Shadsworth Infant SchoolLearning, Sharing and Caring


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Phonics/Phonics screening

What is the Phonics Screening Check?

The Phonics Screening Check is meant to show how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify students who need extra phonics help. All schools across the country take part.

Year 1 children will be shown a book containing 40 words. 20 of the words are 'nonsense' or 'alien' words and 20 are real words. The children will be given the opportunity to sound out the word using their phonics and blend the word back together.  The 'alien' words will not make any sense to your child, they are like an 'alien name'


When is the Phonics Screening Check?

The check will be held in school, by class teachers in June. 


What is the 'pass mark' for the check?

In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 the "pass threshold" was 32, which means children had to read at least 32 words out of 40 correctly. The threshold mark is communicated to schools at the end of June, after the test has been taken, so that teachers can mark the Check.


What will my child's score mean?

Schools’ results will not be published. If your child’s score falls below the standard, they will be given extra phonics help and can re-take the Phonics screening check in Year 2.



Help with the Phonics Screening Check 

How to pronounce the phonics sounds

Resources for Parents

The following video generates real and alien words for the phonics screening check. Press pause to stop on a word and ask your child to sound it out and tell you what it says.

If you are unsure of how the sounds are pronounced please see the 'How to pronounce Phonics sounds' above or choose another word. 

This is a great game to get children used to seeing the alien words.