'No secret, only good teaching' for top NAPLAN school


THE WHITSUNDAY school which topped the NAPLAN results over the last five years has said there is no secret to good results, 'only good teaching'.

An independent analysis of five years of NAPLAN results has revealed the schools that performed the best in the Year 5 and Year 9 tests between 2015 and 2019.

Over that five-year period, St Catherine's Catholic College, in Proserpine, had higher Year 5 yearly results than any other school in the region, scoring an average of 2710.8 each year.

St Catherine's Catholic College was also the top performing Year 9 school, with an average yearly result of 2986.8 for the five year period.

Sharyn Bell, Townsville Catholic Education curriculum advisor and principal of St Catherine's Catholic College until the end of last year said they were very happy with their five-year results.

"We are always very proud of our St Catherine's students and the dedication of our St Catherine's staff," she said.

"We feel confident that we are offering the best in education for our students."

She said understanding how NAPLAN tests are undertaken and what to expect is important in managing student expectations come test time.

"Our students do engage with past tests in the lead up to NAPLAN to ensure they are comfortable and confident during the testing period. 

"The time restraints, scripted instructions and seating arrangements can be confronting for students used to working in modern classroom environments.

"Our focus is always on student progress rather than a point in time achievement. 

"We analyse our results over time to ensure student groups are making the progress we would expect, this allows the college to see areas of strength and areas for review."

However she said NAPLAN results are just one piece of a larger puzzle of student education with 'no secret to good results, just good teaching'. 

"The secret is not to focus on NAPLAN results but rather to focus on ensuring each child is known, valued and challenged," she said.

"As a Catholic school, we provide a rigorous academic curriculum which includes a strong focus on the arts and physical education.  

"College offerings such as a strong early years education, instrumental music, sports excellence and an emphasis on 21st-century skills have a stronger impact on NAPLAN results than sitting children in rows and doing endless practice.

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