Two weeks ago, the NAPLAN results were released throughout Australia. Many of you will be aware the release of this information was delayed due to some disagreement nationally about the validity of the data. This controversy was due to a few states arguing against ACARA (the national testing authority) that the online test data could not be statistically compared with the traditional pen and paper scores. ACARA have justified the comparisons by stating through their own research they have found no significant difference in scores between the two mediums of testing. And so, the data was released! This year, like other years St Patrick’s College did NAPLAN via the traditional pen and paper methods. From 2019 we will be involved in the online testing. We have an inclusive approach here at St Patrick’s College and so therefore encourage all our boys to participate in NAPLAN.

The Data Team have commenced their analysis and will slice and dice the data in a number of ways. We are interested in many aspects of the test including the following:

  • How much did a cohort (and individuals) grow from one test to the next?
  • How is SPC tracking from one calendar year to the next?
  • How does our growth rate compare to other EREA schools, competitor schools, Queensland and Australia?
  • What is our band distribution in each test in each year level? Are we improving our number of Upper Two Bands and decreasing our number of Lower Two Bands? Did we hit our Growth Markers for this?
  • Are there particular literacy and numeracy skills that appear to be a deficiency across a year level?
  • Are there areas of celebration that may correlate to an intervention or program that has been put in place in recent years?

This list is by no means exhaustive but gives you an indication of the detailed analysis that takes place. It is important to note our philosophy is that NAPLAN is a measure of a student’s current ability level in Literacy and Numeracy, but it is not the measure. Nor does it capture the wonderful uniqueness of each of our boys and the many ways in which they demonstrate their talent, passion, interests, intelligence, grit and determination.

This week I share with you the first aspect of our analysis listed above; how much has a cohort grown since their last test (measured by the % of students above the National Mean Score)?


As you can see, in Year 7, they grew in Reading and Numeracy however declined slightly in Writing, Spelling and Grammar & Punctuation. This is something that our Head of English and her team are working very hard to remedy.

Our current Year 9 group grew in Reading and Writing but declined slightly in Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation and Numeracy. Sometimes this can be attributed to the fact that although our cohort did grow, they did not grow as much as the National Mean did.

Another measure schools will often use is the % above the National Minimum Score for each test in each year level:


Our boys performed well both from state and national perspectives in terms of the number of our students who are above the National Minimum Standard.

Ms Elizabeth Gaber – Dean of Administration and Business Intelligence