NAPLAN Results – What do they mean?
NAPLAN results were released this week and, as usual, there will be much public discussion and debate over the purpose and usefulness of the results. While one of the primary purposes of NAPLAN is to inform school and systemwide planning, parents would like to know what the reports mean to their child and how the results can be used to identify individual needs.
Every student who sat the NAPLAN test receives an individual report, whether they did the paper or online version. These reports provide information on how your child performed in the areas of reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy. They also indicate how your child has performed in relation to their peers at school and against the national average and minimum standards.
What’s in the report?
The front page of the report contains general information, while the second and third pages show diagrams displaying the relevant part of the assessment scale in bands for the year group.
Year 3 student reports show bands 1 to 6 with the national minimum standard set at band 2.
Year 5 student reports show bands 3 to 8 with the national minimum standard set at band 4.
Your child’s result in each area is shown on the common assessment scales.
The final page provides a table with brief descriptions of what students have typically exhibited in the areas at each band level.
How do I use this information?
Results can be used as a starting point for discussions with your child’s teacher over areas of concern (if your child’s result indicates they are performing well below the national average in any area then further assessment from the teacher should be used to determine particular areas needing improvement). Teachers may also use the results to identify students who are in need of more challenging work (students performing well above national averages may benefit from ‘extension’ programs).
Schools can also use the results to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programs and to set literacy and numeracy goals across groups of students. Governing bodies can use the results to review programs that are currently in place and support schools with areas for development.
Remember, the NAPLAN test is a ‘snapshot’ of your child’s performance on the testing days and needs to be interpreted with care. It should form just one method of assessing your child’s academic progress and be put into context against the broader range of skills and understandings being taught at school.
Some ways you can help your child to continue to improve their academic results include:
- Give your child time to practise the Maths and English they are learning at school. Some children just need more time to pick up skills and understandings from their lessons in class.
- Help your child to manage their time when completing work. In an exam or test situation time is an important factor.
- If your school completes NAPLAN and other assessments online or in digital format, ensure your child is familiar with general computer use and has time to complete work both digitally and on paper.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teachers are there to support your child and you.
If you would like additional information use can visit the NAPLAN website here: