NAPLAN: Tips for parents before testing begins
DURING my time as a primary school teacher, I found NAPLAN was a word that brought stress and anxiety to many students I taught.
However, it doesn't always have to end in tears.
Despite the gravity placed upon the test, NAPLAN results generally do not count towards your child's end-of-semester report card.
It is simply a tool for teachers and schools to monitor progress and compare it to the rest of the state and the country.
For many, the pressure placed on students to perform well can get to them.
Here's some tips I'd give parents to calm their children before testing begins tomorrow:
Have a chat to your child the night before
Give your child time to tell you what's worrying them about the test. Some children try to hide what they're concerned about. If you give children an avenue to express their worries, that'll lessen the pressure on them before the exam.
Tell them to try their best
Some children strive to be perfect, adding extra pressure amongst themselves to do well in the test. There are also children who will struggle with some questions that will appear on the test. I recommend telling your children to try to the best to their ability. As stated before, the test does not count towards report cards.
Proper sleep and breakfast
Make sure children get adequate sleep the night before the test. Energy levels in the morning will affect how they perform during the test. In addition, make sure they also eat a hearty breakfast before the school day begins. I've personally seen how hunger affects the behaviour of children in the classroom. If they're fed and energetic, they'll have no problems going through the NAPLAN tests.
Relaxation time after school
As NAPLAN is a series of tests spanning over a few days, it's expected that some children will feel overwhelmed by the whole experience. It's important children get some time after homework to relax before the next test. I suggest children doing a small physical activity in the backyard or at the park.
First major test experience for Year 3
If your child is in Grade 3, NAPLAN will be their first experience of systematic testing. This can be nerving for some students. I'd like to remind parents to talk to their children in Grade 3 about the test and calm any fears they may raise to you.
Good luck to all the Grade 3, 5, 7 and 9 students undergoing the test.