In order to read children need to be able to decode words, in the form of sounding, segmenting and blending sounds/letters. Literacy is crucial to a child’s success in later life. In June 2012 the Departement for Education devised a phonics screening check. Every child in Year 1 and some from year 2, if they don’t meet the pass mark in year 1 will take the assessment in school. The assessment is completed on a one-to-one basis with a teacher or another familiar adult.

LCP state “The Department of Education wants the check to be taken by as many pupils as possible and have worked closely with SEN specialists to make this happen.

Where necessary, adjustments will be made and appropriate guidance provided for SEN pupils.

For pupils who are working well below the level of the phonics screening check (for example, if they have shown no understanding of letter-sound correspondences) there will be a process in place so that they do not have to take part. Parents should be informed if this applies to their child.”

The assessment is a short test usually taking 4-9 minutes on average to complete. It consists of 40 words (20 alien words and 20 real words). Your child will then have to apply all their phonic knowledge that they have learned to decode the words and decide if the word they are reading is a real word or an alien word.

What is an Alien word?
An alien word is what we know as a nonsense word. Each alien word usually consists of one or two syllables: Vin, Droon, Zog, Bock, Hup.
Alien words or pseudo-words already used in many existing phonics programmes, so are very familiar to children

The Department for Education release new alien words every year for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check so every child has an equal chance.

The Phonic Screening Check is designed to identify children who need additional phonics help. If your child does not meet the pass mark they will retake the test in year 2.
In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the pass mark was 32/40. Schools are not told the pass mark until after the screening checks have been completed.

This year (2017) the phonics screening check will take place the week commencing 12th June 2017.