Secrets of the high-performing schools revealed

“When I get results like this I pause to think about how far we’ve come with our ability to use data.”

Other high-performing NSW schools include the Catholic sector’s St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Narrabeen, St Brigid’s Catholic College in Lake Munmorah and St Cecilia’s Primary School in Balgowlah.

High-performing government schools also included Wyoming Public School, Northern Beaches Secondary College – Manly, and Merrylands East Public School. Only limited details of high-performing schools were available in advance of the data being uploaded.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.Credit:James Alcock

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) said more than 30 per cent of the 500 high-progress schools across the country were located in regional or remote areas.

Of the high-performing independent schools was Kuyper Christian School in Kurrajong, which achieved an above-average gain in writing from years 7 to 9.

Principal Ian Shaw said part of the school’s success was in part thanks to its involvement in the targeted Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan program, which came as a “gift from the sky”.

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“There’s been a wonderful group of consultants work with us and support us through our practices as a school,” he said.

It’s the first time in two years that the My School website has been updated with NAPLAN test results and attendance data.

NAPLAN was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic but was undertaken across the country last year.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the government had made a sustained effort to lift students’ literacy and numeracy outcomes.

“I am committed to driving evidence-based reform with a strong focus on lifting results through the School Success Model to support schools with appropriate resources and intensive help,” she said.

ACARA has in recent years attempted to move away from ranking schools’ raw performances to highlighting schools which have achieved above-average growth in results.

“Too often, media organizations try to construct crude ‘league tables’ based on overall achievement without considering the schools’ level of socio-educational advantage or the amount of progress the students have made in the previous two years. Such comparisons are meaningless,” ACARA chief executive David de Carvalho said.

“The schools that are punching above their weight are those that are achieving above expectation in terms of progress on where their students were two years ago, taking into account their level of socio-educational advantage.”

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