Matthew James, Isaac Harris, Leanne McClintock, Lydia Ellingsen (front) and Chantelle Lamprecht (back) at Cooloola Christian College yesterday. The school has performed consistently well in NAPLAN testing.
Matthew James, Isaac Harris, Leanne McClintock, Lydia Ellingsen (front) and Chantelle Lamprecht (back) at Cooloola Christian College yesterday. The school has performed consistently well in NAPLAN testing. Renee Pilcher

Gympie scores below par

A NEW Queensland School's Guide website launched this week by a big city newspaper using information sourced from the MySchool website, the Queensland Studies Authority and the Queensland Department of Education and Training has come under heavy fire from teaching groups.

Gympie schools are included in the comprehensive data, which compares not only NAPLAN results between schools and against the state average for the past four years, but teacher student ratios, revenue, capital works and socio-economic factors.

Parents have been urged to be cautious of drawing any conclusions from the data and to remember the outcomes of such compilations can be misleading.

Queensland schools made gains on the national average in their NAPLAN results last year, but in Gympie some school results came in well under the state average.

At the same time, other Gympie schools performed above the state average at various year levels.

Cooloola Christian College students at all four year levels have performed above the state average for the past three years.

With 23 schools listed under the Gympie postcode, reproducing all the results here would be impossible.

On an average, taken across the 4570 postcode, every year level that participated in the NAPLAN tests last year (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9) scored below the state average

The website puts the average 2011 Year 3 score for student performance in Gympie at 382, compared to the state average of 388. Years 5s across Gympie scored an average 460, just under the state average of 465; Year 7s scored 513 compared to the state average of 525, and Gympie Year 9s scored 553 against the state average of 564.

Some Gympie schools also had alarming teacher-student ratios compared to the state average of 14.07 students per teacher.

The ratios varied from 9.10 students per teacher at Monkland State School to 11.7 at the Mary Valley State College, 11.9 teachers per student at James Nash State High and almost 20 students per teacher at Widgee and St Patrick's Primary School.

(Those ratios have likely changed this year.)

The NAPLAN tests have drawn criticism from many education stakeholders and some parents have started keeping their children at home when the tests are sat. Different teachers and schools approach the tests differently - some classes are given multiple trial runs of old tests and others nothing.

The Federal Government said since NAPLAN tests were introduced, there had been improvements overall in Australia in Year 3 literacy and Year 5 numeracy skills.

Year 3 students posted Queensland's best results last year, improving in all five test areas.

Gympie Times


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