Research over and over again points to phonics being a critical skill in supporting our students to have success in literacy. The below article from The Conversation is a great read on the importance of good systematic phonic instruction.
Explainer: what is phonics and why is it important?
To go a little deeper into understanding why Australia should trial the UK phonics screener check please have a read from the following article from The Conversation. Many schools in the Eastern States of Australia have been trialling.
Why Australia should trial the new phonics screening check
The online Literacy Hub is now open! It includes a teacher-led Phonics Check for Year 1 students, and a simple reading awareness check that families can use at home. The tools are free, and will help parents/carers and teachers work together to support early learners to develop their literacy skills.
The Literacy Hub is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and managed by Education Services Australia.
The Literacy Hub is all about supporting young students to master one of their most important education milestones — learning to read.
Find resources that specifically address student needs at this pivotal stage of learning. Teachers can check the progress of each Year 1 child through the online Phonics Check. An understanding of phonics is foundational to the development of writing, spelling and reading skills and is one integral component within the key elements of literacy.
Resources for families include everyday fun activities that embed the pleasure of playing with sounds and words at home.
Explore free online professional development for literacy leaders, links to case studies, and the growing evidence base around best practice literacy in schools.
Using the Year 1 Phonics Check
The screening process provided insights we didn’t have before: it made teachers evaluate what was working [in their phonics teaching] and what refinements were needed. It made us ask questions, for example, why there were scattered results for a student compared with the other big six areas, and why we hadn’t picked it up before. It enabled us to hone in on an individual plan for individual students. Our teachers have good awareness of where their students are developmentally, but the phonics screening check gave us new insights. (2017 Phonics Trial principal, South Australia)
Have a look at the professional learning modules offered to leaders.
What are your thoughts on Australia up taking the Phonics Check? Has your school trialled the program?
I would love to know!