In May, students will be sitting national tests in Literacy and Numeracy. At a national level the tests are used to determine whether or not Australia's children are meeting essential literacy and numeracy standards. At a school level the results of the tests are used by teachers to determine the levels of support needed by each student.
The NAPLAN (National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy) tests occur in in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 of every child’s schooling. There are four tests; in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation, and Numeracy. Each test takes less than two hours. They are point-in-time snapshot assessments that provide information for parents, the public and educators regarding the nature and levels of support that groups of and individual children need in their further education.
Although there is more to schooling than literacy and numeracy, these capabilities are needed as tools for learning; they occur in every subject and are needed in every subject. It makes sense to test all students in these areas to get a sense of how they are going in their schooling and education.
NAPLAN data provides a wealth of information for teachers, schools, parents and carers and students. Adults want to know how each child’s literacy and numeracy ability compares with that of their peers, and to seek assistance – if necessary – for their child or student as early as possible.
Some students may find NAPLAN tests distressing. At Mundaring Christian College we ensure that all students are familiar with the test requirements; time management, layout, format and expectations. Teachers work very hard to ensure that students know exactly what to expect when they are exposed to each test. They know what each test demands and have been taught the skills to manage themselves and their confidence in the testing environment.
Students are all encouraged to ‘try their best’. If their best doesn’t meet the minimum expected standards they will be given more support and assistance.
There are some sample NAPLAN questions that are freely available on the ACARA website. If you are not yet convinced of the benefits of the tests for your child, please work through these questions with them.
If, having done this, you are still unconvinced of the benefits of your child sitting the NAPLAN tests, you may apply for their exemption by downloading the form at the following URL, and sending it to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (WA) as indicated at the top of the form, no later than 8 April 2016.
Application for exemption file:///C:/Users/thelma.perso/Downloads/NAPLAN%202016%20Exemption%20Application.pdf
Dr Thelma Perso
Director Teaching and Learning