One of the success stories in NAPLAN test results comes from a Brisbane Catholic school in which 43 per cent of the students have English as an additional language or dialect.
St Francis College, Crestmead, was one of the top 10 most-improved Queensland Catholic schools in comparisons from performances from Year 3 2019 to Year 5 2021.
It was among nine Brisbane Catholic Education schools out of the top 10 Catholic list across the state.
The results have been released ahead of the 2022 NAPLAN exams.
These will be held from Tuesday 10 May with tests across writing, reading, conventions of language and numeracy.
Since 1988, St Francis has educated students from diverse backgrounds in the Prep to Year 12 school.
“It’s a joy to be involved with a school like St Francis. Our teachers are very dedicated in working with our students and helping them achieve to their best level,” St Francis College Principal John Marinucci said.
“These NAPLAN results are a testament to the hard work and curiosity of our students and the passion of our teachers who really want the best for their students.
“As a part of a system approach in Brisbane Catholic Education schools, we want our students to be capable of performing well in assessment to show the potential of their learning.”
What’s the secret to St Francis’ success, especially with students from backgrounds without specialist English?
“The reading, language, and steps involved in problem-solving have been incorporated into our teaching so that students understand what questions are asking them to do, and how to show their knowledge in different types of questions,” Mr Marinucci said.
“We have implemented daily numeration or mental warm-ups in all Mathematics lessons from Years 3-6. This enables students to complete sets of questions in a short amount of time to assist with their speed and recall.
“With greater recall and automaticity of maths and number facts, students are then able to apply these skills to new concepts and have a strong number sense that is the foundation to all Maths topics. Many students have enjoyed the challenge of competing against themselves to achieve automatic recall (automaticity) with multiplication facts.
“Each term, teams of teachers work together to collaboratively plan for Mathematics and ensure that lessons and units are responsive to what the students need.”
Caption: Year 6 students at St Francis College (from left): losalina Vaimili, Toalepai Aarambh and Prasad Marimar Hashisho. Photo courtesy The Courier-Mail