Local principals share NAPLAN tips

St Clare's Catholic High School Principal Kevin Jones shared his NAPLAN tips.

With NAPLAN returning this week for the first time since COVID-19, local schools are preparing to support students in the Nation-wide assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. For many schools, this is the first time that NAPLAN will be conducted online.

St Bernadette’s Primary Lalor Park Principal Phillip Kapitanow has a reassuring message for mums and dads of students in primary school sitting the test, especially first time candidates in Year 3.

“Talk to your child about NAPLAN and ensure they understand what will be taking place,” Phillip said. “It's important that students understand that doing their best is all that is expected.”

“Simple things like ensuring they eat a good breakfast and have a calm start to the school day, is the best way to help,” he said. “Remember, NAPLAN results don't define a student's academic achievement, rather it provides a snapshot of progress that can be built on.”

Years 7 and 9 students at St Clare’s Catholic High School Hassall Grove will be sitting the NAPLAN tests this week too. Principal Kevin Jones also has some wisdom to share with parents and carers of these young people.

“It is not a race or competition but it can provide important information that we can use in guiding our planning for our students' learning,” Kevin said. “The NAPLAN process provides teachers with valuable data about students' abilities and is designed to provide a snapshot in time of each student's ability to read, to write and use important numeracy skills.”

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Executive Director Greg Whitby says that the cancellation of NAPLAN in 2020 due to COVID-19 showed just how important it is that schools have lots of different ways to collect information about student progress and achievement.

“NAPLAN is just one source of information about how children are travelling in their learning journey at school,” Greg said. “We need to make sure that this information is used well in the classroom and backed up with other regular checks on growth and progress.”

There has been ongoing debate about the future of NAPLAN. For the time being, NAPLAN exams continue, and will begin on 11 May 2021.