The results are in and schools are staying positive about NAPLAN

By Alex Gretgrix

ECHUCA-MOAMA schools produced a mixed bag of results from last year’s NAPLAN testing, but this hasn’t stopped them from keeping their heads up.

Following from the public release of the numbers, schools around the district are focusing on the learning opportunities the information provides.

Students in Years 3,5,7 and 9 were required to sit tests during a week in May that required them to show their skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

And despite some schools scoring lower compared to their 2018 results, staff have been working to make improvements since they were told their scores back in September.

“Our 2019 NAPLAN results have been positive and reveal a number of strengths in both literacy and numeracy at St Joseph’s College,” acting co-principal Grant Kemp said.

Although recording some lower scores compared to 2018 in reading and spelling, the school’s results were still up to standard.

“The 2019 numeracy results at both Year 7 and 9 showed that students were very close to the expected standard,” Mr Kemp said.

“The NAPLAN data agreed, for the most part, with our internal testing data. The growth data (Year 7, 2017 to Year 9, 2019) showed all students, no matter their starting point, were able to demonstrate growth.”

The school’s literacy numbers improved as well, seeing an improvement in their writing, spelling and reading in both year levels.

Echuca Primary School (208) recorded some good results as they saw growth in their reading, writing and numeracy for both their Grade 3 and 5 students.

While Pyramid Hill College saw stellar results in 2018, last year’s saw a slight drop in most sections for Year 7 and spelling for Year 9.

Despite the drop, the students are still in line with the state average and were able to record some good results in other areas.

The college was able to help their students make improvements as well, especially with their Grade 3 students in all aspects of testing.

Smaller schools such as Gunbower Primary saw their class numbers increase, meaning they were able to test both Grade 3 and 5 students.

While they did see some lower scores for their Grade 5 in reading, spelling and numeracy, they were able to improve in their writing and grammar.

But each school is always implementing strategies and programs to help improve their scores and overall results.

“We’re focusing on and using the middle year’s literacy and numeracy strategy which means we have a dedicated literacy teacher working with our students who have lower than expected results,” Echuca College principal Simon Wood said.

“We also have a dedicated numeracy teacher who is doing the same thing, so at the moment, as well as focusing on improving our reading, that’s what we’re doing.”

NAPLAN has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning schools may have lost a way of getting an indication of where their students sit, but it’s not the only tool they have.

“St Joseph’s has a number of different means by which to collect growth and achievement data on student’s numeracy and literacy learning including the Australian Council for Education Research PAT Math and Reading Comprehension tests as well as a range of other testing tools,” Mr Kemp said.

“These allow teachers to develop an accurate picture of student achievement and growth and use this data to inform their planning and teaching.

“The data provided by NAPLAN has traditionally agreed with what teachers already knew about students based on these other forms of assessment. We will continue to use these data sets in the absence of NAPLAN Data this year.”

You can find a full list of NAPLAN results at