The results are in.
By now, you would have seen your child’s results after sitting the NAPLAN test in May. After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, the nationwide test has made a comeback this year.
Though not welcomed by all, NAPLAN plays a key role in shaping the education system in Australia and, if taken seriously, supporting each student’s learning journey. Individual student performance on NAPLAN tests can be a useful gauge of progress and provide a compass to help navigate future efforts.
To help you make the most out of your child’s NAPLAN test results, this blog outlines the reasons for this nationwide assessment, its importance and what you can do as a parent based on how your child performs.
What is NAPLAN?
NAPLAN stands for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. It’s an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
NAPLAN is a nationwide objective benchmark to assess whether students are developing the appropriate foundational literacy and numeracy skills needed to be productive members of the community.
The NAPLAN tests cover four major subject areas: reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The intent is to assess content, knowledge and skills that students have learned in school.
The tests occur in May each year and act as a point in time assessment of the knowledge gained by the student in their prior year at school. Therefore, it is aligned to the Australian Curriculum for English and Mathematics.
Why is NAPLAN important?
The NAPLAN tests carry multiple purposes, as outlined in our previous blog ‘How to get the most out of your child’s next NAPLAN tests’. Among other things, the tests are useful for tracking student progress over time from a national level through to individual students.
The National Assessment Program (NAP) provides a measure for governments, education authorities, schools and the community to determine if students are meeting key educational outcomes.
At the national level, test outcomes enable policy makers to understand how students are performing across the board and develop any needed changes to the education system to improve performance. At the school level, results can reveal how a school is performing relative to comparable schools, allowing them to identify strengths and weaknesses and address areas for improvement. At the individual level, outcomes can help students, parents and teachers see how each student is progressing against the national standard and relative to their peers.
What if my child didn’t do well in the NAPLAN tests?
If your child didn’t perform well in the most recent NAPLAN test, that’s okay. Given the disruptions to learning due to the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdowns, this is understandable.
Recent events and changes to how students are learning (i.e. home-based schooling) may have resulted in learning gaps for many students. The good news is that as NAPLAN is a standardised measure of student performance, it’s also a great way to identify whether any learning gaps exist for your child. This knowledge is powerful and allows you to make informed decisions about the next steps for your child’s learning journey.
That’s also why Global Education Academy exists. To help you support your child’s learning. In addition to our small group coaching to help students reach their potential, we also offer a targeted NAPLAN preparation course. In our NAPLAN course, your child will:
- Learn and develop a strong conceptual understanding of all key concepts in maths, English and writing
- Master exam and time management techniques and tools to reduce cognitive load
- Receive individual attention, support and detailed feedback in a small group class
- Become a critical thinker and master our unique problem-solving technique
What if my child achieved great results?
It’s not easy to score well on NAPLAN tests. If your child performed well, that’s great news! High achievement in NAPLAN tests can create opportunities for Opportunity Class, Selective Schools and applying to independent schools. It can also help with applications to out-of-catchment area and abroad schools if you plan to move overseas.
Rather than pat your child on the back and move on, it’s important to consider the options they have available and map out their learning journey, so they are prepared to respond to opportunities that arise. If your child is in Year 3, you could encourage them to apply for entry into an Opportunity Class (OC). Or, if your child is in Year 5, consider applying for a Selective High School.