ACARA news, May 2014

The Australian Financial Review 'Literacy, numeracy and the big transition'

31 May 2014

Alan Michell, the Australian Financial Review, reflects on how the future of Australia is connected to the nation's literacy and numeracy skills.

Read the full article (subscription required)

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June

30 May 2014

National Reconciliation Week is celebrated each year between 27 May and 3 June. This is a significant week for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples throughout Australia; it will be marked by community events across the country.

The Australian Curriculum provides opportunities for students to learn about the days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia. National Reconciliation Week is taught in Australian schools as a part of a national curriculum, which acknowledges and respects historical events. In Year 3 history, students learn about National Reconciliation Week and National Sorry Day.

Visit the Australian Curriculum website and search for content description ACHHK063 for more information.

ACARA rejects conclusions of Whitlam Report

19 May 2014

ACARA disagrees with the conclusions of the Whitlam Institute report (due to be released 20 May). The conclusions do not reflect the discussion in the report and appear to be based on poorly constructed questions and unclear interview protocols.

There is evidence contained in the report that is not reflected in the conclusions, for example:

  • 50 per cent of teachers say that NAPLAN information is useful.

  • There are nine ways in which NAPLAN data have been used to help schools make judgements on curriculum and teaching style.

  • 70 per cent of parents surveyed believed the information provided by NAPLAN to be useful.

  • 50 per cent of parent respondents viewed NAPLAN positively.

  • Principals also provided useful examples where they were using NAPLAN to drive school improvement.

While ACARA welcomes any feedback which is directed at improving NAPLAN, this report is unhelpful as it continues to perpetuate myths and inaccuracies about NAPLAN.

Beyond the headline seeking conclusions in the report, some of the data in the body of the report will be useful and can guide continuous improvement for NAPLAN.

NAPLAN looks at what level students are achieving in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia. Schools and governments can then provide support where it is most needed. NAPLAN is not high-stakes for students. NAPLAN is not pass or fail. It has no immediate consequences for children. It benefits students by identifying areas for development.

Read the full ACARA statement

Read statements made about NAPLAN

NAPLAN test material not to be shared just yet!

16 May 2014

Yesterday, students from Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 completed their final NAPLAN tests for 2014.

Despite this, a strict embargo on NAPLAN tests remains in place until 24 May 2014.

This includes posting of any NAPLAN materials online (including social media) such as photographs or videos of current tests or referencing specific questions that were a part of this year's NAPLAN tests.

Thank you for your cooperation.

ACARA's media release 'NAPLAN tests start tomorrow'

12 May 2014

Read the media release

The Australian 'Busting the NAPLAN myths'

11 May 2014

Justine Ferrari from The Australian writes about the upcoming NAPLAN tests, sharing her and her daughter's experience.

Read the full article (subscription required)

Canberra Times ‘Student wellbeing most vital, says expert’

09 May 2014

Emma Macdonald from The Canberra Times discusses NAPLAN with international mathematics education expert, University of Canberra Centenary Research Professor Thomas Lowrie.

Read the full article

Would you succeed in NAPLAN tests?

07 May 2014

A few famous South Australians got NAPLAN-tested by Elisa Black from The Adelaide Advertiser.

Read the full article

Courier Mail, Brisbane: ‘Test preparation calls for a plan’

07 May 2014

Lyn Carter of The Courier Mail writes about student preparation for the upcoming NAPLAN tests.

Read the full article

No swot required

07 May 2014

Next week, students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit the annual NAPLAN tests. Robert Randall, ACARA CEO, said that NAPLAN testing days should be treated as just another day on the school calendar.

'The tests are now a stable and well-accepted activity in the school calendar. NAPLAN familiarisation is important, but drilling and excessive practice is unnecessary and unhelpful. Students will be well-equipped for the NAPLAN through their teacher who is teaching them the curriculum well.'

Getting ready for NAPLAN: email to principals

06 May 2014

ACARA recently contacted school principals with some valuable information about NAPLAN.

The email to principals advises that a range of resources for parents and teachers is now available on the NAP website, including an information brochure for parents, guidelines for managing test incidents, updated resources and documents, as well as contact details for test administration authorities.

See a copy of ACARA's email to school principals regarding the 2014 NAPLAN tests (PDF 52 kb)

Relationships and sexuality education in the Australian Curriculum

05 May 2014

A new report from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University (PDF 488 kb) shows nearly half of senior students perceive sexuality and relationships education to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ relevant to them. The Australian Curriculum provides a consistent framework of what young Australians should learn as they progress through their school years.

The health and physical education curriculum contains components around relationships and sexuality, providing an outline for teachers on what and when they need to teach in relation to sexuality education. Teachers decide on the best teaching approaches and what to teach, dependent on the age of their students and the needs of their class.

Infographic the benefits of NAPLAN

05 May 2014

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) infographic shows how teachers, schools, education systems and governments benefit from NAPLAN.

Click on the image below to see the full infographic: