Gladstone High students chilled as NAPLAN starts today

IF preparations for the NAPLAN national test have been stressful for some students, Gladstone State High School principal Chris Hills hasn't seen any of it.

"I've heard a lot about stress. I'm not noticing it at state high," she said.

"We've spoken to them about: 'just do your best'."

All Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students across the country will sit the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy test, starting today.

The results compare progress against the national curriculum, evaluating lifetime skills such as reading, writing, spelling and numeracy.

Ms Hills said the test was just one part of each child's education.

"We use it as a way to see where kids are sitting with literacy and numeracy... It's mapped to the Australian curriculum.

"There are some questions that test a bit higher and if kids are performing at that level we can put extensions programs in place and develop programs to ensure they continue to achieve at that level.

"It is valuable when it is used to have a look at a group of children."

The test results will allow the school to address any gaps in the children's progress before the end of the year.

In its early years results weren't distributed until September, too close to the end of the school year to implement changes.

Last year the results arrived in July and Ms Hills said the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority had indicated a similar reporting date this year.

"The reality is in 10-12 weeks we'll have the raw data," she said. "We'll look at our data against national trends.

"If we do better in one area, that's of interest to us because it's something we're doing well and if the rest of Australia answers something better than us, then we'll have to look at it."

NAPLAN began in 2008 so the current year 7s will be the first whose results have been recorded through their entire education.

It covers reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.

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