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Despite the transition to Offsite Learning for much of 2020, Ivanhoe Girls' did remarkably well in the NAPLAN tests earlier this year. Helen Moore, Head of Curriculum, Learning and Innovation - Junior School, takes a closer look.   

Helen Moore, Director of Curriculum, Learning
and Innovation - Junior School

NAPLAN results arrived last week and our school’s high literacy and numeracy standards and growth for all students are worth celebrating.  As we come to the end of another term in lockdown, it is also worth acknowledging and celebrating many other important skills that are gained from a far greater test: living in a global pandemic.

NAPLAN (National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy) was conducted online earlier this year in May and provides a snapshot of each student’s literacy and numeracy skills, generally confirming what we already know. Our results are very positive and affirm our collaborative effort to ensure that the normal curriculum was addressed and student learning continued during months of offsite learning during lockdown last year and this year. Here are a few highlights:

  • Year 3 and Year 5 results for all test areas are well above the National and Victorian standards
  • Year 3 Reading and Numeracy results are the best they have been in five years
  • Year 3 Reading, Grammar and Numeracy results are so strong that they go beyond the reporting scale
  • Year 5 Reading, Writing and Spelling results are the best they have been in five years

NAPLAN data reflects learning from many years of schooling so we acknowledge the contribution by all teachers along with the partnership we share with families and the school community. Our focus on developing critical literacy and inferential reading skills has been rewarded. Our Year 5 writing program has been enhanced with the visiting authors who inspire and improve students’ writing skills.

In this unpredictable COVID world, students have developed some of the most important life-long learning skills. 

In addition to these excellent NAPLAN results, it is important to note that students and teachers have achieved success in a test far greater than NAPLAN. In this unpredictable COVID world, students have developed some of the most important life-long learning skills.  Students have been creative in solving problems as they learn and work from home, taking greater initiative and  self-control, and demonstrating resilience and persistence. We have all been forced to communicate and collaborate in new ways. These key competencies that are embedded in the curriculum have become essential survival skills.

Incursions, such as with this one with educators from CERES Environment Park, have continued through Offsite Learning.

We are so pleased with the way students have risen to this challenge, taking increased responsibility for their learning. Students are managing their time and working more independently at home, knowing when to seek help from their teachers, peers or parents. Digital literacy skills have increased in ways we could not have planned for if we were still at school. Students met on Zoom for their lessons each day and accessed all the learning resources, carefully and thoroughly presented by their teachers, on our School platforms, hive and SeeSaw.

Teachers switched to offsite learning mode without warning, adapting and finding new ways to plan and present learning that engaged students and helped them to connect and collaborate with their peers. It has not been easy for anyone. We have all experienced the challenge and fatigue that comes with the unpredictability of a pandemic and the loss of face to face, social connections.   

So whilst we celebrate our literacy and numeracy success in our NAPLAN results, we acknowledge and celebrate many other important skills that students are developing at this challenging time, supported by families at home. 

To find out more about the School's approach to Offsite Learning, please click here.  

Helen Moore
Director of Curriculum, Learning and Innovation – Junior School