What should you do if your child receives a concerning NAPLAN result?

Receiving poor results can be a source of concern at any time for a student, their parents or guardians, and teachers.

Assessments like NAPLAN are designed to measure progress in literacy and numeracy over time. If a student is not progressing, NAPLAN results can serve as an indicator, prompting parents, teachers, and tutors to collaborate in assisting the child to improve their performance.

A recent study found that almost one-third of NSW students failed to meet proficiency standards in reading, writing and maths.

This outcome closely resembles a nationwide trend. Approximately one-third of students scored in the lower two proficiency bands for literacy and numeracy, indicating a need for improvement. Across the entire country, 9.8 percent of students across different grade levels require extra assistance.

“The evidence shows if you fall behind at school it’s really hard to catch up. Only one in five students who are behind the minimum standard in literacy and numeracy in year 3 are above it in year 9.”
Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare.  

What is NAPLAN?

NAPLAN, or the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy, is a nation-wide test that assesses students in reading, writing, language conventions, and numeracy.

How to understand your NAPLAN report?

Results in each area (reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy) are marked on the common assessment scales. This indicates where the student currently performs in each area.

Diagrams in the student report show the range for the middle 60% 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 average. This allows you to compare the students individual result with the national average and the minimum standard for each year level completing NAPLAN.

What if my child is underperforming?

Don’t panic, and certainly don’t blame the student as this can create unnecessary stress, lower self-esteem, and motivation.

Instead, acknowledge your child's efforts and strengths, and offer them support and encouragement. Let them know that you're proud of them regardless of their score, and that you're here to help them improve their skills and reach their goals.

Whilst it is natural to be concerned it is also important to remember that NAPLAN is just one test, and it doesn't define your child's intelligence, capabilities, or potential.

Understand your child's strengths and weaknesses.

The next step is to understand your child's strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of NAPLAN. You can do this by reviewing their test results, talking to their teachers about their performance, or book a free learning assessment with the qualified educators at Kip McGrath. This assessment can help you identify which skills your child needs to work on, and which ones they excel at.

Seek professional support.

If you're not sure how to help your child improve their NAPLAN skills, or if you feel overwhelmed or uncertain, you can seek professional support from a tutoring provider such as Kip McGrath. Kip McGrath offers personalised English and maths tutoring and support for school-aged children aged 6 to 16 years.

Set a routine for study, practice, and revision.

One of the most effective ways to improve your child's NAPLAN skills is to encourage them to practice and revise regularly. This can involve setting aside dedicated study time each day or week, regular sessions with a tutor, working on practice tests or exercises, and reviewing notes and feedback from their teachers.

Celebrate progress, not just achievements.

It's important to celebrate your child's progress, no matter how small or big they are. Acknowledge their efforts, praise their improvements, and celebrate their successes, whether it's a higher score on a practice test, a well-written essay, or positive feedback from their teacher or tutor.

Encourage a love of learning

When a student is curious about the world this provides opportunities for exploration and discovery. Encourage your child to pursue their interests and passions because when children are engaged and motivated to learn, they are more likely to succeed academically and develop the skills they need to succeed in life.

Remember that NAPLAN results are just one measure of a child's academic progress. By reviewing the results, seeking feedback from teachers, creating a plan of action, providing additional support, and encouraging a love of learning, you can help your child overcome any challenges they may be facing and achieve their academic goals.

How Kip McGrath can help

Professional support from Kip McGrath can help your child develop the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. If you have concerns about your child’s NAPLAN results, Kip McGrath is here to support you.

Book a free maths and literacy assessment at one of our centres or online today.

Published in AU