Executive Principal's Blog, Mr James Sloman

Value added approach to NAPLAN results - 11 August 2016

In the exciting and fast paced environments of our colleges, we focus steadfastly on creating an outstanding student experience. The balance that comes from a holistic education focussed on developing Christian values are important to us. Equally important is ensuring that every child has every opportunity to achieve academically. Good quality reliable information is important to allow teachers to make the changes to their teaching in response to what a child can or cannot do.

This relies on testing students from time to time to determine if they have improved their learning. We propose that every child will undergo two tests early in Term 4 through the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER). We intend to test students again in twelve months’ time to determine how far their learning has come. We hope to share this information with parents as part of the reporting process in Semester II each year. It is our belief that this information will be helpful in tracking the progress of each student against the backdrop of national normed data. This will add additional information along with the student achievement results that appear on the report card.

It is important to keep in mind that our internal assessment is rigorously moderated, however, the tests with ACER will give additional external data as well.

Admittedly, although I have strong ethical objections to how NAPLAN results are used, or often, misused, it is a point in time indicator of student progress in their literacy and numeracy development. Each Head of College has, or intends to, communicate each Colleges’ progress in ensuring that every child graduates with highly developed literacy and numeracy skills.

We have deliberately chosen to adopt a value-added approach to NAPLAN scores. That is, how has the individual child improved, and how has the cohort improved, over the two-year period between testing. I am delighted to see the strong improvements being made in our literacy and numeracy levels across both Colleges. I commend the fine work that our educational leaders and teachers are doing in achieving these results.

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