The good news about recent NAPLAN results

The good news about recent NAPLAN results

In an educational landscape where the goal is to equip every student with the necessary literacy and numeracy skills for a purposeful future, challenges persist.

Recent findings from the Australian Education Research Organisation reveal a concerning reality - many students across Australia begin to fall behind in their educational journey as early as Year 3, struggling to meet learning benchmarks. 

The 2023 NAPLAN results further emphasise the issue, demonstrating that nearly 10% of students require additional assistance to meet minimum literacy and numeracy standards. Concerningly, this is an increase on the previous results, where 7% of students were not meeting the minimum standards. Those numbers are even higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in remote parts of the Northern Territory.

According to Minister for Education, Jason Clare, NAPLAN minimum standards were raised this year to identify students who need additional support.

“We know that literacy is the foundation of learning and it’s needed not just to survive but to thrive. In education, and in life,” Tom Richardson, CEO at LiteracyPlanet said.

“We need easy ways to identify students who are at risk of falling behind, or who already have.” 

The good news amidst this challenge is that there's potential to positively change these students’ outlook. The statistics may paint a discouraging picture, but they also present us with an opportunity for evaluation of student progress and intervention before they slip further behind.

Armed with the right strategy, personalised learning paths, and necessary adjustments, we can make a difference for struggling students, helping them get back on track.

Teachers want nothing more than to improve learning outcomes for their students and are, day in and day out, working tirelessly to do just this. They are turning to digital resources that give them the insights and the time to support those students who need them the most.

According to the NAPLAN report, only 65% of students spanning different age groups reached the expected literacy and numeracy expectations. An additional 23% were classified within the "developing" category. The pivotal point of action begins with identifying where each student stands. 

A tool like LiteracyPlanet can help bridge the gap. Starting with its Literacy Check, a proficiency tool that assesses students’ literacy skills across five key strands, including phonics, spelling and comprehension, teachers get an overview of intervention or extension opportunities for each student. The platform is designed on principles of personalised learning and gamification to engage, motivate and drive improvement. Activities are easily assigned to each student based on their identified learning needs.

“Our main aim is to continue to improve literacy skills of young people all over the world, no matter their social, economic, or cultural backgrounds”, Shane Davis, LiteracyPlanet’s Founder and Head of Product, said.

“LiteracyPlanet meets students at their individual level of ability from Kindergarten to Year 10.”

Fuelling a natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge with stimulating educational content, the program is a powerful resource that cuts through other distractions. Fun becomes the driving force behind learning, as engagement naturally stems from enjoyment. 

Davis continues “Children love to be challenged. That’s why our platform harnesses the power of immersive storytelling and gamification, ensuring students remain motivated while soaking up knowledge and developing their literacy skills.”

The Bottom Line: Closing The Gap

While the new proficiency standards provide a clearer picture of student performance, they also underscore the need for focused efforts to bridge the achievement gap. 

“These results shed light on the disparities in educational outcomes across several geographic and socio-economic factors. But it’s important to understand them in context. Proactive assessment, intervening practices and student engagement can turn this around,” Richardson concludes.

The key takeaway is that we can close the gap. By identifying areas requiring attention, intervention, or even extension, there is an opportunity to guide every student along their literacy journey. Mastering foundational concepts will lead to more intricate skills and most importantly, deliver better future outcomes for these students. That’s why we’re testing in the first place, after all.

The above article was provided to The Educator by LiteracyPlanet and has been republished with permission.