Go to top of page

Year 1s complete Phonics Check

2 September 2019

Around 14,000 Year 1 public school students across South Australia have completed the Phonics Screening Check this year.

This is second comprehensive phonics check that has been carried out across all government schools, after the check was introduced statewide for the first time last year.

South Australia has led the nation as the first state in the country to introduce the comprehensive Year 1 Phonics Check.

The check is a simple 5 to 7 minute assessment that tells teachers how their students are progressing in phonics, a foundational component of learning to read. It consists of 40 words which are delivered through a mixture of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words.

An achievement score of 28 out of 40 is used as a marker to assist teachers in identifying how a student is tracking against the Australian Curriculum by Term 3 of Year 1.

The check enables teachers to identify students that may require extra time or assistance to further develop their skills.

This year, more than 1800 Year 1 teachers and leaders attended professional learning in administering the check, analysing results, and designing interventions for individual students in response to their achievement.

Understanding phonics is a critical skill and the check delivers critical insight into where our students are at with their literacy development. A clear understanding of phonics ensures students have a strong foundation for learning the ‘Big Six’ components of reading and for their continued literacy learning.

The Phonics Check provides teachers with a clear idea of how students are progressing in their learning of phonics, and the results enable educators to identify any issues that students might be having so they can respond to these quickly.

Feedback from educators about the professional learning continues to be positive, and the annual training ensures our teachers can confidently analyse the results of the check and design interventions for each student in response to their achievement.

Resources are available to assist teachers to interpret and respond to results and design targeted, differentiated learning for students as part of an effective reading program.

Schools are also being supported in teaching phonics and other aspects of literacy development through the employment of Literacy Guarantee Coaches, who are working directly with teachers to ensure high quality teaching of reading across department schools.

Details about the 2018 Phonics Screening Check can be found on the Education Department website along with literacy resources for parents to help their child learn at home.