Year One Phonics Screening

What is phonics?

Children begin to learn phonics sounds in Early Years. These are then used orally to identify and make words. They then learn the letters which make each of the sounds and these are put together to read and write words and sentences.

What is the phonics screening check?

In Year One, all children take part in the phonics screening check during the same week in June. Any children in Year Two who didn’t pass the test in Year One also retake the test. 

What is the test like?

The test contains 40 words. Each child sits with their teacher and is asked to read each word aloud. The test is a combination of real words and made up words. The idea is that in reading the made up words the children must rely solely on their phonic knowledge to be able to get it right. The made up words are new to all children and do not favour children with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory – purely phonic skills come into play. 

Reporting to parents.

By the end of the summer term all schools must report their child’s results to their parents. 

What happens if children do not pass the test in Year One?

Children who do not pass the test in Year One receive intensive phonics intervention and support and then retake the test in Year Two. In our school, children who do not pass it in Year Two are usually those who have intensive support for general special educational needs and so the phonics support and reassessment carries on until the child has passed. Phonics is vital to literacy.

What happens to the results?

Results from the check are used by the school to analyse our performance and also by Ofsted in inspections.

How can parents help?

We would be grateful if you could do the following:

  • Read to and with your child as often as you can.
  • Play sound and listening games.
  • Encourage and praise them for sounding out new words.
  • Discuss the meaning of words.
  • Read the rest of the phonics information on this website and support the stage your child is at.