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Primary Academy

Phonics Screening Check

As set out by the Department of Education, Year 1 pupils, and children from Year 2 who need to resit, complete a Phonics screening check to assess the phonics knowledge of children across the country.

 What is the Phonics Screening Check? 

The Phonics Screening Check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps the school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. 

The National Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils in the country. 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. 

When will the Phonics Screening Check take place? 

In 2023/24 the check will take place during the week commencing Monday 10th June 2024 

How does the check work? 

Your child will sit with a familiar teacher and will be asked to read 40 words aloud. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child. 

The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense (alien words). The alien words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word (alien words) which is independent of any existing vocabulary they may have. 

Why Pseudo Words (alien words)?  

Non-words are important to include as they can’t be read using their vocabulary or from memory; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess all children’s ability to decode.