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NAPLAN- Too stressful?

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#1 peking homunculus

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:25 AM

This study is all over the press today:


I think that perhaps we underestimate the stress associated with NAPLAN on kids.

At the annual Gala concert, one 3/4 class did an interpretation of the painting The Scream. When the kids first viewed the painting and were asked what this made them think of, the majority of kids in the class nominated NAPLAN! The act they did at the concert based on The Scream and NAPLAN was quite enlightening. It shows that even kids who seem to be coping well actually feel quite a bit of stress about the test.

And I need to add that this is a school that does NOT teach to the test. They do a bit of work over the weeks approaching the test to make sure kids are familiar with format and style of the test, but they are not dropping art/music/drama to prepare for NAPLAN and they don't do endless past papers.

You have to wonder if the results are worth it? WDYT

#2 QueenIanthe

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:26 AM

I have three kids who have done NAPLAN-one three times, one twice and one once and they weren't stressed out by it.

#3 idignantlyright

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:34 AM

DD 8yrs keeps asking when she can do NAPLAN. DD13did her Yr7 one this year.

#4 Jenno

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:37 AM

All depends as well as how the parents react to it.

I was nervous for DD1 who is in year three this year, but more cause I didnt know what it was about and how she would respond.

They did several test papers in class which helped her know what to expect.

I tried to play it down, even offered not to look at the results.

On the morning of the first one she had even forgotton about it so I didnt mention it.  She was quietly confident even in maths which is her least fav subject.

As soon as they are over, she forgot about them, and I forgot about them to til she arrived home with the results.

Some schools and teachers put a lot of pressure on the kids, I heard of one local school asking one child to stay home on the day f the test.  And this is a school which is on the higher end of private.

#5 peking homunculus

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

DD sat the test last year. She has a tendency towards anxiety, but she seemed OK about it all and said she was fine.

When I talked to her about the performance of The Scream at her school concert she said:

"I know that it was all OK Mum, but it was still scary sitting the test".

We placed no pressure on her and her teacher was also keeping it very low key. Even in this no pressure environment,  she felt intimidated and scared. Not overwhelming so, but she felt it.

#6 Carmen02

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

DD sat naplan last year and wasnt bothered at all by it...her teacher was keeping things low key, DD does tend to be very laid back sometimes. DS will sit it next year he does suffer from terrible anxiety but we will see how things go

#7 FeralZombieMum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

I guess it depends on the parent's and the school's attitude.

With actual NAPLAN results, I tend to take them with a grain of salt, because it really is just a snapshot of one day, and can be easily influenced by how the child is feeling on that day. (I say this as I have a child that scored quite high, but didn't do school work - so it wasn't a reflection on her school experience as such), so I tend to be quite relaxed about the test and don't really care if my kids sit it or not - I already know most of their academic ability.

On the other hand, I think the experience of sitting the tests can be beneficial - for my child that has ASD, she has high anxiety, and the NAPLAN test has been a good way to introduce her to sitting tests as it's helped to build up to that exam experience.

My 3rd child sat NAPLAN for the first time this year, and she was quite anxious leading up to it. She was sick the week before, so didn't get to sit many practise tests at school. Once she did the first real NAPLAN, she realised she was anxious over nothing serious, and she was able to relax and enjoy doing the other tests.

#8 sophiasmum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

I don't think my DD (year 3) was overly stressed by the Naplan, the class had done a lot of preparation with their teacher in the lead up. It was on her mind a bit the week before, but I think it's normal to have a bit of nerves before a test or any performance for that matter. When it came to the actual tests, she said they were boring & finished ahead of time.

#9 Alina0210

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:09 PM

My son is in year 1 and, has a speech problem, as well as learning issues and ive already had teachers saying that year 2 is so much harder and DS will struggle as its all in preparation for NAPLAN in year 3 etc.... I could believe it, putting the pressure on him already ohmy.gif

#10 No girls here

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

Definitely no stress at our place but the school doesn't place a big emphasis on it either.  DS1 did his first NAPLAN this year and they only did 1 practise test in each subject area.

It's probably a combination of school and parental pressure and general personality, as some kids seem to stress out at any type of test.

#11 julz78

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

No stress for my dd who has sat her 3rd NAPLAN, she likes them. She gets far more stressed about half yearly and yearly exams because they matter unlike NAPLAN. I was never stressed when I did the Basic Skills tests as a kid.

I think NAPLAN results can be quite handy informational tools however if my child was seriously stressed and not coping doing the NAPLAN I would be inclined just to let them stay at home on test days.

#12 CountryBumpkin

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:35 PM

My son has done naplan once and wasn't bothered by it. It was nice to see his results.

#13 Buffalo Soldier

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

My three eldest have all done NAPLAN testing - DS 4 times, DD1 3 times and DD2 once.

The girls have been fine about it, never a problem and their schools have never taught to the test. DD1 actually likes comparing her results over the years.

DS has ASD and hates all exams equally but he has done it each time (while complaining) and his results are consistently high in one area and low in the other. This year was his last one.

Next year DD2 and DD3 will be tested - I'm on the NAPLAN round-about for many more years. I have always been rather blasé about the testing and I think it has rubbed of on the kids.  wink.gif

#14 annodam

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:37 PM

I think NAPLAN is a waste of time, our results were used as fuel to light our fire place.

#15 Feraldadathome

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

At the beginning of year 3 (last year) DS9 indicated to us that his greatest concern going back to school was NAPLAN.

We showed him a couple of the past tests and he was calmed, and the school prepared te kids for what to expect about a week prior.

#16 BadCat

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:46 PM

My kids don't stress about tests.  But our attitude to tests is that they are nothing but a chance to show what you can do, and if you can't do some of it, no big deal.

I wonder though, whether most of what these teachers are seeing is because it's built up so much.  It's in the news, the teachers prepare for it for weeks, there's a website about it, you can buy practice tests which presumably some parents do.  To some kids it must feel like their lives depend on it.  And of course some kids are always going to be anxious about any test and would probably benefit from some sessions with a psychologist.

I don't think stress is a reason to abandon the test though.  I think it needs to fade into the background and become a normal part of school instead of the huge bogeyman it has been allowed to become.

#17 Natttmumm

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

A bit of stress in any test situation is normal and not always a bad thing - I dont see the big issue.

#18 FeralMinx

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

My eldest had undiagnosed learning difficulties and being exposed to the first naplan was so damaging that she still, almost a decade later, has severe performance anxiety for tests of any sort.  She had been getting by in class by getting teacher help.  Naplan is such that when she asked the teacher to help her understand the questions, the teacher was not allowed to help her... without understanding the questions, she couldn't attempt ANY answers... she was beside herself.  She began to refuse school in the lead up to the second naplan test... I withdrew her from it.

#19 Oriental lily

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:23 PM

Dd sufferes terribly from anxiety.
She will be in grade 3 next year.
Depending on the lead up to test DH and I will decide if it's actually worth her even sitting it.

What's the point if she is to terrified to even give a genuine example of her capabilities?

I know she will need to learn coping strategies as she gets older but I think it's a bit cruel at this age.

Ultimately her mental health is more important.

#20 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

Our principal stresses that they are not to teach to naplan, other than a couple of practice tests so they knew how to do it, DS didn't even really know it was coming up.

The school results were great

Edited by Milly Molly Mandy, 26 November 2012 - 02:29 PM.

#21 kaboo

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:29 PM

My son does quite well in school, above average for most subjects. But he also suffers from anxiety and has already been upset about moving into Yr3 next year because of NAPLAN. Our school also does OLSAT testing each year (for in-house benchmarking and to follow each child's progress) and he got all worked up about that too - in spite of getting almost full marks in Literacy.

#22 seayork2002

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:36 PM

I can't see how a test can stress kids, more likely the teachers/parents. I do not understand the one test for all ever shows anything other than how people perform at set test but unless others put pressure on kids how would they know what stress is?

#23 wombat

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:48 PM

My DD found it too stressfull and overwhelming.  She will not be doing it again unless in the future she asks if she can.

#24 peking homunculus

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

QUOTE (seayork2002 @ 26/11/2012, 03:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can't see how a test can stress kids, more likely the teachers/parents. I do not understand the one test for all ever shows anything other than how people perform at set test but unless others put pressure on kids how would they know what stress is?


Just being in a formal exam would be enough to make some kids anxious. Especially the year three's who have never sit an exam before.

Until I saw the piece that the kids at our school did on The Scream by Edvard Munch, I thought that kids coped OK and NAPLAN didn't phase them. Their teacher tried to dissuade them from making it about NAPLAN as she feared parents would find it political. But the kids were insistent that The Scream made them think of NAPLAN so they proceeded.

It's all well and good for us adults to say that the test isn't stressing them, but perhaps the kids see it differently?

#25 Coffeegirl

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

NAPLAN itself is not stessful

The stress is caused by the schools and teachers 'preparing' the children for months before hand.   That causes the stress.

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