South Australia is the first state in the country to deliver Year 1 Phonics Checks for all Government schools, fulfilling a Marshall Liberal Government election commitment.
Over 14,000 students will undertake the check, which began in schools this week and will run until the end of August.
The Phonics Check is designed to benefit students learning to read by identifying where support is needed to develop their skills in phonics.
Education Minister John Gardner said the Liberal Government had long advocated for the Phonics Checks to occur and welcomed them finally becoming a reality.
“A strong start in literacy and numeracy is the essential foundation upon which a student’s subsequent education success is built, and we know that phonics is one of the ‘big six’ reading components and an important foundational literacy skill,” said Minister Gardner.
“Phonics checks have been used in the UK since 2012 and have resulted in a dramatic improvement across their education system.
“Flinders University’s review of last year’s trial, which was long called for by the Liberal Party, has provided very positive feedback, and the Government has taken up many of its recommendations.
“The check is an important element of the Government’s Literacy Guarantee and is central to the improvement of literacy and numeracy outcomes for South Australian children.
“We want our students to be the beneficiaries of the best education system in Australia, and a strong foundation in literacy for all students is necessary for all other levels of education to be successful.
“The Government is very pleased to be leading the nation in this way.”
Teachers have been well prepared, with over 2000 teachers and leaders having attended Phonics Screening Checks training during Term 2.
Online resources have also been made available to assist with scoring the check, interpreting students’ performance and responding with appropriate interventions.