Across the nation this week students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are undergoing Naplan Tests. As usual there has been much hype in the media about these. Students at our College complete these snap shot assessments as part of the required regime set out by the Federal Government. They aim to provide a picture of individual students abilities in Writing Conventions, Reading and Numeracy.
Some schools spend designated time within the classroom attempting to prepare for these tests. Our students however, complete practice tests to familiarise them with the structure and format of the assessments.
It concerns me to hear pressure being placed on students to perform in these assessments and that some experience anxiety as a result of some of the media commentary relating to these. Of even greater concern to me is the use of the data to measure or compare one school with another.
In my opinion, schools are much richer communities than their Naplan tests and the data presented on related websites. Yes, the academic performance of individual students are vitally important and it is the hallmark of excellent schooling to cater for each student's needs.
To this end our College continues to see our students as intrinsically important individuals, precious in God's sight. Our students are of much more worth than their test results. They are each seen as a gift from God with unique and individual talents and personalities that have been created to fulfill God's plan for their lives.
Whilst our College uses and values the data collected in a range of assessment tasks, including standardised tests, classroom assessments and the like to inform our teaching and to provide important feedback to students and parents, these do not define our wonderful students who make our community the special place of learning that it is. There no one test for that. This comes from experiencing God's love and presence throughout our College each day.