|From the Principal:|
|7 April 2017|
On Wednesday, I visited every classroom and sat in on 3 Way Conferences. Wowee! I was so impressed with the level of engagement and information that was discussed by children and their teacher. I also talked to parents and everyone said they valued the conferences because they provided early information about the achievement of their child. Goal setting is important because children must authentically commit to their individual learning journey. This makes learning visible. The children know how they are progressing and then (most importantly) what they need to learn to achieve the next step.
NAPLAN is next on the school calendar. This is a national test of literacy and numeracy for children in Years 3 and 5 (7 & 9). Here at CVPS, we work hard to keep student anxiety levels low. How can you, as parents, help us? Please don’t make a fuss of the test. Yes, it is important but not worth sleepless nights. Enjoy the holidays and relax with your child. In Week 3, ensure your child has good night sleeps, hearty breakfasts and leisure at the end of each day…..there will be no homework that week! You may wonder what information we receive and then what we do. Below is a sample.
NAPLAN tests are sent away for marking. As it is a national test, we usually receive information back in August. The information is extremely detailed.
• We receive individual test scores and how each child actually answered each question - Teachers analyse this information, teach to fill the knowledge gaps, but also teach to extend and increase knowledge - Year 3 teachers also pass this information back to Year 2 teachers and Year 5 back to Year 4 - Teachers also see individual progress from Year 3 – Year 5. This adds to their student profile information. Often progress is linked to a child’s negative or positive attitude towards a particular area such as reading, spelling, writing or mathematics. When appropriate, student/teacher conversations follow and you will see a direct link to goal setting.
• Results can also be manipulated so that a classroom teacher can see how his or her class has achieved in comparison to others. This is terrific information because the life of a classroom teacher is a busy one. Sometimes one teacher has a fabulous teaching strategy that is then shared with colleagues.
• School results are available so I can compare our progress with similar (like) schools (as set by ACARA – The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority), all schools in Western Australia and all Australian schools. We can then gauge our progress against these groups.
• We also track our progress over time, looking at trend lines and cohort progress. We analyse student achievement in proficiency bands and in subgroups – for example, who is achieving in the top 20% or below the Australian standard. Teachers then develop units of work to extend their students based on NAPLAN test information and their own in-class records.
• As principal, I analyse various influences and their impact; for example attendance, gender or whether the child has English as a second language. My findings are discussed with staff and if there is a negative impact, plans are effected to change this to a positive. As you can see from this sample, NAPLAN results provide schools with a wealth of information. Teacher judgement, however, remains the main reporting tool. In the next newsletter I will write about this process so you will have a better understanding about how a teacher makes a judgement about your child’s progress.
Have a fabulous holiday. Please remember that school is open on Monday April 24th, then closed for the public ANZAC Day holiday on the 25th.