Mixed views on NAPLAN testing

A WARWICK parent believes the hype surrounding NAPLAN and pressure on students to perform has caused children like his daughter “undue anxiety” this week.

The parent said his Year 7 daughter had struggled with stress during the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy test.

All Australian students from Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 completed the three-day testing yesterday.

“My daughter is quite a bright kid, but she was still very anxious that she wouldn’t do well,” the Warwick teacher said.

“From a teaching perspective she was not aware that NAPLAN results didn’t affect her personal marks.

“It really is just a test to see how individual schools are performing.”

He said the highly publicised test generated considerable community hype and had the potential to make both teachers and students feel pressured.

“Too much emphasis is placed on NAPLAN, it is just one assessment to gaugestudent levels,” he said.

“Of course exams will always make some students more anxious than others, but I don’t think they need the added pressure and hype that comes with NAPLAN.”

He said in his professional experience, by the time they reached secondary school the majority of students were prepared for the stress of an exam setting.

Warwick parent Sue Hynes, whose twin sons sat through the Year 9 NAPLAN testing this week, said she had reiterated to her children the assessment was “just another exam”.

“We have purposely tried not to put too much emphasis on it,” she said.

“I think the school has also played a positive part in preparing our boys.

“It is just another test and tests are part of what happens at school.”

Local psychologist Bec Wright from the Royal Queensland’s Bush Children’s Health Scheme said some stress was a normal part of life, even for kids.

But she said anxiety could impact on concentration and general performance.

“It is a very individual thing, for some children nerves can be helpful and make them perform better,” Ms Wright said.

“For others stress can impact negatively on their performance.”

What do you think – is NAPLAN over the top? Call us on 4660 1310.

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