The 2019 NAPLAN National Report, released 25 February 2020, shows a variety of gains at the primary level, though there is still room for improvement in the secondary years.
In 2019, performance for Year 5 numeracy, Years 3 and 5 reading, Years 3 and 5 spelling, and Year 3 grammar was significantly above the NAPLAN 2008 average, which is when NAPLAN began. Year 3 writing results were also significantly higher in 2019 when compared to the previous year.
Though for Years 7 and 9, writing results were found to be below the base year 2011.
“It is not the case, as some claim, that NAPLAN results show no improvement since the test was introduced. It is more complex than that,” said David de Carvalho, CEO of ACARA.
“It is also encouraging to see the slight improvement in writing results in 2019, after a number of years of concern about the decline in writing results. NAPLAN has enabled a spotlight to be focused on writing, and what teachers are doing seems to be making a difference. Hopefully, this first year of turnaround will be the beginning of a trend; however, only time will tell. The writing results overall, however, are still below where they were when writing was first tested, with the exception of Year 3.”
These results confirm the initial findings of the preliminary information released in August 2019, though the 2019 NAPLAN National Report provides further information including comparisons of performance by gender, Indigenous status, language background other than English, parental occupation, parental education and school location.
For Indigenous students, there have been some significant cumulative gains in some domains and year levels including reading (Years 3, 5 and 7), spelling (Years 3 and 5), grammar and punctuation (Years 3 and 7), numeracy (Years 5 and 9) and writing (Year 3) compared to 2008. Year 3 and 9 writing also was significantly above the NAPLAN 2018 average.
The rate of improvement in results for Indigenous students is almost twice the rate of improvement for the general population, though more needs to be done. According to ACARA, further research is needed into what can be done to increase the rate of improvement even more for Indigenous students.
“The cumulative gains made since 2008 by Indigenous students are especially pleasing. One of the benefits of NAPLAN is that it can provide us with this information about Indigenous students’ progress and continue in our efforts to contribute towards closing the literacy and numeracy achievement gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students,’ added Mr de Carvalho.
Students with a language background other than English showed significant cumulative gains in reading (Years 3, 5 and 7), grammar and punctuation (Years 3 and 7), spelling (Years 3 and 5) and numeracy (Year 5) compared to 2008. Year 3 writing was significantly above the NAPLAN 2018 average.
In the breakdown by gender, the 2019 NAPLAN National Report reveals significant cumulative gains in some domains and year levels for female students including reading (Years 3 and 5), spelling (Year 5), grammar and punctuation (Year 3) and numeracy (Year 5).
Similarly, there have been some significant cumulative gains in some domains and year levels for male students including reading (Years 3 and 5), spelling (Years 3 and 5), grammar and punctuation (Year 3) and numeracy (Year 5).
Year 3 writing for was significantly above the NAPLAN 2018 average for both female and male students.