From the Acting Principal
Schools across Australia, including St Andrews have just completed the annual NAPLAN tests. A national assessment program that tests students in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. While I am not going to debate the merits of such a test here, I would like to share some reflections.
- The tests are 'point in time' tests and give schools and parents a snapshot of how their child performed on that test on that day. It is important to note that these results should be read in conjunction with all the other assessment that goes on in the school.
- While foundational skills in Numeracy and Literacy are vital, a good education focuses on developing the whole child. Developing social, research, thinking, communication and research skills while being caring, compassionate and others centred are part of wholistic education.
- As a school, we look for trends in the data to improve our teaching practice. If we see a trend, we can devote more time and resources to improving in that area.
- Parents at St Andrews should take comfort in the results our students are getting. I am not so much focused on the overall result, rather the growth that is shown. In the graph below, the grey line shows the National average growth for NAPLAN results between Years 3 and 5. The orange line shows the growth for NAPLAN results for schools like St Andrews between Years 3 and 5. The blue line shows St Andrews growth for that same time. As you can see in the graph, the growth in student results is widening between St Andrews and like schools. Which demonstrates that students at St Andrews are growing more in these areas than other students from like schools. Parents can be confident that our teaching and learning frameworks are working and that students are getting what they need to be successful in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy.
I had the honour of attending the Queensland Volunteer of the Year Awards recently to watch St Andrews Year 10 student Bryce U’Ren receive his Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for his work in bringing hope to childhood cancer sufferers. He has been delivering Night Lights to sick kids since he was in Year 4 and now every child in Australia and New Zealand who is diagnosed with cancer, will receive one of these lights.
What struck me at the awards ceremony, was the humbleness of the people receiving these awards. They didn’t set out to receive an award or recognition, they simply rolled up their sleeves and helped others. This type of spirit is evident in the students of St Andrews, where they simply get in and help others because it is the right thing to do. Our communities simply couldn’t function without the help of volunteers. To Bryce, our students and others in the community who volunteer, I say thank you.