Pri­vate schools top class

Townsville Gram­mar records best av­er­age scores for Years 7 and 9

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK VIC­TO­RIA NUGENT EMMALINE STIGWOOD

TOWNSVILLE pri­vate schools have come out on top in high school NAPLAN re­sults, mir­ror­ing a statewide trend.

The Queens­land Cur­ricu­lum and Assess­ment Author­ity yes­ter­day re­leased pre­lim­i­nary NAPLAN data for school achieve­ment in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 across five test ar­eas.

Townsville Gram­mar School had the city’s top av­er­age scores for Years 7 and 9, with The Cathe­dral School and St Mar­garet Mary’s Col­lege close be­hind.

When Queens­land schools with more than 20 stu­dents were ranked by their cu­mu­la­tive mean score across all five tests, nine of the top 10 per­form­ing schools in Years 7 and 9 were pri­vate schools.

In com­par­i­son, five state pri­mary schools were in the top 10 per­form­ers.

Townsville Gram­mar School direc­tor of stud­ies Stephen Monk said the school was proud of its re­sults.

“NAPLAN re­sults are im­por­tant, but we do not teach to the test and more im­por­tantly th­ese re­sults are an indi­ca­tor of a healthy school cul­ture of love of learn­ing,” he said. “As a school we can only give credit where it is due – to the par­ents who make sac­ri­fices, to the chil­dren who re­ally put in so much ef­fort and to our pro­fes­sional staff who give so much to their stu­dents. All three stake­hold­ers work­ing to­gether have achieved this.”

The Cathe­dral School prin­ci­pal Ian Ga­mack said the school had seen sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments across all grades.

“It’s great af­fir­ma­tion that the pro­grams we have put in place in the last 24 months are ac­tu­ally work­ing,” he said.

“As a school that has a holis­tic ap­proach to learn­ing, NAPLAN is not a strong fo­cus here. We be­lieve in ed­u­cat­ing the whole child.

“We have goals that we set for our stu­dents and our staff and peo­ple are all on the same page in terms of what we value in whole child de­vel­op­ment and in aca­demic de­vel­op­ment.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Kate Jones said com­par­ing the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors was un­fair given state schools did the heavy lift­ing to ed­u­cate dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents.

“When you are com­par­ing select- en­try schools that choose who come in with schools that wel­come all stu­dents that live in their lo­cal area, there is a al­ways go­ing to be a dif­fer­ence,” she said.

The fi­nal re­sults will be pub­lished in the NAPLAN Na­tional Re­port in De­cem­ber.

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