From the Principal

Our students’ NAPLAN results have arrived (and they were worth waiting for)!

I know many parents are keen to hear of our NAPLAN results and we are keen for them to arrive too! We are very proud of all our students’ results at Tintern and while standardised testing gives the School insight into group results and trends, and allows us to reflect on teaching practice and emphasis, tests such as the NAPLAN do not provide quality assessment of individual capacity or growth due to the variables inherent in the testing tool. As such, individual student variation from test to test is to be expected. Having said all of that, our results were impressive and represent solid, engaged learning.

This should be the last year that we wait for such an extended period for our School’s NAPLAN results. Next year Tintern Grammar will be one of a small number of independent schools accredited to complete our NAPLAN testing online as a pilot for 2018. Eventually all schools will be required to complete NAPLAN testing online. This year we have undertaken some sample testing and this has already been a very informative process, with our staff providing constructive feedback on the sample trial of the online systems.

The trial program this year has been undertaken without significant incident, but with some expected teething problems. It is clear that next year when the pilot is undertaken, the State Government will now be hyper-aware of any potential problems and provide appropriate support for pilot schools. As a result, I am certain that our decision to be a pilot school will mean that Tintern Grammar will have terrific, ground floor, preparation for the first online NAPLAN in 2018. This will be very good outcome for our students.

This year’s NAPLAN results have only very recently arrived and while our analysis is not complete, on our early readings we can draw the following very pleasing conclusions in two particular areas of our results:

Score results based on 5-year trend data (using scaled means results for boys and girls combined), with all results well above state means in all tests:

  • Year 3 – well above trend in all tests; best results in the last 5 years
  • Year 5 – On trend, only very slightly below being the best year in the past 5 years
  • Year 7 –  Within trend trajectory of past 5 years well above State in all tests
  • Year 9 – Within trend trajectory of past 5 years well above State in all tests

In scores, this means that this year’s results overall are our second best in the last 5 years, or on par with our second best, depending a little on which variations are weighted more in that judgement. This year’s results continue our trajectory of improvement in both NAPLAN, and particularly our VCE results, over the last 3 to 5 years.

Improvement over time:

Results for growth over time are the most significant measure of the NAPLAN, in my view. This is really a measure of our ‘value add’ over two years for each group and is not individual, but a balanced measure over 40 to 120 students in our various year levels. As all high-achieving schools with strong students find, when a cohort begins with high scores from the previous NAPLAN, simultaneously achieving high growth is difficult.

Broadly, our NAPLAN results in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 have been improving between successive NAPLAN testing at a very pleasing rate and we are much heartened again with this year’s growth on our analysis so far. While we are not yet able to compare to other schools, we are confident that our results will be better than the majority of our competitors and again be significantly better than that of state schools. Given the difficulty of achieving this with excellent previous testing scores, this is most impressive.

At Tintern, we look at student progress through a number of lenses. Testing is only one, and standardised testing is certainly a somewhat blunt instrument by which to gauge student progress. Most important to us at Tintern is that our emphasis is on enabling students who apply themselves to achieve their best; not only in all testing, but more importantly, in the real world long after they leave our school.

Factis non Verbis

Bradley Fry
Principal

Please view the Video Blog below from our Principal, Mr Bradley Fry.

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