Articles on: Literacy

Is The PLD Screener Enough for WA's Mid-Year 1 Phonics Check?

As a part of the 2023 WA Department of Education Phonics Initiative, WA schools will be required to complete an annual phonics assessment for Year 1 students from the start of 2023. The annual assessment will help teachers to identify students who require additional support to develop essential phonics skills.
On Page 11, you will find the list of endorsed programs. PLD is listed here as a phonics program that includes assessment.

At the Semester 2 census:
Principals will need to confirm that Year 1 students have undergone a phonics assessment by mid-Year 1, which identifies their progress against the Department of Education’s expected proficiency.

How To Ensure Your School Is Complying With The Year 1 Phonics Check:
If schools are implementing the PLD Reading and Spelling Screeners termly, through Kindergarten, Pre-Primary and Year 1, and completing the tracking sheets as recommended, a schools will have related assessments multiple times by mid-year one. This looks like:
Phonics Data is collected and stored at a school level, all classes are in one document that everyone works from a central location (one class per tab along the bottom).
Each class has completed both the PLD Reading and Spelling tracking sheets process in full: Enter data, highlight and groups students into three groups, identify teaching plan for each group. (What this should look like is below)
It is important to note that the Education Department is likely to be contacting schools that are under performing in Year 3 NAPLAN results. This means that schools that are poorly implementing PLD are likely to be contacted.
Completing the PLD process in full ensures that we have not only assessed our students abilities, but that we have also responded to this information by effectively identifying the three groups for teaching and catering for these three levels. These groups are your Response to Intervention (RTI).
In addition, PLD strongly suggests completing a Term 3 Phonics Check in Weeks 3-5.

The Year 1 Phonics Check is scheduled for weeks 3-5 in the Teaching Sequence Manual, Page 5
The UK Phonics Check is an internationally recognised measure.
The Literacy Hub has developed an Australian version of the UK Phonics Check.
If Foundation and Year 1 teachers are teaching Stage 1 phonics concepts well, the majority of students will secure the required score of 28 out of 40 words read correctly. If 70-80% of students do not get the minimum score. there is further work to do tightening SSP within the junior primary.
Although not compulsory, keep in mind, the UK is now ranked 4th in international assessments. Why? They have made many years of working with under performing schools and are now reaping the rewards of this simple but potentially confronting assessment.
The PLD Stage 1 concepts have been highlighted and should be read correctly by Term 3 of Year 1.

The Department of Education's Phonics Initiative Booklet
PLD Endorsed by the WA Department of Education
Preparation for the Phonics Screening Check
PLD Supports the Introduction of the Phonics Check

Updated on: 11/07/2023

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