The School’s Guide to preparing Students for NAPLAN success + essential Education Supplies
NAPLAN is approaching fast – now is the time to prepare with the education supplies and strategies to support students for success. Held from 9 to 11 May 2017, NAPLAN tests help determine whether or not young Australians have the literacy and numeracy skills that provide the critical foundation for other learning, and for their productive and rewarding participation in the community.
For many students, NAPLAN assessments are the only full-length formal tests they will sit all year. For some, the stress and fear leading up to the assessments can become fully-fledged “test anxiety”, a psychological condition that involves severe distress before or during an exam, making it impossible for students to perform at their best.
While there is ongoing debate around whether NAPLAN tests are a good indicator of learning, they are likely to remain a key component of academic performance measurement for some years to come.
By building a strategy that prepares students for the NAPLAN tests, schools can help them manage their anxiety, boost their confidence and do their best work.
How to prepare your students for NAPLAN success:
Review sample tests
Give students an opportunity to see the tests and gain an understanding of what they can expect from NAPLAN tests. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has developed some sample tests to help students understand their look and feel, and become familiar with the types of questions and the wording.
Create a practice test
Spending a lesson doing mock tests will help students gain confidence and test-taking skills. Try to match the test day as much as possible, using the correct education supplies and time restraints. It’s important to give students a timed test, as beating the clock will be the most challenging aspect on the day. After the mock test, spend some time going over how they felt, what they can do differently and how they can better plan their time.
Prepare the classroom
Walking into an exam hall can be daunting at any age, so give your students a chance to familiarise themselves. Prepare the classroom by moving furniture, removing charts and display boards and other education supplies that aren’t allowed on test day. This way, students will know what to expect when they enter the exam environment and are less likely to feel overwhelmed. Schools can also hire additional furniture or logon onto Staples easy online ordering platform to purchase everyday furniture essentials.
Provide the correct education supplies
When it comes to NAPLAN, the right education supplies are essential for success. In 2015, 2B pencils supplied in the official exam pack hit the headlines for continually snapping in half or needing constant sharpening during the tests, which teachers say added to student stress levels. Rather than risk substandard education supplies, supply students with stationery that meets the NAPLAN guidelines and is good quality.
- The official NAPLAN guide recommends the following:Pencils (2B and HB)
- Pencil sharpener
- Calculator (for Year 7 and 9 only)
It is inevitable that one or more students will forget a calculator on the day so it may be worth stocking up on spare calculators. Also, ensure teachers have the right supplies, including enough plain paper for students’ planning in the writing and numeracy tests.
Know the rules
Make sure students are aware of the education supplies that are not allowed in the testing room: books, rulers, coloured pencils, mechanical lead pencils, pencils lighter than HB, highlighters, correction fluid, glue, mobile phones, tablets and iPads.
Provide advice to parents
Parents will be just as nervous as their kids, so give them some advice on how to support their child leading up to and on test day. Create a dedicated webpage with key dates, essential education supplies for the test, and links to the relevant information for parents on the NAPLAN site. If your school has a social media page or portal for patents, make sure it’s updated regularly with tips and reminders.
Getting ready for NAPLAN online
Over the next two to three years, NAPLAN is moving online with some schools running online assessments in 2017. The goal is for all schools to be online by 2019. Students will be able to complete NAPLAN test using approved devices, such as laptops and tablets. However, there are some specific technical requirements, around computers, headphones, network and security, that the school must meet in order to transition.
It’s important to start thinking about what your school needs to do to get ready for NAPLAN online. If you have an existing BYOD policy that allows students to use their own devices, there are important issues around security and accessibility that you need to consider for NAPLAN online. If you are moving towards a BYOD policy, or want to refine your existing policy, our recent blog ‘Education Supplies for Students: How Schools and Parents can get BYOD Ready’ talks about best practice tips to get BYOD ready.
Creating a strategy to prepare your students is the key to NAPLAN success. Simple steps, such as providing them with the right education supplies and creating mock test environment, can go a long way to helping them manage their “test anxiety” and perform better on the day. At Staples, we provide a range of high quality education supplies to support student learning environments and help schools get NAPLAN ready.