Snowy Mountains Grammar School has a history of performing robustly in rigorous academic tests in the Junior School.
Our Year 3 and Year 5 students participate in NAPLAN annually, while our Year 2 to Year 6 students all participate in ICAS (University of New South Wales) tests, with detailed results including analysis available for both teachers and parents. Internally, all students from Year 2 onwards complete a number of standardised external tests with benchmarking to assist our teaching staff to be better informed of the current performances of students across a range of curriculum competencies, providing useful data. We are data-considerate, not data-driven, and it serves to inform our curriculum design, review and implementation in the classroom.
While we support our students sitting NAPLAN, ICAS and some other tests to help us to know our students even better, which also enables transparency, we caution parents to keep these results in perspective. They results are a narrow snapshot of current achievement that makes up a small amount of any individual student’s capabilities at a particular moment in time and therefore too much importance should not be placed on such results. Any good school is so much more than a set of results taken at a particular point in the year and it is important to look beyond these results at a myriad of other practices. We also strongly support a Growth Mindset (i.e. the work of Carol Dweck) which espouses that intelligence is not fixed and can achieve growth over time under the right conditions and beliefs. Further, we also acknowledge and support the Multiple Intelligences theory (i.e. Howard Gardner) which recognises that all individuals have multiple different talents and capabilities that go well beyond intellectual intelligence and it is our role to enable and nurture these too, so that every child flourishes to the best of their own individual capabilities.