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2012 TERM 2

Fitzroy Community School's position on NAPLAN (National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy)

April 2012

Dear Parents of Year-Three and Year-Five Students,

Your children will sit their NAPLAN exams early in term two. Our approach has always been to make this a low key affair. Recent media coverage of our school, and the media's general (hysterical/ridiculous?) approach to standardised assessment makes this somewhat harder. Still, I do not believe that this should change our approach.

Our position is that exams are part of life, and so best approached as a fun challenge. For this reason we welcome NAPLAN because it gives us the opportunity to introduce exams in a 'nothing-to-get-worked-up-about-or-stressed-over' way.

We would prefer it if you do not discuss NAPLAN at home, or make a big deal of the date. On the days of the tests simply ensure that your child arrives at school in good spirits and on time.

If your child asks directly about NAPLAN, truthfully reply that the government wants to see that all schools are teaching well, and because teachers at FCS think this is a good idea, they happily assist the government in its task. Since FCS children can read and do maths well, they usually find the tests to be fun.

As per past years, NAPLAN preparation will not be part of our school. Unlike many schools, no NAPLAN homework will be given. A week or two before the actual tests, a few papers from earlier years will be looked at in order to familiarize the children with the format. To do more than this risks creating stress over exams, something that we feel is poor preparation for later schooling or university study.

Some families ask how they can help prepare for these tests. Given that all of these tests are reading-heavy, lots of reading is best. So if you would like to help, a more ambitious start to the Premier's Reading Challenge is just the thing.

Timothy Berryman (Principal)

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