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Phonics Screening Check

Phonics Screening Check

What is it?

Children in Year 1 throughout the country all take part in a phonics screening check during the same week in June. Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or if they have not taken the test before.  

The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard. The phonics screening check contains 40 words. Each child reads each word aloud to a teacher. It takes approximately between 2 and 5 minutes per child, although all children are different and will complete the check at their own pace. The list of words the children read is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words). The pseudo words are shown to the children with a picture of an alien. Pseudo words are included because they will be new to all pupils; they do not favour children with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. 

Watch this video to find out more: 

Reporting to Parents and Carers

By the end of the summer term we will report each child’s results to their parents/ carers. This will confirm if the child has met the standard threshold. Children who do not achieve the expected level will retake the test when they are in Year 2. 

How can you help your child at home?
  • Read as much as possible to and with your child. 
  • Play lots of sound and listening games with your child.  
  • Encourage and praise – get them to have a ‘good guess’. 
  • If your child is struggling to decode a word, help them by encouraging them to say each sound in the word from left to right. 
  • Blend the sounds by pointing to each one, e.g. /c/ in cat, /p/ in pat, /ng/ in sing, /ee/ in been. 
  • Discuss the meaning of words if your child does not know what they have read.