Junior School NAPLAN success builds academic excellence and reputation

Schools build reputations over time, and great schools, that have survived the test of time, build long standing reputations. It is every school’s goal to be known as a school with a reputation of excellence across a wide range of areas important to the development of the students they teach. Reputations can be built on great sporting achievements, wonderful music and art programs, pastoral care, academic results and many more.

A School’s academic reputation can generally be defined by the overall impression of excellence or quality created by a number of factors. These factors include the:

  • qualifications, experience, dedication of its staff
  • learning programs and how well they are delivered
  • academic care of and personalised approach taken for each and every student
  • facilities and resources to support learning
  • ways in which it caters to a range of abilities, talents and interests, and
  • drivers of best practice in teaching and learning.

Being a new leader in a school, it is always valuable to do an assessment on how the school compares academically to a range of schools in the district. It is much like a health check – work out a healthy range or benchmark and then identify the areas we are doing well in and those where we need to develop further. One of the benchmarks that schools use to determine their academic standing against other schools in their district is NAPLAN results.

To work out how healthy we were, I examined a group of eight school which included competitor schools, two state schools and one boys’ school with an excellent reputation. In this way, I was comparing Barbreck against some all girls’ school, some coeducational schools and one all boys’ school. I felt that this would provide a realistic snapshot of how we compared academically.

Subsequently, I considered the scores that each of the selected schools achieved for each of the NAPLAN areas (Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation, and Numeracy) in both Years 3 and 5. Further, I ranked the schools from the highest score (1st place) to 9th place, and then added all placings for each school for each of the five NAPLAN areas. The school with the lowest total of rankings was then deemed as achieving the best result for the year.

In the 2019 NAPLAN, Barbreck girls achieved the best results against the other eight schools in both Years 3 and 5.

These results are excellent and are reflective of the hard work of the wonderful Barbreck staff. Congratulations go to both the students and their teachers. A fabulous achievement!

As a result of our wonderful NAPLAN results and the high scoring individual results of students in ACER Progressive Assessment Testing (another Benchmark test), we introduced English and Mathematics Extension Programs across the Junior School. Our aim is for each girl to have the opportunity to achieve her best, to pursue her interests and talents, and to feel success.

While Barbreck is a small school, it has much to offer and our reputation is growing. We have a reputation for superb pastoral care and a fabulous music program. Over the past two few years, we have consistently achieved well with our swimming program, being awarded the Population Trophy twice. We are the National Champions for Junior School Snow Sports, and now we are building a reputation as a leader for academic excellence.

Despite the mode of delivery, the numeracy and literacy programs don’t change and with the willingness of our staff, girls will progress this term in their academic pursuits. I look forward to sharing this further in planned online forums about how this improvement was achieved last year.

Ms Karen McArdle

Head of Junior School

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