An on-demand diagnostic tool that shows teachers how students are progressing in phonics is now available for all NSW public school students.
NSW Nationals Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the Phonics Diagnostic Assessment follows the success of the government’s Year 1 Phonics Check, which will be mandatory from this year.
“Understanding phonics is an essential part of learning how to read and these literacy skills are the foundation for lifelong learning,” Ms Mitchell said.
“That is why we have developed a high-quality online assessment that can be used to track students from kindergarten onwards and can also be used to reassess students at any time.
“We know from last year’s Phonics Screening Check trial that tools like this provide teachers with the data they need to provide targeted support to students who need it most. In fact, 98 per cent of teachers found it had a positive impact on their classroom practice.”
The online assessment only takes 5-7 minutes and consists of a number of words which a teacher can select to target specific knowledge and skills. The student sits with the teacher to read the words and the teacher is then able to record the responses in an online tool.
Ms Mitchell said the new tool is in addition to the recently introduced Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.
“The best results in reading for our students occur when phonics is explicitly and systematically taught from kindergarten alongside all of the components necessary for reading instruction,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We are building a curriculum that focuses on strong foundations using best practice, which means using phonics to build strong reading foundations in the early years of school.”
Through the NSW Nationals in the state government’s School Success Model, every public school will also have a target in phonics for the first time.
For more information about the Phonics Diagnostic Assessment, go to education.nsw.gov.au.