Home Page

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

Welcome KS1 Parents and Carers!

As you know we are supporting your wonderful children to read and write through Phonics and English lessons every single school day!


As discussed in Parents evenings and Phonics workshops towards the end of this year your children will be taking part in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.


What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Test?

This test is rolled out nationally each year and is designed to assess your children's reading skills via 40 words, split into 2 sections. Each section consists of 10 real words and 10 pseudo-words ('alien' or 'nonsense' words). These pseudo-words are 'thrown in' because your children need to be able to use their phonic decoding skills to be able to read any word they may come across as they progress through school, whether they know it's meaning or not. This enables children to learn new words themselves by gaining an understanding through the context in which it has been placed.  


Why does my child have to take this test?

Every child across the country must and will take part in this test. The Year 1 phonics screening check is not a formal test, but a way for us to ensure that your 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. We also want to ensure your children are prepared for their transition for Year 2 and the reading demands presented by the Year 2 SATs Tests. 


When is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Test?

The Phonics Test is a compulsory test. It takes place in the second week of June, in the second half of Summer Term , towards the end of Year 1.


How will this be conducted in Camp Hill Primary School?

We, as educators, do not have any access to the Phonics Screening Check words until the morning of the first day of the Screening week in June. The test itself will be carried out by your child’s class teacher. Each child will take their test individually, on a one-to-one basis. Unfortunately they will not be given any prompts to read the word again if they have read it incorrectly. However, they will have plenty of time to attempt each word and their class teacher will do everything they can to put each child at ease when taking their test. The class teachers are striving to support and prepare your children for these conditions. Should you have any questions at all about this please do not hesitate to ask!


What is the pass mark?

In order to achieve expected standard your child must be able to read 32 or more of the 40 words on the screening test.


What if my child does not reach the pass-mark?

If your child does not reach the expected standard in this test please do not panic! The Year 1 Screening Check also allows teachers to assess the possible learning needs, phonic skills and/or audible discrimination presented by each child. Should your child need extra support to achieve the expected level for reading, this support will be implemented and continued throughout Year 2, so that they can take this test again at the end of Year 2.


How can I support my child at home?

As part of our Year 1 homework each week we send home both real and pseudo-word to read with your child. Please try to practise these as much as possible, challenging your child to detect the digraph (2 letters, 1 sound)  and trigraph (3 letters, 1 sound) sounds in each word, encouraging them to 'have another go' if it does not sound right and ensure that they blend each word after sounding it out.


Please see/download the following resources which will help you to support your child to strengthen their reading skills at home!

Letters and Sounds: online phonics lessons

Phonics in Camp Hill Primary School: Overview