St James’ performance was highlighted by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) for improvements in its NAPLAN results in 2015, including:
In Writing, 80% of Year 3 students placed in the top two bands, an increase from 26% in 2013;
In Reading, 62% of Year 3 students placed in the top two bands, compared to 35% in 2013; and
In Writing, no students have placed in the bottom two bands for the past two years.
Mr Piccoli said early intervention to improve student’s numeracy and literacy was critical to their future performance.
“Improving student results is a key focus of the NSW Government. We’ve invested heavily in our schools and teachers and it’s thrilling to see improved outcomes,” said Mr Piccoli.
The NSW Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan is focused on improving teaching quality through instructional leadership and on-going monitoring of the learning needs of students throughout Kindergarten to Year 2.
Mr Johnsen said the school’s NAPLAN results were so good he invited the Minister to Muswellbrook especially to showcase the students’ achievements.
“I am grateful to St James’ Primary School for showing the Minister first-hand how this targeted focus on literacy and numeracy is being delivered, and how it is benefiting students in such an immediate and practical way,” said Mr Johnsen.
St James’ is one of 448 NSW Public, Independent and Catholic schools currently receiving funding. The initiative targets children in schools with a history of low performance.
“We greatly appreciate the funding that has been provided by the NSW Literacy and Numeracy State Action Plan and to see such outstanding growth occur at St James’ is proof of what achievements are possible with government assistance,” said Director of Schools, Ray Collins.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for Education, the Honourable Adrian Piccoli, for the contribution which has allowed us to meet school needs where they exist.”