Due to the Covid-19 disruption to schools, the annual National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) exams were cancelled by consensus by the COAG Education Council. This means that all students, from both non-government and government schools, that are currently in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will miss out on the nationwide assessment.
Missing out on NAPLAN in Year 3 means that your child’s first large scale independent (not by your child’s school) assessment will be when they are in Year 5. This is not ideal, as there is only one more year of primary before they enter high school. This means that you may not know about their learning gaps until Year 5 and hence you will not be able to act on them until it is too late.
The cancellation of NAPLAN for children currently in Year 5 means you will not have a clear idea of how they are tracking academically. Having this clarity in Year 5 is important as they are heading to high school, and you may be wondering if they are ready, or if they need extra assistance. Also, if your child is sitting the Selective Placement Test in March the following year, you may not know their true abilities, meaning you may not know if they are ready to take the test.
Year 7 is a very important year in your child’s education. These early high school years are the years that foundations are established and missing out on the NAPLAN assessment means that you, as well as the school, will not have a clear indication as to your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The last time your child sat NAPLAN was in Year 5 and their next assessment will not be until they are in Year 9. Unfortunately, by then they have missed the chance to build a strong foundation in Year 7 and Year 8.
Not sitting NAPLAN in Year 9 may be catastrophic as your child’s next assessment is the HSC. The Year 9 NAPLAN is a great identifier of students who are falling behind. The Year 9 NAPLAN is the first opportunity your child has to meet the Minimum Standard which is the equivalent of a NAPLAN Band 8 in three areas: Reading, Writing and Numeracy. This prevented the inevitable outcome of low or incomplete HSC results in Year 12. Not sitting NAPLAN in Year 9 is denying parents and students the wake-up call before it is too late.
With the whirlwind that has been 2020 so far, a focus must be kept on your child’s education. Missing NAPLAN means you may not have the clarity you need when it comes to your child’s academic abilities. Unfortunately, the government has scrapped NAPLAN this year but that does not mean you can’t source the clarity you deserve. Booking a diagnostic independent assessment will ensure you have a clear understanding of your child’s capabilities, meaning you can tackle any gaps before further gaps build up.