TESTING TIME: St Joseph's principal, Andrew Kendall with Year 3 students, Georgia Petrie, Sasha Kendall and Isaak Brown who sat the NAPLAN test today for the first time.
TESTING TIME: St Joseph's principal, Andrew Kendall with Year 3 students, Georgia Petrie, Sasha Kendall and Isaak Brown who sat the NAPLAN test today for the first time. Contributed

NAPLAN season begins

NAPLAN tests began across the state this week and two Granite Belt schools are doing them online for the first time.

The tests on reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy are being taken by pupils in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

The transition to online was a natural one for pupils at St Joseph's Primary School, who use electronic devices every day as part of the curriculum, principal Andrew Kendall said.

On Tuesday when he spoke to the Border Post a group of Year 3 students had just completed their first test and were "still smiling”, he said.

"They were all quite cheery and happy on their way up to morning tea, so I was pleased with that.”

"A lot of them see it as something different, something exciting.”

Results are expected late next month, and Mr Kendall said

"When it comes through we'll look at where the kids are compared to the national average,” he said.

"The other thing is to look at how much improvement there is,” he said.

Over time individual pupils should be improving every year at a rate that reflects the amount of teaching they've received, he said.

"There's a way of doing your own calculations to work that out,” he said.

"Last year we were very good with our Grade 7 to Grade 9s, I think they were among the top schools in the state, to be honest.

"You want to have at least one year's growth for one year's teaching.”

Stanthorpe State School Year 5 students had their first writing test on Tuesday, principal Jo-Anne Pozzi said.

"They've responded really positively to doing it online,” she said.

"I asked them, 'what do you prefer?' There are 40 participants, and only two said they preferred paper-based.”

Broadwater State School students will do paper NAPLAN tests for the last time this year.

Principal Shannon Armbruster said her school made them stress-free for students by framing them as 'point-in-time' tests.

"The emphasis is on doing the best they can do on the day, and if that's the best they can do, then that's okay,” she said. "We don't withdraw kids and we have 100 percent participation in NAPLAN.”

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