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Phonics trial in SA schools

13 June 2017

More than 50 public schools across the state have been chosen to trial the new phonics tool, which tests a child’s ability to identify the sounds that form words.

The Phonics Screening Check is a 5 minute test for reception-aged children. The test is undertaken in lesson time that teachers spend working on reading with individual students. It works by assessing a child’s ability to identify and apply different sounds in basic words, such as the ‘at’ in cat, to form longer and more complicated words.

Teachers will use the test results to apply different teaching methods to students of different ability levels, with the aim of improving reading skills. Under the trial, schools will not be required to centrally report the results of individual checks and data will not be used for comparison between schools.

Many schools currently undertake a phonics check with children and this trial will enable the education department to identify the best processes and practices for screening and the follow up by teachers. This will enable schools to adopt the most positive practices and build consistency.

The trial will be held in August and will involve 54 schools.

The UK government introduced their year 1 Phonics Screening Check in all primary schools in England in 2012. Year 1 in the UK is equivalent to South Australia’s reception class. It takes 5–7 minutes per student to administer by a teacher.

UK data indicates that the proportion of students reaching the expected standard in the year 1 Phonics Screening Check has increased annually, and the number of students failing to achieve the expected standard in year 2 reading tests has fallen by one third during this time.

The participating schools are:

  • Aldinga Beach Primary School
  • Ardtornish Primary School
  • Augusta Park Primary School
  • Barmera Primary School
  • Birdwood Primary School
  • Challa Gardens Primary School
  • Crafers Primary School
  • Craigmore South Primary School
  • Darlington Primary School
  • East Adelaide School
  • East Para Primary School
  • Eastern Fleurieu School Strathalbyn R-6 Campus
  • Elizabeth Grove Primary School
  • Elizabeth Park Primary School
  • Elizabeth Vale Primary School
  • Evanston Gardens Primary School
  • Gawler & District College B-12
  • Gawler East Primary School
  • Gilles Street Primary School
  • Glenelg Primary School
  • Goodwood Primary School
  • Goolwa Primary School
  • Hawthorndene Primary School
  • Henley Beach Primary School
  • Hincks Avenue Primary School
  • Ingle Farm Primary School
  • Kangaroo Island Community Education
  • Kimba Area School
  • Koolunga Primary School
  • Brinkworth Primary School
  • Blyth Primary School
  • Lake Windemere B-7 School
  • Littlehampton Primary School
  • Loxton Primary School
  • Madison Park School
  • Marion Primary School
  • McLaren Vale Primary School
  • Modbury South Primary School
  • Mount Barker South Primary School
  • Nailsworth Primary School
  • Nicolson Avenue Primary School
  • North Ingle School
  • O'Sullivan Beach Primary School
  • Port Broughton Area School
  • Prospect Primary School
  • Renmark North Primary School
  • Salisbury Downs Primary School
  • Seaford K-7 School
  • South Downs Primary School
  • St Leonards Primary School
  • Stradbroke School
  • Streaky Bay Area School
  • Sturt Street Community School
  • Surrey Downs R-7 School
  • Warradale Primary School
  • Willunga Primary School