KS1 Phonics Screening

What is the phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track children until they are able to decode.

Who is it for?

The screening check is for all Year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and Free Schools - and children in Year 2 who previously did not meet the standard of the check in Year 1.

When does it happen?

Schools will be able to administer the check at any time that suits them during the week commencing 15th June 2015. If a child is absent during that week, the school can administer the check up until Friday 26th June 2015.

Where can I find more information?

A leaflet that explains the phonics screening check to parents is available to download from here. Phonics information for parents.pdf

How is the check structured?

It will be a short, simple screening check to make sure that all children have grasped fundamental phonic skills. It comprises a list of 40 words and non-words, which a child will read one-to-one with a teacher.

Find out more about the type of words and non-words that may be used.

Half of the words cover phonic skills which tend to be covered in Reception, and half of the words are based on Year 1 phonic skills.

What skills do children need to meet the standard of the phonics screening check?

All children need to be able to identify sounds associated with different letters, and letter combinations, and then blend these sounds together to correctly say the word on the page. The same skill is needed whether the word is a real word or a non-word.

The words gradually get harder through the check as the combinations of letters become more complicated. As long as the child has said 32 out of the 40 words correctly, they will be considered to have met the standard.