Home Hybrid Learning How schools and students are set to benefit from earlier NAPLAN results

How schools and students are set to benefit from earlier NAPLAN results


How schools and students are set to benefit from earlier NAPLAN results

Tomorrow, more than 1.3 million students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), which will assesses young people on their reading, writing and language skills.

The test, previously held in May, is now being held in March to give teachers early results to inform learning and teaching for the rest of the year. This is particularly important as data from 2023 shows nearly 10% of school students require additional assistance to meet the minimum benchmarks in literacy and numeracy.

More recently, a report from the Grattan Institute revealed one-in-three Australian students cannot read proficiently, calling into question the effectiveness of the ‘whole-language’ approach which has been widely used in schools since the 1970s.

Declining student outcomes have led some to blame NAPLAN for being too narrow a measure of student success, and unnecessarily stressful for teacher and student alike.

A separate survey found a majority of the general public continue to hold a negative view of NAPLAN, with most (61%) holding the view that there is “excessive emphasis” on the test.

In February last year, the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) announced an overhaul of the assessment to reduce the amount of time spent preparing for the test and provide more time in which to use the results.

Additionally, with the assessments now being done online, teachers can provide more personalised results to inform teaching and support for students, rather than simply to create league tables of school performance.

‘An invaluable national assessment’

Stephen Gniel, acting Chief Executive Officer at ACARA said NAPLAN is “invaluable” as a national assessment that allows parents, schools and policymakers to see whether young Australians are developing critical literacy and numeracy skills for learning, using a national, objective scale.

“Getting the results to schools sooner is a key benefit of having moved the assessment from May to March last year, as well as delivering the tests fully online,” Gniel said.

“It will help support schools in understanding where their students have performed well and areas for improvement, as well shape teaching and learning programs.”

Gniel said delivering on the commitment to provide earlier results is being realised thanks to the work of teachers and school leaders, as well as collaboration between all states and territories and the Commonwealth.

However, he noted that while NAPLAN is an important measure of student achievement, it must be kept in perspective.

“NAPLAN is one assessment tool that we have in addition to a school’s own assessments and, most importantly, the teacher’s knowledge of their students,” he said.

“So, there’s no need for students to undertake extra practice for NAPLAN and they should not feel apprehensive about the assessment.”

Gniel noted that the scale of this year’s assessments means getting the results to schools earlier will be “no easy feat to deliver”, but said ACARA is working diligently with states and territories to make sure schools have the information so it can have a positive impact in the classroom.

Preliminary results will be provided to schools in all domains except writing, which takes longer to mark. Schools will receive their full results, including writing, from June 2024, after which parents and carers receive their child’s Individual Student Report at the start of Term 3. ACARA is then expecting to publish the National Results in August 2024.

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