The Monitor Newspaper for 1st June 2011
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Your Community Newspaper ~ Roxby DownsMonitorThe
Vol. 8 Wednesday, June 1, 2011www.themonitor.com.au Phone (08) 8671 2683 Fax (08) 8671 2843
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NAPLAN tests more accepted by students
By Celeste Lustosa
In 2008, the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) commenced in Australian schools amid some controversy, but in 2011 it is more widely accepted and here in Roxby not so stressful for students.
Every year, all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are assessed on the same days using national tests in reading, writing, lan-guage conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy.
Th e Monitor spoke to Roxby Downs Area School (RDAS) Principal Kath Macalister, as well as to the school coordinators for the test Julie Green eld (years 3 and 5) and Chris Jones (years 7 and 9) whether NAPLAN has been a good tool for schools, parents and students. We also asked students if they feel under too much pressure.
Th ere is nothing new in testing students or in using the results to determine how teaching programs should be modi- ed for groups or individuals, provided parents, students and teachers accept that this is a cameo shot of student abilities and not the full picture but rather a useful tool. When used to diagnose areas of learning it provides us with strategic ways to address any area of learning where students have not achieved well, Mrs Macalister said.
Th e analysis of data from these tests is used by indi-vidual schools, regionally, at state and national levels to set realistic and achievable improvement targets the example this year being an emphasis on persuasive in response to last years test results which demonstrated that this was an area where student results were not as high as they might be, Mrs Macalister added.
Mrs Green eld and Mr Jones were positive about the NAPLAN tests this year.
Th e test was very well supported by families and students who seemed to be keen to participate.
I think we prepare the students and parents fairly well, especially year 3 students who havent done the test before, Mrs Green eld said.
According to Mr Jones, Th ere were more students from year 7 to 9 completing the test this year than last year, which he was very pleased about.
He also said Th e days went well and as far as admin-istrating the test, everything went smoothly and I think the students are getting used to it.
Although both teachers see the test as a good aca-demic tool, they were very realistic about the limitations of testing students a couple of days every two years.
Because its something you are only doing every two years, it only gives you general information on the stu-dents.
We give a lot of information to the students and the parents about the process and we try to explain that even though its a great tool to use for assessment its not the only one and there are other assessment tools as well because not everybody responds very well under exam situations.
As a parent I believe the NAPLAN result is not an
indicative of my childs skills. I know that if they havent done particularly well in one area, there are other skills that are not indicated in that sort of test, so generally verbal communication with children is a better indication of what they do and dont understand, Mrs Green eld said.
Mr Jones said, We had the South Australian LAN tests be-fore the NAPLAN so there have always been tests for the stu-dents. It is a part of the teaching cycle and its worth doing it but its not everything.
He also pointed out that students havent complained about NAPLAN any more than they would complain about school tests but they are accepting it more and more.
Now the students know NAPLAN comes up every two years and it has become a more accepted thing.
As well as taking the test and seeing how you are going in certain areas of academic skills, its also a good idea to feel the pressure of the test because they might well go to University, or sit tests for TAFE, or for a job entry and its an experience in it-self as to how you react under pressure, Mr Jones concluded.
Students seem to be more comfortable about the NAPLAN test nowadays.
Jayden Th omas and Makaia Kalb eisch are in year 7 at Roxby Downs Area School and they told Th e Monitor NAPLAN is just another test and does not represent any big extra pressure in their lives.
I have done the test three times and because I have done a few, I improved.
Th e NAPLAN test day is just like any other testing day and I feel its just another test in life, Jayden said.
Makaia said she believes she got better on the testing skills, although the questions get harder and she does feel a little pressure in doing well.
Because its the NAPLAN test and everyone else in Australia is doing it I feel a little bit of pressure to do well.
I do think its a realistic test and its important so you can see how well you are doing and the things you need to improve on.
As for parents pressure, both students said their parents only expect them to do as well as they can, but dont put extra pressure on them.
My parents only tell me to try my best and do what I can, Makaia concluded.
Tyler Odgers and Tate Daddow are in year 7 at Roxby Downs
Area School and did the NAPLAN test for the third time this year.
THE MONITOR Your Community Newspaperwww.themonitor.com.auPage 2 Wednesday, June 1, 2011
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by Millie Thomas
On July 27, 2011, two Roxby Downs Scouts will embark on the trip of a lifetime. Harry Goldfinch and Ethan Ohrnberg -Wilson will travel to the World Scout Jamboree in the south of Sweden to swap scout-ing knowhow with fellow scouts from all over the world.
Harry and Ethan, both 14 years old, have been supported strongly by Roxbys scouting community and as the last 56 odd days drag by, they are getting more and more excited.
Something was said about it about four years ago, said Harry. I was like, yeah that sounds cool and then many years later, I thought, I really want to go to that!
The 12 day event, along with transport and further travels through Sweden is expensive.
While the two boys have had a lot of support from Scouts SA and of course, their parents, extra fund-raising is also essential to get them over there safely.
Weve got a stall at market day which sells some really good yiros, Harry added. Ive tasted them and they were delicious!
We are going to do a sausage sizzle every Sunday at Mitre 10 (10am 2pm) and were going to be hosting the bottle drive.
Harry, who has never before left South Australia can only liken this experience to a previous trip to the Australian Jamboree, except with an estimated 38,000 scouts. Th ere are going to be thousands of kids! Ive gone to the Australian Jambo-ree, and there are so many things to do laser tag, theres a massive water slide. We did heaps of meet-ing stu , camping etc.
Ethan has family in Sweden, so
will be staying for a total of six weeks over there, and Harry will be doing a week long tour follow-ing the Jamboree, taking his trip up to four weeks, but what he is most excited about is making new friends.
It will be tricky because not all of them will speak English, he said. Ive been trying to learn Swedish, but thats tricky!
My dad keeps saying, youre tak-ing the good camera, and youre taking a lot of pictures.
Im a lucky gun I can tell you that!
Harry and Ethan are two of the three Scouts chosen from South Australia to attend the Jamboree
Id like to thank my parents be-cause theyre paying for most of it, and Tracey, shes helped out a lot! Oh and Scouts SA!
Roxby Scouts off to Sweden!
The indoor teaching and therapy pool for Roxby Downs is on schedule and should be available for the community in August this year.According to Roxby Leisure Operations Manager
Michael Esposito, the completion date is the begin-ning of August at this point in time, but is subject to a number of works being undertaken.
Last week saw the pool builders complete th