Frequently asked questions – Individual student reports
NAPLAN assesses the fundamental skills – reading, writing, spelling and numeracy – that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Questions assess content linked to the Australian Curriculum: English and Mathematics. Every two years, students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 take the NAPLAN tests and results provide parents and educators with a snapshot of how students are progressing – individually, as part of their school community, and against national standards over time. Of course, your child’s teacher knows their learning best, but NAPLAN is a useful, objective check at one point in time to see how your child is performing.
When will I receive my child’s NAPLAN report and what will it tell me?
If you are a parent of a student who undertook the NAPLAN tests in May this year, your child’s school will provide you with an individual report of your child’s results. Parents can expect to receive their child’s NAPLAN report from late August onwards, once state and territory test administration authorities have provided the NAPLAN individual student reports to schools. You will see your child’s NAPLAN results for numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation on an achievement scale. The Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 literacy and numeracy assessment results are reported on a scale from Band 1 to Band 10. This scale represents increasing levels of knowledge, understanding and skills demonstrated in the assessments.
How is NAPLAN delivered in schools?
NAPLAN is moving online, with the aim to have all schools transition from paper to online testing by 2021. In its first year of transition in 2018, over 15 per cent of schools participated in NAPLAN Online. In 2019 over 50 per cent of schools undertook NAPLAN Online with some connectivity issues experienced. The objective of moving NAPLAN online is to deliver a better, more precise and more engaging assessment for schools and students.
How do I read the report?
Under each rocket ship, there is a statement specifying whether your child completed each of the assessments online or on paper. This is to address instances when a school taking NAPLAN Online had to provide one or more of the assessments on paper, such as – all Year 3 students nationally who complete the writing test on paper. In some schools, students may have taken the writing test on paper. Regardless of whether students complete the test online or on paper:
- students are assessed on the same underlying literacy and numeracy skills taught through the curriculum content
- student results will continue to be measured against the one NAPLAN assessment scale, meaning results of both formats are comparable.
As is always the case, NAPLAN gives only an indication of a student’s performance on the day of testing and the results should be interpreted with care.
Only the most relevant six bands for each year level are shown on the student report. The Year 3 report shows bands 1–6, the Year 5 report shows bands 3–8, the Year 7 report shows bands 4–9, and the Year 9 report shows bands 5–10. The diagrams in the student report also show the range for the middle 60 per cent of students, the national average result and the national minimum standard for each year level. Reports in some states and territories also show the school and/or state average. The report also summarises the skills that students have typically demonstrated in the assessments at each band.
How does NAPLAN help my child?
NAPLAN provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learnt in the areas of literacy and numeracy. Individual student results show parents how their child performed in the numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation tests.
Your child’s achievements are compared with achievements of all students in Australia, not just with their classmates’ achievements. NAPLAN results can also help parents and students to discuss individual student progress with teachers. Because NAPLAN tracks your child’s progress across Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, it also provides objective information about growth in student attainment in literacy and numeracy.
What impact will the results have on my child’s future?
NAPLAN results provide important information about literacy and numeracy skills that your child is learning through their regular school curriculum. The results complement the other assessments your child does at school. They provide you and your child’s teachers with an understanding of your child’s achievement and progress at the time of the assessments. The information can be used to support your child to reach their full potential.
Some schools may ask for NAPLAN reports, in addition to school reports, as part of their admissions process. NAPLAN assessments are not designed to be a school admission test. However, results may be useful for informing new schools of a student’s needs. If you have any concerns, ACARA encourages you to talk them over with the school.
How does NAPLAN help my school?
NAPLAN is the only national assessment that Australian children undertake. NAPLAN helps:
- teachers to better identify students who need greater challenges or extra support
- schools to set goals in literacy and numeracy
- schools to identify strengths and areas of need in teaching programs
- school systems to review programs and support offered to schools
- the community to see average school results on the My School website
NAPLAN also complements other school assessments and provides nationally comparable data to help governments evaluate how education programs are working and whether students are meeting the important literacy and numeracy standards.
Who else will see the results?
Each year, test administration authorities provide schools with results for all students who sit NAPLAN. Schools are encouraged to use the results to inform their planning for improvement across the school. Individual student reports are confidential. No one outside of your local test administration authority or your school will see your child’s report. Average school results are publicly reported on My School (myschool.edu.au). The website is updated with the previous year’s results in the first quarter of each year. My School also allows the community to look at aspects of each school’s profile, as well as to make comparisons with schools that serve similar student populations. Your child’s individual results are not available on My School.
What if the results are not what my child and I expected?
NAPLAN tests assess learning progress in literacy and numeracy. Students are provided with an indication of where their results are located on the common assessment scale. While NAPLAN results can be compared nationally between all students and over time, individual student experiences for any single test may differ and may affect your child’s performance on the day. NAPLAN gives a snapshot of your child’s performance on the days of the assessments and the results should be interpreted with care. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s NAPLAN results, you should discuss these with your child’s teacher, who will have the best insight into your child’s educational progress.
To find out more about NAPLAN and/or the move online, visit www.nap.edu.au