Phonics Screening and Sounds Write

Information on the Phonics Screening Test


The phonics screening check introduced in 2012 is a statutory assessment for all children in year 1 (typically aged 6). All state-funded schools with a year 1 cohort must administer the checks. Children who did not meet the standard in year 1 or who were not tested are re-checked at the end of year 2 (typically aged 7). The purpose of the Year 1 phonics screening check was to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

The phonics screening check is a list of 40 words and non-words, which are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters.

Your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.

Sounds Write guide for parents in the reception year

The attached guide explains how you can help your child to read using examples from the National Curriculum.

Progression in Years 1 - 6

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. For more information related to progression, please follow these links:

Phonics info

Phonics testing

You may be aware of the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ that was introduced by the Department of Education for all year 1 children. The purpose of the Year 1 phonics screening check is to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

The Phonics Screening Check started the week beginning Monday 15th June 2015 phonics letter