NAPLAN results went home to parents last week and principals say the results are an improvement on last year but there is still some contention surrounding the government’s My School website.
Orange Anglican Grammar School principal Len Elliott said after looking at previous results, the school was able to implement literacy and numeracy programs targeted at struggling students.
The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9, results are publicly available on the government’s My School website.
Mr Elliott said the national tests are a good tool to see how the cohort is doing in a snapshot of time but the My School website should be treated with some caution.
“The results this year are undoubtedly the best we have ever had,” he said.
“For the first time the school is at or above average in all areas, in all years assessed.”
“But NAPLAN itself doesn’t present a whole picture or whole aspects of a child.”
He said the My School website should be improved to include more information on a child’s schooling but conceded it would be extremely difficult to rank a child’s happiness or creativity.
“I would like to see it [My School] keep going but there are areas it can be improved,” he said.
“I think most parents know it is not adequate in all areas.”
James Sheahan Catholic High School assistant principal Peter Meers agreed with Mr Elliott and said NAPLAN is not the be all and end all and it should be used in conjunction with other tools of assessment, for example the judgement of a child’s teacher.
“We look at the results and organise professional development so we can look at strengths and weaknesses,” Mr Meers said.
“I don’t have a problem with the My School website but it can be dangerous if it is used as a tool on it’s own.”
Orange Christian School principal Melissa Brown was also pleased with the school’s results and said there had been a big improvement from last year.
“A number of students in year 7 achieved the highest possible result in more than one area and stand out areas in year 9 were reading, spelling, and numeracy.”