classes terms notepad report calendar noticeboard attendance trophy sen parentview parent-view Parent V iew
Our school value this half term is Friendship
Contact Us
School Logo

Kensworth CE Academy

With God by our side, we can move mountains

Phonics Screening Check

Phonics Screening Check - Information for Parents


    Phonics screening for Year 1 pupils will take place week beginning Monday 10th June 2024.


    Schools and parents can use this free online Phonics Screening Check. It's easy to complete and can be accessed using the link below to access the Phonics Screen Check.


    Phonics Screening Check


    The test measures progress in phonics skills and knowledge gained throughout Reception and Year 1. The aim of the screen is to identify children who would benefit from additional support to catch up with their peers at this important early stage.


    The check is carried out individually in one sitting, taking about 5 – 10 minutes. It is meant to be an informal and relaxed test with practice words to ensure that each activity is understood.


    The test assesses the reading of one-syllable and two-syllable phonically decodable words by sounding out and blending graphemes:


    There are twenty real words and twenty 'alien' words that are used to assess a child's ability to decode and blend sounds together to read whole words.  All alien words are accompanied by a picture of an imaginary creature or ‘alien’. This provides a context (naming the alien) for children and ensures that they are not trying to match the pseudo-word to a word in their vocabulary.


    The pass mark is called the ‘threshold’ and is published after the test. Schools report to both parents and the Local Authority by the end of the summer term. The results are not published in a league table. Children who do not pass receive additional support in school and repeat the check at the end of Year 2.


    Test Structure

    The check consists of 40 words divided into two sections of 20 words. Both sections contain a mixture of real words and pseudo-words. 


    Section 1


    The words in section 1 have a variety of simple word structures (for example CVC, VCC, CCVC and CVCC) using:


    • single letters (a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q(u), r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z)
    • some consonant digraphs (ch, ck, ff, ll, ng, sh, ss, th, zz)
    • frequent and consistent vowel digraphs (ar, ee, oi, oo,or)


    Section 2


    Words in section 2 have more complex word structures (for example CCVCC, CCCVC, CCCVCC and two syllable words) with some:


    • additional consonant digraphs (ph, wh)
    • less frequent and consistent vowel digraphs, including split digraphs (a-e, ai, au, aw, ay, ea, e-e, er, ew, i-e, ie, ir, oa, o-e, ou, ow, oy, ue, u-e, ur)
    • trigraphs (air, igh)


    Please read the information below and if you have any questions please feel free to speak to the class teacher, Miss Atkins.


    How will the children know which words are ‘alien’ (nonsense) words?

    The made-up ‘alien’ words are always presented with a picture of an alien, so the children know that they are not real words that they might recognise. They are very familiar with this concept.


    How will the phonics screening be administered?

    Each child is taken through the screening check by a teacher on a 1:1 basis. This will be in a quiet area and there is not a time limit.


    What is the pass mark?

    The standard threshold pass mark for this year’s phonics screening check will be published on Monday 27th June (after the children have sat the check). Last year the pass mark was 32 out of 40.


    What happens if my child doesn’t pass the phonics screening check?

    Any child that does not reach the standard threshold will sit the screening check when they are in year 2, with the following year’s cohort of year 1s.


    How can we support our child out of school?

    Read as much as possible to and with your child. When children become more capable readers they develop the skill of word recognition. However, it is important that children continue to practise good sounding out and blending so they don’t fall into the trap of guessing the wrong word. Support your child by sharing their Read Write Inc reading books at home and practise red words and green words. 


    Which phonics phase will the phonics screening check focus on?

    The check includes graphemes from all of the phases taught to the children since they started school. (Read Write Inc sets 1-3)

    One Page Phonics Screening Check Information Sheet