Last minute NAPLAN tips to share with your child

by Ramya Manoharan | May 08, 2017

Calm down and NAPLAN

You can love it or hate it but you can’t ignore the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests if you are a parent. 

This year around 1.1 million students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are taking part in the test, scheduled from 9 to 11 May. 

If you are one of those parents who are in a flurry setting up a plethora of tests for your children a day before the assessment, here is one word for you: relax. 

ACARA CEO Robert Randall is quoted on the body’s website as saying that NAPLAN is not a test that can be studied for, and excessive cramming and drilling is unnecessary. “NAPLAN questions are directly linked to the Australian Curriculum: English and Mathematics. As such, the best preparation is just learning what is taught in the classroom every day,” he says. 

Here are some last minute tips drawn from educators who have helped calm down many a frantic parent during test week. Parents can pass them on to their children who are heading for the tests.

  • Don’t make a big thing of NAPLAN.
  • If your child is stressed, practice relaxation strategies and techniques.
  • Make sure your child has the required stationery and other requirements for the test.
  • Encourage confidence in your child by sending them off with one of these you can do it statements, depending on the situation: “give it a go”, “try your best”, “do what you can”, but also reinforce that you expect them to do their best.
  • Discuss feelings or concerns: let your child know that feeling anxious is normal, show empathy and listen to their fears, concerns and worries.
  • Maintain a caring and positive attitude.
  • Be approachable if your child wants to discuss their fears and worries.
  • Prepare your child by encouraging them to go to bed early, have breakfast, and keep their drink bottle and lunch ready.
  • Help your child reach the school on time.

Schools too have been asking parents not to get stressed over the tests and make children anxious. As one wise primary school principal wrote in the school newsletter sent to parents: “If your child is not stressed there is no reason why you should be.”

ACARA will release the individual student reports in August. These can help you see how well your child is picking up literacy and numeracy skills compared to students in their school and across Australia. The report can help you celebrate achievements and identify any areas for improvement. They can also serve as pointers for follow up discussions with your child’s teachers. 

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