Assistant Principal, Curriculum Design & Innovation


Best practice is to be data-informed, not data-driven

NAPLAN intersects Term 1 with the testing of our Year 7 & 9 students’ levels in Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language and Numeracy. Our students this week have embraced the testing immaculately, and it is important to highlight that the data reported from NAPLAN in Term 2 allows teachers to be data-informed, and for the students to understand the next steps in their learning. Our approach to the data, assessment and feedback allows us to work closely with the students and prioritise the personalisation of their learning.

From 2023 onward, the NAPLAN measurement scale and time series have been reset to four levels of proficiency – Exceeding, Strong, Developing or Needs Additional Support. For all students undertaking their tests throughout this window, this means a different reporting scale from the previous Year 5 & 7 reports. It is important to note that the standardised test is a snapshot in time and forms a piece of information in a much large picture once the data is triangulated against PAT Tests, subject-specific data, as well as wellbeing to form a holistic view of the student and their progress. From the position of an educator, the data informed environment allows for certainty, action and direction of personalised learning to be implemented. More importantly, encouraging curiosity, critical conversations and enacting compassion allow for a deeper story behind just mere numbers or ratings (Fisk, 2020). From a student perspective, NAPLAN is a low stakes test and I encourage all students to give their answers their best efforts but it does not define who they are as a learner.

Chris Needle
Assistant Principal, Curriculum Design & Innovation