Phonics Screening (Year One)
What is the phonics screening check?
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. This screening takes place in June each year.
How does the check work?
Your child will sit with a teacher and will be asked to read 40 words aloud. The test normally takes a few minutes. If your child is struggling the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.
The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense words, the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have.
What are ‘non-words’?
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Your child will be told before the check that there will be non-words that he or she will not have seen before. Many children will be familiar with this because many schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics. Non-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This aims to assess their ability to decode.
After the check
We will inform you of your childs score at the end of the academic year. Children who have not met the standard in Year 1 will retake the check in Year 2. All children are individuals and all develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.