Saturday, 2 August 2014

Tales From Moominvalley

This is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Finnish author Tove Jansson (or Janssen) who is best known as the author of the quirky Moomin books. This is a LINK to my TPT unit for The Tales of Moominvalley.

This week I'll be finishing my unit on folktales and I will add that unit to TPT next weekend.

Poor student attendance has an impact ( Surprise surprise)

The WA Times has an interesting story about the impact on student learning by school absences:

Missing just one day of school has negative consequences for a student’s academic achievement, the first major study linking poor attendance to lower NAPLAN results has found.

And school attendance patterns established as early as year 1 can predict how often a student will show up to class right through high school, according to the research.

On Monday, the harmful effects of that absenteeism will be exposed by the results of a study to be presented at the Australian Council for Educational Research’s annual conference.The average public school student in NSW misses almost three weeks of school each year. Australia is alarmingly slack when it comes to school attendance, with high school students skipping more days of school than almost any other developed country.

An analysis of the attendance records and NAPLAN results of more than 400,000 students from Western Australia found any absence from school leads to a decline in academic performance.

The study dispels the belief there is a safe level of absence students can get away with before their grades will suffer.

“We were able to show that actually every day counts and days that you’re missing in year 3 and year 5, we can detect that all the way through to year 9,” the report's co-author, Stephen Zubrick, from the University of Western Australia, said.

“A 10-day period of unauthorised absence in a year is sufficient to drop a child about a band in the NAPLAN testing.”

Year 3 numeracy achievement in 2012 declined by 1.6 NAPLAN points for every unauthorised day of absence in the first two terms of that year.

The most startling finding,  Professor Zubrick said, was that students arrive in year 1 “with their school attendance careers already in their pockets”.

“For most children, year 1 sets the pattern for what school attendance will look like in the future,” Professor Zubrick said. “You’re learning more than reading and writing. You’re learning to show up.”

Absence was found to have a greater impact on writing than it did on numeracy and reading.

Principals and teachers would not find this data surprising. We were told many years ago that 12-14 days absence from school has an impact on student learning. After just one day is surprising. You can see patterns develop from quite early on and you can see the impact of it. NAPLAN data was used to help generate these findings but it would be interesting to see what the impact of poor attendance is on rural students and what rural data on attendance looks like.

Read more:

The story can also be read in the Guardian

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