ACARA news, April 2015

Herald Sun: 'If kids fall behind, we need to be told'

01 May 2015
Susie O’Brien of the Herald Sun writes about the upcoming NAPLAN tests and measuring student achievement. Read the full article

ABC Brisbane: kids' test nervousness can be reduced

01 May 2015

Rebecca McLaren from ABC Brisbane discusses with Dr Divna Haslam from the Parenting & Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland how to reduce child nervousness during test times.

Donwnload Rebecca McLaren and Dr Divna Haslam's conversation

NAPLAN online: automarking

30 April 2015

Dr Stanley Rabinowitz, ACARA General Manager, Asessment and Reporting, says:

Currently, student writing is marked using a set of criteria. The marking is done by individual markers with checks by senior markers. This process will continue with NAPLAN online, using the same criteria, which will be fed into marking computer programs, with checks also done along the way by ‘human’ markers. This is an important point: automarking will still involve teachers throughout the process.

We know that automarking works in many NAPLAN-like programs across the world. Building on this, ACARA will undertake research to prove it works specifically in the NAPLAN context. We will engage with teachers on the results of research on automarking, which will give teachers, parents and students confidence that automarking does work for all aspects of NAPLAN. Automarking is central to being able to return student results within much shorter time periods. No final decisions have been made about automarking being part of NAPLAN online.

But one of the issues raised by teachers and parents is that NAPLAN results are returned too late in the year to be of significant value. Automarking, if through research is proven successful in the NAPLAN context, will ensure NAPLAN results are returned to teachers, parents and students faster, allowing immediate attention to students’ strengths and areas in need of improvement.

How do schools use NAPLAN data?

30 April 2015

How can NAPLAN data be used by teachers? What difference does it make having national data to benchmark against, and why are these data important?

Check out our series of nine videos that feature principals and teachers from various schools around Australia talking about how they use NAPLAN data in their schools.

You can also see an example of how one school explains their use of NAPLAN data to parents

Transforming education for the future

29 April 2015

Today’s students have access to a robust, world-class curriculum and will soon be entering an exciting new phase in online assessment.

Read more in "Transforming education for the future", an article by ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, in Parent Talk magazine.

NAPLAN online: automated marking

29 April 2015

ACARA’s General Manager, Assessment and Reporting, Dr Stanley Rabinowitz, talks about automated marking for NAPLAN 2017 in the iTnews article "How Australia plans to mark NAPLAN with cognitive computing".

Benefits of NAPLAN

27 April 2015

NAPLAN helps parents and educators to see if children are meeting important numeracy and literacy standards. It amounts to less than four hours, four times in a student’s life, over seven years of schooling. From that small investment comes a wealth of student, school and national information. If students continue with NAPLAN at each opportunity, parents can see their child’s growth and progress in literacy and numeracy across a seven-year schooling period.

20150427 NAPLAN snapshot in time 180

Click on the image to see the full version (PDF 540 kb)

NAPLAN has an important role in the Australian education space

24 April 2015

The value of NAPLAN has been identified by parents, principals, teachers, partners and stakeholders around the country. You can see a selection of reports containing research findings, statements of support for NAPLAN and practical examples of how NAPLAN data have been used to improve school performance. You can also view our 'Testimonials' pages with quotes collected from print and broadcast media.

ACARA CEO: The debate about NAPLAN’s value is a tired one

22 April 2015

“As NAPLAN 2015 approaches, we are starting to hear the same sweeping statements and assertions, questioning its value despite numerous independent reports and parent testimonials declaring its value.

Read ACARA CEO, Robert Randall’s, opinion piece in today’s Daily Telegraph.

See our new infographic: NAPLAN gets people talking.

NAPLAN is for all Year 3, 5,7 and 9 students

22 April 2015

NAPLAN is for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. If anyone suggests that your child should not participate in NAPLAN, you should ask more questions. Students who receive assistance to complete schoolwork in their classroom now – such as access to a scribe, braille resources, a computer with text prediction or screen reader software – are generally able to participate in NAPLAN with the assistance they normally receive.

See more information on the assistance available to students to be a part of NAPLAN.

Anzac Day 2015: Lest we forget

21 April 2015

On Saturday 25 April we reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of the many Australians who have served in wartime.

Anzac Day 2015 is particularly significant as it marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings – an important moment in Australian history. Watch ACARA’s video about the Australian Curriculum: history and its links to Anzac Day and its traditions.

Primary Matters for primary teachers

20 April 2015

Read the latest issue of Primary Matters, the newsletter provides information about ACARA’s projects that assist primary schools across Australia.

Primary Matters, issue 5 (PDF 338 kb)


20 April 2015

What did some parents, teachers, principals and students have to say about NAPLAN 2014?

20150417 Why NAPLAN 2 180

Click on the image to see the full infographic

Is NAPLAN valuable for parents?

17 April 2015

Wondering what NAPLAN is about, if it is worth your child taking part or if they need to prepare for it? Hear from the Australian Parents Council, Council of State School Organisations and Council of Catholic School Parents in this series of four videos.


13 April 2015

What did some parents, teachers, principals and students have to say about NAPLAN 2014? Check out our new infographic:

20150413 Why NAPLAN 180

Click on the image to see the full version (PDF 552 kb)

NAPLAN 2015 is coming

13 April 2015

The annual National Assessment Program – literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) tests will be held on 12, 13 and 14 May for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Students will participate in tests for reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. Literacy and numeracy are fundamental skills we continue to use well into adulthood; and if children are not going as well as they should in these areas, then parents and teachers need to be aware of this as soon as possible.

Remember that NAPLAN is not a test that can be studied for, and students are not expected to do so. What is taught in the classroom is what ends up being assessed in NAPLAN. See our video featuring ACARA’s General Manager, Assessment and Reporting, Dr Stanley Rabinowitz, which helps parents understand more about NAPLAN.

NAP – science literacy (NAP–SL) trial assessment delivered online

01 April 2015

The NAP–SL online trial is now complete.

Over 1000 students from 50 schools in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have completed the online trial test.

Sufficient data have been collected to ensure the assessment instrument developed for the test to be administered contains items that are reliable and valid. Operational procedures and technology infrastructure were also tested in the lead-up to the trial via a technical readiness check, and a helpdesk support line was made available to all schools, both prior to and throughout the testing period.

The operational test will be conducted online in Term 4.