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NAPLAN begins: The nerves are normal

Thousands of Australian school children began NAPLAN testing today, and many parents are reporting their children are suffering anxiety as a result.

Children in years 3, 5, 7, and 9 are assessed in reading, writing and numeracy during the nation-wide testing held over multiple days.

Parenting and resilience expert Maggie Dent says that for children taking the tests, nerves are normal.

“It’s a test. It’s quite normal for humans to feel anxiety around tests,” Ms Dent told 3AW Drive.

Ms Dent agrees that there seems to be more panic from children undertaking NAPLAN testing.

“There’s an awful lot more pressure that gets put on around the NAPLAN testing rather than just normal classroom testing,” Ms Dent told Tom Elliott.

“I think our kids pick up the anxiety of parents and staff and schools. Kids can struggle with it a bit more.”

The nerves around NAPLAN may be unavoidable, so Ms Dent recommends parents and teachers try to provide coping mechanisms to anxious children.

“I talk to lots of teachers who regret that they are in this massive test-focused system because they’ve got less time to create the learning journeys and the learning environments where we had a bit of fun,” Ms Dent said.

“Teachers are doing the best they can and so are parents. Normalise anxiety and teach your kids some strategies to deal with it.”

Click PLAY to hear more with Maggie Dent

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