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Year 1 Screening Check. Wednesday 8 th May 2013. Aims. To know the context and background for the Y1 screening check To be familiar with the structure and content of the test. What is phonics?.

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year 1 screening check
Year 1 Screening Check

Wednesday 8th May 2013

  • To know the context and background for the Y1 screening check
  • To be familiar with the structure and content of the test
what is phonics
What is phonics?
  • The phonics approach teaches children to decode words by sounds, rather than recognising whole words. The emphasis in early years teaching is on synthetic phonics, in which words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes).
  • Children are taught the letters (graphemes) that represent these phonemes and also learn to blend them into words. So, at its most basic, children are taught to read the letters in a word like c-a-t, and then merge them to pronounce the word cat.
  • A phoneme can be represented by one, two, three or four letters (such as "ough" in "dough").
  • Children are systematically taught around 40 phonic sounds and the combination of letters used to represent each sound.
  • Most sounds, however, have more than one way to spell them. For example, "e" in "egg" can also be spelt "ea" as in "head" or "ai" as in "said".
  • Graphemes are grouped together and children progress from one group to the other and will be tested at the end of year one, when they are six years old.


The Government recognises that ambitions for the phonics check are more challenging than the current trajectory towards reading at the end of Year 2. But we make no apology for being ambitious about securing high standards in the teaching of reading. We believe that if children get the fundamental skill of reading using phonics right early on it will give them a flying start and allow them to move quickly to reading books for themselves and achieving even more in the future.



‘…all children have the chance to follow an enriching curriculum by getting them reading early. That means supporting the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics and introducing a simple reading check at age six to guarantee that children have mastered the basic skills of early reading and also ensure we can identify those with learning difficulties’ (White Paper)


Feedback From Pilot

  • Developed by experts in consultation with Heads and Teachers
  • Piloted in 300 schools & independently evaluated
  • Schools had to complete 4 different papers and feedback
  • 18 different screening checks were trialled in total
  • From these, the standard and level descriptors were set
  • Two separate panels then considered the words in the check and the pass mark
  • Outcomes from the two were very similar, validating the results
  • Pass mark was slightly different for each check, depending upon the content (31-34)

Feedback From Pilot

  • 32% of children in the pilot reached the expected level
  • Schools did not have information in advance of the check and therefore could not plan their teaching accordingly
  • Nonsense words are included as they are new to all pupils and, if phonic skills are secure, children should be able to decide them
  • EAL children out-performed non EAL children!


By the end of Year 1 children should be able to:

  • Read age appropriate texts fluently
  • Give the sound when shown any grapheme that has been taught
  • Blend phonemes in order to read words
  • Know most of the common grapheme-phoneme correspondences
  • Read phonically decodable one, two and three syllable words (screening test just one and two syllable)

Administration- Taking place during the week beginning 17th June.- Each child will take the screening test on their own with their class teacher.- The children will not be aware that they are being tested.

after the screening check
After the Screening Check

Re-takes are to be done in June of Y2

Parents must be informed whether their child has reached the standard required (passed!)

Look also at the children’s reading level, not just their phonics test result.