Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Good student results despite lockdowns

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Preliminar­y results from this year’s NAPLAN tests show students are making progress on their studies despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual NAPLAN is a national gauge of reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuatio­n, and numeracy across the nation.

All states achieved a similar level outcome across age groups, showing mostly ‘close or not statistica­lly significan­t’ change from the previous testing period in 2019, or an improvemen­t which was significan­tly higher than results in 2019.

Results by geolocatio­n are yet to be released.

Students in Years 7 and 9 appeared to make less progress on the previous year or in long term comparison­s (10+ years), however official conclusion­s are yet to be released.

The 2020 Mission Australia Youth Survey of young people aged 15–19, conducted between April and August 2020, identified education, mental health, and COVID-19 as their top three biggest personal concerns.

‘‘Since the pandemic began last year, students have shown incredible resilience in continuing to focus on their education and adapting to new ways of learning,” NSW Education and Early Learning Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said.

In NSW, students’ mean scores ranked in the top three jurisdicti­ons (states and territorie­s) in all domains for all year levels, except in Year 9 reading.

NSW has the highest mean score in spelling and writing for Years 3 to 7 and the second-highest mean scores in numeracy for Years 3 to 9, grammar and punctuatio­n for Years 3 to 7 and spelling in Year 9.

‘‘Students are faced with the challenges of learning from home again this year and we are prepared to help students recover any ground lost during this period,’’ Ms Mitchell said.

Last year, the NSW Department of Education introduced online reading and numeracy check-in assessment­s to help teachers understand what support students needed to get back on track after time spent learning from home.

Work is under way on several recommenda­tions from the NSW Government-led review into NAPLAN.

This includes investigat­ing the feasibilit­y of conducting the test earlier in the year, and providing the results to schools within two weeks.

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