Tips from the Top – Principal Jennifer Haynes NAPLAN advice for parents

14 May 2012

Moreton Bay Boys’ College and Moreton Bay College principal Jennifer Haynes said with the right atmosphere the test did not have to be stressful.

It was one of many diagnostic tools used by the school.

Ms Haynes agreed with other education experts, including Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority chairman Barry McGaw, that practising the tests over and over was “too much”.

“I think you have to tackle it in a fairly matter-of-fact, routine way that doesn’t put so much emphasis on the test that you get a nervous effect when they actually finally front for the real thing. So you can overdo it,” she said.

Ms Haynes said while Year 9 students sat one practice test at her schools to help them with time management, it was just discussed with primary school students to ensure it didn’t raise any anxiety.

She has provided a list of tips for parents whose children are sitting NAPLAN.

To see how you would fare on some of the questions from last year’s exams, see below.

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TIPS FROM THE TOP

Principal Jennifer Haynes’s NAPLAN advice for parents:

* Help yourself help your child – familiarise yourself with the test by looking at test examples online.

* Take cues from your child – if your child doesn’t worry, then neither should you.

* Encourage them to do their best and try hard – choose your words carefully and focus squarely on the effort rather than the result.

* Listen to any concerns they have – validate their feelings rather than shut them down.

* Give them some relaxation ideas – anxious or nervous children will benefit from some simple relaxation strategies.

* Help them retain their perspective – while NAPLAN is a useful indicator it is not the biggest, most important thing in the world.

* The night before – make sure that your child gets a good night’s sleep.

* On test day – ensure that your child has a decent breakfast.

* After the test – if you are worried about the results make sure you seek advice from your child’s school.

* Source: Moreton Bay Boys’ College and Moreton Bay College principal Jennifer Haynes

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