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Year 1 Phonics Screening

The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.


The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take four to nine minutes to complete.


All children who do not reach the required level have additional support to ensure they are given every opportunity to develop their phonics skills and will take the test again in Year 2.


When does the screening check take place?

All Year 1 pupils will take the phonics screening check in June


How is the check structured?

The check comprises a list of 40 words and non-words (which the children know as “alien” words). Your child will read one-to-one with their teacher. They will be asked to “sound out” the word and blend the sounds together to read the word.


How will the results be used?

Schools have to inform parents towards the end of the summer term in Year 1 of their child’s results. At Great Staughton the results will form part of the end of year reporting. All of the children are individuals and develop at different stages. The results of the screening check will assist teachers to identify which children will need further support with decoding.


How can parents help?

There are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading skill development:


Let your child see you enjoying reading yourself – they are influenced by you.


Immerse your child in a love of reading: share books and magazines with your child, take them to the library to choose books and read to them. Make time for your child to read school books to you regularly – encourage them by asking them about the story they are reading. Help your child practise reading key words and sounds when these are sent home. Talk with your child’s teacher about where your child may need particular support