Ava Van Den Belt, 8, Oliver Cox, 8, Amelia Grant, 7, are ready for NAPLAN at Brisbane Christian College in Salisbury. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter
Ava Van Den Belt, 8, Oliver Cox, 8, Amelia Grant, 7, are ready for NAPLAN at Brisbane Christian College in Salisbury. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter

NAPLAN: All you need to know about this week’s tests

MORE than a quarter of a million kids across Queensland are preparing for NAPLAN tests this week, with many taking them online for the first time.

Of the more than 260,000 Sunshine State students sitting for the nationwide literacy and numeracy tests from tomorrow, about 74,000 in more than 480 schools will do them online.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority plans for every student who sits the annual NAPLAN tests - Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 - to do so online next year, following a two-year transition period.

One big difference between the two the testing window.

Traditional paper tests would be completed between tomorrow and Thursday, while the online period runs until May 24.

But the changeover to a tech-savvy system has not been without controversy.

 

Queensland Teachers’ Union’s deputy general secretary Kate Ruttiman. Picture: Annette Dew
Queensland Teachers’ Union’s deputy general secretary Kate Ruttiman. Picture: Annette Dew

 

Last June the Queensland Teachers' Union instigated a ban on online testing, which was only lifted in March, closely timed with the release of a state government review into NAPLAN.

One condition was schools could identify whether they were ready to provide the online system, and that those who did would not be disadvantaged.

"For a lot of our members, this will be the first time they have conducted the tests online," deputy general secretary Kate Ruttiman said.

"It was important that schools could advise whether they were prepared (for the change), and that if they weren't, then they shouldn't be doing it."

Despite the ongoing debate over the national test, Queensland has been one of the nation's biggest improvers over the past decade.

A report by The Grattan Institute last year named the state as the "star performer", with Queensland improving in 16 of the 20 test areas.

Oliver Cox, 8, Ava Van Den Belt, 8, and Amelia Grant, 7, at Brisbane Christian College in Salisbury. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter
Oliver Cox, 8, Ava Van Den Belt, 8, and Amelia Grant, 7, at Brisbane Christian College in Salisbury. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter

Brisbane Christian College was previously recognised by ACARA for being one of the country's biggest improvers.

It will stick with the traditional, paper testing method for its approximately 300 students taking the tests across all year levels this week.

Head of Primary campus Matt Nicholson said the school's "hands-on" mathematics program had seen their numeracy results "skyrocket" over the past few years.

But he said the students weren't fixated on undertaking NAPLAN.

"Our focus is on strong literacy and numeracy programs," he said.

Education Minister Grace Grace encouraged students to "stay calm and simply try their best".

But she also reaffirmed her call for a federal review - a push backed by multiple stakeholders including the QTU and federal Labor.

"After more than 10 years it's time for a comprehensive national review of NAPLAN to ensure it remains current and responsive to changes in education," Minister Grace said.

 

KEY NAPLAN STATS

 

260,000 Queensland school students will sit NAPLAN tests this week

74,000 students in almost 500 schools will take the tests online

Traditional paper tests will be completed between Tuesday and Thursday

Online tests run until May 24

Students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit the tests