NAPLAN NONSENSE

Finally, my colleagues are vindicated in their anti-NAPLAN comments! This morning’s news featuring the report from Dr Ainley showing:

“There has been no improvement in maths and reading among students in a decade and the results of disadvantaged students have declined sharply, a major report obtained by the ABC reveals.” (link at end of this blog)

I train teachers around the country and many outstanding educators have privately shared their NAPLAN concerns with me.

These concerns include:

  • Having to teach to the test- not the curriculum.
  • Reducing child development to grades and benchmarks and not taking learning styles into consideration
  • Children’s fears and anxiety around these tests.
  • Parents making children work on endless worksheets that purport to give better marks- a whole industry has grown up around this reduction of the education process to grades and numbers!
  • Children are pretested,  post – tested- they are tested so often there is little time to teach!

I regularly give workshops to SE Asian teachers as well, and my Singaporean colleagues have asked me why we have so many national exams.

Singapore has very high standards of education and has been very exam oriented in the past but is gradually injecting more creativity into the curriculum.

We NEVER had to go this way.

Sure- literacy and numeracy standards needed to improve and we needed more rigour in our education process.

This could have happened with a tighter curriculum, more effective professional development and extra teachers and assistants to work with children.

NAPLAN was always a broken, inferior tool to mend an education system that needed serious improvement.

Read more about it here-

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-07/naplan-call-review-after-report-reveals-no-change-in-decade/9519840

 

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The ABC of Child Whispering: R is for REPORTS and how to interpret them

Your child’s report is not meant to be a judgement of their potential or even of their complete attainment so far this year.

It is simply a snapshot of observable progress at school.

Many children will happily receive reports that make you smile.

You will probably arrange a special treat for them to their favourite take-a-way and certainly praise them.

 

Spare a thought for the children with poor reports.

I work with some children who are terrified of these reports and also dread NAPLAN results.

For these children the disappointing results are yet another nail in the coffin of disappearing self-esteem.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Parents can take these steps to turn these situations into a positive experience.

Calmly tell your child that when you receive their reports you will read them, discuss with them and make a plan to help them do better.

When you receive the report, read it through a few times to get the full gist.

Remember that teachers are human, over-worked, underpaid, underappreciated and also dislike reports- probably more than your children! They try to be fair but may miss some areas where improvement has already begun. Reports often do not reflect recent grades and levels of motivation.

Read each subject results and comments and read between the lines.

MAKE SURE YOU READ THE INFO AND GUIDE TO THE REPORT. THE

BACKGROUND INFO IS CRUCIAL!

If you don’t read the guide you will likely misinterpret it. The letters and numbers have different values to those you expect from your own school days.

If you can see there is definitely a problem in some area, make an appointment to see the teacher and ask what you can do to help.

Then make a plan and encourage your child to be a real part of this plan.

Ask them what they think will help them improve. I am so often surprised that this step is skipped when learning plans are made for children. They often have quite an understanding of what they really need.

Write the plan down and allow your child to decorate it and display it.

Make sure you specify WHEN and HOW this plan will be carried out and make sure your child has an attractive work area with all tools such as pencils, dictionary, paper etc handy.

All children can improve educational outcomes.

They need the 3 Hs- HOPE  HELP  HOW to enable this to happen.

Any parents who would like free advice on how to help children with poor reports may contact us at victoriacarlton@iinet.net.au

 

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