Jindalee State School students in years three, five and seven joined their counterparts from around Australia this week in the national assessment program in literacy and numeracy. The NAPLAN tests are being held this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, to gather information about student learning and capability. The results of the assessment program are used by governments and education authorities to evaluate curriculum and teaching and learning programs and to provide schools with comparative data about student performance.
On Tuesday, students undertook the language convention and writing tests. The language conventions test covers students’ use of spelling, grammar and punctuation and the writing test asked them to write a story persuading the reader to accept a particular point of view. Students were required to demonstrate their writing skills as well as their ability to put forward a convincing case. Today the reading test was held with numeracy scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday.
Jindalee teachers and students have been preparing for the tests and have studied the conventions and content as part of their teaching and learning throughout the year. Because of the efforts of our education staff, students have also been able to experience a practice of the tests in their classroom. To ensure we give our students the best opportunity to be successful in NAPLAN and other assessment opportunities, we should ensure they have adequate rest and sleep the night before, their home environment is as calm and free from stress as possible and they eat breakfast before coming to school.
While this is an important opportunity for the gathering of data, the tests should not be used in isolation as a measure of student ability. The NAPLAN information is useful information for our school and is taken in the context of a range of other data that we gather throughout the year that is used to develop our teaching and learning programs and individual student profiles. In recent years, our students have been in the top banding in the state in NAPLAN test scores.
Our focus this year has been on improving our performance in comparison with schools in other states where we have not been able to achieve the same results as we do compared with like schools in Queensland. We have implemented some of the strategies shared with us at the beginning of the year by Victorian educator John Fleming whose schools and students have achieved outstanding results.