Case study naplan results
Case study naplan results

Children of migrants outperform English-speaking students

Children of migrants are outperforming English-speaking students in writing and spelling while literacy standards among country kids have fallen dramatically.

Results of last year's NAPLAN tests, released today, show children from non-English speaking backgrounds performed better in the majority of subjects in almost every grade in last year's results. They confirmed a preliminary report last year which found the number of Year 7 students reaching the national minimum standard was among the lowest since tests began in 2008.

Angela Yip with her Year 4 daughter Sophia Wong, 9, at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Lindfield. Picture: Brett Costello
Angela Yip with her Year 4 daughter Sophia Wong, 9, at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Lindfield. Picture: Brett Costello

The overwhelming success story was children who came from non-English speaking homes who performed better than non-migrant children in writing, spelling and grammar and punctuation.

In the writing section of the test, 94.9 per cent of Year 5 migrant students reached the minimum standard in writing, compared to 93.2 per cent of children from English speaking backgrounds.

While children from migrant backgrounds did not perform quite as well in reading, they outshone their peers who speak English at home in spelling and grammar and punctuation in every grade.

The biggest difference for spelling was among Year 3 students where 96.3 per cent of migrant children reached the minimum standard compared to 94.4 per cent of children whose family speak English.

Grattan Institute education researcher Peter Goss said we should be proud of the fact children of migrants are doing so well. "We are one of the few countries in the world where many immigrant kids do better than Australian born," he said.

Holy Family Catholic Primary School Lindfield principal Lou Dogao told The Daily Telegraph migrant parents placed a high value on education. "The parents come from countries where the exam was the be all and end all, which determined what your future pathway was, at a very young age," he said.

Year 4 student Amy Jung, 9, said she wanted to do well in NAPLAN tests last year to please her mum.

Amy Jung, Bernard Yu and Grace Chang are Year 4 students at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Lindfield. Picture: Brett Costello
Amy Jung, Bernard Yu and Grace Chang are Year 4 students at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Lindfield. Picture: Brett Costello

At the other end of the spectrum, today's report reveals there were some significant drops in remote and regional parts of the state.

The percentage of children in very remote areas achieving the National Minimum Standard in Year 3 spelling fell by five percentage points compared to the previous year while grammar and punctuation achievement rates fell from 90 per cent to 80 per cent.

There were also falls among Year 5 students in outer regional areas in grammar and punctuation and numeracy.

Centre for independent Studies researcher Blaise Joseph said regional schools struggled to attract teachers.

"It is very concerning because the minimum standards aren't set very high, if anything it will understate the number of students who currently don't have basic literacy and numeracy skills," he said.

"That is going to impact their ability to do well in years 11 and 12."

* Additional reporting Kelsey Hogan



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