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  • NAPLAN Test Papers Have Returned Results 8 Weeks Early… and That's Timely News For Teachers.

NAPLAN Test Papers Have Returned Results 8 Weeks Early

Published on
May 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 AM PDT May 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 AM PDTth, May 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 AM PDT

Less than two months after 1.3 million children sat the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test, their results are rolling into educator inboxes across Australia.

Although they often feel a little anxiety-inducing for educators and students alike, those NAPLAN test papers are widely agreed to be one of the best ways to gauge educational progress on an individual and on a schoolwide level. The results allow educators to start creating intervention plans for learners who might be struggling and better know where to focus their efforts when it comes to building up vital skills, like reading. They can also help the government identify which schools need extra funding: the level of the Schools Resource Standard (SRS), a funding standard for public schools, was established based on NAPLAN results.

On a parent and caregiver level, NAPLAN results support them to see how their child has performed in literacy and numeracy against national standards, by comparing it to the national average of all students in the same year group and against the set proficiency levels.

Wait. Isn’t it a bit early for NAPLAN test papers, let alone the results?

NAPLAN is Australia’s only nationwide literacy and mathematics proficiency test that encompasses such a wide band of learners. It’s administered across school years 3, 5, 7 and 9, and its original intention was to identify which students needed additional support.

Historically, the time logistics of administering the NAPLAN test papers and the delay between tests being sat and results returned by ACARA meant that NAPLAN was more of a mirror to a school’s academic performance than any real foundation to help educators implement a learning recovery.

This year, educators saw testing start earlier than it ever has before, on the 13th of March 2024. That’s 8 weeks earlier than NAPLAN testing in 2023, and a full school term earlier than the NAPLAN test papers that went out in 2022. The move to pull the tests earlier came as a result of an agreement between all Education Ministers to move the tests to Term 1 to allow educators more time to consider these results alongside their own assessments, and then use them to build appropriate teaching and learning programs into the current school year. It’s also not the only administrative change that’s been made: although educators still talk about ‘NAPLAN test papers’, 2023 saw the test migrate fully online in another effort to return results faster and give educators more time to react.

Stephen Gniel, acting CEO at ACARA commented that releasing NAPLAN test paper results earlier to schools supports the aim of helping each and every student in the country reach their full potential.

“Getting the results to schools sooner is a key benefit of having moved the assessment from May to March last year, as well as delivering the tests fully online. It will help support schools in understanding where their students have performed well and areas for improvement, as well as shape teaching and learning programs.”

Are all the results back?

Not all. The NAPLAN test paper for writing isn’t back with educators yet. It requires a higher degree of human oversight in marking, so it’s expected later in the year. Schools will receive their full results, including writing results, in June 2024.

After this parents and caregivers will receive their child’s Individual Student Report at the start of Term 3. ACARA is expecting to publish NAPLAN National Results in August 2024.

So what’s the real benefit of getting NAPLAN results out early?

Breathing space. A larger window to compare NAPLAN with an educator’s own data. More time to create a working plan, and to roll that out across the classroom, and longer to implement intervention strategies that can help learners reclaim their reading and learning progress.

But although getting NAPLAN test papers out early and getting the results back early gives those of us in schools a good block of extra time to implement changes and recovery strategy, it’s still a very stressful period for teachers. These results provide an empirical breakdown of learner skills and progress in the most vital curriculum areas, and if there are deficits apparent, it’s vital that they’re dealt with appropriately in time to allow learners to reach their full potential. That pressure falls on those of us in the classroom.

It’s a case of transitioning between questions. We’ve gone from what standard are these learners at to the much trickier, far more difficult and how do we improve standards?  —and that’s a difficult one to answer, especially if our results indicate that we’ve got a lot of work to do in 2024.

And your NAPLAN results are going to indicate that there’s a lot of work to do in 2024.

You might be in one of those lucky schools across the country whose NAPLAN test papers show that your learners are on-target, performing at the right standard, and are looking set to progress with ease.

…Or like the majority of us, you might not be. 

A third of all kids in Australia lack reading proficiency. 2023’s PISA data reveals that in a typical school classroom of 24 learners, eight can’t read well. It’s corroborated by similar findings from the Grattan Institute, and likely by what you’ve experienced in your own classrooms in recent years, both before the pandemic and after. And it’s likely to be worse if you’re teaching in a low-income area, where learners are around five years behind their more affluent peers.

A third of learners is a huge amount, and it’s a foundational part of a low-progress pipeline that sees those weak readers become learners who progress to the next stage with lower skills than they need to properly engage with the learning materials in front of them. This leads to ongoing grade and engagement struggles. And these ongoing struggles have the potential to lead to a huge amount of learners leaving school with low literacy… a fact that’s going to cost that generation of learners around $12 billion in lost earnings over their lifetime.

That’s a lot of pressure to lay at the feet of any educator, let alone one who’s tasked with breaking the pipeline for eight, twelve, or even all of the learners in their class.

But implementing a class-wide catch-up doesn’t always have to compromise your bandwidth.

We know that teachers in Australia are grappling with extensive stress and declining work-life balance.

Expectations are high, and when multiple learners in a class all need reading support, providing that individual support can drastically reduce the time and bandwidth that teachers have for whole-class activities, prep work, and even just taking care of their own mental health.

But implementing reading support on a class-wide scale doesn’t have to be the sole responsibility of the educator. When learners can support themselves under their teacher’s expert guidance instead of requiring one-to-one support multiple times a day, it opens the door to a far more confident and more agile reading future, where you’ve got more time to do what you need to do.

So we’d like to introduce C-Pen Reader 2: Your new NAPLAN results companion!

C-Pen Reader 2 is an award-winning text-to-speech reading pen that helps learners break any barriers that might have emerged when it comes to books.

Think of it as a key to a door: learners simply move the pen along the page as if they were highlighting text, and listen to the words as they’re read back to them through their headphones. When they can hear the words as well as see them on the page, it makes it far easier for them to recall information, understand, and feel calm and confident enough to take on the reading challenge— stressed brains aren’t productive brains, and if we can beat reading anxiety at its source, then that’s already half of the battle for a huge amount of learners.

And well as supporting with the foundations of reading, it can help consolidate those understandings too. If they don’t know what a word means yet, no problem: built-in dictionary support means that it’s easier than ever to find definitions and really develop vital vocabularies and reading comprehension.

C-Pen Reader 2 has recently been named Assistive Technology Product of the Year by the Australian Disability Service Awards, and it’s used by millions of people worldwide to read and learn with confidence. So it’s easier than ever to take what we’ve learned from the NAPLAN test papers that learners sat in back in March and turn it into something amazing as they get ready to transition to the next stage!

✅ Foster independent reading and reclaim your teaching time!

✅ Beat the budget crunch with pocket-friendly, durable support solutions

✅ Boost learner confidence with dependable self-support

✅ Build their reading skills for end-of-year testing and beyond

✅ Make the most of the extra time after NAPLAN!


But I thought reading pens were for students with dyslexia?

Reading pens are a vital part of the equation for learners who have dyslexia and other reading needs. They help build literacy skills and reading confidence. But they’re also an incredibly handy piece of kit for learners who have come to learn in English from other language backgrounds too, as well as learners who simply need extra help with literacy acquisition, building the foundations of reading, or consolidating their skills ready for the next challenge.


Building a better reading future with C-Pen Reader 2

Having the right tools on-hand to help learners beat the curve and read with confidence is vital if we’re to properly use the extra time that the early NAPLAN test papers return has given us. Assistive technology can benefit the whole classroom, not just learners with dyslexia: a class-wide problem like widespread low literacy requires a class-wide solution, and the experts at Scanning Pens can support your learners every step of the way.

When we roll out reading pens across the whole classroom, or even just in bulk to pockets of learners whose skills need more support than they’ll be able to gain from standard teaching practice, we’re not just helping to beat the stigma that’s sometimes still associated with using assistive technology. We’re making an investment in each and every learning future, and ensuring that nobody gets left behind regardless of whether their literacy differences are as a result of dyslexia, their home language background, or just the disruption and learning loss of being caught in a Covid-era cohort.

And that means that they’re ready for further tests, new challenges and changing stages when it happens, with stronger skills and assistive technology support strategies that can carry them through to a brighter reading, learning and working future.

 You can find out more about C-Pen Reader 2 at Scanning Pens today!