More than NAPLAN:
There certainly has been a great deal of attention being given by the media towards curriculum and assessment in the wake of Gonski 2.0. Most recently, commentary on the relevance and value of NAPLAN has been widespread. Good educators know that NAPLAN results provide just one of many perspectives on particular aspects of a child’s learning.
The value of a tool like NAPLAN is that it provides a level of diagnostic analysis regarding a child’s understanding and it can give some indication of a child’s performance on a particular day in comparison to their peers. The danger is that strong emotional reactions (which can occur because of the high media profile of this assessment) based on this one tool can prompt a premature call to action and can thereby lead to anxiety and self-labeling which is counter-productive to learning.
A more helpful response to support children who have recently sat such an assessment is to:
- encourage and acknowledge their effort,
- assist them to reflect on what was more/less challenging and
- support them as they set personal goals (preferably not measured by NAPLAN alone) to continue working towards these in the week/month/term ahead.
At St Luke’s Grammar School, we have deliberately acted in ways that seek to position NAPLAN as another important, yet ordinary step in a child’s learning journey. We are proud of our students for doing their best and we will use the results of NAPLAN along with other assessment results to support each child to strive towards fulfilling their amazing potential.
Furthermore, we will continue to focus on building their learning dispositions (things that NAPLAN doesn’t directly assess, such as imagining, questioning, perseverance, collaboration etc) so that they become powerful, life-long learners.
Mr Adam Lear
Head of Junior School, Dee Why Campus