By TOM GANNON
CHURCHILL Primary School has experienced NAPLAN success, with results showing significant growth since the National Assessment Program was last conducted in 2019.
A fortnight ago it was announced that Victorian students recorded the country’s highest NAPLAN results.
Relative growth for Grade 5 numeracy was the school’s front runner with results experiencing an average of 48 per cent high growth, compared to a 25 per cent average at a state level and 20 per cent compared to similar schools.
Growth for Grade 5 Grammar & Punctuation was another standout performer with growth results jumping up to an average of 36 per cent, compared to 25 per cent at a state level and 16 per cent compared to similar schools.
This trend continued with Grade 5 spelling experiencing an average of 32 per cent high growth, compared to 24 per cent at a state level and 19 per cent compared to similar schools.
At a healthy 18 per cent, Grade 5 writing was the school’s subject with the lowest growth but showed positive signs when compared to the 13 per cent achieved by similar schools.
NAPLAN results for reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation and numeracy are separated into 10 bands which include where a student places in comparison to the national standard.
For reading, 75 per cent of Grade 3 students at the school were in the top two bands, with only 60 percent of students in the state reaching this level.
All students in Grade 3 were in the middle or top two bands, putting them at or above the expected reading benchmark.
Grade 5 reading was consistent with the state average with 43 per cent of students placing in the top two bands.
For writing, 69 per cent of Grade 3 students placed in the top two bands, higher than the state average of 55 per cent.
63 per cent of the school’s Grade 3 students reached the top two bands for grammar and punctuation, exceeding the state average of 60 percent.
Churchill Primary School principal Jacquie Burrows said the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic had been a concern over the past two school years but a focus on learning sciences and support had played a role in results growth.
“I think it just goes to show, for us, how well the teachers and parents work together to support students and we really tried hard to replicate our classroom routines online remotely and stripped everything back so we were just focusing on core knowledge skills which is literacy and numeracy,” she said.
“We are always aiming for improvement, but we’ve seen that using this approach and
exquisite teaching we’ve had lifts in other areas – for example numeracy.”
With other schools in the Valley showing similar signs of growth, Ms Burrows believes
collaboration between schools can make a big difference to overall growth and results success.
“There’s been a real focus in our area in developing instructional leadership so I think that’s probably helped,” she said.
Despite the positive precedent the school’s NAPLAN results set, Ms Burrows said the school has already set its sights on further growth come next year’s testing.
“I think NAPLAN is a snapshot of a student on any given day but I hope our students are really proud of themselves that they have achieved this,” she said.
“Three years ago as a staff we sat down and developed a vision which was to be a school that showed excellence in the teaching of literacy and I feel like we are on our way.
“We really want to keep refining our practices and building on our knowledge for our kids to have maximum growth.”