Riverina schools triumph over wealthier metropolitan schools

SEVERAL Riverina schools have held their own in the NAPLAN tests, dominating the majority of metropolitan schools despite having less resources. 

Marrar Public School was ranked the highest achieving regional institution in the entire state, and the ninth overall government school for performance.

The central-east Riverina school surpassed the state average for reading, writing, and arithmetic results by around 10 per cent. 

Only four of Wagga’s 26 schools fell well-below the state average, Mount Austin High School, Ashmont Public School, Tolland Public School and Mount Austin Public School.

Data from Your Schools also revealed these four institutions received less funding than the average New South Wales school. 

The best-performing schools in NAPLAN were also some of the smallest, with Marrar hosting just 20 pupils, while the closely trailing Ungarie had 100 and Mary MacKillop, 115. 

Saint Mary MacKillop College ranked the highest performing secondary school in the region, and fourth best among the state’s country schools. 

College director Joanne Andrews credited her school’s academic success to small classes and stringent discipline.

“In years seven and nine there are only eight students, which means the students don’t move between classrooms and classes can start on time,” Ms Andrews said.

“As a result, the kids get more individual attention.

Ms Andrews came down firmly in support of homework, a contentious issue regularly and widely debated among educators and parents.

“We have homework, which some schools would argue against, but all the parents are on board with it,” she said

The high school was closely followed by The Riverina Anglican College, St Anne’s Central School (Temora) and Wagga Christian College.

Australia’s top three primary schools and top two secondary schools were all in NSW. 

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