This website was launched last week by the Australian Government. The site enables everyone to access information about all schools across Australia. Central to the information are NAPLAN results (Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation and Numeracy) for years 2008 and 2009. Future NAPLAN results will be added to the site.
The site also provides some statistical information about the school and will provide links to the schools own website, annual school reports, etc. It is expected that the format will change in future years as the data base increases. It is anticipated that from next year student growth, a better indicator or student improvement over time, will be included on the site.
In my view the site does not give an accurate ‘picture’ of our school. The site relies on averaged results and seeks to make comparisons between ‘statistically similar schools’ and ‘all Australian schools’. The very nature of an ‘average’ means that half the schools will be above the mien and half will be below the mien. Serious questions have also been asked about the statistical validity of the selection of the ‘like schools’ and the comparison process. When I scan the list of ‘like schools’ I wonder about some of them.
However I would like to assure all parents and families that this school is aware of our students performances in NAPLAN assessments and that we have numerous strategies in place to assist them to improve. This year we will have additional students on Reading Recovery with two teachers and we will be implementing the Targeted Early Numeracy (TEN) program in infants.
In addition Linda Foskey will be providing speech pathology services, Paul Alliston student welfare services and Lorna Leadbeatter will continue with the Student Learning Support Coordinator role. The Quicksmart targeted numeracy program will commence in the secondary with additional numeracy support. All teaching staff will be participating in a variety of professional learning activities which will contribute to increased learning opportunities for students.
The school is working hard to raise expectations and provide a well organised and functioning learning environment. I believe that all of these coordinated initiatives along with the excellent, individual classroom practices that have always been a feature of Bingara Central School. This is the best way forward and the best reason why students and families can be confident that the educational opportunity provided here at Bingara Central School is all that is should be.