Gloucester student sit for the NAPLAN tests

Gloucester High School: The NAPLAN tests wait for the year nine students to enter the school hall during the national week of testing. Picture: Anne Keen
Gloucester High School: The NAPLAN tests wait for the year nine students to enter the school hall during the national week of testing. Picture: Anne Keen

Students from around the region, in the primary and high schools, sat for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests from May 8 to 12.

With the Minister for Education’s announcement for Stronger Higher School Certificate (HSC) Standards reforms in July 2016, this year’s test have a different meaning for year nine students.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has explained that students who do not attain the HSC minimum standard in NAPLAN by the time they leave school will receive a record of school achievement rather than a HSC.

Under the changes, students in year nine must reach a minimum standard of band eight to achieve their HSC in year 12.

After year nine, students under the minimum standard who want to graduate with their HSC will be provided ongoing literacy and numeracy online testing and teacher support in years 10, 11 and 12.

Students will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate they meet the standard, between year nine and the time they reach year 12. 

“We know students learn at different rates and NESA expects that the majority of students will be sitting at least one of the new, short, online reading, writing and numeracy tests in years 10, 11 or 12,” a NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) spokesperson said. 

“The HSC minimum standard of literacy and numeracy is being introduced to help ensure that students leave school with the basic literacy and numeracy skills fundamental for life, and are able to communicate ideas effectively in all of their HSC exams.”

Regardless of plans beyond school, students need adequate reading, writing and numeracy skills to make sure they can do things like compare discounted goods, write a job application and follow written instructions to operate equipment safely, NESA said.

NAPLAN, introduced in 2008, is a national assessment for all students in years three, five, seven and nine, as a measure for whether or not student are meeting educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.