Phonics Check

Dear parents and carers,


In week beginning 13th June the Year 1 children will take part in the National Phonics Screening Check. This is a statutory assessment that was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils and is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. Attendance must be 100% this week.


What is in the phonics screening check?

It comprises of a list of 40 real and nonsense words. It assesses phonics skills and knowledge learnt through reception and year 1.  Your child will read with a teacher and will probably do the check in 1015 minutes. They will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together. The check is very similar to tasks the children already complete during phonics lessons.


What are Nonsense or Pseudo words and why are they included?

These are words that are phonetically decodable but not actual words with a real meaning e.g. brip, snorb. These words are included in the check specifically to assess whether you child can decode a word using phonic skills and not their memory. The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This will make the check a bit more fun and provides the children with a context for the nonsense word. Crucially it does not provide any clues, so your child has to be able to decode it. Children generally find nonsense amusing so they will probably enjoy reading these words.


How can I help my child?

There are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading development:

  • Sharing books with your child is a lovely way to show that reading is enjoyable
  • Whilst you are reading together you could encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend from left to right rather than looking at pictures to guess
  • Play some phonics games with your child; there are some example phonics computer games below.


The Oxford Owl website has advice on how to practise phonics with your children, videos on how to pronounce sounds and more information about the phonics screening check.


Phonics Play has lots of useful free games, which include ‘buried treasure’ and ‘picnic on Pluto’. These games enable the children to practise blending real and nonsense words. Children will benefit from practising phase 3, 4 and 5 sounds.


If you have any questions please ask your child’s teacher.

Thank you for your continued support,

The Year 1 Team.

Contact the School

Ashbury Meadow Community Primary School

Rylance St
M11 3NA

Main Contact: Mrs Eve Peters

Tel: 0161 219 6630
Fax: 0161 231 0372

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