On May 14th-16th our students in 3, 5, 7 and 9 will complete the National Literacy and Numeracy Test (NAPLAN). Every student in these year groups across Australia will complete these sets of diagnostic tests with the results available to all schools sometime in Term 3. I congratulate our students and staff for the excellent manner in which they have prepared for their tests. NAPLAN is a single test at a point in time. It does not create a full picture about the child, their strengths and differences. It does, however provide us with valuable feedback and data on student performance in literacy and numeracy, which allows us to modify our teaching to better assist student learning. At Alamanda College, staff and students are committed to preparing all students for performing well in testing conditions. This is done in a number of ways.
Every year, at every year level, a great focus is placed in understanding the entry point of each and every child. We use this information to carefully create a learning environment that promotes personalised and differentiated instruction through student goal setting. Students are tested using standardised practice tests and data is collated into a Guttman Chart, identifying each students’ Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). ZPD spreadsheets are analysed at individual, class and year level cohorts. This data informs planning and is matched with the developmental continuums in Literacy and Numeracy to set individual goals with students. This process is a collective responsibility, and an ongoing one, and ensures that teachers are identifying students’ strengths and finding the gaps that require attention. In this way, we aim to make targeted improvements in students’ understanding of concepts and skills.
Closer to the NAPLAN testing period, teacher explore, teach and practice test taking strategies. These may include:
• Reminding students to read and listen to all directions carefully so they understand what is expected of them
• Supporting students to understand and work within time constraints
• Teaching students to how to tackle various question types, including multiple choice questions
• Showing students how to go back and check their answers, and make sure they haven’t missed pages
• Highlighting and underlining key words
• Using a process of elimination
We wish all our students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 the very best for the NAPLAN testing period. And we thank each teacher for their hard work, guidance and support over the last few months. We encourage all parents to ensure that the children have a restful weekend prior. Reassure your child if they are worried, and encourage them simply to do their best.