At Carlingford West Public School, enrolments are booming. Student numbers have soared 57 per cent in just five years and the popularity of the school shows no sign of slowing down.
But it is not just enrolments that are growing. The school, now with 1164 students, has been steadily lifting its NAPLAN results and this year it has been recognised as one of 400 schools across the country that has made significant improvements.
The n Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), which runs the federal government’s My School website, identifies schools across the country that may not have the top NAPLAN marks but have made the biggest gains.
Carlingford West is one of NSW’s most improved performers, with the latest results published on My School on Wednesday.
Other NSW schools singled out for lifting their NAPLAN scores include St Paul of the Cross Catholic Primary School in Dulwich Hill, Killarney Vale Public School, Green Valley Islamic College and Nimbin Central School.
And for the third year in a row, Canley Vale High in western Sydney and Balgowlah Boys Campus made it onto the most improved list.
Carlingford West’s principal, Andrew Williamson, says the secret to their success is simple.
“We have exceptionally high expectations,” he said.
“We really concentrate on explicit teaching and our teachers, students and community are really engaged in the school.”
A deputy principal at the school, Kristy Frame, said the school’s results were particularly impressive given as many as 25 of the highest achieving students leave at the end of year 4 to attend selective opportunity classes at other schools.
“Our results are absolutely exceptional, given we lose the brightest kids,” Ms Frame said.
According to ACARA’s methodology, the schools on the list had large overall improvement, as well improvement compared with schools with similar students and students with similar NAPLAN start points.
But ACARA does not release the full list of high-achieving schools because it does not want schools to be ranked in league tables.
The My School website is updated annually but Karen Spiller, the national chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of , warned that parents should not put too much focus on the data.
‘By any stretch of the imagination, the My School numbers do not add up to create the whole story of a school community,” Ms Spiller said.
“A visit to the My School site is no substitute for a personal visit to a school, where parents have the opportunity to talk with the principal, teachers and students to help determine whether the school is the best choice to meet the unique needs and interests of their child.”Continue Reading →