The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an Australia-wide testing program of literacy and numeracy for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
NAPLAN provides data for calculating the proportions of students achieving results at or above the national minimum standard in each of five domains (Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation, and Numeracy). In 2013 over 96% of Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Melbourne achieved results at or above the minimum standard in each of the domains.
Satisfactory Completion Rates
An important measure of schooling success is the rate of satisfactory completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). In 2013, 38 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne (61.3%) had 100% of their eligible students satisfactorily complete the VCE. A total of 48 schools (77.4%) had completion rates of at least 99%. There were only three schools with completion rates of less than 98%.
At a student level, 99.5% of eligible students satisfactorily completed the VCE.
Median Study Scores
The median study score is considered to be the best indicator of the overall level of VCE achievement in a school and it represents the 'typical' level of achievement of the school's students. The average median score is set at 30 for each study (and the maximum score is 50).
In 2013, the average median study score for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne was 30.9. A total of 47 schools (74.6%) were in the middle range of median scores of 28–32. Thirteen schools (20.6%) had a median study scores above 32, while three schools (4.8%) were in the 'below average' category.
VCE Study Scores of 40 or above
A score of 40 or above in any study represents exceptional performance (among the top 8% in the state). In 2013 there were 20 Melbourne schools (31.8%) with more than 10% of the students' study scores at 40 or above.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) 2013
Catholic schools are committed to maximising each students chances of completing Year 12 by providing an appropriate range of study options, including opportunities in the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and the Vocational Education and Training (VET).
Daniel ButtacavoliCurriculum CoordinatorEmmanuel College, Point Cook
The work of the teachers at Emmanuel College is driven by the College motto, taken from John’s Gospel, to live ‘life to the full’. We use it to guide us in our mission to develop our students as a whole individual – academically, socially and spiritually. We are continuously challenged to create and deliver learning opportunities that connect students to their experiences of the world.
To achieve this goal in 2013, the College began transforming its junior school curriculum. We did this through a staged roll-out of Project Based Learning (PBL) as the key mode of teaching and learning across Years 7, 8 and 9. Using PBL, we can challenge our students with real world issues and problems that really engage them because the topic matter is relevant and meaningful to their lives.
I represented the College at PBL conferences in New Orleans, Detroit and Dallas to learn more about PBL best practice and innovation – and observed how other schools in Sydney, California and Texas were delivering the program.
These opportunities provided fantastic learning experiences that I could share with the College staff to benefit our learning and teaching approaches, and at a personal level I was very excited about the potential for PBL to benefit the students in my classroom.
There continues to be evidence of strong student participation in VET and VCAL.
From 2012 to 2013, the average number of VET certificates offered in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne rose from 21.6 to 23.9 and the average number of VET enrolments per school rose from 103.2 to 116.5.
From 2012 to 2013, the number of schools offering VCAL rose from 51 to 54. The number of school students enrolled in VCAL rose from 30.8 to 31.1.
In 2013, 41 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne (65.1%) had their student’s complete VET units of competency at rates better than 90%. Only one school (1.6%) had rates lower than 80%.
Twenty-two schools (40.0%) had their students complete 100% of their VCAL units in 2013. Conversely, eight schools (14.5%) had completion rates lower than 90%.
Table 1: Destinations of students leaving Victorian schools after Year 12 (percentages), Victorian Catholic and all schools, 2008–2012
a. Figures exclude students who deferred. b. Not in labour force, education or training. (Before 2010, these percentages were included in the category of 'looking for work'). c. This total is due to rounding of individual percentages.
Source: On Track Survey Data 2012 (provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development)Note: 2013 data will be available in July 2014.(Students are not surveyed until six months after leaving school.)
As indicated in Table 1, over half (58.3%) of 2012 Year 12 leavers from Catholic schools who completed the On Track survey, entered university. This percentage has been steadily increasing over the last five years in both Victorian Catholic schools and all Victorian schools. However, the Catholic school percentage has always remained around 4–5% higher than the state.
The incidence of Catholic school leavers enrolling in a TAFE/VET course has been slightly less than the state figure (14.2% compared to 15.8%) and there has been a downward trend in TAFE/VET enrolments from Catholic school students over the last five years.
The take-up of apprenticeships or traineeships rose slightly in the Victorian Catholic sector. The Catholic figures were lower than those of all schools in the labour market destination categories, specifically in terms of employed (8.3% compared to 10.2%) and those looking for work (2.1% compared to 3.6%). The ‘unemployed’ figure (i.e. the combined total of those either looking for work or not in the labour force, education or training) was 2.3% which remained similar to the figure of each of the previous four years. The percentage of students who deferred from study (8.7%) was slightly below the state figure (9.7%).
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