With the annual NAPLAN assessment set to begin from March 15, ACARA CEO, Mr David de Carvalho, wants to reassure students that the new assessment should help further their learning goals, rather than feel like a daunting examination.
This week, more than 1.3 million Australian students will sit for the test in more than 9,800 schools and campuses across Australia.
“This year is an important milestone for NAPLAN as it is the first year that the annual test is being held in March instead of May,” ACARA CEO, Mr David de Carvalho, says. “The enormous efforts of teachers and schools across all jurisdictions and sectors to get ready for an earlier NAPLAN this year should not be under-estimated.”
Ministers agreed to moving NAPLAN into Term 1 so the results would be available earlier in the year to inform teaching and learning programs. Effectively, this will give teachers earlier insights to support their professional judgment about how their students are progressing against the new proficiency standards and consider what support they might need in the coming year.
NAPLAN is invaluable as a national assessment that allows us to see whether young Australians are developing critical literacy and numeracy skills for learning, using a national, objective scale, according to Mr de Carvalho.
“It helps governments, education authorities and schools see whether Australian children are reaching important literacy and numeracy goals and allows parents and carers to see how their child is progressing against national literacy and numeracy standards. Students can get an insight into where they are placed on their own individual learning journey,” he says.
However, although NAPLAN is an important measure, it must be kept in perspective, Mr de Carvalho emphasises.
“It’s one test held every two years. It doesn’t measure overall school quality. It’s not meant to tell us everything about a student or their achievement. NAPLAN tests literacy and numeracy skills that are being developed in the classroom everyday with questions based mostly on what students have been taught from previous years of schooling. There is no need for students to undertake extra practice for NAPLAN and they should not feel apprehensive about the assessment.”
View more key dates for NAPLAN assessments here.
- New proficiency standards for NAPLAN
- Parents strongly support the new NAPLAN standards
- The continued evolution of NAPLAN