Testing times for primary students undertaking NAPLAN
PRIMARY school children around the Gladstone region have knuckled down for their annual NAPLAN tests, which began on Tuesday.
One hundred students across three year levels at Gladstone Central State School will join children around the state in sitting the 2014 tests this week.
Principal Leanne Martin said her school had tried to downplay the tests to ensure children were not stressed by the exams.
"We want the kids to be relaxed because we know relaxed kids do well," she said.
The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy tests commenced in 2008 and were originally met by a mixed response from the community.
But NAPLAN is now an invaluable tool, according to Parents and Citizens Queensland CEO Kevan Goodworth.
"We can put our hands on our hearts now and say we know how our children are doing," he told The Observer.
NAPLAN provides excellent data to inform teachers' development, Ms Martin said.
"It's important that the parents know their students are doing well, but it's (more) important that we know we are teaching well," she said.
Six years of NAPLAN data is now available.
"When you have (students in Years) 3, 5 and 7 it's great because you can see the growth (in ability) and long-term trends," she said.
"Last year we had 15 of our 15 areas improve.
"I'm chuffed with where we're at."
The performance of independent schools and students will also be measured as part of the NAPLAN tests.
Trinity College principal Trish Hodgson said the NAPLAN data provided another snapshot of students' achievements, but was not considered in isolation.
"We take into consideration all of our assessments to build a complete picture of what our students can do," she said.
The college had an air of excitement and anticipation at this time of year, Ms Hodgson said.
"It is an opportunity for them to undertake the challenge of NAPLAN and put their skills to the test.
"We are proud that our students head into NAPLAN with a confidence in their own abilities and a desire to do their very best."