This section is devoted to information on the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check,
and the following on phonics phases. The information is useful for
Year 1 Phonics
The Government are introducing a Year 1 'Phonics Screening Check to ascertain
children's attainment in reading phonetically by the end of year 1. The check
consists of 40 words, 20 of them are known words (of which 40-60% are words that
are likely to be outside a 6 year old's vocabulary) and 20 'nonsense' words that
need to be sounded out by the child.
A sample of what the check will look like is shown here.
It is set at Phonics
Phase 5 (see below). The 'pass' mark has not been announced yet but will be
at least at 31 out of 40! In the national trial the majority of 6 year olds did
not pass. The check will take place in the week beginning the 18th June. The
results will be included in the year 1 end of year report.
It is very important that the check is not seen as a 'test' and that children
are not seen as 'failing' if they do not meet the high pass mark. The school
will ensure that those that do not reach the required level receive extra
support and it will also help you focus support for their learning at home over
the summer holiday in readiness for year 2.
You may remember there was a booklet about Phonics issued as a supplement to the
September newsletter entitled 'Letters and Sounds - Phonics Information for
Parents and Carers'. With the increased emphasis on phonics teaching from
Government as the vehicle to ensure children are reading by the end of year 1 it
is well worth re-reading this booklet. Copies of this document are available on
our web site in the 'Parental Guidance' section or are available from the School
office on request.
The purpose of these next two pages is to summarise parts of that booklet and
enable you to check your child's phonetic knowledge at home and support them in
their phonics learning.
The teaching structure for phonics runs over 6 phases - these are summarised below
with approximate timings and age expectations. Please note that a 'phoneme' is
the sound of the letters and a 'grapheme' is what they look like written down.
Below are assessment sheets that can be used to support your
child. They are assessed at school and work is targeted to help them develop
their phonetic knowledge. This work may be ongoing well into the upper end of
Key Stage 2 for some children so don't worry too much if your child is not at
the stage you think they should be yet as children develop their reading at
We have already added some resources to help you support your child at home to
the 'Parenting Information and Guidance Zone' including some posters and a link
to Mr Thorne's phonics site - this is excellent and you and your child can watch
videos for the appropriate phase (use the menus on the black bar across the
page) and watch Mr Thorne pronounce them correctly.
With all the increased focus on phonics and at such a fast pace it is important
to also understand that children will only read when they are ready and that
there phonics alone will not produce fluent readers. There are many other
strategies to help children read that we deploy in school and that you can do at
home such as sharing reading every day. It is of the utmost importance that
children do not feel pressurised or stressed if they cannot grasp these aspects
of reading straight away - to become a lifelong reader that gains great
enjoyment from reading then reading needs to be seen as
a pleasure not a chore.