The test is conducted in a 1:1 basis and there is no time limit for this. Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and be asked to read 40 words aloud. Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new. The check is expected to take just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The screen will include no more than 40 ‘words’. The words are split into real words and alien words. Your child will be able to identify an alien word from the alien next to each words. The alien words provide an element of fun to the test as well as testing your children application of Phonics for decoding.
The Phonics Test takes place in the second week of June. It is during Term 6 (the second half of the Summer Term) towards the end of Year 1.
As educators, we do not have access to the Phonics Screening Check word until the morning of the first day of the screening week in June. The test itself will be carried out by your child’s class teacher. Each child will take their test individually.
In order to meet the expected standard, your child must be able to read 32 or more of the 40 words on the screening test.
If your child does not reach the expected standard in this test, please do not panic! The check is used as a way to assess possible learning needs. This will allow them to identify any support your child will need and implement this throughout Year 2. They will then be given another opportunity to take the test at the end of Year 2.
There are lots of different ways you can support your child at home. Here are some different ideas and activities you could use at home.
Play lots of sound and listening games with your child.
Read as much as possible to and with your child.
Encourage and praise - get them to have a ‘good guess’.
If your child is struggling to decode a word, help them by encouraging them to say each sound in the word from left to right.
Blend the sounds by pointing to each letter, e.g. /c/ in cat, or the letter group, e.g. /ng/ in sing. Next move your finger under the whole word as you say it.
Discuss the meaning of words if your child does not know what they have read.
Another way you can support your child at home, is to practise the sound they are unsure of. Your child’s teacher has sent home a letter with specific sounds identified for your child. Your child has previously been given flashcards which you can use at home to support this. If you require any of the resources again, please speak to your child’s teacher and they can provide you with more.