Education

NAPLAN testing shows up and down results

by
March 10, 2018

NAPLAN results have once again delivered a mixed bag for the Echuca-Moama region.

NAPLAN results have once again delivered a mixed bag for the Echuca-Moama region.

The 2017 scores were made public on Wednesday, with many local schools recording declining results.

NAPLAN testing was introduced in 2008 for students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9, and focuses on reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

Moama Anglican Grammar School (MAGS) was a clear standout among primary and secondary schools, achieving scores above the national average in most areas.

And Bunnaloo Public School wasn’t about to be left behind, also sitting substantially above national averages in several categories.

Echuca South, which has struggled with the tests in the past, continued last year’s upward trajectory.

The school put in a stellar performance, achieving scores higher than the national average in six out of 10 categories.

St Mary’s School, Echuca Primary School and Cohuna Consolidated School also nailed down strong results.

Bunnaloo Public School principal Darren Devereux said he was pleased with the results and has started using them to plan for the future.

“We received the results in August so we have put them into practice already,” he said.

“It’s fantastic we’re getting the data back earlier, it gives us plenty of time to plan ahead and work with what we’ve got.”

Echuca South (now part of Twin Rivers School) principal Karl Stenning said the results were an outstanding achievement.

“We’re pleased with the improvement and are hoping to bring this same amazing standard to Twin Rivers,” he said.

“It took a lot of one-on-one intervention to see this happen. We’ve been extremely lucky to receive some equity funding which has allowed us to employ two full-time intervention teachers.

“You can’t beat this added help. And you’ve got to have the right people to deliver it. We’ve been lucky to have teachers who are retired yet still happy to deliver this service.”

However, Mr Stenning said he had reservations about the NAPLAN tests and believed they caused too much stress for young children.

In a concerning trend, many local schools struggled in the tests, with several falling below nationwide averages in the majority of categories.

Echuca West and Echuca East primary schools achieved mixed results, while Moama Public School recorded low results in many categories.

Pyramid Hill College’s results dropped from last year, with the school reporting mixed scores.

Principal Fiona Moon said her school had to look at the growth of each child rather than just NAPLAN results.

“We’re a little school that packs a big punch,” she said.

“We’ve received outstanding results for the year seven and nine students. We’re very pleased with these.

“And we’ve been working very hard with literacy and numeracy coaches to see an improvement for the grade three and five students.

“There’s also been a lot of investment in resources for student growth and teacher development.”

It was also a disappointing year for Mathoura Public.

The school plummeted from above average in all grade five categories in 2016 to below average in nine categories this year.

Along with MAGS, several high schools across the district reported respectable results.

Both Cohuna Secondary College and St Joseph’s College were largely on par with the rest of Australia.

However, Echuca College was down from last year, sitting below the national average in nine of the 10 categories.

River City Christian College also struggled this year, substantially below in nine categories.

Following these disappointing results, principal Peter Nelson expressed reservations about how the results portrayed smaller schools.

‘‘As we’re a smaller school, it makes it harder to compare results,’’ he said.

‘‘While these results are valuable alongside other assessments, we don’t have enough statistics to be using them to compare schools.’’

A breakdown of the results can be viewed at myschool.edu.au

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