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Nasty NAPLAN Negativity

For many students, ‘results day’of NAPLAN testing, can be just as nerve-racking as the ‘testing day’. Frequently more so.

‘Results Day’ often sees a spike in absenteeism and mysterious tummy bugs and headaches. Many of these are very real indeed. Students are often surprised with their own bodies’ reaction to this very real and very extended spike in external stresses.

Of course, many of us are aware, that any and all responses to external stressors, always have an internal solution. It’s our response to the stimulus that determines the personal outcome.

Results come and go.

We like them and we don’t. Either way, WE are left with the gap between the stimulus and our response.

Most of us aren’t even aware that we possess this very powerful tool.

The answer lies in the student’s response to the result and not the result itself. The result, after all, is simply a piece of ‘academic feedback’ about their performance on a particular day with a particular set of tests. It is simply a tool and like any tool, the user must be proficient in its purpose and use. Unfortunately, most teachers and schools aren’t. They are very proficient with collecting the data that NAPLAN collects but not with the human debris. The hundreds and thousands of students and families who are left to support these very often traumatised children. Of course, this is a ‘softer’ trauma than many children experience in other parts of the globe but trauma in the bodies’ circuits non the less.

The body real IS an excellent emotional barometer.

Our body is our authentic, honest friend. The friend who always tells it straight. The one friend who gives the truth to us in a neutral, unbiased but loving way. Often in ways that we completely ignore. Until it ‘screams’ at us. It rarely lies but has to be listened to with gentle reverence. Its answers are often whispers behind the symptom.

So, many of the solutions are somatic as well.

3 Strategies to help your child process their NAPLAN results:

  1. Talking, listening and asking specific questions about how they FEEL, is a good place to start. Writing some of these responses down, can be an even better springboard towards authentic sharing.
  2. Deliberately and consciously naming and taking a ‘pause’ between reading the result and making a time a short time later to digest them.
  3. Asking your child to write down only two things;
    • Something in the results that surprised them
    • Something that gives them a challenge to change next time.


Let us know if you too, find these strategies useful.

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