Select Page
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

The phonics screening check is a test in Year 1 designed to confirm that all children at this stage have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard.


Will my school take the Phonics Screening Check?

If your child attends a state primary school or academy in England, then yes! Independent schools do not have to take the screening check, but often these schools choose to do their own phonics assessment at this stage.


Can my child fail the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

In essence, no! There is no pass or fail. Any child that does not reach the appropriate level will be supported by their school to help them reach this level. They are able to re-take the phonics screening check after having this support.


What is included in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

The 40-word check has two sections and tests phonics skills and knowledge that children have learned in throughout Reception and Year 1. The test takes between 5 and 10 minutes and is taken by the child’s teacher. It assesses children in segmenting and blending of phonemes, including one-syllable and two-syllable words. It also includes nonsense words so that children can use their phonics to read unfamiliar words.

The assessment framework here gives the finer details on the specifications for the phonics screening check.


How can I understand more about the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

Here is the phonics screening check training video for teachers. It might be useful to watch as a parent so you know how the check is taken.

Are the results of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check published?

The results are available to parents and carers by the end of the summer term and are recorded for inspection purposes but, unlike SATs, the results will not be published in a league table.


Can I practise the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check with my child?

Yes! Apart from continuing to read with your child at home, we have the past checks available to download so you can understand how your child’s phonics is tested and practise with them. The screening check has been tested at the end of Year 1 since 2012. Look through the official past papers for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 to understand what sounds and words (including nonsense words or pseudo words) your child might be expected to read in this year’s test.

2022 Guidance and Past Paper

2019 Guidance and Past Paper

2018 Guidance and Past Paper

2017 Guidance and Past Paper

2016 Guidance and Past Paper

How can Bright Light Education help with your child’s phonics?

At the Reception and Key Stage 1 level, the role of the tutor is to inspire and create a confident and secure child, motivated to learn and excited by their education ahead. We want them to be eager about school and learning. Having a private tutor at this age can support the key skills of identifying phonemes in spoken words, recognising the common spellings of each phoneme, blend the phonemes into words for reading and segment the words into phonemes for spelling. Our tutors provide sessions that are fun, creative and engaging in order to encourage and enthuse these young learners.

Other Blogposts

What is the Future Stories Community Enterprise?

What is the Future Stories Community Enterprise?

What is the Future Stories Community Enterprise? The Future Stories Community Enterprise (FSCE) was established in early 2022 and their aim is to make grammar school entrance examinations both rigorous and yet accessible to all children, including disadvantaged and...

Why should your child join our creative writing courses?

Why should your child join our creative writing courses?

Children study English often every day at school so why are our creative writing courses so important?  In the latest national Key Stage 2 assessment results published in July 2023, 71% of pupils met the expected standard in writing at the end of Key Stage 2, a lower...

What books should my child be reading in 2024?

What books should my child be reading in 2024?

Are you stuck for reading book ideas for your child?Here are some ideas to get you going!   Reception: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin JnrWhere’s Spot? by Eric HillThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleClifford the Big Red Dog by Norman...