NAPLAN improvers: Has your school got better or worse?

 

A RURAL school has come out on top of the state's primary schools by dramatically improving its NAPLAN scores in all testing subjects over five years.

Lowood State School was one of eight state schools in the top ten most improved NAPLAN scores, across reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation and numeracy results for year 5 by 2019.

The school had a 24 per cent increase in its overall score from 2015 to 2019 with improvements in all five testing results.

South Brisbane's Seville Road State School, ranked fourth for improvement was the only Brisbane based school to make the top ten with a 20 per cent increase.

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Far North Queensland's Gulf Christian College and Ipswich Adventist School were the only independent schools to make the top ten, coming out at sixth or seventh.

The most improved schools have been revealed for Queensland.
The most improved schools have been revealed for Queensland.

But by the same comparison for results in year 9 revealed that five independent schools made the top 10 when comparing results between 2015 and 2019.

Hymba Yumba Independent School was the most improved, followed by the Gold Coast Christian College, Woodford State School, Cooktown state School, Mary Valley State School and the Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School.

Cloncurry State School was ranked seventh, followed by Killarney State School, Whitsunday Christian College and in tenth place, Lighthouse Christian School.

It comes as The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed the top performing primary school was Brisbane Grammar School and the top secondary school was Brisbane Girls Grammar.

Hymba Yumba at Springfield Lakes has made great gains. Students Cornelius Atonio, 14, Deputy Principal Stephanie Walsh, Carlin Renouf, 13 and Pheona Combo, 15. Pics Adam Head
Hymba Yumba at Springfield Lakes has made great gains. Students Cornelius Atonio, 14, Deputy Principal Stephanie Walsh, Carlin Renouf, 13 and Pheona Combo, 15. Pics Adam Head

And experts said that Australian students were slipping in the transition from primary to high school with NAPLAN result showing students made strong gains in all subjects in year 3 and 5 but nationally writing and reading takes a hit in year 9.

Lowood State School Principal Wendy Deverell said a key factor to the success of their students was their whole-of-school approach to lifting the bar.

"An important part of this was changing student perceptions, from 'I can't' to 'What's Possible. '

"Establishing a culture that celebrates and supports a positively framed learner mindset has become our core business.

"Our teaching staff are fully committed and work tirelessly towards making a positive impact on each individual students' learning outcomes.

Lowood State School is among the most improved. Year 5 students Ricky Finger, Shiloh Denman, Addison Higgins, Anunta Kongpreephan-Smith, and Matthew Allen. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Lowood State School is among the most improved. Year 5 students Ricky Finger, Shiloh Denman, Addison Higgins, Anunta Kongpreephan-Smith, and Matthew Allen. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

She said raising expectations across the board and empowering students to take accountability of their learning enabled the improvement.

We have adopted a whole school approach to the teaching of reading and maintained a strong emphasis on core skilling in English, and made use of data to identify individual students who may need intervention and support.

The top Catholic school for improvement in year 5 results was Coorparoo's St James Primary School.

Since testing began, Queensland has improved in 17 of 20 NAPLAN test areas against National Minimum Standard, Mean Scale Score and Upper Two Bands, an Education Department spokesperson said.

"Queensland is the only jurisdiction to show substantial and sustained improvement since the 2008 baseline," the spokesperson said.

"While there may have been downward movements in some reported scores, these may be due to measurement error associated with equating. For this reason, ACARA's experts recommend not reacting to small movements, but rather considering trends over time, which provide more meaning.

"Clearly it has taken a lot of hard work by teachers and schools to drive Queensland's significant improvement. This effort should be recognised and celebrated."


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