Transcript for NAPLAN 2019 - Expert advice for high school students

This is the transcript for the video NAPLAN 2019 - Expert advice for high school students.

Transcript

Student

How should we prepare for NAPLAN?

Jenny Donovan

You’re in year 9, you know that you don’t have to do a lot of preparation. There’s no studying that you need to do or practices that you need to do outside of school. Your teachers will make sure that you’ve done a bit of a practice with some NAPLAN questions so that if you’re doing pen and paper, you know how to fill out the testing on pen and paper. If you’re doing it online, you’re familiar with the look and feel of the test online. NAPLAN’s about assessing the curriculum. It’s about assessing literacy and numeracy learning that you have from your schooling, and it’s about the day to day learning that you do in the classroom. So there’s nothing special that you need to do.

Student

Does everyone have to do the same test?

Jenny Donovan

Yes, except if the students are doing the test online, the questions that they get presented will be slightly different. When you do the pen and paper NAPLAN, everybody does exactly the same test and for some students the questions are quite hard quite early in the test, and often that means they’ll give up and they won’t try. When we do NAPLAN online, students will answer a few questions and then the system will adapt to what they know and what they don’t know and it will send questions to the students that are about at their level of ability. So that the students are encouraged to stay with the test and to keep trying. There are questions here you know you can answer, and it means we’ll get much better information about what the students really do know.

Student

Are all schools doing the online tests?

Jenny Donovan

They will be. In NSW we had about 800 schools last year did NAPLAN online. This year there will be another 800, so we’re getting up to about 50% of schools in NSW doing NAPLAN online. Next year? Everybody. Everybody will be doing NAPLAN online and we’re excited about that because it means that when you do the tests and you answer all of those questions all of that information will be able to get back to schools much quicker.

Student

If NAPLAN is so useful, why don’t we do NAPLAN for all subjects?

Jenny Donovan

You do tests at school, right? So at the end of the year or the end term 2, you probably do tests for all of your subject areas and that’s fine, that’s good, that’s how teachers make sure that your learning what you need to. We don’t need to do that across the entire country because the course, the content of the course you do in geography might be a little bit different in NSW than what it is in Victoria or other places. So we leave it in the classroom. It’s the business of the teachers in the classroom to assess how you’re going in those subject areas. Across the whole country, we’re interested in finding out whether all of our students have the skills that they need to access the learning in other subjects. So we test everybody on literacy and numeracy. Those really core foundation pieces of knowledge that students need.

Student

Isn’t it true that since we started doing NAPLAN tests, results have gotten worse, not better?

Jenny Donovan

No, it isn’t true. Look, there’s a bit of fluctuation every year, because we’ve got different students being tested every year. But generally the results from NAPLAN have been very stable over time, and in some areas we’ve seen really great improvements. For example, for aboriginal students, there’s been terrific improvements in some areas of what we test over the years since NAPLAN began. We’ve been doing NAPLAN since 2008 and we’ve seen quite a lot of stability over that time. I think it’s important to understand that NAPLAN isn’t there to deliver improvement. It’s the teaching in the classroom that will deliver improvement in student learning outcomes. It’s there to act as a monitor.

Student

So, is the year 9 NAPLAN counting towards whether we do HSC or not?

Jenny Donovan

No. It did for one year, and then we decided that that created too much stress for students in year 9 doing NAPLAN. We don’t want you to be stressed about NAPLAN, there’s nothing to be stressed about. It’s just checking in on how you’re going for your teachers to be able to use it. What you will do, though, is some tests in year 10 some online tests to make sure that your literacy and numeracy skills reach a minimum standard that’s required for you to qualify for an HSC in year 12. So NAPLAN’s got nothing to do with that. Do NAPLAN relaxed, don’t be anxious. Just know that it’s going to be informing your teachers about what they need to be doing with you in the classroom. Then in year 10 you’ll do some different tests, that are only happening in NSW and they’ll be the ones that will make a decision about how you’re going in relation to the HSC. And what happens at the end of year 12! Good luck with that.

End of transcript.

Return to top of page