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2023 Phonics Screening Check

We wanted to update you about the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check for 2023 and give a little more information to help explain what this is and when this will be done for our Penguin class.

Some of you may be aware of this check and familiar with the content and for others of you, this might be new information, and you might be unaware what this check entails. Hopefully this blog and the attached document will explain this process to you.

During the week beginning 12th June, all Y1 children (and Y2 children who were Y1 last year and did not meet the expected standard) will take a phonics screening check.  This is a national check which is given from the government and all Year 1 children up and down the country will be doing this during the same time period. Materials are stored securely in school and will not be opened until the test is administered - it will be unseen by us until we begin the check.

It will be administered on a one to one basis with a Year 1 class teacher (either Mrs Jones or Mrs McGinley) taking each child one at a time to listen to them read 20 real and 20 nonsense words. Children know us really well and will feel at ease as we do this - it will be quiet time away from the rest of the class and will be a very quick 'quiz' of their phonic knowledge. They are familiar with this process from our regular phonics assessments and the check will seem very similar to them.

The phonics screening check assesses children on how well they can decode certain words. Decoding means sounding out an unfamiliar written word. To do this, children will need to be able to recognise letters and the sounds that they represent. This is an important part of achieving reading fluency!

Although this is compulsory and a national assessment that we must do in Year 1 at this time, we do not want the children to be worried about this at all. We are confident that the children will be well-prepared and familiar with the format and process from our phonic teaching. Alien words are taught each day in our phonics sessions so they know this term.

The results from this will be reported to you in July with your child's school report. We cannot say before this whether they have met the expected standard as we will not know what the given pass mark is for this year (it varies from year to year). It is usual that this is around 32 or 33 marks per 40 to score correctly in order to meet this expected standard.

Please do come and talk to us if you have any questions about this and we will be happy to help answer those.

We'd like to reiterate again that we do not want children to feel anxious about this - we have not talked about a 'phonics screening check' to them as we intend it to be a relaxed experience which they will probably enjoy doing!

We have sent home some practice sheets to some children already. Some are attached below, also for your information so that you can see what this looks like - you can help your child by listening to them read these words and also by continuing to listen to your child read regularly. Also find attached some further parental guidance about this attached.

Year 1 team