It was a testing time at school today for more than 230,000 Queensland students.

While schools use the information gained to assist in setting curriculum agendas, educators say NAPLAN tests are only one part of assessing a student’s worth.

Sophie Barrington reports.


Classrooms around the state were quiet today, as students in grades three, five, seven and nine worked on numeracy and literacy.

Now in its fourth year, the NAPLAN Test has become a central tool in tracking student learning.

Sandy Davey, Graceville State School teacher: “The benefits of NAPLAN, as a teacher, lie in the data that it provides me so that I can be mindful of the strength and weaknesses of my class, so that I can plan in the future.”

But there is growing concern the test focuses too strongly on the core areas of English and Maths.

Ian Hall, Graceville State School Principal: “Across the key areas and we’re talking numeracy and literacy, in a primary school they’re the key areas, so that there makes NAPLAN a very worthy tool for us to use in this school.”

Queensland’s results have improved since 2008 when NAPLAN first started. But, while teachers agree it works well at the primary school level, this standardised test is just one piece of the curriculum puzzle.

Educators say that other assessment is still needed to test broader skills.

Ian Hall, Graceville State School Principal: “So are there other areas that we should be looking at? We have not stopped looking at those areas.”

It’s argued more emphasis should be placed on social skills and individual development.

Cameron Dick, Qld Education Minister: “These tests are only one of many indicators used to assess student performance, they aren’t the be all and end all of student testing, so students shouldn’t feel unnecessary pressure.”

Today was day one of NAPLAN testing – for students there’s two more days to go.

Sophie Barrington, QUT News.