NAPLAN

In 2022, Australian Education Ministers agreed to improvements to the National Assessment Program –Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) giving teachers the additional information they need about student performance earlier in the year.

From 2023, NAPLAN, which traditionally has been held in Term 2 of the school year, will be held in Term 1.

2023 NAPLAN will be held in Term 1 from Wednesday 15 March to Monday 27 March 2023.

Dates for NAPLAN from 2024 onwards are available on the NESA website.

Bringing the NAPLAN test forward puts information in teachers’ hands sooner, allowing for more targeted support for students to ensure they are gaining important literacy and numeracy skills.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), state and territory education departments, and non-government school authorities will continue to work with schools and systems to ensure they are well prepared for the change.

Catholic Schools New South Wales continues to work with NESA and the other education sectors to prepare for participation in the delivery of NAPLAN in Catholic schools. For further information, please visit the NESA website here.

Training is available to schools from February. All staff involved with NAPLAN delivery are strongly encouraged to participate in training, even if schools have already delivered NAPLAN online. Read more about the training options on the NESA website.

General questions regarding NAPLAN please contact the NESA NAPLAN team on 1300 119 556 or naplan.nsw@nesa.nsw.edu.au.

For specific advice on Catholic schools please contact karen.ferrante@csnsw.catholic.edu.au.


NAPLAN

The national assessment program literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) tests changed from paper to online assessment in 2022 for all Australian schools. The move to NAPLAN as an online test brings benefits for schools, students and teachers.

Benefits

Significant planning, research and trialling has been ongoing since 2012 to support the move to NAPLAN Online. Online testing creates new opportunities that are not possible with paper tests.

  • NAPLAN Online provides better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information.
  • Most students find online assessment more engaging.
  • NAPLAN Online uses tailored testing, which gives students questions better suited to their ability, resulting in more detailed individual assessment.
  • Online assessment reduces the time it takes to mark and provide feedback to schools and teachers.
  • The precision and improved timing of the results helps teachers streamline their teaching more specifically to student needs.

For further information about NAPLAN  visit the ACARA website.

Tailored Testing

The move to NAPLAN online enables the use of tailored testing.

Instead of the static approach of the paper NAPLAN tests, tailored tests give students questions that are better suited to their ability, resulting in better assessment and more precise results.

In NAPLAN online, students attempt the same number of questions in the same amount of time as in paper NAPLAN. Based on their responses, tailored testing provides questions more aligned to individual ability, providing teachers with more detailed information about what each student can do, rather than what they cannot do.

The ACARA tailored testing provides information that explains what tailored testing is and research that supports its use in NAPLAN online.

Student Reports

NAPLAN online will deliver more detailed information about each student’s performance. Due to the adaptive nature of tailored tests, students can better demonstrate what they know, rather than what they don’t know.

Schools will access a new student and school summary report very soon after the tests have finished. This provides detailed feedback on how students within a school perform in NAPLAN and will be available within weeks of the close of the test window.

With NAPLAN, parents and carers will continue to receive individual student reports.

Faster turnaround of reporting

NAPLAN online will deliver faster results to schools, students and their parents and carers.

Once all Australian schools have moved to delivering NAPLAN online in 2022:

  • schools will access the student and school summary reports within weeks of the end of the test window; and
  • individual student reports will be sent to parents and carers within weeks of the NAPLAN Online test window.

NAPLAN Online test window

The test window for NAPLAN Online is nine days compared to three days for paper-based NAPLAN. This gives schools flexibility in scheduling tests and managing computer devices and test spaces.

For further information about how to manage the test sessions, read ACARA’s advice NAPLAN online assessment window.

2023 NAPLAN will be held in Term 1 from Wednesday 15 March to Monday 27 March 2023. Dates for NAPLAN from 2024 onwards are available on the NESA website.

Participation in preparation activities also provides the opportunity for students to engage with the assessment platform and become familiar with navigation of on-screen tools such as calculators and to test the suitability of any adjustments students may require, such as larger font size.

The NAPLAN Online Public Demonstration Site  is also available for parents and students to become familiar with the new types of test items that are included in the online test.

As the test administration authority in NSW, NESA provides information about preparation activities to all schools and supports the delivery of NAPLAN assessments in NSW.

NAP Sample assessments

 Australian Education Ministers also agreed that, in addition to earlier NAPLAN,  the existing NAP sample assessments in Science, Civics and Citizenship, and ICT Literacy (to be renamed and re-designed as Digital Literacy), which involve some students in Years 6 and 10 every three years, should take place in Term 2 from 2023.

Separate opt-in assessments in these same domains and year levels will also be available in Term 2 each year for any school or system. Science will be available in 2024, with Civics and Citizenship added in 2025 and Digital Literacy in 2026.

The results of these opt-in assessments will be available to participating schools and systems to support their teaching and learning programs and will not be reported publicly by ACARA.


Best Start Kindergarten Assessment

Every child enters school with their own set of experiences, skills and abilities. These skills form a foundation for future learning and students need to develop these skills to be able to communicate complex ideas, think critically and engage with the world.

The Best Start Kindergarten Assessment (BSKA) provides teachers with the opportunity to sit with a child one on one, focusing on what that child can do. This provides the teacher with another rich source of information on how to best support that child’s next steps

Best Start Kindergarten Assessment (BSKA) allows schools to enter student information during the first 5 weeks of school via an online NSW Department of Education tool, referred to as PLAN2. The BSKA items are auto-mapped in PLAN2 to the Literacy and Numeracy Progressions and the revised NSW K-2 English and Mathematics syllabus documents and are available for analysis by the teacher.

Data that is generated by the assessment may be used to inform families about their child’s early literacy and numeracy development.

Online professional learning will be available to assist with the administration of the assessment and the analysis of the students results.

The BSKA is available as an opt-in assessment for non-government schools. Calls for registration for participation in BSKA open in October each year.

For more information regarding accessing BSKA and/or PLAN2 please contact karen.ferrante@csnsw.catholic.edu.au

Data that is generated by the assessment may be used to inform families about their child’s early literacy and numeracy development.

Online professional learning will be available to assist with the administration of the assessment and the analysis of the students results.

The BSKA is available as an opt-in assessment for non-government schools. Calls for registration for participation in BSKA open in October each year.

For more information regarding accessing BSKA and/or PLAN2 please contact karen.ferrante@csnsw.catholic.edu.au


Transition to Year 7

Students start secondary school with different skills and abilities in literacy and numeracy. It is important that Year 7 teachers have access to information about their new students, to plan their teaching accordingly.

What is Transition to Year 7?

The Transition to Year 7 assessment is an optional online literacy and numeracy assessment for select students on entry to Year 7. It includes two online assessments:

  • reading assessment
  • numeracy assessment

Each assessment has approximately 40 multiple-choice questions and can be administered by any secondary teacher.

Transition to Year 7 is available to all NSW Catholic secondary schools on an opt-in basis. Calls for registration to participate in Transition to Year 7 open in October each year.

Further information can be found here – Transition to Year 7 assessment

For any enquiries regarding NSW Catholic school participation in Transition to Year 7 please email karen.ferrante@csnsw.catholic.edu.au


Validation of Assessment for Learning and Individual Development (VALID)

Online diagnostic science assessments for students in Years 6, 8 and 10. The program provides online end-of-stage assessments for the science key learning area.

Three assessments packages are available and are offered to all NSW Catholic schools on an opt-in fee for service basis.:

  • VALID Science & Technology for Year 6
  • VALID Science for Year 8
  • VALID Science for Year 10

Schools with students in Years 6/8/10 can participate by registering their full cohort. Teachers at the registered schools will participate in 5 hours of NESA registered professional learning and then mark the extended response tasks for their school.

Register your school for VALID

Registration in the VALID program provides:

  • high quality syllabus-based assessment frameworks that describe levels of achievement against standards to inform school-based assessment practices
  • online multimedia assessment tools that provide diagnostic data and time efficient reports to inform planning, programming and assessment across learning stages
  • cohort level affective domain data from interest and engagement survey questions within each assessment
  • five hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) registered training that reinforces staff capability in making consistent judgements against syllabus standards
  • systems and processes to monitor student achievement of syllabus outcomes and content across stages
  • external student assessment data that can be used in combination with school-based assessments to inform whole school planning processes.

A fee of $10 per student is applicable for non-government schools.

All students who participate in a VALID assessment will receive an individualised student report outlining the level of understanding they demonstrated during the assessment.

Contact karen.ferrante@csnsw.catholic.edu.au for information regarding participation in VALID testing.


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Assessment

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know and can do when blending sounds together to read words.

What you need to know

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check (PSC) is an optional online reading and numeracy assessment available to Catholic Schools NSW with a Year 1 student cohort in term 3. Registration for participation in the PSC opens in mid-term 2 each year.

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a short assessment that provides teachers with an overview of a students’ progress in phonics. This information helps teachers make decisions during the teaching and learning cycle.

The PSC assesses the phonic knowledge and skills a student has learnt to blend sounds together to read a word.

How will the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check be administered?

The online assessment takes 5 – 7 minutes and is carried out by classroom teachers with each student individually.

The PSC allows schools to enter student information during the first 5 weeks of term 3 via an online NSW Department of Education tool, referred to as PLAN2. The PSC assessment items are auto-mapped in PLAN2 to the Literacy and Numeracy Progressions and the revised NSW K-2 English and Mathematics syllabus documents and are available for analysis by the teacher.

How does this information support teachers?

The Student Assessment Analysis provided after the PSC assessment, assists teachers to make decisions that will help inform the next steps to meet a student’s individual learning needs.

Online professional learning will be available to assist with the administration of the assessment and the analysis of the students results.

More information

Contact karen.ferrante@csnsw.catholic.edu.au for information regarding participation in the PSC assessment.


Teaching Strategies

Literacy

Resources to use in conjunction with the results of NAPLAN to identify areas of development in reading, writing and language conventions.

The aim of English in Years K–10 is to enable students to understand and use language effectively, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language and to make meaning in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive, critical and powerful.

NAPLAN tests help identify students’ literacy skills and trends within schools, grades and cohorts. Students are assessed using common national tests in Reading, Writing and Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation). Teachers use NAPLAN results as part of a suite of assessment opportunities to build up a summary of student achievement aiding in identification of students who may require greater challenges or additional support.

The resources contained in the web-links/ hyperlinks and apps are to be used after evaluation by the teacher. The resources in Scout (NAPLAN analytics package produced by DoE and available to all NSW schools) are research based and reflect current directions such as:

  • the quality teaching model
  • the modelled, guided and independent teaching cycle
  • the NSW English syllabus for the Australian curriculum K–10: outcomes and objectives

Numeracy

Resources to assist development in the areas of number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) teaching strategies make reference to:

The numeracy teaching strategies in Scout (NAPLAN analytics package produced by DoE and available to all NSW schools) provide teachers with strategies and
activities to assist students:

  • access the knowledge they need using strategies that are explicit and relevant
  • develop their understanding of concepts
  • transfer the skills they have developed using the strategies in new, contextual and varied situations.

AEDC

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a national population-based measure of how children in Australia have developed by the time they start their first year of full-time school. All schools with kindergarten students participate in the census. NSW Catholic schools with kindergarten students participate in Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) every 3 years.

Teachers complete an on-line questionnaire based on observations of the children in their class. The AEDC involves the collection of data across five developmental domains:

  • Physical Health and Wellbeing
  • Social Competence
  • Emotional Maturity
  • Language and Cognitive Skills (school-based)
  • Communication Skills and General Knowledge

Each of the five domains has a corresponding set of questions. Data is collected for individual children, de-identified and then reported for a group of children at a community, state/territory and national level. The information is used by schools, early childhood educators, health services, local council community groups and governments to help plan and allocate the right type of services and support for their community.

Further information is available on the National AEDC website.


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