Focus on writing pays off for Canungra State School

ACADEMIC SUCCESS: Canungra State School students consistently outperformed the nation and the state in improvement between year 3 and year 5.
ACADEMIC SUCCESS: Canungra State School students consistently outperformed the nation and the state in improvement between year 3 and year 5.

Canungra State School has recorded some encouraging results on this year’s NAPLAN test.

In a coup for the small local school, its students consistently outperformed others across the nation and the state in improvement between year 3 and year 5.

Principal Kylie Todhunter said the result was an indication that the hard work of both staff and students over that period was leading to success.

“It shows the way we’re supporting our students as teachers to engage with the curriculum is working,” she said.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that the hard work the team has been putting in over the last three years is paying off and the students are achieving to their potential.”

Mrs Todhunter said additional funding through the state government’s Investing for Success program had given the school the resources it needed to make improvements possible for the students.

“We’ve added a literacy coach who works on teaching strategies with staff,” she said.

“We also now have additional support teachers and teacher aids, and reading groups every day.”

An increased focus on writing by staff and students has paid dividends for the school with the highest ever percentage of year five students achieving an A or a B for the subject on this year’s test.

The school also had 61 per cent of year three students receive an A or a B for reading and 55 per cent of year three students were in the upper two bands for writing.

Canungra also fared well mathematically with 100 per cent of students who sat NAPLAN achieving higher than the national minimum standard for numeracy.

Mrs Todhunter said the curriculum had been broken down into learning progressions with each student given clarity around the exact skill they needed to improve and how they could achieve gains.

She said staff had also undergone professional development and reflected on teaching strategies.

“As a staff, we’re exceptionally proud of the results the students have achieved,” she said.

Mrs Todhunter said despite the outstanding results there was still room for improvement and the school would continue to focus on writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

She said it was important to remember NAPLAN was one test and did not measure a child’s value or potential.

“It is a tool we can use to guage how well our school, our curriculum and our students are progressing,” she said.

“Our key focus is on providing our students with the skills they need to be successful in life and on the individual as a whole person.

“They need to be able to socialise within the community, understand how they impact on the world and become lifelong learners as they move into a life of opportunity and success.”