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Industry Insights: Victorian state schools to use phonics as a tool for reading from 2025 

Industry Insights: Victorian state schools to use phonics as a tool for reading from 2025 

From next year, all Victorian state schools will adopt phonics as the primary method for teaching reading, aiming to enhance literacy skills among prep to year 2 students.

The government’s updated Teaching and Learning Model mandates a minimum of 25 minutes daily dedicated to explicit phonics and phonemic awareness instruction.

This approach, specifically synthetic phonics, helps students break words into individual sounds, facilitating better reading comprehension.

Victorian Education Minister Ben Carroll cited research from the Australian Education Research Organisation and the Grattan Institute, highlighting the effectiveness of explicit teaching methods, particularly systemic synthetic phonics.

“The evidence shows that explicit teaching and the use of systemic synthetic phonics instructions gets results — while we already lead the nation in NAPLAN results, we’re always looking to improve, especially in relation to lifting outcomes for disadvantaged students.”

Co-director of La Trobe Science of Language and Reading Lab, Pamela Snow, supported the move, emphasising phonics as a proven method that benefits all students, regardless of background.

The uniform adoption of phonics across all schools is expected to streamline teaching practices and improve overall literacy rates, aligning Victoria with other states like NSW and South Australia.

Education program director at the Grattan Institute, Jordana Hunter, welcomed the policy change, noting it would standardise teaching methods and provide clarity for educators. She anticipated improvements in student performance in NAPLAN assessments, urging schools currently using varied methods to transition to phonics with appropriate professional development.

Do you think that his shift in teaching will be effective? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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