Australian Students Deserve Better
SOS Therapy and Learning Centre strongly supports Jennifer Buckingham's article (attached below). The National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (2005) report is freely available. Australian schools must use the recommendations in this report if we are to see improvements similar to those in the UK. England adopted the recommendations from their review into teaching literacy effectively, a review that had findings and recommendations remarkably similar to those of our 2005 National Inquiry.
In following the recommendations from their Inquiry, England has made explicit synthetic Phonics instruction mandatory in all primary schools. Synthetic Phonics uses a systematic approach to teaching children how to use the English alphabetic code to read and spell and highlights the connection between spoken and written language using explicit teaching.
The UK's Year 1 Phonics Screening Check results suggest that since adopting synthetic phonics instruction students phonics skills have improved. Buckingham's article reports that in the first year of the national Phonics Screening Check in 2012, 58% of Year 1 students achieved the expected standard. In 2016, 81% of students achieved the standard.
Imagine the improvements for Australian students if our schools simply adopted the recommended use of explicit synthetic phonics instruction in teaching early literacy. Imagine if they employed some of the other recommendations in the National Inquiry report. Our students deserve so much better than the current Education System, they deserve change.
Clare Catmore, Principal Speech Pathologist, SOS Therapy and Learning Centre.