Happy and Successful Children

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Key Stage 1 Phonics Screening

‘For many children, practicing the ability to recognise sounds in words can make a big difference in how fast they learn to read’

The phonics screening check is a short reading assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. The purpose of the test is to identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. All Year 1 children in the UK are required to complete the check, which consists of reading a total of 40 words including ‘real words’ and ‘alien words’.

Real Words

Real words are every day words that are decodable using the phonics knowledge your child will have acquired from being taught the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme at school.

Examples of real words:

  • cat
  • stand
  • share
  • look
  • clearing
  • forever

Alien Words

Alien words are nonsense words. They do not have real meaning, but are phonetically decodable.

Examples of alien words:

  • trop
  • blerg
  • plander
  • shorm
  • klech

Useful links for parents: