Why do students do NAPLAN?
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
The assessment provides parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests. NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process – it does not
replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance. NAPLAN also provides schools, education authorities and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes in literacy
What is assessed?
NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through their regular school curriculum. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials. In 2019 most students across Australia will sit NAPLAN online. Feedback in the first year of NAPLAN Online showed that students engaged well with online assessments. One of the main benefits of NAPLAN Online is tailored (or adaptive) testing, where the test automatically adapts to a student’s test performance. The test presents questions of higher or lower complexity, depending on a student’s performance. Tailored (or adaptive) testing is designed to assess a wider range of student abilities and to measure student achievement more precisely. Your child should not be concerned if they find questions more challenging than usual; they may be taking a more complex test pathway. A student’s overall NAPLAN score is based on the number and complexity of questions they answer correctly.
NAPLAN Online 2020 timetable
The assessment window for NAPLAN Online is extended from three days provided for the paper test to nine days. This is to give schools more flexibility in scheduling and accommodate schools that may have fewer devices. The NAPLAN Online assessment window starts on Tuesday 12 May and finishes on Friday 22 May 2020.
What is OLNA and why is it such a big deal?
Literacy and numeracy capability of students is probably the most important thing that teachers work on at MTCC.
They are not subjects, as mentioned before – they are tools for learning and living. If students aren’t literate (i.e. they understand language and the different forms of language usage needed in every context) or numerate (i.e. they understand mathematics and can decide which mathematics out of all they’ve learned, to apply in different contexts) then they can’t access any of their subjects.
This is why every student in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit tests in literacy and numeracy every year. It’s also why every student needs to pass their Year 9 NAPLAN tests in order to graduate (receive a WACE) at the end of Year 12.
If students don’t attain Band 8 or better in their Year 9 NAPLAN tests they then MUST sit the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) tests every six months in March and September of Years 10, 11 and 12 until they do.
NAPLAN and OLNA are a big deal. If students can’t demonstrate literate and numerate behaviours and understandings to the required standard by Year 12, they will not formally graduate from school.
Parents need to encourage their children to do well in their literacy and numeracy tests (NAPLAN and OLNA) and show everyone that they are meeting national standards. It is understood that some students dislike tests and are even ‘traumatised’ by them, however, tests are an important part of life that they cannot be shielded from; you need to sit a test to gain a driver’s license or even to get a job at a fast food outlet. It is best to try hard on NAPLAN tests and then students won’t face the possibility of having to do OLNA tests in years 10, 11 and 12.
Please help us to help your children; don’t play NAPLAN or OLNA down in your household – it is a big deal!