It is nice to get back to a “normal” week and routine. The children, I feel, appreciate the “safety net” of a week of regularity and the teachers can implement knowledge content in a way that ensures impact. Teaching is hard at the best of times, so to have the time to do our job is an important aspect in success for students.
NAPLAN has been held over the last two week. The Year 3 and 5 children have come with a positive attitude and the environment has been calm and organised. I thank Amanda O’Brien and the teachers of Year 3 and 5 for preparing the children well and getting them ready for these mandatory tests. It makes a huge difference when the experience is treated just like any other day without undue stress and anxiety being created.
Notably, NAPLAN is only one aspect of how St Joseph’s measures our students’ literacy and numeracy skills. It does not serve to replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance, but it does complement internal assessment items in identifying opportunities for growth for each individual student.
It is worth noting that our Year 5 students have never participated in NAPLAN due to the cancellation of NAPLAN in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this will be the fourth year that St Joseph’s has participated in online testing as we successfully facilitated online testing for NAPLAN in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
A key benefit of NAPLAN Online is ‘tailored testing’ which gives students questions that are suited to their ability, enabling more precise results. Our experience over the last five years also suggests that it improves the engagement of our students.
Next week I will gather with all CES Principals at the Leadership Forum in Cairns. Various topics will be discussed including: Cairns Catholic Schools Strategic Plan; The Principal as Strategic Leader; Parent engagement models, hybrid learning, critical incident training to name a few. These days are always jammed packed and a great opportunity to discuss our continued support of each other’s strategic directions for our schools.
Wishing you all a great week ahead.