Phonics Screening Check - Year 1

Advice and Tips Type English Free Teaching Resources Subject English Age 3 to 5 Years Old 5 to 7 Years Old Key Stages Early Years Foundation Stage Key Stage 1 Maths & English Worksheets

What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

All Primary School children in Year 1 will take the Phonics Screening Test.  The test must be taken by all Year 1 children including those attending state schools, academies and free schools. It usually takes place in mid June. The test has to be on a one to one basis by a qualified teacher.

What is Phonics and how it is linked to the Year 1 Screening Test?

The Phonics test checks children's ability to read and decode words.

Phonics should be taught in schools on a daily basis, for 15 - 20 minutes everyday. During these sessions children are taught the sounds letters make, how to write the sounds, how to read words by identifying the sounds within a word and how to combine these sounds to write words.

The Phonics Screening Test is used to find out how well children are doing in phonics in Year 1. If they don't pass the test, then they may need extra phonics support in Year 2. It is used to confirm whether or not children are able to decode and use phonic knowledge to an age appropriate standard.

What is in the Year 1 Phonics Test?

The Phonics test contains 40 words, divided in 2 sections of 20 words, which children are asked to read. Some of these words will be real words, some will be nonsense words. Each page will contain 4 words. All the words on the page will either be real words or nonsense words, real words and nonsense words will not be mixed on a page. All the letters in the word will be in lower case. The test usually take between 4 and 9 minutes per child, however there is no time limit. Children will be expected to blend sounds to read the words. Nonsense words are used to check a child's ability to blend sounds using phonic knowledge, regardless of what the word might be. Children must only attempt the Phonics Screening Test once, they can't have another go at it on another day.

Take a look at our Phonics Packs  which you can purchase from the shop.

What is the Phonics Screening Check Pass mark?

The threshold mark to pass the test is 32 out of 40. Any score less than 32 is a fail.

What happens if my child doesn't pass the Phonics Test?

If your child doesn't pass the Phonics screening check in Year 1, they will need to take the test again in Year 2. If your child is absent during the week of the test, the school must administer the test to your child before the end of June.

How do I prepare my child for the Year 1 phonics Screening Check?

Your child will be taking part in phonics sessions everyday at school. Children will be given a practice sheet before the test begins, so that they know what to expect.

Teach My Kids have got previous years Phonics screening tests for you to download for free. This will give you a good idea of what will be expected of your child.

You can access the free Phonics tests by clicking on the links below.

How can I help my child with their phonics, reading and writing?

You can improve your child's progress and understanding of phonics by using our specially designed, targeted phonics worksheets. Created by Teach My Kids to ensure children improve their reading and writing.


Subscribe to Teach My Kids to gain access to phonics worksheets for your child's year group, plus access to worksheets covering a wide range of topics in Maths and English.


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