Message from the Principal

Monday 9th May 2016

Snip chair

Wild and Windy Weather at Brighton

Brighton is always more windy than Caulfield and last week proved no exception! As many of you know, the last, remaining gum tree in the playground lost one massive limb in the high winds (all teachers had been told not to take the children out to the playground) and we later were advised to cut down the final section of this lovely tree. The arborists check all our trees each year and that is why we had to remove two of our trees last year. With great creativity, the wonderful lumber jacks have fashioned an armchair with the remaining stump!

NAPLAN Morning Tea

NAPLAN stands for National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. The set of tests was devised by the federal government body ACARA for all children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The tests are administered over 3 days in May, and each school tries to set them in the morning when the children are most alert. A typical test lasts for about 40-50 minutes and there are 5 in all: a mathematics, spelling, writing, comprehension and grammar test. For many years, the NAPLAN writing test focussed on writing narratives or stories. ACARA changed the genre in 2011 and the writing test became one on persuasive writing. In 2016 it will be on either narrative OR persuasive writing.  A stimulus photo and title/idea is presented to each child and they then have time to write and edit their work. This year, the junior school children will have a different photo/stimulus from the secondary students.

Each school needs to register the children in February and each test is presented in a booklet with the child’s name printed on it. The first page has practice questions and children are given the opportunity to practise filling in the bubble for the multiple choice questions.

In a society where entrance to university is still governed by written tests, I feel that it is very useful for children to gain some practice in sitting tests such as NAPLAN. At MMS we try to give all students in Cycle 2, 3 and 4 practice beforehand and we discuss good exam technique, such as what to do when you only have 3 minutes left, but have not answered 5 of the questions! The significance of NAPLAN tests is however, questionable. Any test which occurs on one day is never going to give a student, parent or teacher extensive and useful information. If your child has scored particularly highly in a NAPLAN test then they will have demonstrated a definite ability in that area. However if your child has not scored well there could be myriad reasons why they have not – and none of them might reflect on their ability to achieve in the real world. Sometimes children are nervous and do not perform well, they might be going to a sleepover that night and be excited, or they might be a slow worker and never finish the test. At this young age there are many reasons why children do not necessarily perform to their ability in a NAPLAN test. If you are concerned about a result, please speak to the teacher about the skills your child normally exhibits.

Gay Wales 

” And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”

Maria Montessori