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Helping your child understand NAPLAN

6 May 2016

The annual National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy, or NAPLAN, will be undertaken across Australia by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in May. 

NAPLAN is one of many assessment tools we use to gain information on a student’s literacy and numeracy skills as they develop through schooling.

The information captured is used alongside other assessment information, which helps schools to build an overall picture of your child’s development.

It is through assessment that teachers gain feedback on student performance to ensure their learning is on track, and students are heading in the right direction.

Assessing a child as they progress through school is a priority at both an education system level, and at the school level.

Teachers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their continuous assessment of how well students are progressing, what they are learning, and the challenges they face.

They observe students as they talk about their learning, assess and compare their written work, and ask them questions designed to uncover what they understand.

This rich observational and assessment data combines with test results to provide the most detailed picture possible of every learner’s progress, and the support they need.

For parents with children sitting the test this year, I encourage you to talk to your child about how NAPLAN is one of many methods used to help teachers better support them in their learning.

Open discussion about assessment is reassuring to students and serves to build their confidence and performance overall.

I encourage all parents to talk positively with their children about NAPLAN.  

Maintaining a dialogue with teachers

As we head into Term 2 of school, your children would have settled in for the year and adjusted to new routines.

This is an ideal time for you to speak to your child’s teacher about how they are progressing and raise any concerns you may have.

Maintaining a dialogue with teachers will help you to learn more about your child’s academic, emotional and social development.

Building this relationship also assists your child’s teacher to learn more about your child and how together you can provide the best support for them.

Parent-teacher interaction shows your child that you are interested in their learning needs and in their development at school.

Term 2 is also a time when you may be invited by your school to attend a parent-teacher interview.

This is another opportunity to understand how your child learns, and how you can support them in their development.

As a parent, you can positively influence your child’s learning and development.

I encourage you to continue to be positively engaged in your child’s education and to reinforce what your child learns at school within the home environment.

Jayne Johnston
Chief Education Officer
Department for Education and Child Development

This article featured in Parents Say magazine, SA Association of School Parents’ Clubs, 2nd quarter, 2016.