What is Phonics?
Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word.
Children have a 25 mins phonics lesson each day and they are encouraged to use these strategies to read and write in other lessons.
There are 44 different sounds.
Why are the children being screened?
Every Year 1 child in the country will be taking the phonics screening check in the same week in June.
The aim of the check is to ensure that all children are able to read by the end of year two.
This ‘midpoint check’ will ensure that we have a clear understanding of what the children need to learn in year 2.
What will the children be expected to do?
The check is very similar to tasks the children already complete during phonics lessons.
Children will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together e.g. d-o-g - dog
The focus of the check is to see which sounds the children know and therefore the children will be asked to read made up ‘nonsense’ words.
When will the screening check take place?
The screening will take place throughout the week beginning Monday 10th June. The children cannot retake the test at any other time so it is very important your child is in school during this week.
The check has been designed so that children of all abilities will be able to take part.
Who will complete the check?
The children will complete the check one at a time in a quiet area of the school.
Your teacher familiar to your child will conduct all of the screening checks with the children in their class.
The screening will only take 10-15 mins with each child.
How can you help?
Encourage your child to ‘sound out’ when reading or writing. Focusing particularly on spotting more unusual sound patterns e.g.:
Digraph- 2 letters making one sound cow
Trigraphs- 3 letters making one sound night
Split digraphs- 2 vowels with a consonant in between. Used to be known as the magic e! spine - i_e
Encourage your child to use their sound mat when writing and use their actions to find the sound they need.
Please use the handout and activities in the pack to help your child practise at home.
Children can practise their phonics by playing games online. The children particularly like 'Buried Treasure'.