Jeff Symms | Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School
Parents may have seen the story in a recent edition of the Gold Coast Bulletin about the NAPLAN results for 2017, in which they provided a ranking of the Gold Coast Schools. While the Bulletin only focused on the results for students in Years 3 and 9, but as parents are aware the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy) is also undertaken by students in Years 5 and 7.
At TSS Prep, we understand that the NAPLAN results are but one sample of how a school’s students are performing and that good schooling is about a lot more than scores on a single test, held on a single day. The NAPLAN assessments are designed to provide schools with ongoing feedback about the effectiveness of their teaching practices, intervention and support programs, extension programs and the impact of new curriculum and as such do provide some good longitudinal data on school wide development. The individual student reports also give parents and teachers a ‘snapshot’ of how each child is performing compared to those around the country in each of the five areas tested. It is important, however, for parents to remember though that the test examines a fairly narrow band of concepts and our school reports combined with parent teacher interviews provide a much richer picture of each boys’ overall development.
Having said that, we do view the results of these assessments as providing us with valuable data. When combined with all other information collected through the school’s assessment program, we are able to build an accurate picture of the effectiveness of the teaching program currently being undertaken and we undertake review with our teachers each week to ensure that the teaching is targeted towards, and meets student needs.
Our 2017 NAPLAN data is very strong and reflects the strength of our academic program.
We are very proud of our Year 3 cohort which placed 6th of all schools on the coast overall and in the top 5 of schools for Reading, Grammar and Punctuation and Numeracy. They scored an incredible 4th placing in Spelling, which is a great result for an all boys school. The Year 3 boys and their teachers both current and past have worked hard to ensure that the foundations of literacy and numeracy are firmly embedded and we look forward to viewing what they will achieve as they move through the school.
In what is an exceptional achievement, our Year 5 boys recorded an outstanding result to rank 1st on the Gold Coast in 2017. This is an outstanding result, given that the Gold Coast is home to many really fine schools. For a cohort of boys to come out on top in a test which is 80% literacy based is an exceptional result and one of which I am very proud. We all know of the ‘developmental lag’ that boys experience in comparison to their more, generally, linguistically able female peers, which helps place this achievement in perspective. The Year 5 boys recorded the highest spelling results of all schools on the Gold Coast.
Our Preparatory School teachers and Leadership team have worked together, with a real focus and determination to not only provide our students with an environment which promotes and truly values high academic achievement, but one in which there is a culture of self-belief and open mind-set for both boys and staff. Through strong team-work, collaborative endeavour and unswerving dedication to excellence, data gathered on our student’s learning has been used to enhance the boys’ strengths, and remediate weaknesses.
While there are many highs in the academic results of this cohort, my ‘THRASS Heart’ was warmed with the boys’ result placing them as the best spellers on the Gold Coast.
While ranking first, or in the top 5, or 10 school is always great, it is the long term outcomes which are most important and the data we receive which relates to our ongoing improvement and the ‘value addedness’ that we can bring to each boy. Given our schools strong track record of recent years, TSS Prep has cemented its position as one of the leading academic primary schools on the Gold Coast.
I acknowledge also the true partnership we enjoy with our parents. Your support of your son’s and your son’s teachers is invaluable and as we all know, when a school and home can combine with shared values and open communication, the outcome for student learning is enhanced.
The boys of the TSS Preparatory School truly benefit from the balanced and holistic approach that is provided in Academics, Sport and Culture.
The job of parenting is so important and yet we receive almost no training for it. We associate ourselves with Michael Grose and his Parenting Ideas organisation. From time to time I will refer to Michael’s work in our newsletter.
He conducts courses for parents both in person and on-line and the next one – especially focused on parenting boys is about to commence. The program is a ‘got to’ course for parents of boys from 3-15. Feedback from parents who have undertaken the online courses offered by Parenting Ideas has been very good.
To enrol, simply click this link
Thanks again to parents for working with our supervising staff to ensure that our car parks are safe places for students to wait for their parents and also that we can keep traffic moving as well as we have been able to.
The main carpark is regularly almost empty after about 15 minutes of school concluding with cars moving freely in and out of the school.
In our Cribb precinct, where the Reception and Year 1 boys are dropped off, we are having a small problem with some parents parking their cars in the entrance way to the car parking area above the library, narrowing this entry down into at best one lane. This causes a real bottleneck for parents who are wanting to park their cars or who are trying to leave the car park and re-enter the flow of traffic back onto Lupus Street. If parents could help by only parking in the designated car park that would be very helpful.
The fortnightly walking tours of the Preparatory School campus which are held on a Tuesday morning, provided interested and prospective new families to the school. These have been very busy of late as we move through into the second half of the year.
Any parents wishing to enrol their son MUST speak to admissions as soon as possible.
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