In the News: 31 October 2022

Dr Jennifer Buckingham is quoted in ”Mixed bag’ as Victorian students slip in numeracy, grammar and spelling in NAPLAN’, in The Age by Nicole Precel,  31 October 2022.

“Victorian students’ numeracy, spelling and grammar have worsened in some year levels, according to this year’s NAPLAN results, while year 7 and 9 students have improved in writing.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy was disrupted in Victoria by outbreaks of flu and COVID this year, and results were either flat or lower than in 2021, except for in writing. But Victorian students led every jurisdiction apart from the ACT on the number of subjects in which they ranked first or second among the highest percentage of students above the national minimum standard.

Jennifer Buckingham, founder and director of community education initiative Five From Five, said from a national perspective, primary school reading was a good news story.

She attributes significant improvements in years 3 and 5 to shifts towards a more structured approach to literacy with evidence-based instruction and phonics. Primary school students’ reading skills are ahead of where they were 14 years ago.”

“There needs to be a really explicit and structured approach that builds that automaticity and fluency, so kids have the cognition to focus on higher-order processes.”