New phonics reading test for 6 yr olds - Good or Bad?

Let your child take charge of their learning

Access print-friendly, downloadable Maths and English resources for easy learning.
Our aim is to help children succeed at school. Supporting children in Maths and English can be made easier if you have the right resources.

Choose from our many plans or try us for free with Teach Weekly.

View Our Plans

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

Children in Year 1 in Primary School could soon be tested on their reading skills using a new Phonics Screening Check.
This is to make sure schools are using the Governments preferred method of teaching reading i.e. using a systematic method of teaching phonics - Letters and Sounds. 300 schools completed the test with six-year olds last summer, Govenment stats show that only 32% passed the test. This means that two-thirds of the primary school children tested failed! So does this mean that primary schools are failing our children and teachers are not teaching children properly?

Phonics Screening Check - Something to worry about?

The preferred method of teaching reading is by blending and segmenting the individual sounds in words. With this in mind the test includes non-words, the reason being that children should be able to decode the words by sounding out. My opinion is that this will create more confusion for the children, especially those with english as a second language. Children who are stronger readers are being encouraged to read nonsense words alongside real words - how confusing? Part of learning to read, is to read for understanding, not just for the sake of reading. As a teacher and parent you make asking children questions about what they have just read, as part of routine.

Many teachers will use a variety of methods to teach reading. Although the systematic teaching of phonics is important, I know many teachers who use picture cues, encourage children to learn words by sight (memorising key words) and use repetition of words and phrases, in conjunction with synthetic phonics.

The introduction of synthetic phonics has helped many children to read. As a primary school teacher, over the years I noticed a difference between those children that had been taught to read using synthetic phonics and those that hadn't. I believe children who have been systematically taught phonics are also better at spelling, when encountering an unknown word, thay are able to make a better guess as to how to spell or read it by sounding out and using their phonic knowledge.

So what do the Government stats say about the quality of phonics teaching?

In my opinion, stats aren't everything. It is the child's teacher and parents who really make a difference. If your child's teachers has a good understanding of how to teach reading and writing, and can use the appropriate methods according to the child's needs, then that child will do well. A parent that reads regularly with their child, takes the time to find out how their child is being taught in school and uses this to reinforce learning at home, will be contributing to their child's success.

Find out more about the screening check.

Don't take our word for it...

"Amazing site just renewed my subscription for the second year. This site is well structured and has helped to assure me that the work we do at home co-ordinates and strengthens the work done at school."

Reena Chohan

"Teach My Kids is a fantastic resource. We use the work sheets to reinforce the Maths and English that our children, James 9 and Katie 8, are learning at school. They are ideal for when we have a spare 10 – 15 minutes, and also give us as parents the opportunity to see how much our kids know!

As and when the work sheets are completed, I log in and tick them as completed, so it’s clear which topics have been covered. I try to do 2 - 4 of worksheets a week and feel that they are of great benefit to both our children.

I would definitely recommend ‘Teach My Kids’, it’s fantastic value for money and if you have any questions or queries these are answered promptly."

Emma Robinson

"I have found the ‘Teach my Kids’ website to be very helpful and informative. The worksheets met my children’s individual needs at a time when I was struggling with ways in which to support them. They were very easy to follow have made a real impact on their confidence in Maths and English.

The website is clear and well thought out and easy for anyone to follow. Any queries are responded to promptly. A great website for parents!"

B. Gidda

"Teach My Kids has all the ingredients of the National Curriculum and above all good lesson planning. Such an excellent tool for parents and children. The worksheets are attractive and easy to read and follow. Excellent lively illustrations. I am impressed by the rewards systems and learning path progress. The learning paths are well constructed and brilliant because all the children in the family can use it. Very useful advice to parents.

I would encouraged parents towards this user friendly and excellent web site."

M. Welton

"Teach my kids is a very valuable website! Great worksheets available that help me and my child on her sometimes confusing learning path. Fabulous helpful and friendly owners, would highly recommend!"

Emma Jones

"I have been with Teach My Kids for a few months and can see an improvement in my daughter. The rewards have helped her stay focused."