Schools shine in national test


Schools shine in national test

SECONDARY students in South Gippsland are achieving high, according to the results of the national education test, NAPLAN or National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy.

A comparison of South Gippsland Secondary College in Foster, Wonthaggi Secondary College, Korumburra Secondary College, Mirboo North Secondary College, Leongatha Secondary College and Mary MacKillop Regional Catholic College, showed results largely trending upwards.

Students across the country sit the standardised NAPLAN tests in grades 3, 7 and 9 and parents receive results showing their own children’s performance compared to national expectations.

NAPLAN provides a measure of students’ achievement in language, reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar and mathematics.

In reading and numeracy, little separates the schools but in the more rigorous discipline of writing and the closely associated skills of spelling, grammar and punctuation, there is greater disparity.

NAPLAN coordinator at Korumburra Secondary College, Sally Henry, said “Writing is traditionally the hardest area for students because it involves such a broad skill set and requires a high level of creativity.”

South Gippsland Secondary College has come from behind to outperform all others in writing, even though its students have not reached the same level of achievement with spelling, punctuation and grammar specifically.

Leongatha Secondary College showed up as a strong performer, with students making solid progress between years 7 and 9 in all of the areas tested.

Mirboo North Secondary College, the second smallest of the schools, was also a strong performer.

Mirboo North Secondary College principal Karen Lanyon said, “Whilst our NAPLAN data has improved, our school has an improvement plan in place to raise achievement across the school.

“During 2015, two of our teachers have undertaken training as literacy leaders and will be focusing on developing student skills in the area of writing which has been identified as an area of need.

“NAPLAN results are a snapshot at a point in time and provide data to help us ensure that we are meeting the learning needs of our students.”

The school ahead of the pack is Mary MacKillop Regional Catholic College.

Along with Leongatha and Mirboo North secondary colleges, it is above the national reading average and with Wonthaggi Secondary College, it is above the national writing average.

Mary MacKillop is the only school above the national average on spelling and, with Mirboo North, outperforms the rest on grammar and punctuation.

Mary MacKillop was the only school to reach the national numeracy average.

Perhaps this is where the Index of Community Socio-educational Advantage (ICSEA) comes in.

With the Australian ICSEA average set at 1000, Mary MacKillop is the only one of the six schools above the advantage line that measures social advantage.

Korumburra Secondary College has the lowest ICSEA of the six at 965.

Research shows, for one, that children in private schools have higher performing parents who are more likely to have done well at school themselves, understand the work that is brought home and can engage with their children over it.

When it comes to the primary sector, the high achiever of South Gippsland is Inverloch Primary School.

Loch and Mirboo North primary schools, which perform above the national average on all measures, also stand out.

Trends are otherwise upwards with the exception of St Lawrence and St Josephs’ catholic primary schools which show flatter performance judged by NAPLAN.

One has to be careful when it comes to comparing schools using NAPLAN generated data, however.

The playing field is not necessarily level given more emphasis is placed on the results in some schools than others.

In short, there are schools which prepare their students for NAPLAN and others that do not.

Given the NAPLAN test material is quite unlike the kind of material students sit down to each day, it is like an adult seeing Australian census papers again after a five year interval.

Being spread across four campuses (Pakenham, Drouin, Drouin East and Leongatha), Chairo Christian School Leongatha was unable to participate in this comparison at this time as its results are incorporated into the four campus calculation.

My school: from left, Adam Miller, Amber Sanders, Jack Kratzat and Tessa Anderson are the captains at the Mirboo North Secondary College, a small school doing well and planning on doing even better.

My school: from left, Adam Miller, Amber Sanders, Jack Kratzat and Tessa Anderson are the captains at the Mirboo North Secondary College, a small school doing well and planning on doing even better.

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Posted by on Aug 25 2015. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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