Tuesday, August 22, 2017

NAPLAN: National online testing trial gains positive reviews as unions complain

By education reporter Natasha Robinson
Updated Tue 22 Aug 2017, 7:56am
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/national-trial-of-online-naplan-testing/8827600

Hundreds of schools around the country have begun trialling online literacy and numeracy tests for the first time after mass upgrades of IT systems.
The first students to sit the new trial NAPLAN tests have reported big differences in the way the testing takes place, with questions now tailored to the ability of the individual student and keyboard skills coming into play.

"There were definitely some ways where it was easier," said Taghe Nolan, a year five student at Middle Harbour Primary
School on Sydney's north shore, after sitting a trial NAPLAN writing test.
"You didn't need to scroll through a whole heap of paper and you had quite a lot of room to write everything that you wanted to.

"And being challenged makes you feel really good inside, like you're trying your hardest."

The online trials are being completed by about 500 schools this week in NSW, and more than 3,500 schools across the country will participate in coming weeks. The NSW Education Department said the online tests are designed to identify any problems with IT infrastructure and ensure that schools are adequately equipped to run the digital tests.

The executive director of NSW's Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, Jenny Donovan, said schools were polled prior to the online trials to find out how many laptops they had available and the capacity of their online connectivity.
"We felt fairly confident that with a little bit of additional machinery that was made available from the department that most schools would be ready, and so far that seems to be the case," Ms Donovan said.

"As we scale up the readiness testing effort, we'll find out more and more about what schools' issues may be.
"We've been polling teachers and students as we go, and students in particular are coming back to us saying they thoroughly enjoyed the experience, that they much prefer doing a test in an online environment."
Online system only benefits privileged schools: unions
But unions are heavily criticising the planned online rollout.
They hold concerns about ageing IT infrastructure in schools and say the online tests will advantage more privilegedschools.
The Australian Education Union's federal president Correna Haythorpe said teachers had raised significant concerns.
"Teachers and principals in our schools have told us that they are not ready to move to NAPLAN online," Ms Haythorpe said.
"We have resolved to oppose the implementation of this test and to seek urgent meetings with education ministers around the country to share those concerns."
The NSW Teacher's Federation has opened a hotline for teachers to give feedback on the online trials, which it says has been inundated with overwhelmingly negative reviews.

"We feel we and our students have been set for failure and forgotten," one teacher said.

"Confusing and concerning," was the assessment of another. "Staff are worried about timeframes, the lack of bandwidth and the ageing technology."
The NSW Education Department's polling shows that students are embracing the new digital tests.
In 12,500 responses from students within the first week of the school readiness testing, 78 per cent of students said they liked using a computer or tablet to carry out the NAPLAN tests, and 15 per cent said they didn't.
At Middle Harbour Public School, year five students encountered minor technical glitches as they completed a trial online test in writing.
Some of the provided headphones did not work and a few students had trouble connecting their laptops to the school's Wi-Fi and to the NAPLAN server.
Assistant principal Catherine Thompson said overall the testing had been successful.
"We're going to get a lot more data back to teachers, hopefully, that can really inform our teaching," Ms Thompson said.
The big difference in the new testing is that the online tests are tailored to a students' performance. If they answer questions correctly within a shorter timeframe, more challenging questions are presented. The inverse also occurs. In marking, more difficult questions are given a weighting against easier questions.
Schools will also receive the results of the test back within weeks, as opposed to months with the old paper tests, meaning that they can use the results to tailor their lessons and support for students.

For students at Middle Harbour, the upsides outweighed the negatives.
"There was definitely some benefits — the neatness of it was good," 11-year-old Alex Smith said. "If you weren't as neat there was no worrying about the markers not being able to read your answers. "But if you don't know how to touch-type you're looking up at the time and you're thinking 'I might not have enough time because you can't write as fast'."

First posted Tue 22 Aug 2017, 5:42am

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Kilbaha customer

From one of our very happy customers:

Hi Bill,

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your help before naplan this year. . I was thrilled with my daughters results who had band 9 and band 8's in year 7  . 

I think without your help the results wouldn't be as high. .

I'll be in touch soon about resources to challenge her in maths and some papers for pronunciation and grammar. .

Can't thank you enough 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Important dates for 2018


NAPLAN 2018 tests have been scheduled to be conducted from Tuesday 15 May to Thursday 17 May 2018. Further information on the transition to NAPLAN Online will be sent to schools shortly.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NAPLAN online testing confidentiality


The New South Wales Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union said they were acting on legal advice when advising public and private school teachers not to sign the agreements that cover testing of trial questions underway in about 440 schools across Australia.Two unions have told teachers not to sign confidentiality agreements about NAPLAN questions contained in online trial tests because of fears they may be sued if they disclose the contents of the test.
The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) manages the development and delivery of NAPLAN, which is an annual assessment of reading, writing and numeracy for students in years three, five, seven and nine.
Maurie Mulheron from the Teachers Federation said the authority could not require teaching staff to sign the documents because ACARA is not their employer.
He said he was worried the agreements did not specify the ramifications for teachers if they inadvertently breached them.
"So, we don't know whether they intend to possibly sue them if they somehow inadvertently leak information about the test," he said.
"There's no information as to why ACARA is collecting the agreement from the teacher and our advice is there's no reason for a teacher to sign such an agreement."
The trials of potential NAPLAN questions have been undertaken every year as part of the test development process, ACARA said.
"The security of test content is paramount," it said in a statement.
"For this reason, those involved in item trialling are requested to maintain confidentiality of the content of items being trialled so no student has an unfair advantage when taking NAPLAN the following May."
The New South Wales Education Department said the agreements had been in place since 2008 but the unions said they were not aware of similar confidentiality agreements being circulated to teachers in past years.
The agreement states "teachers will not disclose the contents of the test or any related materials or procedures to any other persons apart from Pearson and the students undertaking the NAPLAN Online Item-Trial test."
The unions said they were also concerned about the private international company Pearson, which is administering the online NAPLAN tests.
"We've seen examples in the United States in the past where Pearson, as a company, have gone after individuals for allegedly breaching or disclosing information about some of the assessment items for students there," said Chris Watt, the federal secretary of the Independent Education Union.
"And, so our fear is that in the absence of detail or any understanding or knowledge of what might constitute a breach, our members could be putting themselves in a very dangerous legal situation.
"They might be inadvertently talking about matters with colleagues or a principal or consultants from the employment authority they work for and find that the curriculum authority or the company Pearson might construe that to be inappropriate conversation and a breach of the agreement, and they get into legal trouble."
The Online Item-Trial test is separate to School Readiness Testing (SRT) which is also happening in August and September to ensure schools are ready to do NAPLAN online.
It is set to be introduced in 2018. Technical issues forced its rollout to be scrapped this year.
SRT assesses the technical readiness of a school and lets them assess their bandwidth, wireless connectivity, and device capacity, ACARA said.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017 NAPLAN summary information released


Today ACARA has released the preliminary summary results of the 2017 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests.

“The NAPLAN data show that over the last 10 years, since NAPLAN was introduced in 2008, there has been some improvement across all year levels in most domains,” ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, said.
“Importantly, we see a gradual redistribution of students from lower bands of achievement to higher ones, particularly in some domains and year levels, such as Year 3 reading. In other areas, this improvement has not always been great enough to significantly impact national averages, but it is a positive trend.”
Highlights of this year’s NAPLAN results include:
  • There is evidence of movement of students from lower to higher bands of achievement across year levels and most domains over the last 10 years. See our short video that demonstrates this.
  • Year 3 reading results continue to show sustained improvement.
  • ACT, Victoria and NSW continue to have high mean achievement across all domains.
  • There are increases in mean achievement in the Northern Territory in primary years reading and numeracy since 2008.
  • WA and Queensland have the largest growth in mean achievement across most domains since 2008.
Percentage of students meeting the national minimum standard remains high – over 90 per cent nationally and in most states and territories, across all domains and year levels.
The data also show that, compared with 2016, there is no significant improvement in national averages.

“Given the importance of literacy and numeracy during and beyond school, we would all like to see sustained growth in results across every domain and year level at the national level and in each state and territory,” Mr Randall said. “However, lasting improvements in student achievement take a number of years to flow through school systems and require consolidating gains over time”.
“The ten-year data indicate that change is happening, including significant change in some domains, year levels and in some jurisdictions, and this is to be welcomed. If this improvement can be replicated across more domains, years and states, then a lift in national averages will be seen.”
Each year, as the My School website is updated, we can see improvements being made in many schools across the country,” Mr Randall continued. “The ongoing challenge for all involved in education is to learn from this success and turn this into improved literacy and numeracy outcomes for more students in more schools."
Mr Randall said that when NAPLAN moves online from 2018, it will result in better assessment, more precise results and a faster turnaround of information.
“We anticipate that the tailored testing and online presentation will better engage students and provide an opportunity for them to better demonstrate their individual skills in literacy and numeracy.”
To view the NAPLAN 2017 summary information, visit the NAP website

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Year 11 Exams

Science and Maths Departments

Do you have Exams for VCE Units 1 and 2 for the new study designs?? 

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  • Chemistry
  • Physics
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Best wishes,

Bill Healy BSc BA Dip Ed
CEO
Kilbaha Multimedia Publishing (Est. 1978)
PO Box 2227
Kew Vic 3101
Australia
m: 0413 425 374   +61413 425 374 
ABN: 47 065 111 373
Providing Quality Resources to Schools and Parents since 1978

Sunday, June 4, 2017

NAPLAN Online for NSW Schools


Special website for NSW schools to supply information about the transition to NAPLAN Online by 2019.

https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/student-assessment/naplan-online

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dollar Dazzlers

Attention: Library, Maths, English

One dollar school resources.

$1 downloads (this week only) at these links:
These resources have been reduced to $1 for this week only. Don't miss out!

Monday, May 29, 2017

NAPLAN 2017 finishes without the world ending By Robert Randall, ACARA CEO


NAPLAN is now over for 2017. The world didn’t stop spinning, there were no major incidents, and the vast majority of students, parents and teachers rightly treated NAPLAN for what it is – a series of short tests designed to gain valuable information on how Australia’s students are doing in the fundamentally important areas of literacy and numeracy.
Results will be out later in the year, in around 10–12 weeks, when we get information back to parents and schools about how students have performed on this year's tests. When NAPLAN moves online, this timeframe will be significantly reduced. 
It has now been a decade since NAPLAN was introduced. The annual assessment is mainly seen as a routine, but important, part of the school calendar. And that’s the way it should be.
Although less prevalent now than in the early years of NAPLAN, we do continue to hear the same NAPLAN myths repeated. I feel it is important to again dispel some of those common misconceptions…
"NAPLAN doesn’t add any value – my child already takes tests at school"
NAPLAN is a valuable tool for educators and parents to see how well Australia’s children are going in relation to literacy and numeracy standards. NAPLAN is a point-in-time snapshot assessment of students’ achievements in these areas. As a nation-wide assessment, NAPLAN doesn’t replace the assessment activities that are regularly held in classrooms; rather, it complements these assessments, adding a valuable national dimension.
Many school principals have actively voiced their support of NAPLAN. As in previous years, during this year’s NAPLAN testing, principals were commenting that the testing provides teachers and schools with data and valuable information that are used as intended – to target teaching both for groups of students and individuals. 
"There’s no point in my child taking NAPLAN"
As we know, literacy and numeracy are fundamental skills every child needs in life to succeed. NAPLAN doesn’t test everything that happens in a classroom – it isn’t intended to – but it does look at the critically important areas of literacy and numeracy. NAPLAN is a check on these areas – to see how each student is going, to see who is excelling, and to see who might need more help. Who wouldn’t want to know if a child is falling behind in a certain area? In reading, for example. That way help can be offered to them. No students should be left behind or overlooked in gaining essential literacy and numeracy skills. 
"NAPLAN causes anxiety and stress"
NAPLAN is not the first, nor the last test a child will take. It’s true, some students may feel anxious about NAPLAN, but it’s up to the adults in children’s lives to help keep NAPLAN in context. It’s a test that is taken four times in a child’s school life. Over three days, there are four tests, which take around one hour each. NAPLAN tests what students should learn through everyday teaching. Testing students’ literacy and numeracy skills is not new, states and territories had testing programs in place for many years before NAPLAN was introduced, it’s just that NAPLAN provides a national assessment and a national perspective.
While I regret any case of stress experienced by a young person as a result of NAPLAN, I can only wonder how it compares to the ongoing stress felt by young people and adults who do not possess the literacy and numeracy skills necessary to continue learning at and beyond school.
"NAPLAN data published on My School create league tables"
The My School website is not about league tables. There are no league tables on the website and ACARA does all it can to avoid the publication of league tables. In fact, My School and the data provided on it have enable us to identify schools that are demonstrating gain and celebrating cases of above average gain. 
Parents can use My School as one source of information about their child’s schooling, alongside other sources. Parents can make comparisons between their child’s school and others catering for students with similar backgrounds.
Overall, NAPLAN is about driving improvement in our schools. The valuable data gained are used for forward-planning, allocating support and resources, and tracking progress and achievements of individual students, as well as entire groups of students, over the course of their educational journey.
The data from NAPLAN is used to make sure we are doing our very best to give every Australian child the skills to thrive, by equipping them with essential literacy and numeracy skills.
The biggest failure would be if we were not monitoring how our children are going in these areas. An illiterate or innumerate child will not be a successful adult.

Taken from

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Australian Curriculum Tests



Years 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


Download free samples at these links:









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Best wishes,

Bill Healy BSc BA Dip Ed
CEO
Kilbaha Multimedia Publishing (Est. 1978)
PO Box 2227
Kew Vic 3101
Australia
t: +61(0)3 9018 5376    
f: +61(0)3 9817 4334    
m: +61(0)413 425 374 
ABN: 47 065 111 373
Providing Quality Resources to Schools and Parents since 1978