Get­ting back to ba­sics

Sunday Herald Sun - - News -

“There is an ur­gent need to stop so many chil­dren fall­ing through the cracks in Aus­tralian class­rooms, es­pe­cially with the foun­da­tion skill of read­ing,” Sen­a­tor Birm­ing­ham said. “Aus­tralia’s ed­u­ca­tion per­for­mance in re­cent na­tional and in­ter­na­tional re­ports has raised a red flag for both pol­i­cy­mak­ers and par­ents that re­quires ac­tion now.”

Ber­wick Lodge Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Henry Grossek

hit out at the in­tro­duc­tion of an­other test, on top of as­sess­ments for prep stu­dents and NAPLAN test­ing of stu­dents in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9.

“We don’t need an­other na­tional test­ing regime to as­cer­tain the gaps in chil­dren’s learn­ing,” he said.

“It might sat­isfy the whims of some politi­cians, but I don’t be­lieve it’s a lack of test­ing that is the prob­lem. What we need are the re­sources tar­geted to ad­e­quately sup­port those chil­dren strug­gling in their learn­ing.”

El­liott, 6, has been learn­ing to read and write with the help of phon­ics.

His mum, Sally Webb, said join­ing sounds to­gether to read new words had helped El­liott learn quickly.

“It’s amaz­ing to see his progress from when he started prep with barely any knowl­edge to be­ing able to read so well within a year,” she said.

Six-year-old El­liot has im­proved his read­ing by join­ing sounds to­gether to read new words. Pic­ture: MARK STE­WART

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