Say Yes to the Year One Phonics Screening Check
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Say Yes to the Phonics Screening Check
Specific Learning Difficulties affect 10% of the population. Three children in every classroom of 30 will struggle with literacy.
To ensure ALL children learn to read we need all states in Australia to #SayYesToThePhonicsCheck
More than 50 public schools in South Australia are trialling the new phonics check, which screens a child’s ability to identify the sounds that form words.
The phonics screener is a simple check:
- based on the UK version introduced in 2012 in ALL schools
- designed to help teachers easily identify children at risk
- identifies children who aren’t sounding out (decoding) words well
Review the evidence and SAY YES to the #PHONICSCHECK
A simple, five-minute Phonics Screening Check could identify all of Australia’s school children who are at serious risk of struggling with reading skills.
Speech Pathologist Alison Clarke explains why the new phonics check will help teachers see who’s guessing, not decoding.
Read more from the experts Professor Pamela Snow, Anne Castles, Max Coltheart and Kevin Wheldall.
Say Yes to the Phonics Check by signing our petition so no child is left behind.
The phonics check will identify kids at risk and ensure early intervention.
- Minister for Education NSW
- Minister for Education VIC
- Minister for Education SA
- Minister for Education NT
Eva Dina Lawler
- Minister for Education WA
- Minister for Education TAS
- Minister for Education ACT
- Minister for Education QLD
The Proposed Year One Phonics Screening Check
We are writing to share our community petition for the Year One Phonics Screening Check. This petition was launched on 4 November 2017 gained 1,000 supporters in one weekend. We now have nearly 3,356 signatories.
When you meet at the Education Council Meeting on December 8 2017 we urge you to Say Yes to the Year One Phonics Screening Check.
The petition is supported by the following community organisations who all advocate for the Screening Check to take effect as per the Expert Advisory Panel.
* Dyslexia Support Australia 8,668 members
* Dyslexia Support NSW 1,376 members
* Dyslexia Support VIC 2,770 members
* Dyslexia Support WA 665 members
* Dyslexia Support SA 6,217 members
* Dyslexia Support QLD 1,694 members
The petition is publicly supported by Speech Pathology Australia, SPELD NSW, AUSPELD, Learning Difficulties Australia, Developmental Disorders of Language and Literacy Network and Code Read Dyslexia Network.
Up to 20% of parents nationwide have a child with specific learning difficulties, dyslexia, ADHD and reading difficulties. Our supporters including speech pathologists, teachers and parents have commented that the Year One Check must be implemented in line with evidence based research to close the gap on literacy failure.
Phonics is one of the five essential skills for literacy development. A Year One phonics check will help identify students who are struggling to develop reading skills including those that may have a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia.
The evidence and science of reading must prevail.
As a teacher comments “I did this with our Year Ones yesterday and it was so worthwhile with the info it gave us especially with blending the nonsense words together. Took no time at all and the kids loved doing it - no stress at all.”
Early intervention is vitally important for students with specific learning difficulties. No Australian state or territory has formally adopted the recommendations of the 2005 National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (NITL). Reform is long overdue to improve literacy standards in Australian schools.
As parents of children who are failing to learn to read and write with the current system, we urge politicians to take the advice of the Expert Advisory Panel and implement the Phonics Screening Check.
“For many years as a speech pathologist working in education I see the fallout from the prevailing multi-cueing method of teaching early reading, with many students missing the opportunity to learn to read,” said Rosemary Roberts.
“This isn't just about identifying struggling readers, but providing important feedback to teachers and schools, and improving the teaching of reading and spelling in schools,” said Joanna Davidson.
“The evidence is clear that a systematic synthetic phonics program is an essential part of literacy instruction in schools - it is 'helpful for all, harmful for none and critical for some'. My daughter is one of those for whom proper phonics instruction was critical, but she did not get it at school. Luckily we could afford to pay for private sessions with a speech pathologist and literacy expert.”
Another concerned parent said “Addressing the issues of phonemic awareness issues EARLY at school is better than finding out LATER and watching a child struggle with school. Let's make life easier for everyone teachers and students and parents - this will help not hinder.”
Speech Pathologist David Kinnane said “It’s vital that we pick up kids who can’t decode words using phonics as soon as possible, including those kids who might look like good readers but are actually using guessing strategies (like pictures or word shapes) to mask their difficulties “decoding” written words into speech sounds.”
Australian Children's laureate 2014-2015 and renowned author Jackie French supports the campaign she commented “I know that every child can learn to read and I’ve seen first hand that evidence based programs do succeed. Please end the tragedy and despair for so many kids and parents.”
Our thanks go to SA State Minister for Education, Hon Susan Close who has committed to implement the Year One Phonics Check in South Australia, where the Check has been trialled in 50 schools.
Please heed the advice of the Expert Advisory Panel and implement the Year One Phonics Check nationwide so that we can best support the outcomes of our most vulnerable students. The costs saved on mental health intervention in later years would be better spent on early intervention for those at risk.
Thank you for your consideration on behalf of a community in crisis:
* 1 in 5 children at risk of reading failure
* 21% of 15 year olds operating at baseline proficiency
* 44% of adults who lack basic literacy for everyday life
Please review the evidence and SAY YES to the #PHONICSCHECK
The phonics check will identify kids at risk and ensure early intervention so no child is left behind.
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