areas that you as parents can help with. This is the real benefit of the NAPLAN tool.
At Faith, we expect and encourage all students to complete the NAPLAN testing process. Support can be arranged for students with specific learning needs, particularly if a student regularly accesses similar support for school assessment tasks.
Every student at Faith will do the NAPLAN tests online except the Year 3 writing which will be a written test. This shift means that the test is “intuitive” therefore the questions are adjusted according to the student’s ability.
The reality is that here at Faith, we are more interested in providing good quality teaching and learning for your children. NAPLAN cannot measure how creative your child is or how good a friend they are.
So my advice for parents is that we will do our absolute best every time to help reassure your children that NAPLAN is not worth stressing over. And if you have any concerns, I would encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher.
To make NAPLAN as accessible for our families as possible, we are planning to run multiple testing centres across the regions of Sunshine Coast, North Brisbane, South Brisbane and Gold Coast.
Wednesday 15 March – Reading and Writing
Friday 17 March – Catch up Day
Friday 24 March – Conventions of Language and Maths
Monday 27 March – Catch up Day
We will be in touch weekly to keep you informed of all relevant NAPLAN information.
Thank you for your support and understanding,
Kylie HitzNAPLAN Coordinator