Parent Guide: What is the Phonics Screening Check?

As the Phonics Screening Check is looming again this year, here as some facts for parents.

The Phonics Screening Check is a compulsory assessment that all children in year 1 must take. It is used to assess a students phonic decoding skills. To pass a student must correctly read around 32/40 words correctly.

The 40 words in the check are split into sections progressing from simple word structures to trickier words with five or six letters. The often confusing thing about the screening check is that 20/40 of the words that children are expected to read are ‘nonsense words’, alien words that have no meaning. This really tests a child’s phonic decoding skills to check they have the appropriate standard.

Phonics Screening checks with Fonics Online

When is the Phonics Screening Check?

The check is administered by a child’s teacher during the designated phonics screening week. In 2017 this is the week starting the 12th June. It will be a one to one check and your child will be given some practice words first including nonsense words. The words are the same all across the country. Schools are sent the screening check through the post in a sealed box and teachers are not allowed to open the test until the start of that week.

Phonics Screening checks with Fonics

What is the pass mark?

Your child will be scored against a national average which has been 32 since 2013. The mark will be told to schools at the end of June and can be released to parents. Individual children’s results will not be published.

Phonics Screening checks with Fonics App

What can I do to help?

There are past phonics screening checks from 2012 – 2016 on our website just choose ' Past Phonics Screenings'.

You can also download Read with Fonics to play at home on Google, Apple or Amazon!

Or watch my Phonics screening hints and tips video!

Perhaps the important thing to take away from all this is to not stress out, and certainly don’t let your child feel anxious about the check in anyway. If a child can read, this check is easy.