Cooloola Christian College's Lara Jenkin and Riley Pike were part of the cohort who lead the school to secure the highest NAPLAN score in the region last year.
Cooloola Christian College's Lara Jenkin and Riley Pike were part of the cohort who lead the school to secure the highest NAPLAN score in the region last year. Renee Albrecht

'Stay calm': Gympie students to tackle NAPLAN this week

HUNDREDS of Gympie region students will take part in NAPLAN testing this week, with many completing the tests for the first time.

Education Minister Grace Grace has encouraged the more than 260,000 students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 to stay calm and simply try their best.

NAPLAN testing will take place across the country from tomorrow. It encompasses reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy - skills that will benefit students for the rest of their lives.

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"NAPLAN is one of a number of tools that is used to monitor students' progress and assess their areas of strength and development and give us data to help track the progress of Queensland's student as a whole," Ms Grace said.

"However, reports commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government identified that there were a range of unintended consequences stemming from the now high-stakes nature of the testing.

"More than 7500 parents and carers and 3000 students, representing around 80 per cent of all schools, and 5800 teachers and principals, and 200 education stakeholders participated in the evaluation, providing invaluable feedback on their experience with NAPLAN.

 

Cooloola Christian College
Cooloola Christian College Renee Albrecht

"Many parents reported that testing caused their child to experience anxiety and stress and educators expressed concern at the growing amount of time and pressure in preparing for testing and that NAPLAN data was being misinterpreted as the sole indicator of a school's performance.

"Certainly, I want Queensland kids to give 100 per cent as they would any other form of assessment, but I also want them, and their parents, to ignore the hype and simply stay calm."

Ms Grace also reaffirmed her call for a national review of NAPLAN.

"The Federal Government cannot continue to ignore the concerns of our parents, teachers and students," she said.

"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.

This year, about 74,000 students at more than 480 state and non-state schools are participating in NAPLAN Online, ahead of the scheduled full rollout by 2020.