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Phonic Screening Check

What is the Phonic Screening Check?
The phonics screening check is a way for teachers to ensure that children are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills to read words and that they are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.


Children in Year 1 throughout the country will all be taking 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 they have not taken the test before.


What happens during the test?
The test contains 40 words. Each child will sit one-to-one and read each word aloud to a teacher that they know. The test will take approximately 10 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).
Pseudo Words
The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien and they will be asked to tell their teacher what sort of alien it is by reading the word. 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.
Crucially, it does not provide any clues, so your child just has to be able to decode it. Children generally find nonsense amusing so they will probably enjoy reading these words.
Is there a pass mark?
By the end of the summer term all schools must report each child's results to their parents.  Historically the pass mark has been 32 out of 40. However, if children do not reach the required standard, then the teacher will be in touch to discuss plans and offer additional, tailored support to ensure that your child can catch up.

Children progress at different speeds so not reaching score does not necessarily mean there is a problem. Your child will re-sit the check if needed the following summer term in Year 2.


When will the screening take place?

The screening will take place throughout the week beginning Monday 10th June 2024.  The children cannot retake the test at any other time so it is very important your child is in school during this week.


How can I help my child at home?

Play lots of sound and listening games with your child. Ask your child to go and get you a C – U – P  or a F – OR – K

Read as much as possible to and 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. Next move your finger under the whole word as you say it.

Discuss the meaning of words if your child does not know what they have read.