NAPLAN a positive learning tool

TESTED: Tanunda Primary School principal Michelle Barnes, Year 7 Louie McLennan, Year 5 Fenna van den Boom and Year 3 Stuart Page-Schmidt.

TESTED: Tanunda Primary School principal Michelle Barnes, Year 7 Louie McLennan, Year 5 Fenna van den Boom and Year 3 Stuart Page-Schmidt.

NAPLAN testing hit schools last week, and according to Tanunda Primary School principal Michelle Barnes, it is a positive learning tool for both students and teachers.

Ms Barnes was complimentary of the test, and said it gave a good measure of where her school and others were at.

“We look for similar patterns, maybe that we noticed that lots of kids are struggling with something like sentence structure or solving tasks,” she said.

Ms Barnes said that the results can assist the school in planning for the future.

“We would use that to make decisions about our focus for the remainder of the year or next year; we look for patterns to help us, and to see what measures of our teaching are really effective,” she said.

“It gives us a snapshot of where our kids sit in relation to other schools around the state and country.”

Ms Barnes said NAPLAN assisted parents and teachers to help students outside of the classroom, and where they could improve as well as to strive towards a higher potential.

“With parents we can look at the information provided and help give them information about what they could do at home, to help their kids in areas where they’re struggling, or extend them in areas they are showing potential in,” she said.

Ms Barnes uses the data to further help her teachers as well as students, with NAPLAN assisting areas to further improve teachers and where they were excelling.

“We use a range of different tests; with something like literacy, we have spelling tests and a reading comprehension test,” she said.

“It can give you specific teaching points.

“It may be the child is having problems inferring information when they read which isn’t directly stated, so the teachers will then look and think ‘okay, perhaps we need a particular program which helps pull out information that’s not directly stated within the test’.

“You can use it to pull out particular teaching points, and focus on that to give students who are requiring some additional help some extra support.”

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