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The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check


At the end of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment to make sure that children are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills to read words and that they are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning. There are 40 words in the screening check which children are asked to read on a one-to-one basis with their class teacher. Children are encouraged before the phonics screening check to sound-button the words to give them the best chance of reading the word correctly. The check is made up of 'real words' (e.g. fluke) and 'alien words' (e.g. splog). Children do not need to know the difference between the real words and the alien words, they just need to read them. Alien words have a picture of an alien next to them so children know that they are not real words. Alien words are used so that children apply their phonic knowledge to read them.

Year 1 phonics screening check training video

An example of how the phonics screeners work.