Hunter excels in NAPLAN

FOUR Hunter schools are among the state’s highest achievers with above-average gains in literacy and numeracy, based on  NAPLAN test results published yesterday.

The list of 149 NSW schools with ‘‘educationally important’’ above-average gains includes St Francis Xavier’s Primary School at Belmont, Fassifern Public School, Newcastle Grammar School (years 7-9) and Hunter Valley Grammar School (years 3-5).

The data, published on the My School website, allows the community to track gains in those two key areas and compare them with similar schools for the first time.

Visit the website myschool.edu.au

Peter Adams, general manager of assessment and reporting at the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, said the data on gains was the best guide as to what influence schools were having on students’ performance.

‘‘You can compare [similar schools] and see how they perform in their gains from years 3-5 and 7-9,’’ he said.

The highest achievers included a cross-section of public and private schools.

Principal of St Francis Xavier’s Primary School, Louise Outram, said she was stoked with her school’s results.

The school’s teaching and support staff had worked hard and used NAPLAN test results to target areas needing improvement, not just in years 3 and 5, which are tested, but across the school, she said.

‘‘There is no other assessment tool that is available to us that gives you so much information about how children are performing,’’ she said.

Hunter Valley Grammar School principal Paul Teys agreed that NAPLAN testing provided a valuable tool when used in a constructive way.

At his school, year 5 students in 2013 achieved significant gains on their performance in 2011.

‘‘We do use the NAPLAN results to track the literacy and numeracy levels of individuals and identify what we need to do to improve.’’

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