This week the NAPLAN results from 2013 were uploaded to the Myschool website. Consistent with all previous years of state-wide and national testing, John Colet School performed extremely well, both in absolute terms and in comparison with other schools. Congratulations are due to the teachers and children of the 2013 3rd and 5th classes.
Our results can be compared to all other schools in NSW where we come out significantly above the NSW average. Or we can be ranked against a pool of forty-one other comparable schools . The system of comparison is somewhat controversial as some schools feel they are being unfairly lumped in with selective schools or public schools with OC classes for gifted children. We have both types of school in our pool of comparables, which includes Woollahra Public (which has an OC class and which is, as it happens, one of my alma maters); also in our group are Barker College, St Aloysius, PLC, Mosman Prep, Canberra Grammar, Abbotsleigh, Ascham and SCEGGS Darlinghurst. We take it as a badge of honour to be compared to these elite schools, and to be well-placed in the pack, and often above average in this group of schools. NAPLAN has some value to parents who lack other measures of comparison, and it is also a useful diagnostic tool for us to measure the needs of individual children, and to test the effectiveness of the delivery of our curriculum on the whole.
However I feel the real measure of a school is the good character of the children who pass through its doors. This is somewhat less easy to measure precisely. But, on the whole, the maturity, focus, academic success and, more importantly, the self-confidence, good-nature and courage of our graduates in the long term are the best measure of our success.