NAPLAN: Lifelong Learners in The West Australian 30/4/12

Article written by Melissa Smith, Lifelong Learners.

Tutoring services for English (all year levels) offered in Victoria Park, Perth by a qualified teacher with a MEd who has in-depth experience as a tutor.

On the 30/4/12 Lifelong Learners was featured in The West Australian newspaper discussing the current issues surrounding NAPLAN testing. See the link below, the text of the article is included at the bottom of this post.

As the article highlights, many parents have come to me requesting help with NAPLAN preparation. What the article doesn’t mention is that this is not about their children doing significantly better on the test…mostly it is about ensuring they are confident in the lead up to it and reinforcing skill areas they are lacking in. Remember, year three children are experiencing it for the first time and often the fear comes from conflicting messages via school and home.

Students who come to Lifelong Learners for NAPLAN preparation do significantly improve their results – most move up at least one band and last year one student achieved band 8 in ALL AREAS. This is not because we rote learn the materials and practice test sample after test sample like some schools and other private tuition companies do.

It is because the students and I work together to allay any fears they have about the test, to build basic tools to help them in a testing environment and to cover the curriculum they should have already learned in the classroom. If a parent asks me to drill their child solely for the purpose of NAPLAN testing I would refer them elsewhere, that is not what I see as a beneficial learning activity.

I won’t say whether I agree or disagree with NAPLAN testing but the number of students who start their classes with me in tears because they are scared indicates to me that somewhere along the line there has been a significant breakdown in communication. Students should NEVER be afraid to learn!


Demand for tutors amid NAPLAN worry

After-school tutors are reporting a sharp increase in demand as parents put increasing pressure on children to perform well in national literacy and numeracy tests.

Tutoring services in WA said they were offering special classes for the tests even though the National Assessment Program -Literacy and Numeracy did not count towards school results.

About one million students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit the tests in two weeks.

Tutors said many parents were concerned that if their child did not do well in NAPLAN, they would not get into a private high school.

Melissa Smith, who runs Lifelong Learners tutoring, said few parents responded last year when she offered NAPLAN preparation for the first time.

This year she had a lot of interest with eight additional clients solely to do with NAPLAN and two of her 20 existing clients asked her to focus just on NAPLAN.

During the recent holidays she taught NAPLAN classes to children in Years 3 and 5 for eight hours a week at about $40 an hour. Though she explained that NAPLAN tests were to give an accurate reflection of their child’s results, mostly to indicate which schools needed extra funding, parents still wanted their child to do well.

Danielle Calleja, from the International Centre for Excellence, said parents often compared their children’s NAPLAN results. She was sick of seeing children stressed so she ran NAPLAN classes so they could see what the tests were like.

Australian Tutoring Association chief executive Mohan Dhall said schools were also under pressure because their results were put on the My School website.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 9:27 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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