Sydney Adventist School Uses Explicit Teaching to Improve NAPLAN Results

Sydney Adventist School in Auburn has seen a significant improvement in its NAPLAN results by implementing explicit teaching methods. The school’s education model focuses on direct, explicit instruction that is informed by the latest science on how children’s brains work. Teachers at the school teach phonics explicitly and help students decode words. The education model also emphasizes strong classroom management, with teachers aiming to engage the entire class in a task every two minutes. Principal Danyel Efstratiou says this approach has minimized classroom disruptions, unlike many other schools across the country.

The teaching style at Sydney Adventist School is different from the student-directed learning popular on university campuses. The school believes that students need to know the basic skills of reading and writing, and explicit teaching helps them learn these skills effectively. These teaching methods have contributed to the school’s improved NAPLAN results, with scores well above average in numeracy and literacy.

The 2023 NAPLAN results show that one in three school students across Australia failed to meet minimum numeracy and literacy expectations. The results also revealed that one in 10 students are significantly behind and require additional support. However, Sydney Adventist School stands out, as it has a higher percentage of students in the lowest socio-educational bands, and yet its NAPLAN scores are impressive.

Experts believe that explicit teaching is a viable solution to improve poor NAPLAN results. Glenn Fahey, the education director at the Centre for Independent Studies, believes that the teaching problem contributes to these results. He emphasizes that many teachers lack the necessary skills to be effective in the classroom. The Australian Education Research Organisation supports explicit teaching and considers it a “tried and tested practice.”

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare has mandated changes in teaching degrees to address this issue. Universities have been given two years to overhaul teaching programs and start training future teachers in the practices that have helped Sydney Adventist School improve their NAPLAN scores. The school’s teachers have also emphasized the need for more practical work and hands-on training in university programs.

Overall, Sydney Adventist School’s use of explicit teaching methods has led to a positive change in its NAPLAN results. The school’s success serves as a blueprint for other schools seeking to improve their students’ performance in numeracy and literacy.