Why NAPLAN doesn’t count: The problem with the NAPLAN tests.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy takes place for students in Australia in years 3, 5, 7 and 9. After the release of NAPLAN results, we at Fit Learning commonly have parents come to us, distressed by the fact that their child has fallen behind their peers in vital literacy and numeracy targets. NAPLAN may be viewed as a great tool for parents in assessing their child’s progress. However, this is untrue. NAPLAN provides parents with a grading scale to signify how a child is progressing, but this is problematic for many reasons.

What is wrong with NAPLAN?

  • The NAPLAN assesses students across very broad domains such as numeracy, writing, and reading. There are countless component skills that are necessary to be proficient within these subdomains, however, the test results do not provide any direction as to where your child needs the most assistance.
  • The NAPLAN provides a ‘snapshot’ once every couple of years. Something we know with certainty at Fit is that all behaviour is variable, and a child’s performance on a single day cannot possibly represent the learning for an entire curriculum that takes place across two years.
  • If your child is falling behind, this can be detrimental to their confidence and happiness at school, and they may feel helpless as NAPLAN does not provide any support to help them catch up.
  • NAPLAN tests reinforce the current culture of labelling the student for falling behind, rather than accountability for the school system.

At Fit, we believe the learning environment is primary. It is the single most important factor in the learning outcomes of a student. Fit coaches are accountable for a child’s learning, and track hundreds of learning outcomes each session, along with standardised tests each week.

What you can do if your child’s NAPLAN scores are low?

Speak to our Clinical Director to find out about how we can help. Our Comprehensive Skills Assessment will identify exactly how your child is performing, and the specific areas that they would benefit from remediation through a Fit Learning enrolment.

Alternatively, parents can come in and observe one of our sessions at either our Claremont or Cottesloe learning labs to understand why our program makes transformative differences to a child’s learning.