Our Approach to NAPLAN

March 15, 2024  
Mr Chris Breheny - Head of Academics

The commencement of NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) this week saw the revival of the annual debate surrounding the efficacy of the assessment program and, more broadly, standardised testing. Here at The Illawarra Grammar School, we prefer to approach NAPLAN with a more pragmatic perspective, viewing the literacy and numeracy tests as valuable opportunities for students to be academically challenged within the broader context of their rigorous school assessment programs.

Delivered annually for student in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, the program assesses students across a range of literacy and numeracy skills throughout four different tests (Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy), producing extensive data that provides the School and its students with insights into individual, school and national literacy and numeracy standards and trends.

As with all assessments, our teachers leverage NAPLAN as a diagnostic tool used to identify specific literacy and numeracy skills in which students either excel or require targeted improvement. Through analysing individual and school performance data, our teachers gain a deeper understanding of our students’ learning needs, allowing them to refine their instructional strategies to target key areas requiring improvement with intentionality and precision. Whether it be through illuminating the need for differentiated instruction, targeted intervention programs or curriculum adjustments, NAPLAN data offers valuable direction for how we can optimise student learning experiences and maximise academic achievement moving forward. More than simply a marker of student achievement, NAPLAN data provokes meaningful reflection, evaluation, refinement, and improvement of our teaching practices to promote student learning.

With two NAPLAN tests already completed, our students are strongly encouraged to confront their remaining two tests with a sense of excitement for the challenge of assessment, appreciation for the opportunity to receive feedback and data on their learning, and a resolute commitment to delivering their best effort to ensure they maximise their learning and growth throughout the experience.


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