STUDENTS in grades three, five, seven and nine were put to the test in May when they sat for their National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, which focus on reading, writing, numeracy and language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation).
Dominic College year thee-six coordinator of teaching and learning Sue Cunningham said these kinds of external tests sometimes felt overwhelming for students, especially with the media attention they received.
“But contrary to some expectations, students at Dominic College found the tests well within their ability levels and, in fact, enjoyed the challenge they presented,” Mrs Cunningham said.
Dominic College year five student Henry said he “felt a bit nervous” before the test, but “felt good” once he got started.
Fellow year five student Chloe said she thought it was challenging, but finished just in time and expected she did well.
Mrs Cunningham said NAPLAN was not a pass or fail type test.
“It is designed to show the individual student performance on a national achievement scale – each test has 10 bands and all year levels are reported on the same scale,” she said.
“The test results allow parents and teachers to assess the performance of individual students by comparing them to the average performance of all students in Australia.”
Dominic College acting principal Janine O’Hea said Dominic College would receive NAPLAN reports for its students between mid-August and mid-September and would share them with families.
“The same report format is used for every student in Australia,” she said.
“The results are very comprehensive and will be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programs and to set goals in literacy and numeracy for class groups.
“Schools can also monitor individual student progress, identify students who require greater challenges or additional support.”
Mrs O’Hea said Dominic College staff looked for tools to give them more insight into student progress, which would aid in designing targeted teaching programs to help students achieve higher levels of literacy attainment.
“Dominic College uses a range of diagnostic and progress testing including School Readiness testing, the University of Western Australia’s administered Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPs), the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Progressive Academic Testing (PAT), as well as PM and Lexile level testing in reading,” she said.
The College’s K-10 teaching and learning team will soon consider Dr Jennifer Buckingham’s November 2016 Report calling for the use of the widely acclaimed UK phonics screening check to add to its broad suite of testing.
The community can view average school NAPLAN results on the My School website at www.myschool.edu.au later in the year.
Caption: Dominic College year five students sit for their NAPLAN exams, which took place across Australia in May.