This week our Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students are taking part in NAPLAN (The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) tests. This can be a challenging time for you and your children who might be experiencing anxiety and stress.
So what is NAPLAN and why are these tests required?
NAPLAN is a general assessment of literacy and numeracy proficiency, and proves a snapshot of how children in Australia answer a particular set of Maths and English test questions.
The written test gives students a prompt and 40 minutes to produce either a persuasive or narrative piece of writing. It is marked for its audience appeal; structure; ideas and the logical connection of those ideas; use of literary tools; sentence structure; depth and breadth of vocabulary; paragraphing, punctuation and spelling.
The spelling and grammar tests check whether students are over reliant on ‘sounding out’ when spelling, and if they are able use Standard Australian English.
The reading paper tests whether students can do more than decode the words on the page. It tests their vocabulary and ability to infer information from texts.
So – why do we have NAPLAN?
NAPLAN provides information on how students are performing in order to support improvements in teaching and learning. They also show students’ learning at a particular point in time, and offer valuable information on how to improve literacy and numeracy achievement.
Is there anything you can do to improve your child’s performance in NAPLAN ?
No. How children perform is as a result of all the teaching they have received at school, not what they did in the weeks before the tests.
5 tips to get keep your child calm through NAPLAN week
The brain relies on some downtime to recharge for the challenges ahead. This doesn’t just mean getting a good night’s sleep, but also putting away those screens!
Get the blood pumping to the brain by getting them outside and taking in some fresh air. Even going for a walk can clear the mind and reduce anxious feelings.
Often during anxious moments we ‘hold our breath’ and shallow breathe. You can teach them 7/11 breathing to relieve anxiety and bring a feeling of calm. Close your eyes and breathe in for the count of 7, then slowly exhale to the count of 11. Do this a few times and you’ll feel calmer.
Ensure they eat a well-balanced diet with lots of veggies and make sure they do not skip meals! You can find a list of brain-boosting foods here.
These tests are a snapshot of your child’s ability at this particular moment in time. They can’t and won’t predict their academic future!