An on-demand diagnostic tool that tells teachers how students are progressing in phonics is now available for all NSW public school students.

The Phonics Diagnostic Assessment follows the success of the NSW Government’s Year 1 Phonics Check which will be mandatory for this year.

Cabinet Secretary, the Hon Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC said phonics is essential for our teachers to understanding our student’s development.

“We have learnt that phonics is a critical tool in assisting students in learning how to read,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“Phonics helps build the foundations of lifelong learning and having this high-quality online assessment that can be used to track student’s development in reading.

“This tool will be great for our state’s teachers in assisting them with supporting their students.”

The online assessment only takes 5-7 minutes and consists of a number of words which a teacher can select to target specific knowledge and skills. The students sit with the teacher to read the words and the teacher is then able to record the responses in an online tool.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the Year 1 Phonics check was a success and the new tool is in addition to the recently introduced Year 1 Phonics screening Check.

“The best results in reading for our students occurs when phonics is explicitly and systematically taught from Kindergarten alongside all of the components necessary for reading instruction,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We are building a curriculum that focuses on strong foundations using best practice, which means using phonics to build strong reading foundations in early years of schools.”

Through the NSW Government’s School Success Model, every NSW public school will also have a target in phonics for the first time.

For more information about the Phonics Diagnostic Assessment, please see: Phonics diagnostic assessment (