Our Lady Help of Christians School has been putting its students to the test and is raising the bar in literacy skills.
Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville (OLHOC) has been reporting on the school’s performance in the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in recent years and the results speak for themselves with rising test scores.
“The importance of high level literacy and numeracy skills cannot be understated,” explains OLHOC Acting Principal Verity Beames. “The link between poor literacy and numeracy skills and poor social outcomes for our children is clearly demonstrated in the research literature.”
How is OLHOC Tracking?
The school’s reporting compared OLHOC’s NAPLAN results with the average results from other schools in the Catholic Diocese of Cairns, Catholic schools in Queensland, non-Catholic schools in Queensland and the average performance of Australian schools. The most recent report focusing on literacy demonstrated significant growth in reading performance at the Earlville school over the past six years with average scores sitting above other Catholic schools in the region and state as well as non-Catholic schools across the state and schools throughout Australia.
“It is particularly pleasing to see both a high level of achievement and student growth being reflected in the data,” Ms Beames said. “Here at OLHOC we have had a targeted focus on improving reading outcomes for all students for some time.”
The Year 3 mean scale score for reading increased from just above 400 in 2013 to almost 450 in 2018, sitting above the state average of 430 in 2018. OLHOC’s Year 3 results were also above the Australian average mean scale score, which sat just above 430 for the year. The Year 5 mean scale score jumped from just over 490 in 2013 to almost 540 in 2018, above the state and national average, which sat below 510. All other schools in the reporting sat below 520 as their mean scale score for 2018.
The dramatic improvements have been attributed to setting high expectations for all students in reading, a sustained focus on literacy instruction, strong instructional leadership and use of support teachers.
“At OLHOC we believe the systematic reading intervention and reading enrichment, comprehensive monitoring and use of student data and engaging a professional consultant to act as a critical friend throughout the improvement cycle have also contributed to the dramatic improvements made in this area.”
Ms Beames will continue to report on NAPLAN scores in different areas to compare the outcomes of OLHOC students to those students in other contexts.