Kimba and Streaky join phonics trial

Kimba and Streaky Bay area schools are among 54 South Australian schools to be included in a trial of a phonics tool to test children’s ability to identify the sounds that form words, which will be held in August.

The Phonics Screening Check is a five-minute test for reception students, undertaken during lesson time when the teacher is doing individual reading with students.

In 2012, the British government implemented the Phonics Screen Check to all year 1 classes, the equivalent to SA’s reception class.

The data showed the proportion of students reaching the expected year one standard increased annually, while the number of students failing to reach the year two standard had fallen by one third.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close said phonics was considered to be fundamental to success in reading and was one of the six components teachers focused on when teaching children to read.

“Teachers work extremely hard to accurately assess a child’s skill level and tailor their teaching and this is another step in that process.”

With the test results, teachers will be able to apply different teaching methods to students of different ability levels, with the aim of improving reading skills.

“Our aim is to see whether this form of testing is practical for teachers, and whether the diagnostic information provided will help them tailor their efforts towards more intensive and individual student support,” Ms Close said.

“We are excited to trial this new tool in public schools, which is based on United Kingdom evidence.”