NAPLAN at Swan Christian College

Found in: Swan News

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The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy is a suite of mandatory assessment tasks undertaken in exam conditions.

Students in Years 3,5,7,9 are assessed in Numeracy, Literacy: Reading, Writing, Language Conventions, (spelling, punctuation and grammar). Results are mapped against national averages and minimum standards. The results schools receive are also mapped against state and similar school averages, as well as student progress over time. 

This report considers some of these findings for Swan Christian College. 

In summary, Swan Christian College has met its 2014 target of achieving above the national average in all five components across Years 3,5,7,9. We achieved the best results for any secondary school in the SCEA system and was ranked second overall for SCEA (Beechboro Christian School topping the rank). 

The College is also above the state average for above average when mapped to similar schools in all five components across Years 3,5,7,9. Numeracy is the most consistent area across the College and over time, although it is not broken down like the components of the literacy exam. 

What were our strengths?

  • All Year 3 students achieved above average in the writing section.
  • Growth in Years 7-9 is good in all areas with little regression over time.
  • Spelling has increased in Year 9 for the first time in three years.
  • There is effective learning support and extension with fewer in the bottom 20%, and more in the top 20% for most components. 

What areas need improvement?

  • Year 7 grammar and punctuation.
  • Writing quality is declining nationally. Likewise there is a decline in writing achievement at Swan, and also from Years 5-9.
  • There is variability in Year 7 results over time and area of assessment. 

What could be a concern?

  • Students across Australia are coasting. While we have high achievement, we have low progress nationally. For instance 40% of Catholic systemic schools have low progress.
  • This trend is also reflected at Swan. Individual students are doing “just enough”. John Hattie argues, as per the SCEA newsletter that all students should be making a year’s progress for a year’s work.
  • We want all students to grow. 

What strategies are being put in place to affect change?

  • We are working as research partners with Brightpath to develop exam materials for those in Years 7-9, especially with materials for our brightest students. Currently Brighpath ends in Year 6.
  • We are introducing explicit literacy components in all courses Years 7-9. It is mandatory in the WA iteration of the Australian Curriculum and included in all courses at Swan. Literacy is being strengthened across the curriculum.
  • Subject Information Handbooks now have ICT, Literacy, Numeracy and Christian Worldview as part of the course information.
  • In 2017, all courses for Years 7-9 will include at least one summative assessment task with a written component. For example our new course Sports Specialist course has a reflective journal as one of its tasks.
  • We are introducing a Year 5 class, to increase fluidity across the sub schools, and provide greater accountability. New students struggle more with transition and this it seems, affects their Year 7 results.
  • Raising expectations across Years 7-9. Year 8 English wrote essays for the first time this year in all three streams.
  • We have introduced the Cracking the Code literacy intervention program for targeted Year 7s, and will replicate and possibly extend this in 2017.
  • Having regular drills in Year 7 for tables and grammar. 

How can parents work in partnership with us?

  • Please read with and alongside your children everyday. Make a habit of visiting the local library together regularly.
  • Give them authentic writing tasks such as writing a letter, even a birthday card with a note to their grandparents.
  • Design and write invitations together.
  • Play word games like Scrabble and Scattergories, crosswords, Sudoku.
  • Place vocabulary lists around the house, as well as charts for tables.
  • Support student’s homework and summative assessment task preparation, and editing of any written responses. 

Mrs Christine Crump
Head of Middle School

Please click here to open the NAPLAN Summary Chart. These tables have been prepared by Mathilda Joubert from SCEA’s Institute of Teaching and Learning.

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