Making best practice common practice in the classroom


The state government has announced an updated Victorian Teaching and Learning Model, which will be implemented in all government schools across the state from 2025.

All students from Prep to year 2 will be taught using a systematic synthetic phonics approach as part of their reading programs, with a minimum of 25 minutes daily explicit teaching of phonics and phonemic awareness.

This will be a core component of a comprehensive reading program that also includes explicit teaching of oral language, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension.

Systematic synthetic phonics is a structured approach that explicitly teaches the relationship between sounds and letters to read words.

Focusing on the foundational skills to teach reading including phonics will reflect evidence-based practices used in schools Australia-wide and internationally that are achieving strong learning outcomes.

The evidence is clear from Victorian schools and reviews conducted by research organisations like the Australian Education Research Organisation and the Grattan Institute – showing explicit teaching works best for the largest number of students, particularly capturing those who may be struggling.

Education Minister Ben Carrol said that evidence shows that explicit teaching and the use of systemic synthetic phonics instructions gets results.

“The reforms and the rollout of the lesson plans will reduce teacher workload and equip them with high quality, best practice materials so they can spend more time with their students and less time planning,” he said.

Schools and teachers will be supported to implement these approaches through the provision of high-quality, practical lesson plans first in English and Mathematics and then in Science and Design and Digital Technologies.

These resources will play a significant role in reducing teacher workload as well as supporting the delivery of high-quality teaching in every school that’s backed by evidence and research.