The national assessment program

Assessment overviewThe National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) has received mixed reviews (Thompson & Harbaugh, 2012; Hardy, 2013), since its introduction in 2008. Reading and writing are essential skills within literacy development and they form two of the four domains tested within NAPLAN.
This assignment requires you to ‘question’ and critically evaluate a statement on literacy skills, and write a 2000-word response, using the unit’s learning materials and your own further research to support your argument.

Assessment details

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) situates the reasoning for embedded literacy testing across Australia:
Australia’s future depends upon each citizen having the knowledge, understanding, skills and values necessary to provide the basis for a productive and rewarding life for citizens in an educated, just and open society. High quality schooling is central to achieving this vision (ACARA, 2011).
Critically evaluate whether reading and writing are the most essential literacy skills needed for children growing up in Australia in the 21st century.

In your essay, you need to question whether reading and writing are the most essential literacy skills needed for children growing up in Australia in the 21st century. Use and apply your understanding of literacy – what multi-literacies are, the similarities and differences between assessment in early childhood and primary school – with specific reference to literacy.
Suggested approach:
1. Write a clear introduction which frames the essay (approx. 200 words).
2. Identify and discuss what you understand literacy to be.
3. Consider how contemporary literacy includes multi-literacies, and what they are.
4. Compare and contrast the differences and similarities between literacy in the Early Years Learning Framework (Australian Government Department of Education, 2013) and Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2013).
5. Identify and evaluate reading and writing assessment (specifically NAPLAN).
6. Show a developing knowledge of the relationship between curriculum and policy.
7. Conclude with a detailed summary evaluating the literacy skills needed for Australian children in the 21st century (approx. 200 words).
Where to begin?
Weeks 1 and 2 will give you a solid understanding about the definition of literacy and how multiliteracies are present in contemporary education across age phases. In Week 3 you will explore the NAPLAN website, the Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework: Being, becoming and belonging (Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments, 2009).

Assessment criteria
• Knowledge and understanding of subject
• Quality of analysis of key issues
• Format and structure
• Reference to reading and other sources of information

Your work will be assessed using the following marking guide:
The development of discussion demonstrates appropriate knowledge of what literacy skills are.
Central issues about children’s literacy are identified and discussed. Coverage of the topic is in good depth and detail is accurate throughout. The student demonstrates independence of thought and is not just relaying the readings.
There is very good identification and understanding of key issues about children’s literacy skills. Excellent coverage of the topic and accurate detail offering some sophisticated, even original, insights about
21st century literacy skills.
Excellent use made of examples to demonstrate understanding of what
literacy skills are and why reading and writing are not the only skills children have. Extensive subject knowledge with detailed insight into and understanding of contemporary literacy skills. Comprehensive research and coverage of topic integrating wide range of perspectives about children’s literacy skills and assessment.

The relationship between academic Development of ideas is consistent, with good balance between description and analysis. Material from a variety of sources is drawn together in some interesting ways to analyse the quote. The use of academic literature Includes high levels of perceptive and critical insight into the area. Evidence of a questioning approach when analysing the quote. There is skilled integration of academic literature and practice and some original or perceptive interpretations are developed. Excellent The essay demonstrates a creative, innovative synthesis of ideas. Challenging, comprehensive critical analysis is sustained throughout the essay. An authoritative and persuasive argument is demonstrated when considering the academic literature and literature and the quote is explained. and practice is both evident. use is made of synthesis of analysis together. quote. Format and structure (20%) Did not meet criteria. Links between introduction and conclusion are present; there is some evidence of argument and planning.
The mode of communication is generally coherent; expression is generally clear; no persistent errors in grammar, punctuation or spelling. The work is very well structured, giving appropriate emphasis to all areas; structural devices (language and paragraphing) enhance the work.
The work is clearly expressed in an appropriate style; points are made with clarity; care has been taken to ensure accuracy of punctuation, spelling and grammatical structure. Very good organisation is evident; the work is cohesive from beginning to end; there is a systematic and cogent approach to the structure of the work.
The work is fluent and stylish and demonstrates confidence with the material; it is accurate throughout; the method and style of presentation is entirely appropriate, as are vocabulary and syntax. Evidence of independence in extensive planning and preparation. Extremely well structured, with clear progression in the development of ideas and the use of supportive exemplars.
Highly sophisticated, fluent and persuasive expression of ideas. Extremely well written, with accuracy and flair.
Great clarity and maturity of presentation. Little ambiguity in the expression of information and ideas.
Reference to reading and other sources of information (10%) Did not meet criteria. Draws on an appropriate range of sources which are made explicit; quotations relate to the context in which they are used; references are generally cited appropriately using the APA style. A wide range of appropriate materials/literature forms the basis of this work; references are successfully incorporated into discussion using an appropriate blend of quotation and paraphrase; references are presented accurately using the APA style. Very good command of relevant material is evident; all sources are acknowledged and are presented with meticulous care; references are integrated successfully making accurate use of APA style; the balance of quotation and paraphrase enables points to be made strongly. Extensive use of literature to reinforce and develop arguments. Clear evidence of selective use of highly relevant sources.
References embedded expertly into the flow of information and ideas with a well-managed balance of paraphrasing and quotation. Flawless use of APA style for all forms of referencing.

find the cost of your paper