BRIGHT YOUNG KIDS: Coorabel Public School students Eden Lochead, 9, Soara Taylor, 10, Tanika Newhouse, 9, and Sam Edwards with principal Geoff Coghlan.
BRIGHT YOUNG KIDS: Coorabel Public School students Eden Lochead, 9, Soara Taylor, 10, Tanika Newhouse, 9, and Sam Edwards with principal Geoff Coghlan. Marc Stapelberg

Little Coorabell Public School rockets up the NAPLAN charts

COORABELL Public School has been in the national spotlight after rocketing up the national NAPLAN rankings from 5681 to 67.

While it was "great to be recognised, NAPLAN test scores are just a snapshot and not the be all and end all" of good education, principal Geoff Coghlan said.

"But it was a good in-house gain," he said.

The success stemmed from a strong team effort involving the whole school, teachers and parents, he said.

"But the most important ingredient is that you have really happy children," he said.

"It is not rocket science; once you have happy children, the creativity, and the achievement and the motivation to learn naturally follows.

"If you set the bar high with children, and if they have the confidence and they feel comfortable in their environment they just naturally go for it, they thrive.

"If they feel valued, they want to come to school and kick goals." Mr Coghlan said he had been at the school since 2012 and stressed NAPLAN scores were not something teachers and parents had been targeting. If anything it was the opposite.

While there is adequate preparation for NAPLAN the message to pupils and parents was "don't be overwhelmed".

Making a big deal out of NAPLAN and causing stress wasn't good for anyone, he said.

Coorabell's NAPLAN ranking was calculated in a report by The Australian newspaper, apparently using scores available on the Federal government's My School website - http://www.myschool.edu.au.

NAPLAN, (the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) figures are compiled by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

When comparing schools the authority used an index of community socio-educational advantage scale.

It "enables fair comparisons to be made between schools with statistically similar groups of students," authority chief executive Robert Randall said.

The authority's list of schools achieving big gains in NAPLAN results was released in March and did not include Coorabell Public School.


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