Literacy and numeracy
NAPLAN tests are designed to provide an indication of how a student is tracking against educational benchmarks in the areas of reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy skills. The results of these tests provide schools, states and territories with information regarding the progress of education programmes and which areas need to be prioritised in order to improve these programmes.
NAPLAN is designed as a diagnostic tool. It’s important to keep the relevance of NAPLAN in your son’s education in perspective. Its results are valuable and are used widely within schools to assess and enrich the learning experience, but NAPLAN does have its limitations.
NAPLAN tests are not ‘high stake’ tests for an individual student. It’s just one component of your child’s learning. As a parent, it’s worth noting that:
If you’re looking to help prepare your child for NAPLAN, our advice is to stop searching because other than a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast, there is very little you can do to prepare. Students cannot prepare for NAPLAN in the same way they would for other tests because it aims to assess the level of a student at the time of the test. The best way to support your son for NAPLAN is to provide a calm and encouraging environment at home, avoid overly focusing on the assessments in your conversations and encouraging him to do his best.
At the core of learning is literacy, and as a parent you can have a profound impact on improving your son’s literacy, particularly when it comes to his reading. There are several strategies you can implement at home to support your son’s reading. We recommend keeping a wide variety of books available, allowing your son choice over his reading; having regular conversations about the books he is reading; and, modelling healthy reading behaviour at home.
Writing goes hand-in-hand with reading; it is a skill required for all aspects of learning. Though learning to write takes practice and perseverance, writing is an excellent tool for creativity, expression and independent thinking. Writing helps us to communicate with clarity and promotes productivity by activating neurons in the brain that prepare us to undertake tasks. Throughout school, students will use their writing skills to pen recounts of their weekend, complete science reports, write history essays, create performance pieces and explain creative works. Your involvement in providing constructive feedback and encouraging him to set goals for his writing can go a long way in developing your son’s writing skills.
For younger boys, there are many fun ways to develop literacy skills – from spelling games and speaking activities, even learning a musical instrument helps to develop literacy skills.
Though the question, “When will I ever need to use maths in real life?” has sounded in schools and homes everywhere, there truly is a real-world application of mathematics. Maths can be applied to almost anything and is useful for more than just making calculations when making purchases, or creating a budget.
There are many reasons why it’s important for your son to learn mathematics. Firstly, it teaches process and logical thinking skills. Secondly, it forms the basis of many great careers: not simply limited to the realm of accountants and financial analysts, but also fashion designers, pilots, sport scientists and architects all require a strong mathematical background. Mathematics also prepares children for a constantly-evolving job market, providing high-demand skills and emphasising the importance of persistence and discipline. Excelling in maths has many benefits.
As a parent, there are many different ways you can improve your son’s maths skills, but the key to setting him up for long-term success is to help him love and enjoy the subject.
Parental involvement is essential to encourage a love for reading. Parents have a significant impact in helping their son understand why reading is important and to develop healthy reading habits. It's really important to read to your son every night. But creating a love of reading and promoting the ‘right’ reading techniques is a balancing act. Discover our tips for when to correct reading technique and when to hold back.
One of the most effective ways to instil a love of reading is to ensure that your child is surrounded with literature of all kinds. Boys tend to enjoy reading stories that reflect the view they have of themselves – graphic novels, books in series, humour, action and adventure books engage many boys. Fiction books are great because they provide new perspectives, broaden the mind, build vocabulary and develop creativity. Likewise, non-fiction books are equally beneficial as they teach children about the world, its people and how things works.
The best books for younger boys are those that transport children to imaginary places, allow them to explore their own emotions, make connections between their own experiences and the real world, or have them convulsing with laughter. As boys grow older, they’ll read books that are gradually more challenging and help to improve literacy skills. This list of recommended books is a great reference for boys of all age groups.
At Trinity, every boy can discover and develop his skills and talents through our extensive range of world class educational programmes. To encouraging writing, we host a writing competition where boys of all ages participate. We are also on a path of continuous improvement. In response to increasing pressure surrounding NAPLAN tests, our English department revamped the education programme to focus on fundamental literacy skills and creating more experiences to explore and experiment with the craft of writing.
Our staff are avid readers too, role modelling reading for pleasure and sharing their book tips for the This Book Changed my Life campaign.