The National Assessment Plan – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a national assessment that takes place annually in May for Year 3, Year 5, Year 7 and Year 9 children. NAPLAN assesses four key areas: reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy. The assessment compares children on a national level and also compares children’s individual progress between assessments. NAPLAN tests are one aspect of each school’s assessment and reporting process, and do not replace the extensive, ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance. In our Education and tutoring centre, we believe teachers should identify their children’s strengths and ‘gaps in learning’ and know that assessments are often an inaccurate measure of children’s learning. For example, reading can be a barrier in reflecting a child’s true mathematical ability. At our tutoring centre, our tutors can see both the advantages and disadvantage of NAPLAN assessments.
Benefits of NAPLAN:
- Can identify strengths and weaknesses that need attention.
- Education Ministers can monitor the success of their policies and also monitor where they need to add extra funding and resourcing.
- Allows states to compare peer results and to also discover areas that need improving within the system.
- NAPLAN testing allows there accountability to the Government, Education system, teaching staff and curriculum boards to ensure that all Australian students are receiving a valuable education that ensures worthwhile outcomes for them.
Negative impact of NAPLAN:
- Schools spend too much time focusing on NAPLAN and not the rest of the curriculum.
- Can be viewed as an unfair means of assessment as it is one test that cannot reflect the a child’s ability. This is something we firmly believe, in our tutoring centre.
- Causes children to become unnecessarily stressed, which effects their results. At our tutoring centre, we observe the pressure that children feel during NAPLAN preparation.
In our tutoring centre, our tutors understand that NAPLAN can be a stressful time for you and your child, particularly if they are taking the assessments for the first time. Here are a few helpful tips from our tutoring centre, that can be implemented both in and outside the classroom, to help prepare your child and ease their anxiety:
- Understand the assessments and what your child is being tested on. Visit naplan.edu.au for practice papers.
- Ask your child’s teacher how they will be preparing for NAPLAN at school.
- Remind your child of the importance of reading. Reading is vital to understanding and interpreting exam style questions. Our tutoring centre cannot stress the importance of reading enough!
- Talk to your child about time management, coming back to a question they don’t know, if there’s time at the end.
- Ensure your child has had a good night’s sleep the night before the test and a sustainable breakfast on the morning of the test. This will help them focus!
- Tell your child that NAPLAN is a test of how well the school is teaching them and that their wrong answers are as important as their right ones – and most importantly, that you love them no matter what.
We are currently running NAPLAN lessons at our education and tutoring centre, to help your child feel confident and prepared. Please don’t hesitate to contact our tutoring centre if you have any queries regarding the upcoming assessments, we are more than happy to help!