The new, statutory phonics screening check for all Year 1 pupils took place successfully for the first time in June 2012. The national results were announced on 27 September.
High quality phonics teaching gives children a solid base on which to build as they progress through school. Children who master the mechanics of reading are well-placed to go on to develop a love of reading.
The phonics screening check is a short and simple assessment of phonic decoding. It consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half non-words, which Year 1 children read to a teacher. Administering the assessment usually takes between four and nine minutes per child.
The check is designed to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard and have grasped the essential skills that underpin good reading.
Pupils who have not reached this standard at the end of Year 1 should receive extra support from their school to ensure they can improve their phonic decoding skills. They will then have the opportunity to retake the screening check in Year 2.
The documents on this page this page provide information for schools and parents about the structure and content of the screening check and advice on how to support those pupils who have not yet reached the expected standard.
Also available is evidence showing the effectiveness of systematic synthetic phonics as the best way to teach young children to read. You can also read case studies highlighting good practice by schools in teaching phonics and administering the screening check.
The Government has commissioned an independent evaluation of the phonics screening check over the next three years. This will provide valuable information about the impact of the check on phonics teaching, and the design of the assessment. The first interim report should be available shortly.
The next phonics screening check for Year 1 pupils will take place during the week starting 17 June 2013.
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This document provides the framework for the development of the year 1 phonics check, including the check specification and the item specification.
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Response to the public consultation on the Year 1 phonics screening check.
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Information about the statutory phonics screening check.