|Overview of NAPLAN
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests are scheduled to start on 14 May 2019. NAPLAN is the yearly standardised testing of literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. It is applicable for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Parents and schools can gain an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the test. The NAPLAN test is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process; this test does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers. One other benefit of the NAPLAN test is that schools, education authorities and governments can find out information about whether students are meeting important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy. Most parents are interested in their kids performing to their full potential in NAPLAN. This article gives parents some ideas on how they can assist their child(ren) in preparing for the NAPLAN test.
What does NAPLAN assess, and how to prepare for it?
The NAPLAN test covers material taught in general classwork. NAPLAN tests are made up of reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. Therefore, as part of the preparation, students can cover content learnt at school and then identify and consolidate any areas of weakness. Parents can help their child(ren) to prepare for NAPLAN by reassuring them that the test is just one part of their school program, and by reminding them on the day to simply try their best. NAPLAN is not about passing or failing, but about assessing learning progress.
The NAPLAN reading test is a comprehension exercise. Parents can support their child by reading a paragraph together and discuss the main ideas of it. Note key facts by underlining or circling them. Ask basic recall questions, but also discuss multiple questions about the ideas presented in the text.
Students are required to write either a narrative or a persuasive text based on a given topic. It is important to expose students to the format and conventions of both genres early on, so that students are familiar and confident during the test.
The language convention test assesses spelling, grammar and punctuation for their year level, which includes learning all the aspects of a sentence structure. To prepare, parents can get their child to self-edit their own writing and some of yours. Try to get them to identify punctuation marks, nouns, verbs, adjectives and other language conventions in stories they are reading. Practice the spelling lists. Conducting practice tests would be a good way to measure the progress.
The NAPLAN numeracy test measures the achievement of students in numeracy. One of the main references for numeracy as well as mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding is the Australian Curriculum. Parents can assist them to achieve their potential in Numeracy by providing opportunities to read and interpret word problems without the pressure of having to find solutions initially. Focus their attention on what the question is asking and have them restate the problem in their own words. This will improve their ability to read and comprehend worded problems, and then to solve. Parents can find many Maths word problems and other supporting resources online. During the early stages of preparation, it is important to emphasise on understanding the concepts and knowing how to answer questions. With the understanding of the concepts, then you can start focusing on the time management aspects.
To help students to prepare for NAPLAN, Tutors SA also incorporates NAPLAN practice into our regular tuition sessions. Since we are following the Australian curriculum up to Year 10 students, students learn these core components throughout our sessions. We also conduct NAPLAN type practice tests and provide homework for those relevant year levels and train our students to perform well under exam conditions to achieve a higher outcome.