Small schools among best for improving test results

TANNUM Sands and Agnes Water state schools have been named among the top 53 schools in Queensland for improved NAPLAN results.

Data from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority show since last being tested in 2012, students at Tannum Sands State School had improved in numeracy.

The results also showed Agnes Water State School Years 3-5 students' reading had improved.

However, the Queensland Teachers Union says there are more to schools than good NAPLAN results.

The union's vice president, Sam Pidgeon, said it was great that schools of all sizes and locations had been recognised.

But she said very small schools with fewer than five students were not included in the data.

Ms Pidgeon also said it showed how funding helped educational outcomes.

"That funding allows teachers to do planning and meet the needs of students," she said.

"The only way you're going to see an ongoing (improvement) is if schools have certainty of funding coming through."

Ms Pidgeon also said improvements in students' literacy and numeracy had been showing for years, not just when NAPLAN was introduced.

The reporting authority's chairman, Barry McGaw, said the results were based on calculations that took into account students from similar socio-educational backgrounds, allowing fair comparisons.

The scale is calculated using information about parents' occupations and education, the school's geographical location and the proportion of indigenous students.

The schools included in the list were those that had above-average improvements.

What is NAPLAN?

  • The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
  • It has been an everyday part of the school calendar since 2008.
  • NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling and numeracy.
  • The assessments are undertaken nationwide, every year, in the second full week in May.


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