NSW students perform in NAPLAN despite pandemic

Literacy and numeracy results show students overcoming COVID-19 disruptions.

25 August 2021
Three primary school students, two girls on either side of a boy with the girls giving the thumbs up.
Image: Beating the pandemic: NAPLAN results show students have overcome the disruption to their studies.

Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in NSW have achieved some of the top NAPLAN results in the country, despite disruptions caused by COVID-19 over the past 18 months.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell congratulated students for their results, after the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), responsible for NAPLAN, released preliminary national data for 2021.

“Once again, NSW students are achieving above the national average in all five domains, at all year levels,” Ms Mitchell said.

Key takeaways from 2021 NAPLAN results for NSW are:

  • NSW mean scores were above the national average in each test domain in all years.
  • NSW ranks in the top three jurisdictions by mean scores in all domains for all year levels, except in Year 9 reading.
  • NSW has the highest mean score in spelling and writing for Years 3 to 7.
  • NSW has the second-highest mean scores in numeracy for Years 3 to 9, grammar and punctuation for Years 3 to 7 and spelling in Year 9.

“Since the pandemic began last year, students have shown incredible resilience in continuing to focus on their education and adapting to new ways of learning,” Ms Mitchell said

“Students are faced with the challenges of learning from home again this year and we are prepared to help students recover any ground lost during this period.”

Last year, the NSW Department of Education introduced online reading and numeracy check-in assessments to help teachers understand what support students needed to get back on track after time spent learning from home.

“The feedback from schools has been extremely positive and the check-ins have continued this year,” Ms Mitchell said.

Work is under way on several recommendations from the NSW Government-led review into NAPLAN.

This includes investigating the feasibility of conducting the test earlier in the year and providing the results to schools within two weeks.

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