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Reaching for the Stars

Reaching for the Stars

01-Jun-2020

NEWSCORP ARTICLE

Thomastown East Primary school has developed its own teaching methods for its diverse student population has turned around its NAPLAN results to have the most improved scores in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

A News Corp Australia analysis of national assessment scores found the Thomastown East Primary School’s average Year 5 results across all subjects improved by 13.9 per cent from 2014 to 2018, making the best progress in the Northern suburbs and 8th best across all schools in Victoria.

Almost 80 per cent of the pupils come from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Principal Jeremy Blaney said the school diverted non-essential tasks from teacher workloads, created a positive environment for learning and focused on the “non-negotiable” topics of reading, writing and maths.

“Since the staff initiatives were implemented four years ago, they have helped students to produce work far superior to anything they had done before,” he said.

Despite the success, Mr Blaney said the national testing was just a snapshot of where the students were on a particular day.

“It doesn’t take into account the personal qualities children display, their values, the compassion they display or how they enrich the lives of others,” he said.

“A snapshot test will never be as accurate as teachers who work with students every day and collect data from a variety of sources.”

Mr Blaney said parents should note that NAPLAN data only told a portion of a school’s story, and did not measure a school’s culture or the hard work to build positive relationships between staff and students.

The News Corp Australia analysis compared each school’s combined results for each NAPLAN subject in 2014 with the 2018 results.

 

A Federal Department of Education spokesperson said NAPLAN provided insight for schools and teachers about how well education programs were working, and where there was need for improvement.

“NAPLAN shows parents how their children are progressing against national standards and provides a basis for discussion with their child’s teachers,” the spokesperson said.

“It also provides students with an opportunity to see what they have learned and how they are progressing over time.”


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