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December 2020


What it takes to deliver high progress in NAPLAN

The schools that consistently deliver high progress in NAPLAN assessments of reading, writing or numeracy have different approaches but share certain practices. 

ACARA has recently updated the profiles of schools that consistently deliver high progress and ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, said some of the profiled schools use similar methods, particularly around explicit teaching, data analysis and a focus on professional development. 

The 24 schools profiled are, however, not necessarily those that achieve high average results, which are often strongly correlated with socio-educational advantage.  

"Rather, the focus is on schools that are doing something intentional and that is resulting in progress between NAPLAN scores that are consistently above expectation over several years," Mr de Carvalho said. 

Some of the schools’ practices include: 

  • explicit teaching, including the use of clear learning intentions and success criteria for lessons 
  • use of formative assessment to generate data on student progress 
  • analysis of that data to inform teaching strategies, which can include differentiated teaching depending on the level of support students need 
  • strong focus on sustained professional development, with more skilled teachers acting as instructional leaders and mentors 
  • collaborative approaches to planning and teaching, which build collective efficacy among teaching staff.

 High progress schools


Three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum

What’s the relationship between the three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum? Find out as ACARA’s CEO, David de Carvalho, takes us through the connection between learning areas, cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities.

The review will look to declutter the curriculum by improving the relationship of the general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities to the content of the learning areas. The review timeline includes two public comment windows in 2021 on proposed content changes.

AC dimensions


 Schools participate in NAPLAN Online accessibility videos

ACARA’s Student Diversity Specialist, Patrick Kelly, got in front of the camera recently as part of a video series ACARA is producing. This series aims at informing parents, students and carers about the disability adjustments and tools available in NAPLAN Online to support students participate in the tests.

The videos have been designed to help raise awareness around disability and the importance of an inclusive education that supports every student. Students and their families share their stories about the educational challenges they have faced and how online tests have enabled students to participate and be included in regular school activities such as NAPLAN.

ACARA video series


Updates to the National Report on Schooling data portal

ACARA’s interactive resource, the National Report on Schooling data portal, has been updated with new data on schools and schooling. 

The data portal revisions include: 

  • key performance measures for schooling in Australia dashboard 
  • teacher education 
  • school students with disability 
  • participation in VET in schools 
  • Year 12 subject enrolments 
  • Year 12 certification rates 
  • participation and attainment in education and work. 

We have also updated the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2020 to reflect the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration and published it on the ACARA website.  

The measurement framework: 

  • guides what reporting ACARA collects and provides the parameters for how schooling is assessed so that the community can measure performance
  • details the nationally agreed key performance measures (KPMs) for schooling, which make up the assessment and reporting cycle
  • underpins the National Report on Schooling in Australia, which updates the key performance measures and provides an insight into progress.

View the revised measurement framework on the our website

  portal2 


Seasons greetings

ACARA's offices close at 5 pm on Thursday 24 December 2020 and reopen
at 9 am on Monday 11 January 2021.

We wish you a safe and happy festive season!