This post is written by KS1 specialist teacher Anne.
Information about the Phonics Screening Check can be a little confusing, so here we let you know about the “need to know” information when it comes to the Phonics Screening Check.
What is happening with the phonics screening check in 2024?
During the week beginning 10th June 2024, those children who will be six years old by the end of the school year will take the screening check. Most of these children will be in Year 1.
Any children who will be seven years old by the end of the school year (Year 2) and who missed the screening check, or who did not meet the required standard must also take the check.
There will be a new set of materials for the 2024 screening check which the DfE delivered to schools in May, but these cannot be opened until then.
Why is there a phonics screening check?
The results of the screening check are submitted to the local authority. The check is designed to assess children’s phonics skills and to help identify those pupils who need extra support in decoding and reading words using phonics.
Do all year 1 pupils need to complete the phonics screening check?
A headteacher may decide that it is not appropriate for some Year 1 pupils to participate in the phonics screening. For example, those children who are working below the expected standard in phonics and have shown no understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences; those who have limited fluency in English or have recently moved to the UK and are unable to understand English letters and sounds; those who use British Sign Language (BSL) or other sign-supported communication to spell out individual letters, but are not linking letters and sounds using phonics; or any children who are mute or selectively mute.
What is the expected standard for the year 1 phonics screening check in 2024?
The DfE will publish the threshold mark in June 2024. In 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022 the threshold mark was 32 out of 40. Those children who did not achieve the threshold mark in Year 1 may take the check again in June 2024. Schools will continue to support these pupils to help them to achieve the required standard.
How are results of the phonics screening check reported to parents?
Parents will receive their child’s score by the end of the summer term. This will include whether or not the child has met the expected standard so that they are aware of their child’s progress. If a child has not met the expected standard, parents will be informed of the support that will be put in place by the school to help their child progress.
For any Year 2 pupils who took the check in autumn 2022 and June 2023, parents will receive both sets of results.
How is the phonics screening check administered?
There are 40 words for the child to read. The check is designed to test the child’s knowledge of phonics and their ability to blend to decode each word. Some are pseudo words and are accompanied by an image of an alien. It is intended that the child is made aware that these words are the name of an alien and therefore realises that they do not have to try and make a real word. The remaining words are real words and are not accompanied by any images.
The words in Section 1 are intended to be easier than Section 2 because they have a simpler structure and test phonemes from earlier in the phonics curriculum. The check is administered by a member of staff who is trained in phonics and is known to the pupil. This member of staff cannot be a relative, carer or guardian of the pupil taking the check.
The pupil sits one-to-one with the member of staff throughout the check.
Year 1 phonics screening check resources
Explore our year 1 mock phonics screening check to familiarise children with the structure and layout of the check. It has the same number of pseudo and real words as well as a guide to acceptable pronunciations and a scoring sheet. It can be used as a powerpoint in a whole class, small group or 1:1 activity, or it can be printed and used as a booklet. The mock phonicscheck allows you to familiarise children with the check and discuss any strategies or difficulties without needing to use the past versions from the DfE.
This phonics screening check bingo game contains words from past screening checks and is brilliant as a lesson starter or short phonics activity. Ask children to cover each word on their bingo card with a counter as you call them out. Great for encouraging blending in a fun and engaging way!
Phonics screening random word generator
Practise for the phonics screening check using past words from the check using our phonics screening check random word generator PowerPoint Simply put the PowerPoint into slideshow mode, then press ‘s’ to pause and restart. Encourage the children to say the word on each slide in unison – then repeat!
Need help? Explore our range of Phonics Screening Check resources below.