How you can turn NAPLAN frenzy into a time of growth to build your child’s confidence.

I’ve been a school teacher for 12 years and I can tell you straight out I’ve seen more harm done to kids by NAPLAN than by almost anything else we regularly do in schools. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Children have their confidence damaged when they are expected to perform at a level they can’t reasonably achieve. Repeated failure at school always damages self-esteem.

Children who have literacy problems, dyslexia, special needs or anything else that makes it tougher for them to do NAPLAN need to be empowered with a new mindset.


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After thinking and thinking and thinking about how we can change the way kids perceive NAPLAN so that it doesn’t have to do hurt them, check out this video for mums to know how to chat with their kids about NAPLAN. No, I’m not crazy, but I do believe that you can turn now plan into a fantastic opportunity to develop long-term healthy mindsets in your kids (You’d genuinely need to watch this video or you would think I’m crazy!).

Do you have a child taking a NAPLAN test this year? SHARE with us in the comments.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com


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  • NAPLAN is a tough test to deal with, branding our kids competent or incompetent at such a young age, you would expect it to do some damage

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  • What a great video! Had year 3 NAPLAN this year and we had been playing it down. Problem was the fear coming from peers and our child being asked by friends why she wasn’t concerned about it – she told them all that it wasn’t a big deal and was the schools thing – provided she did her best, that was perfect. Talking with kids in this way is great, so that they can support each other. We didn’t show her the results (didn’t even tell her we had them) until she came home about a week after they arrived and said to us “the postman isn’t very good – he must have lost my NAPLAN results, everyone else has theirs” We showed her the results – all totally fine. She says its good to know the process now and she will tell everyone else not to worry. So glad we played it down as we did.

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  • My youngest would get so stressed when it came to naplan he struggles with reading and writing .. This actually made things worse for him .. I think it’s a waste of time !!

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  • My son really enjoyed Naplan – we were lucky in that we had some tests from previous years from my Mum who taught year 3, but he spent a few nights doing practice tests just for fun!

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  • looking absouletly awesome

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  • Just let kids be kids! They have to be grown up for so long – let them play, and fill them with love and happiness, not stress testing that makes adults look good!

    • I love how you think… But I don’t think every person of influence in the political or educational world agrees with you. I’d love to see kids just being able to be themselves.

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  • great things to read here

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  • I totally agree with this article. My kids are lucky, they don’t have any learning disabilities to make things worse but they do stress a lot about the tests.
    I always tell my kids to just do their best and not to worry about it. I also tell them it’s the government’s way of testing the schools to make sure kids are learning, not really about the kids themselves.
    The school does a lot of practice, so are essentially teaching for the test so the school can have a higher score. But having said that, I have heard them say to the kids that there is no pressure, just do your best because it’s only one test.

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  • Really interesting article and a different and refreshing perspective.

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  • naplan is such a big deal though and some kids really stress out.

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  • A lot of it has to do with the school too. Our school has the right approach. It is one test one time which cannot possibly determine how your child is doing but all it does is gives a rough guide. Your child may have an off day on the test and there for not do well – so be it! Also some schools teach to NAPLAN so they are going to perform better. Can you honestly remember when you were in year 5 /7/9 or 3 what your test results were and has anyone ever asked or cared when going for a job interview what your results were on your year 7 NAPLAN? Just do the test and move on!

    • I love the sound of that approach. What a great school your child goes to! It shows how secure the leaders are in that school. There is an air of confidence about them. You are very lucky. :)



      • I agree with you about just getting it done & move along. I am a teacher & I can say that the students do get very nervous about the tests, but perhaps some people out there forget that it is mandated by the government!! Teachers/schools can’t change that……..but they can make the process less stressful for the child. I know I try to when I’m scheduled to supervise a session!

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  • it s great

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  • This is our 6th year of NAPLAN tests in our family, and another 12 years to go, by the time our 2 year old is in year 9. (Somehow we spaced our kids ages to have at least one child facing the test every year). We’re a lot more relaxed about it now and have tracked the progress of the older ones throughout. The tests can’t tell if the kids were sick on those days or how empathic their personality or their skills in so many areas. We questioned the relevance of learning to spell words like gnarled and knoll, because they’re not in common vocabulary nowadays. But the tests have to capture the full spectrum of ability levels, so we don’t fight the tests. If the kids can learn those words, all the better. Our children know we love them and are proud of them for trying their best. Last day today for NAPLAN for another year.

    • Isn’t it weird? It’s like doing a test for an audience who doesn’t matter about things that you don’t enjoy doing… And then if you’ve got dyslexia or some sort of learning issue then you really hate it. So much of the problem is not Naplan… It’s the approach that schools and parents are taking to it. It’s like hating vegetables when you’re a kid. If your dad was Jamie Oliver, and knew how to cook them amazingly, you wouldn’t hate vegetables.

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  • Lke it

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  • A great article, Thanks so much.

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