Public primary schools to enforce compulsory phonics teaching

Phonics teaching will become mandatory in NSW public primary schools from 2021. Photo: NSW Department of Education.


PRIMARY school students in public schools will be taught to read using phonics, under new compulsory phonics education regulations announced by the NSW Department of Education on 30 November.

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The teaching of reading using phonics will be a compulsory part of the classroom from 2021 onwards, and all Year One students will be required to undergo a compulsory phonics check from 2021.

NSW Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the evidence of phonics effectiveness was undeniable.

“The evidence speaks for itself; the best results in reading for our students occurs when phonics is explicitly and systematically taught in Year 1 before moving on to other forms of reading instruction,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Using phonics to build strong reading foundations in the early years of school opens doors to success later in life.”

A popular phonics program used by many schools in Kindergarten to teach students how to read is the Jolly Phonics program, which uses actions for each of the 42 letter sounds to make learning new letters and learning to read fun for students.

This year 520 NSW Government primary schools joined a trial of the Phonics screening check, with 23,975 Year One students participating.

“Tools like the phonics check are providing teachers with the data they need to provide targeted support to students who need it most,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Because phonics is an efficient tool to teach reading, and the check is an effective way to identify gaps, schools will also be set phonics check targets.

“A phonics target means that the ability to teach reading successfully becomes a measurable responsibility for our teachers and principals.”



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