As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, we had some great successes in NAPLAN again this year. There are three main measures that are looked at in judging how well a school has done. These are influenced by where the children fall in the bandings (see example below).
Year 3 Test Colour Key Legend
Bands Above NMS
Band at NMS
Band Below NMS
The first measure is whether children are at or above the national minimum standard (NMS) that is band 2 to 6 in the example above. Our school target is that we want every child (100%) at or above the NMS. The second measure is the number of children in the upper two bands (U2B), band 5 & 6 in the case of Year 3. As I stated a couple of weeks ago, our school target is 33% of our children in the U2Bs. This is ambitious as some schools have that target as low as 10%, but with the small number of children we have we need to aim high to influence the third measure, which is the mean or average score of the children for each of the tests. It’s one thing to have all the children at or above the NMS, but if that is all we achieve, then our overall mean score will be low. We need as many children as possible in the U2Bs, so as to raise our mean score. And when you consider some of our classes have only 3 to 6 children in them, then unless we get at least 1 (33%) child in the U2Bs in say a class of 3, our mean score will be low.
So how did we do? We had only one child in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 below the NMS in one area only. Every year level had one or more children in the U2Bs in various test and met our 33% target in those tests. We need to wait until September/October to see how our mean score compares to like schools, etc. but given our success with the first 2 measures that should also be positive. Our biggest success is year 3 with every child (100%) in the upper 3 bands in most areas, which is a phenomenal success. And of course as I’ve already mentioned, 100% of the Year 3s were in the U2Bs for writing. Numeracy was our weakest area, even though there were positives, which is why it is our current focus.
As I’ve stated previously, as important as the three above measures of our school are, the really important one is how much the children have progressed between tests. Even if children score low, as long as they make strong progress that’s the important thing. Unfortunately we had one child in Years 5, 7 & 9 whose score went backwards. The flip side to that though is that many children not only made the expected progress, they went ahead in leaps and bounds. A small number of those children not only double the expected progress over two years, some tripled their progress in some areas and one child quadrupled their progress in one area.
So there is still work to do, but all in all the children, staff and parents should be proud of their achievements. Well done to all!
What can you do to help at home? As I regularly say – Celebrate, not only for the children’s achievements, but also for how you have supported your children with their learning. And accept my sincere thanks for how you have supported your children and the school – Thank-you!