At St Joseph’s we aim for all our children to blend and segment with accuracy, whether it will enable them to read a real word or a pseudo (nonsense) word.
What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?
The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.
The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Pseudo words (or nonsense words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters. The teacher administering the check with your child will give them a few practice words to read first – including some non-words – so they understand more about what they have to do. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster / alien, as if the word were their name (and so your child doesn’t think the word is a mistake because it doesn’t make sense!).
You can download the Department for Education’s official Year 1 Phonics screening check past paper from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 to get an idea of what your child will be asked to do.
When does the Y1 Phonics screening check take place?
Schools will administer the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check during the second week in June.
Does my child have to take it?
Yes – all students in Year 1 in England must take the Screening Check.
What will my child’s score mean?
Your child will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard.
Between 2013 – 2019 the “pass threshold” was 32, which means children had to read at least 32 words out of 40 correctly. The threshold mark is communicated to schools at the end of June, after the test has been taken, so that teachers can mark the Check.
You will be told how your child did, but schools’ results will not be published. If your child’s score falls below the standard, they will be given extra phonics help and can re-take the Phonics screening check in Year 2.
How can I help my child prepare?
Useful websites for Parents
Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.