NAPLAN online was a bit of a 'trial' this year (pun intended), with issues around connection for nearly all online assessments at our site. This is in spite of three previous years of success with NAPLAN online, and fantastic ICT infrastructure throughout our school. However, we still support the use of the online testing as it provides faster and more interactive data for schools to use to track students and trends, so we hope (much like the initial rollout of the Australia Wide census...) that issues are ironed out and we can move ahead with the online forum again in 2020.
Within the online testing, our students were quite relaxed in this familiar forum. They are used to doing online assessments and appreciated that the test moved with them to either increase in difficulty or remain at a consistent level, depending on their responses. Throughout the testing period, even with the connection issues, our students showed a high level of resilience, an ability to stick with the testing and remained unfazed. For this, I think they, and our teachers, should be congratulated.
So what about the results... it really is too soon to say what, if any, impact there will be on our results. But this we already know...
- We have had three years of improvement data and have continued to move forward with our focus on learning as a site
- Learning data is already available for our teachers through PAT Math & Reading, Running Records & AR STAR testing as well as class based assessments. These are the data sets we use as a site to track, monitor and respond for students
- Our site data shows consistent levels of High Band data for our students in both literacy and numeracy
- Our writing data is unpacked for all students (not only years 3, 5 & 7) twice a year through Brightpath, which also shows us the next steps of learning for each child
All in all, NAPLAN is a useful assessment (definitely not worthy of the amount of stress portrayed through the media) but it is only one piece of data and not the most useful data for individual student learning. We track data continually, we wouldn't want to wait two years to see if we are making an impact on learning!
We know that at Willunga, 'Learning Happens Everyday' !